Almost 2 years ago we made the decision to put my 25+ years of baking experience to good use. We started baking homemade dog treats to donate to animal shelters and offer our Bodacious Community. Every bag has helped us pay it forward to the shelter pups in need. Week after week after week, we send Bodacious Boxes O' Biscuit Love to the sweet shelter babies. And, we also launch Bodacious Fundraisers, offering both dog biscuits and "hooman" cookies, so we can purchase much needed items for our local animal shelters like blankets, toys, food, treats, cleaning supplies and to assist with medical costs. It's been quite the journey and we're not looking back. Face forward. Onward march. There are so many shelters and our goal, eventually, is to reach all the shelters here in Connecticut and beyond.
In addition to donating biscuits and raising money, we've also spent hundreds of hours at some of our local shelters. We hand out biscuits, spend time with the pups, take photos of the pound pups up for adoption and, on occasion, we've fostered. Throughout this time, it has inspired us to do more. Offer more. It's something we've talked about for several months now.
To back up a bit, aside from baking, I'm also a sewing enthusiast and have been for over 30 years. When I scan my brain for the earliest memory, the first that comes to mind is Mrs. Clark. My parents met Mr. and Mrs. Clark shortly after moving into our family home on Pine Street in Laconia, NH back in 1980. They were an older couple who lived down the street. Retired. Mr. Clark wrote a book before his passing. Mrs. Clark baked, sewed, knitted, crocheted and an avid crafter. She could hand sew a quilt in a matter of days. I vaguely remember her giving my mother a quilt one year.
I spent a lot of time at Mrs. Clark's house. She saved her fabric scraps for me. When visiting, she'd sit in her rocking chair and sew a quilting square, knit or crochet. I'd sit on the floor with my basket of fabric scraps and sewing supplies (thread, needle, scissors) and make clothes for my Barbie Dolls or whatever else stirred in my creative mind.
From that point on, I continued to sew. I excelled in Home Economics once in the Middle School. The quilted pillows and stuffed animals were no match for me. I learned how to use a sewing machine and soaked up anything else the teacher wanted to throw in my direction.
In my early 20's I started making several styles of fabric dolls. In the years to follow, I participated in craft shows and set up an in-home shop that I called "The Violette Rose Collection." I created my own patterns and had shelves of fabric and supplies. My boss, at the time, Marc Fournier, hired me to make his costumes. He was a performer. Those memories make me giggle.
On and off, since then, I've continued to sew. Quilts. Dolls. Tote bags. Hemming. Altering. Like with baking, I've kept at it over the years and it's my go-to hobby.
In the here and now, after being inspired by so many pups, hoomans, and our time spent at the shelters, Lisa and I have been talking about extending our Bodacious Love. Like with baking, sewing is a passion of mine and I want to do something with it.
So....we've made the decision to extend our Bodacious Love.
Bodacious Blanket Love - Every pup we've met has a favorite blanket. We're going to make special blankets for the pound pups to make their stay comfortable and to take home once adopted. In the past, we've purchased these. At Walmart, they offer fleece blankets for under $5, but they're poorly made. We want to provide better quality, more sizes and blankets for special needs dogs and senior dogs who may need more cushion.
Bodacious Tote Love - Parents of "hooman" kids bring along a diaper bag or tote for items like diapers, snacks, sippy cups, bottles, extra clothes, etc. When traveling with fur-kids, or when bringing them to doggy daycare or to board, it's nice to have a tote bag to store necessary items like treats, food, collapsible water bowls, leashes, a blanket or two, apparel, medications, etc.
Bodacious Bandanna Love - Megan Hoffman inspired us with bandannas. This talented lady has made and sent bandannas to us for the sweet pound pups here in Connecticut. When I've photographed pups up for adoption, a bandanna looks super adorable and adds a lil' charm and character. It's a convenient accessory to have especially for the pups who don't like apparel.
Bodacious Band Love - Often times, it's a challenge to house train shelter pups. Understandably so. Shelter pups "do their business" inside their kennel. Once adopted, this habit is difficult to break especially if they've been in a shelter for an extended period of time. Also, with special needs or senior pups, incontinence and mobility is an issue. Doggy diapers and incontinence/house training bands can often times carry a hefty price tag. As HUGE fans of DIY, we've managed to make some inexpensive solutions.
In addition to providing these items to local shelters and pound pups, we'll be offering them to our Bodacious Community. Like with our biscuits, every item will help us pay it forward to the shelter pups in need.
We have the space, experience, time and willingness to make these items however, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Most weeks, between the cost of ingredients, supplies and shipping, we run "out of pocket." Our expenses exceed donations from our biscuits. Often times, the cost of shipping, stocking up on ingredients and other supplies comes out of our own pockets.
We're asking our Bodacious Community, and beyond, for assistance to get things revved up and going. The biggest, and most costly, item needed is a sewing machine. We're not looking for anything fancy or one with bells & whistles. Gently used is much welcomed...or new. We'd like to get our hands on 2 sewing machines. A smaller one for blankets and totes and another for heavy duty sewing...thicker blankets and bands and, down the road, possibly pet pillows and beds. The larger sewing machine would be permanently set up in our biscuit/sewing room while the smaller machine would offer portability.
We're also in need of the following supplies...
fabric (cotton, fleece, sweatshirt style fabric, flannel, etc.)
poster board or plastic template sheets
gift cards to purchase these supplies at Walmart, Joanne, or Michaels
Our goal is to get this up and running by May 1st and I know we can do this. We're determined. Motivated. Excited. I'm sure, in the weeks ahead, we'll be able to add "exhausted" to the list. However, it'll be worth it. More Bodacious Love to the pound pups.
If you're able to donate any items listed above, please contact us on our Bodacious Biscuit Love Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together...