Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Charming Torrie" Dog Charm- More on how it came about

We made an appointment to bring Torrie to her vet to check out the lumps that were continuing to pop out.  We were hoping it was a reaction to the pine but her vet had that worried look on her face.  She wanted to do some tests to see what was going on and gave Torrie a complete check up.  While she was checking out Torrie the vet asked if we had seen her upper thigh area.  We said no and I took a look.  Not what I was expecting.  There was a large mass on her inner thigh area and my heart just dropped.  There was a little blood around the area but not enough to notice and Torrie had never given us any indication that there was such a large mass there.  She played, ran around, did her business and not once did she wimper or cry in pain.  It must have been bothering her but that was Torrie, never letting on she had any issues at all.  Our vet knew us well enough that we were always checking all three dogs out if we thought there was anything wrong but this just made me feel awful.  Torrie needed surgery to remove the mass.

We scheduled the surgery and at the same time the vet would biopsy some of the lumps in various stages of developement and also the mass would be biopsied.  The surgery went well and we brought Torrie home so Duke and Shiloh could see their baby sister.  She had to rest and wear her comfy cone and we had to keep an eye on her surgical area.  A few days later her surgical area was oozing and bleeding so a call to the vet and all we had to do was to put an ice pack to slow the bleeding until it stopped.  The hardest part was waiting for the results but we had hope that the news would be good.  The news would not be what we wanted to hear.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Charming Torrie" Dog Charm How it came about

When I first made the dog charm for Torrie to wear to her cancer treatment appointments I was hopeful that she would beat the cancer.  She had gone through so much in her short lifetime and I truly believed in my heart that she would overcome this.  In 2010 we found out after her vet tested her for everything to find out why she was loosing weight and always had the runs even though she was eating as she had before.  Torrie would never refuse food!  Finally, the last bloodwork that was expensive but might tell us what was wrong.  So we did it.  We soon found out her pancreas wasn't working properly and the enzymes in her body weren't enough to breakdown her food properly.  It was known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and would need to have meds every day to help her body do its job.  So it was done.  When I made up her canned food treat to get her meds in her it was done as a fun way to get extra treats from mom!  Of course, she also had her brother Duke and sister Shiloh who also wanted a treat!  So while Torrie got her treat twice a day, Duke and Shiloh got theirs once a day and all was happy!

By the end of that same year, Torrie would also face major surgery to correct an issue in a private area.  She would have to stay overnight in the vet hospital because it was specialized surgery her own vet couldn't perform.  But the good news was the vet surgeon and Torrie's own vet went to vet college together and Torrie would be in excellent hands.  When we brought her in to get her ready we had to leave her canned food and meds and to tell her to be good and eat and do your 'business' even though she wasn't home.  We had trained all our dogs to do their 'business' in their own yard so well that even at our regular vet they never did it!  Well, she did go out and did her thing but she wouldn't eat.  She had won all their hearts with her brave demeanor and even though she was in pain from the extensive surgery, as her surgeon explained to us her case was the worse he had ever seen.  But again, she pulled through!

This time would be different for Torrie.  She would have the same stoic attitude and would fight but she would not win this last battle.  It was after Christmas in 2013 when we all went outside to play in the snow.  Torrie went right for the pine tree branch and began chewing it!  We trie dto get it away from her but of course she thought it was a fun game of 'try and get this stick from my mouth' which was also exercise for her people!  We got the pine twig only because she dropped it and picked up a pine cone!  We finally distracted her with throwing snowballs in the air for her to catch!  Soon Duke and Shiloh joined Torrie in catching snowballs!

Later that night we discovered a small lump on her shoulder and checked it out.  The first thing I thought was she had a reaction to the pine twig she was chewing on so I went online to check out if it was a possibility.  It could be, so the next day we were going to call her vet about it.  Then we saw the lump had begun to ooze so we checked her out and found a few more bumps.  A call to her vet and trip down were next.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pictures of Angel Torrie

Here are some pictures of our beautiful Angel Torrie, our inspiration for the "Charming Torrie Fighting Cancer Collection".

 Torrie when we first brought her home in July 2006, two months old.

  Torrie loved to stick her tongue out!

  Torrie with big sister Shiloh watching over her.

  Her first bully stick!  Played with it more than chewing it!

  Torrie with big brother Duke showing her how to play ball!  She was more interested in his ears!

"Charming Torrie Fighting Cancer"

This charm was first made when our German Shepherd, Torrie, was first diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Although her battle was only 39 days she remained brave and stoic throughout her ordeal. She wore this to her visits and treatment and now I have it with me as a reminder of Torrie.

I had requests if it could be made for sale for anyone to purchase and even though it was only for Torrie we have decided to go ahead and make them for sale in her memory so we will donate a portion of the sale price to help other animals who are fighting cancer benefit from research being done. For each charm sold $8.00 will be donated to two foundations: National Canine Cancer Foundation and the Morris Animal Foundation. Tho other $4.00 will be used to buy supplies to keep making the charm. We will also be adding more items to the "Charming Torrie" Collection to raise money through sale of items to donate to the two foundations to help with research into canine cancer and animal cancer.

The charm is made with a large clasp to fit on the D-ring of your dogs' collar along with their tags. It can also be used on their harness with a larger split ring included in case the clasp doesn't fit the D-ring the split ring can be added to the D-ring and then clip the charm on. You can also use it just about anywhere you can clip the clasp on and your pet doesn't have to fighting cancer to purchase the charm. You can purchase it to help animals fight cancer, give to a friend or family member who has a pet fighting cancer or fought cancer and survived or passed on, have for yourself as a reminder of a pet you lost to cancer or any reason you can think of. It would be a wonderful way to help animals fighting this dreadful disease and know you are helping on going research to help find ways to help our furry friends have a chance to survive and live a while longer. So if you ever felt like you don't know how to help a friend or family member deal with the loss of a pet to cancer or while their pet is living with cancer or has survived this would be a great way to do this.

Components of the charm:
Steel split ring 28 mm;
Steel split ring 15 mm;
Steel split rings 6 mm;
Swarovski Xilion Crystal Bicones 4 mm in: Rose(Pink), Aquamarine(Blue), Violet AB, Clear AB;
Eyepins in Gunmetal coated brass 21 gauge, 1.5 inches long;
Clasp with swivel 31.5 mm x 13 mm;
Charms: Believe, St Francis, Never Never Give Up, Heart shape with "LOVE" and Karma.

Comes in Pink and Blue and gift boxed.


 We have sold quite a few of these charms over the past year but the most important aspect is that the money donated from each charm will go to research to help find a cure for canine cancers.  That's what our Torrie was all about, love and giving.  She was such a sweetheart and just seemed to know when someone was feeling right or just needed a love.  She would just nuzzle up to you and look at you with those big brown eyes and everything would be fine and a smile came across your face.  It was just her nature.  And so, when she wasn't feeling good or had serious illnesses, she was very brave and stoic and would never let her own pain overtake her sweet disposition.  For a German Shepherd she was brave and strong, never wimpered in pain or passed up the chance to eat or play! 

These charms may be purchased at our website and on Facebook:

Friday, April 10, 2015

All Things SMJ Gifts!: We are back!

All Things SMJ Gifts!: We are back!

We are back!

We are back!  It has been a while since we posted and thought it was time to come back.  There has been a lot going on in our lives and we will be starting fresh with a new look and new posts.  So stay tuned while we get ourselves together and start posting again!