Aby-a-Day – 16 Maj: “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” (Swedish Sunday)

All my life, I thought boycats were more friendly, outgoing and social than girlcats. The females I had, apart from Crystal, were all aloof and, if we’re being honest, a little neurotic. Tessie and Kylie changed that preconception a bit, but they had their moments.

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And then I met Lorelai.

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We’ve been keeping her on a leash because of her heats, as you know. Which means when the neighbourhood children want to pet one of our cats, she’s kind of a sitting duck. Luckily, she doesn’t mind at all.

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In Sweden, at least where we live, kids run around outside and play all day long, a lot like I did when I was a kid, (*Ahem*) in the 1970s. It’s nice to see, especially compared to how sheltered children are in the States. It’s also a little annoying; why do kids feel the need to SCREAM when they’re playing?

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The last time we went outside, one of the kids asked Björn if they could hold Rory’s leash…and it lead to a little parade.

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And Rory loved it.

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It’s also really great PR for what cats as pets are capable of. Hopefully, when these children grow up, they’ll be cat people.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Maj: Lorelai’s love-hate leash relationship (Movie Monday)

With Lorelai going in and out of heat, sometimes she needs to be on her leash when we go out.

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Today was one of those days.

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It was a really nice, summerlike day today: 20°C (70°F). Even though we still aren’t 100%, we couldn’t let this day pass without taking the cats out. So we took out some recycling.

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Strangely, Izaak did not want to go with us today. So it was just Alfred and Rory.

But she is so good on her leash! I made a little video to show how fast she walks alongside me – I can actually walk at a normal pace most of the time. Keep an eye out for Freddy’s cameo!

Aby-a-Day – 3 Mars: Wordless Wednesday (Naughty girls get the leash…and boys will play with it)

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Aby-a-Day – 24 Februari 2020: Alfred and the vet…(Medical Monday)

Alfred and I have had to travel to Skultorp a few times since he got pneumonia.

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Last Wednesday, we went to Min Veterinär to get some blood tested.

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On the way home, I let him walk home alongside me. He loved it. I think he liked being outside despite his ailment.

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I mean…look at his determination!

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Of course, Freddy is lucky that we have had a ridiculously warm winter…hell, we have barely had any winter at all!

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It’s still February! We should not be having daisies this early!

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Today we had to go back to Min Veterinär to get new lung X-rays, so we could see if the antibiotics beat the pneumonia.

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But when I let him out of the carrier, I discovered this!

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WTF? I have no idea how it happened or who did it. It wasn’t there when I fed him last night.

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I asked him who he pissed off, but he didn’t tell me.

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Today, our visit was just about the X-rays (which they will email me soon), and a lot of chilling in his carrier.

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On our way home, we stopped off at DjurMagazinet to get more cat food. I also let Freddy choose a toy to make up for all the vet visits he’s had to endure lately.

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He quickly made his decision: A Yeowww catnip cigar.

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I checked to make sure he really wanted that cat toy.

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He did. He even checked our basket to make sure his cigar was in there.

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Then we checked out the cat trees.

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They were pretty awesome. Too bad we don’t need any more cat trees.

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Freddy loves going to DjurMagazinet.

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And then today, Freddy walked all the way home from DjurMagazinet. I am very proud of him…he had to deal with traffic, bicycles and a motorbike, and he was bulletproof. Not quite Jacoby-level, but still very admirable.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Februari 2020: New collars and travel leashes (Fashion Friday)

I thought I had posted about this here, but apparently I only ever mentioned it on Facebook: I am bereft. I just discovered my friend, Sally Keats, died last month. She was the person who made all my leashes and collars…I have “known” her for at least 10 years. I just can’t even.

I had been in the middle of a conversation with her about a new collar for Dashiell. She had gotten a new shade of green leather and we were excited to use it on Dash’s new collar, so he would have something a little different from Jacoby. She had beat cancer, and when she didn’t respond to my messages, I got concerned…and discovered she had died.

Reluctantly, I had to find a new person to make collars and leashes for the cats. So I went to Etsy and looked for people who make kangaroo leather show leads and collars. I looked for people in Europe…and, serendipitously, I found Emoticon Leads, and Jessica…in Jönköping!

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When I had been trying to contact Sally, besides Dash’s own collar (and not one of Jake’s hand-me-downs), I had wanted short leashes for the show cats, because the long ones we have are a bit unmanageable on the train. After finding Jessica, I decided to get everycat a new collar (it’s been a while for all of them, especially Angel) as well as the travel leashes for Izaak, Lorelai and Dash.

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They arrived last week. Angel and Alfred’s collars on their own, and the others in lovely silk bags. Jessica also made little paracord tassels to match the three leashes.

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Jessica uses smaller rings on the collars than Sally did. It’s kind of nice. A little more dainty and cat-like. I really like the purples on Angel’s collar.

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Zak’s collar and leash in shades of blue. Jessica made the leash handles openable adjustable, the same way Sally did.

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Rory’s collar and leash in shades of red. Jessica has bronze hardware as well as brass, and she used the bronze for Rory.

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And here is Dash’s collar and leash. Jessica had the same new green that Sally had. I think it’s really pretty, and perfect for Dash. It’s also different from all the collars and leashes Jake had, which is kind of nice.

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And here are all the new collars in action! Angel’s purple always looks so good with her sorrel fur.

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Freddy’s new collar has more grey and less black. It suits him.

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Rory’s collar looks like it’s just red, but it’s actually three different, subtle, shades of red.

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I love Zak’s combination of blues. Blue really goes with sepia.

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And here is Dash, proudly wearing his very first, all his own, green collar.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari 2020: Déjà vu (Friday Flashback)

We brought Dashiell home in mid-August, and we took him outside as much as we could before the weather turned too cold and the afternoons got too dark.

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At first, of course, we started him out on a leash.

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He soon learned to go outside without one.

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But it was so cute to see him interact with Angel outside.

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For several weeks after Dash joined our family, Angel looked at him like she’d seen a ghost.

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With good reason.

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Look at Angel with Jacoby, when he was the same age as Dash in these photos. No wonder she thought she was seeing a ghost!

Aby-a-Day – 21 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (Dashiell’s first outdoor adventures)

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Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Outside with Alfred (Cinema Sunday)

When I share the photos of Lorelai and Izaak running around outside, people ask why we don’t let Alfred run free, too.

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The reason for that is he was never trained to go outside offleash. We worked on leash training with him and Logan, not offleash training. It’s something I never thought to do again until I met Rory. My Siamese Harri was the last cat I trained to stay close offleash. It helped that he hated me to be out of his sight, so all I had to do was hide behind a tree, and he’d yowl and come running.

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Zak is the same way Harri was. Rory is a little more free-spirited; she knows when we want to go in, but she tries to stretch her time outside as long as she can. If I go back into the building, though, she always comes up to the doorstep trying to find me.

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But if Freddy gets out off leash, he runs off to explore on his own. This is partly because I never trained him to be off leash, and because, being the evil genius he is, when he was young he managed to open the kitchen window and the balcony sliders a couple of times without our knowing and roamed around alone for hours until we noticed him missing. Jacoby also did this; the first time he escaped, he was gone for over an hour!

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So, sorry, Freddy…you need to stay on your leash.

But really, he doesn’t seem to begrudge the kittens their offleash time. He’s perfectly happy to be outside at all, even if it’s on his leash.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari: 12 years ago this week…(Friday Flashback)

12 years ago this week, on 7 January 2007, I posted about Gun-Hee’s first visit to Petco.

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He was quite impressed with the mice.

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The birds…not so much.

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Those were always more Tessie’s thing.

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And Jacoby’s, too.

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I’m just glad that nobody tried to buy him for $3.99, though!

Aby-a-Day – 26 August: Logan at Min Veterinär (Cinema Sunday)

Whilst I was going through last year’s photos, looking for all of the pictures of my finger, I found some photos and some videos of Logan going to the vet in the middle of all of it. Full disclosure, I have used some of these photos of Logan in a previous post, but the videos are all new.

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My Facebook post from 15 September: Logan was a little listless and had no appetite (to the point where he wouldn’t even eat treats!) the past couple of days, so, paranoid overprotective mom that I am, I managed to get a vet appointment this morning. Feel a bit silly now. This weekend is claw clipping, which also includes ear cleaning for the LunaTicks, and bum checks and teeth cleaning for the boys. So this morning I figured, start with Logan, so he’ll have nice short claws at the vet, right?

So I get to the tooth cleaning bit in the routine, and… yeah, super loose premolar and slightly bleedy gums. Teething! 45 minute (each way) bus ride to Skultorp… well, at least they didn’t charge me, and it’s better to have him checked out, especially before a show!

Anyway, here’s Logan in the exam room, showing off his grumpy old man voice. I think he sounds like Walter Matthau.

Watching these videos and looking at these photos, I can see how different Logan and Izaak are. They look alike…but they are still so different.<

For this video, I posted: Logan is getting pretty good at leashing…and he knows where he lives!

Compare Logan walking home to Izaak walking the same route. He has to be under my feet!!!

Aby-a-Day – 17 June: “I’m walkin’ here! I’m walkin’!” (Cinema Sunday)

Lorelai is a wonderful leash-walker. She may even have a better follow instinct than even Logan had.

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Rory has a slight “kitty cold,” so we went to the vet. When we got back, Rory walked all the way home from the bus stop!

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On the way, she found a pigeon feather.

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“Please, Mom, can we bring it home?” (Spoiler alert: yes, we brought it home and I dipped it in Virkon as soon as we got home.)

Below is a video of Rory’s impressive walk home…She is such a good walker!

Aby-a-Day – 24 April: Wordless Wednesday (Cat and Bear Save the World)

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Aby-a-Day – 23 April: We go out walkin’, out in the moonlight…

(Okay, it wasn’t after midnight. It was about 22:30. But still.)

After we said good-bye to Logan, Alfred and I took the 20:03 train home to Skövde. On the way from the bus stop to our apartment block, I like to let whichever cat is with me to walk home. Jacoby loves doing that. So I let Freddy out of the carrier, and we walked together.

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They are a little blurry, of course, because we were both moving, but I like them anyway.

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Hey! That’s the wrong way!

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I am also happy to report that after he explored the sandpit at the foot of the slide near our building, Freddy did not “use” it.

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Here’s a short movie of Freddy walking. I am very pleased with it because, for the first time ever, I edited a movie in Photoshop! It was very dark before, so I lightened it and tweaked the contrast and colour a little. Just click the image to watch.

Aby-a-Day – 4 April: Wordless Wednesday (Logan in the hotel’s hallway)

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Aby-a-Day – 2 March: A long walk with a small Pyret (Friday Flashback)

Björn actually trained Pyret to walk on a leash when she was quite young. The above photo was taken when she almost a year old. She was actually well used to travelling when she was younger.

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And even when she was older, she enjoyed a walk outside. Kalle and I took her out for a walk shortly after I moved here, just before her 17th birthday.

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You can see how eager and excited she is!

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Well, she was. She kinda had a “resting bitch face.”

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She trotted across the grass with purpose.

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Apparently, she wanted to visit her favourite tree.

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When she was finished with that, she headed towards the tall grass.

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We didn’t let her go too far into that, though.

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So she and Kalle walked along the border between the mowed lawn and the tall grass.

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She chewed some grass, and then she was done.

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She led the way back to the apartment. Well, she had lived there for 10 years at that point, so of course she knew the way.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: Angel’s new leash (Fashion Friday)

I finally got Angel her very own leash made by my friend Sally at HiTide Creations.

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She’d been using Jacoby’s old one, but I really wanted to get her a purple one to match her collar.

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Like Jake’s leashes, it has some gorgeous, hand-made beads in colours that match the leather.

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It also has the adjustable handle that I designed, based on a leash I found when I went to Seoul, Korea. As a hand loop, it can be fastened to something, like the stroller’s handlebars.

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And like Jake’s leashes, it can be fastened around my waist for a hands-free leash. This innovation I came up with when Jake was doing therapy work. The first rule of therapy visits is “Never drop your leash” but sometimes that’s harder than you’d think. Having the leash around my waist means I never let go of the connection.

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Angel’s new leash looks so great with her Finnish harness and her new collar.

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She knows she looks great with her new leash.

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I can’t wait to take her out and test it once the weather gets better!

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Check this out – today’s Page-a-Day Cat Calendar page features a Somali on a leash!

“Like their short-haired Abyssinian cousins, Somalis are both wild-looking and elegant, sporting colors from a traditional ruddy hue to a more unusual blue, all with the characteristic ticked fur that gives them their exotic appearance. Playful and athletic, Somalis can turn anything into a jungle gym – even your drapes – but if you take them outside for some R & R, keep them on a leash or watch out! These cats can be up a tree, or out of the yard, faster than you can shout their name!”

This lovely lady is Luna, and she lives in Massachusetts – Belmont, to be exact! I wonder if this photo was taken last year during all our snow?

Aby-a-Day – February 22: National Walking the Dog Day

Yeah, you read that title correctly. Apparently today is “Walking the Dog Day.” Well, screw that.

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According to Jacoby, Angel and Summer the Somali, today is “Walking the CAT Day!”

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On Monday I took Jake and Angel out in the snow for a little winter experience.

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This was Angel’s first time in snow.

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I had some boots for her, but considering the struggle I had to put her coat on, I didn’t try to put them on her feet.

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Jake wore his boots but he didn’t like them.

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Well, he liked them in that his feet were warm and dry, but he doesn’t like things on his feet, especially the one back foot that was injured in the escalator incident.

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These photos are actually from after we went out in the snow. I’ll post the other photos of our outing later this week.

Aby-a-Day – July 1: “One step at a time is good walking.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

I’m really not sure what inspired this cartoon. I do know that the shading was inspired by watching Taeshi draw Bittersweet Candy Bowl characters during her live stream a week or so ago.

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I based the drawing of Jacoby and Angel on this photo I took last year:

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(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – March 8: “Colours” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Colours.”

I always give my cats a colour that is all their own. My sealpoint Siamese Harri and Gun-Hee were blue, my redpoint Siamese Sigrid was light blue, my tabbypoint Siamese Patrick was and Jacoby is green, Angel is purple, Kylie is pink and Tessie is red. In honour of the move, they all got brand-new collars from Sally at HiTide Creations. (That little teeny version of Jake’s collar is for a plushie.)

I first discovered Sally back in October 2009 (just after I got Jake) when I went looking for new collars for all the cats. I saw her braided kangaroo leather collars and just fell in love. And in the almost five years we’ve been friends, well…her collars and leashes were incredible then, and she has improved so much since! She’s developed these jazzy knots to use in place of, or with, beads which I love. These are their original collars…you can see that the colours are all pretty much the same, just a little plainer than they are now. Angel’s has changed the most; Sally’s gotten some metallic leathers and the reddish burgundy on her first collar has been turned to gold.

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You can see how much tighter her braiding has gotten. Our old leash is on the left, and our new leash is on the right. I absolutely love it.

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And she’s started making her own beads!

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They’re polymer, not glass, so they should be able to stand up to whatever Jake and I can dish out.

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Here is Angel’s new collar. It looks blue in this photo but it’s actually a deep royal purple, with a strand of gold woven though it. The knots are purple and burgundy.

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This is closer to the real shade of purple on Angel’s collar.

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Kylie’s collar is exactly the same combination of pale pink, bright pink, white and natural as her original collar was.

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But the knots on Kylie’s collar add a little sparkle with silver metallic leather.

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Tessie’s colour is red, but she’s named after a Red Sox song, and their colours include blue, white and grey on their away uniforms. So, with her signature red, her collar also has royal blue and pewter grey.

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Her knots are red and white, like the socks on the team logo.

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Last but not least, we have Jake with his new collar and leash.

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Doesn’t he look pleased with himself?

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Jake’s collar and leash are bright apple green and dark forest green.

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But his knots have a little gold, too. He couldn’t be the only one without some metallic leather! I wanted copper, to match Jake’s fur and his awesome Finnish leather harness, but they don’t make copper kangaroo leather yet.

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You may have noticed how wonderfully Sally’s collars match their Blanket ID tags. Not to brag, but I actually hooked her up with them because I loved her colourful collars go with their colourful tags…and they’re both based in British Columbia! I mentioned each one to the other and now they’re collaborating! I love the way the internet works sometimes.