Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mailbox Sir Prize!

Abby Lab here - When this blog first started Mom told you about a delightful little book by Illinois author/artist Tracy Ahrens, which Mom bought for her granddaughters as the author was donating the sales to a local animal rescue.  Tracy did the drawings when she was in college, advancing through the years to incredibly detailed and beautiful graphite drawings of wildlife and pets as she continues her writing. Over time, Mom and Miss Tracy became friends.

Miss Tracy as I call her, has been a journalist and editor for newspapers, magazines and Web sites for over 20 years. Currently, she's a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune and the American Red Cross Greater Chicago Chapter.

Tracy's won 51 writing awards statewide, locally and nationally. She is a member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women.

Art by Tracy Ahrens

For years she's volunteered for animal rescue groups including the Kankakee County Animal and has donated portraits for fund-raising events at Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, the University of Illinois Wildlife Veterinary Clinic in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Critter Corral guinea pig rescue in Steger, Ill. and Crossroads Shih Tzu rescue based in Joliet, Ill. In the past, she offered pet portraits through the University of Illinois Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital to help raise funds for their Humane Connection Fund. Several of her pet portraits are currently on display in the Small Animal Clinic at the U of I (where Dad got his engineering degree).

Her portrait of a cat titled “Jackson Brown” (not the cat artwork above) is on permanent display at the Cat Fanciers’ Association Foundation cat museum that opened in June 2011 in Alliance, Ohio.

She's such a cool friend and we are glad to know her.

I'll put the address here to the Sammy Sparrow book (just cut and paste in your browser) as it would make a great Christmas gift for the little ones in your life. Mom said it's one of her favorite children's books EVER.

This year, though being really young (just a couple years older than my human sister) Miss Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread.  The chemo was brutal on her already naturally thin frame and it made her SO sick. Mom kept in touch with her daily as best she could, offering support and prayers. Tracy lives with just her pets so it was a hard time, as it would  be for anyone.

She is through chemo and it looks like she is free of cancer although radiation will still happen.  That was joyous news for my Mom and me as I hated to see beautiful Miss Tracy hurting.
So today, a box comes in the mail along with some really cool cards from my friends in Blogville. The box had Mom and Dad's name on it.  Mom opened it up and read the card.  Miss Tracy just couldn't say no to the giant stuffie squeaky caterpillar for me and there was a delightful ornament attached to a gift box which will go under the tree this weekend.  Since Mom and Dad had a Dr. Who wedding cake the blue time traveling machine ornament was a hit.

Dad always wears bow ties like that Doctor and Mom looks like Amy so it was a natural.

That's the biggest stuffie toy I've ever seen!

I was QUITE transfixed by the toy as the tags were cut off. 
If I hold my breath, maybe Mom will hurry up.
I gently went down every single section, squeak, squeak,  squeak, squeak,  squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak. . . . . 
until. . . . 
Mom started looking for the Gin.

I was tired.

Hey, this makes a great caterpillow too! Thanks, Miss Tracy, from all of us.


  1. Glad to hear she is recovering. Any bets on how long the squeakers last??? :-)

  2. Thanks for an update on your life, Abby!

  3. What a fun caterpillar and ornament. We are glad to hear your friend is on the downhill of her treatments
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & mabel

    Pee es
    Thank you! Blogville rocks!

  4. I'm glad Miss Tracey is cancer free. I love squeaker toys and that caterpillar is absolutely pawesome. Mom loves seeing men wearing bow ties it's such a unique out of the ordinary style. She also likes handlebar mustaches.

    Aroo to you,

  5. Oh, that is such good news abouts Miss Tracey! I'm glads she is gettin' betters, and tell her all of us in Blogville send her tons of POTP! And what a PAWSOME package of pressies!!! OMD, that looks like a stuffie I once had! I killed it. Butts, it wasn't as nice as that one! I bets it last a couple of days AT LEAST! ☺
    Hey, did you say somethings about gin???
    Ruby ♥

  6. that sure is a super giant toy... made for more than just 5 minutes of fun. we are so glad that Miss Tracy is on the way to win the fight against the evil big c... we send power and a BIG HUG!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on our Lab Rescues that have joined our household since Barkley left us.

Stop in and say hello. However, comments from strangers offering business links will NOT be posted. I