Sunday, December 30, 2007


Our poor little Chow Chow "Bailey the Bear Dog" has been suffering miserably with hot spots which he scratched and turned into a skin infection. There is nothing worse to deal with when a dog gets this condition. Causes of hot spots can be lots of different things.

Poor Bailey has had a lot of stress in his life since we lost Beethoven last August. It was his first time ever in his life as being an "only" and he really missed Beethoven in spite of how much they fought. Our being gone for Thanksgiving with Eryn in Alabama brought everything to head and the hot spots really began to grow and multiply.

We've been nursing him along and I'm happy to report he is gradually getting better and is clearly on the mend. However with all those cold days we've had with snow on the ground, Bailey hasn't been much interested in going outside since his fur has been trimmed away from the affected areas. It's mighty cold outside for a dog with very little fur. When Eryn's little Frankie Bean (a Daschund) comes to visit he always has his sweater and his fleece for when he goes outside. Bailey just needed me to make him a coat.

I thought to myself, "That shouldn't be too hard to make Bailey a coat. I know what shape it should be after taking care of Frankie Bean. I just need to put some scrap fabric and batting on the machine, add some quilting, and then cut the coat to fit him."

And then ... I remembered the scrap quiltlets I have left from testing designs and trying out different threads and techniques! What a great idea for a Bailey Bear Coat. He is now the somewhat dubiously proud owner of three coats to keep him warm while his skin heals and his fur grows back.

I measured Bailey from his neck to the base of his tail to get a length. Then I measure from his right side across his back and down over his left side to get the measurement that would form the sides of his coat. Interestingly, his measurements were 18" long and 18" wide. He doesn't look like a square dog!

Oh well, then I added the details ... a cutout for his neck area and straps to go around his belly and to form a closure under his chin. You can see his patriotic coat - he looks very spiffy in this one - being used as a master pattern on the scrap muslin quiltlets I used for cutting out two more coats for him.

I don't have any Velcro right now so we're just using safety pins to connect the straps keeping the coat on him. Actually, if he had his way, he would probably prefer to shake it all off, but he stays much warmer at night and when we go outside.

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