Question For Furmoms (and Furdads)

I’m a bit torn on how to deal with a delicate situation. Many, many years ago, I stitched a needlepoint stocking for our beloved Phoebe. It has her name on it. Obviously, the stocking is no longer necessarily relevant. 🙁 I have been contemplating removing her name from the stocking and making it a generic dog stocking, one that will serve for every dog that Terry and I own for the rest our lives. How would you deal with the situation? Remove the name and reuse the stocking? Archive it as a memorial piece, which would probably never see the light of day again? Continue to hang it every Christmas? Stitch additional stockings for Abby and Lily? Some combination of the above?

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when answering:

  • This is the only stocking that I have ever stitched. Terry and I have been married for over 10 years and I have not managed to stitch a single stocking for either of us (although I did put a few stitches into one for Terry many years ago).
  • Phoebe’s name is longstitched over the top section of the stocking, so even though it is finished with a lining behind the stitched canvas, I don’t think that removing it would be excessively difficult.
  • There is no way I will ever have the time or energy to stitch a stocking for every dog that I plan to own in my lifetime. I love and will love each and every one of them, but I have to be realistic here when it comes to the average lifetime of a dog versus that of a female human.
  • While the prospect of removing Phoebe’s name from her stocking is sad, I had actually considered doing it after Christmas 2008, knowing that she wouldn’t be with us too much longer. I will probably cry, but it’s not going to turn my world upside down all over again.
  • I do not feel that removing Phoebe’s name would in any way take anything away from her memory.

I think those are the major points I wanted to touch upon. I know that I’ve already talked to some of you about this and gotten your valuable opinions, but I’m looking for a more total general consensus. If you feel so inclined, please restate your thoughts here so that I can compile them all in one location.

Honestly, I had already somewhat made up my mind, until I talked to a coworker. Her strong outrage that I would even consider doing such a thing to Phoebe’s stocking really caught me off-guard and made me really wonder if I should reconsider. She is not a needleworker, but she is a fellow, devoted lover of dogs who currently owns three of her own and has lost at least one previously.

So, please, please take a minute to register your thoughts in the comments section. I really want to know what you think!

About Jenna Magee

IT professional, needleworker, editor/proofreader, author, singer, musician.
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13 Responses to Question For Furmoms (and Furdads)

  1. Aunt Michelle says:

    I would not remove Pheobe’s name. Rather, I would either bring it out each Christmas in her honor, or, in the alternative, if you have anything already in place (I have each pet’s ashes kept in their own memory box in my bedroom), you could keep it there all year round. I feel that my passed pets are still part of who I am for their unconditional love during their short visit with me during life’s journey were sometimes all that kept me going.

  2. Christine S says:

    I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would rather keep it as a memento that I see when I take out and put away the Christmas decorations every year than use it for another pet. (As an aside, I have never made a stocking for a pet. My pets just get small, simply wrapped gifts.)

  3. Meg says:

    Is there enough room to add names? I never got the dogs stockings with their names, or went through all the loving effort to stitch them on. I still have Carwyn’s and Zephyr’s first Halloween costumes! Most things that are momentos from Carwyn are in a glass bookshelf in a shrine like shelf with his ashes. It would be a trying tearfilled decision for me! You just have to do what makes you feel at ease. Or take a nice picture of it, then change it and make it a new tradition going forward?

  4. KarenV says:

    I don’t think I would remove it either. You made it for Phoebe and it will always be hers. I would probably pull it out every year in memory of Phoebe or as someone says, keep it on permanent display as a kind of memorial to her. {{Hugs}} and good luck with your decision.

  5. Julie says:

    I have to agree with everyone else. Keep the name on it and bring it out each year. If you decide to keep it out all year, I would frame it so as to keep it protected.

  6. Anna says:

    I would either add names or take it out. I’m unsentimental like that though. We don’t need things to remind us of our loved ones.

  7. barbara says:

    I’d keep it and hang it every year – it’ll remind you of happy times with Phoebe while you enjoy your new girls. 😀

  8. Ami says:

    Hi–I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I’ve been following it in my Reader for a while now.

    I think there’s nothing wrong with re-using the stocking. I would remove the name and perhaps stitch Phoebe’s name and the names of the current furbabies on the bottom or the back of the stocking. In this way it will be a memorial to all the dogs you will have in your lifetime. As an owner of German Shephards for two decades I’ve always felt the experiences I had with my first two dogs have colored the experiences I have with my current ones. I don’t think they would resent me at all for re-using items from their lifetimes with my current furballs. I think they’d be happy knowing some other dogs are just as spoiled as they were.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I’d keep it the way it is. IMO, you made it for Phoebe, it belongs to her. You can either bring it out every year, or put it with some of her things in a little “treasure” type box. For the other dogs, I’d probably get whatever type of stocking you have for Terry and yourself and use that instead.

  10. Coral says:

    I am going to be no help at all here as I have a few things of Patch’s that I cannot toss. Her lead, her stick and her brush. They will never be used again, and I do not intend getting another pet. I like the framing idea, you can put it up in your craft room.

  11. Meari says:

    I think I would remove her name and use it. The memory of your beloved Phoebe will always be with you whenever you look at it. It would be a shame to “save” it out of sight.

  12. Angela says:

    I think I would remove it (as to a coworker flipping out, well I don’t understand that I think she may have taken that far too personally) especially since you’re feeling okay with it. If it made you cry to even think of it, then I would say put it aside and think on it later when you are ready. But, since you are ready I would remove it. Another option would be adding the first initial of each furbaby, if you chose to, and Phoebe’s name could be represented that way. But again, if you wanted to. ( Here’s a thought- you know those samplers that have one letter repeated many times in lots of ways? You could do each letter completely different and that way you could save her “p” and just add the rest)

  13. Michelle says:

    Jenna, honestly it sounds to me like you’ve already made your decision, you’re just second-guessing yourself because of the co-worker’s reaction. I would follow your heart (and it’s nobody’s business but your own). I would pull out Phoebe’s name and reuse the now “generic” dog stocking. Alternatively, you can send it to me and I’ll send you the Shepherd’s Bush stocking I stitched with my ex’s name on it. LOL…but seriously. If you’re ok taking her name out (and it sounds like you are) just do it. This is what’s right for you – not anybody else.

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