Just out of high school in 1990 I found an advertisement for a litter of Australian Shepherd mutts in the Pennysaver classifieds and shelled out $5 to take one home. I'm pretty sure the five bucks included some food, a leash, and a toy. I chose her from the rest of the litter because she was a total spaz. I equated her unabashed behavior with "healthy." Her strawberry-blonde reddish hair was reminiscent of a baby duck, and she looked nothing like an Australian Shepherd. I imaginatively named her Red.
About this time last year our family was stressing over the decision to let Red go and release her from this mortal coil. Over the course of her life she had lived in at least 13 houses spanning three state lines. She had made many friends in sixteen years, and pissed-off a number of people as well. She was a happy rabble-rouser until the lights went out on 16, October, 2006.
I retrieved her remains from our veterinarian's office in Sellwood, where they presented me with a pretty little cardboard box bedecked with hearts and roses. Although it was cute, it didn't smack of Red's personality. One day I would find a more suitable cocoon for the ashes of my sweet dog. I would perhaps buy her something fancy, a real urn that could double as something nice to look at (a container with form and function), but honestly, I never actually began to search. I thought about looking, and talked about looking, but never made a move. I've been content with her next to the bed, in her snug little box, under the alarm clock.
While out shopping on Northeast Alberta Street a few weeks ago with my friend Kathy, we ducked into Poppy & Ivy Vintage Inspired Home & Gift (1703 NE Alberta St., 284-4804) to get out of the rain. Packed with well-displayed gifty items, vintage gadgets and handmade trinkets, the store was a delightful surprise. To add to my joy I spied an aged looking copper vessel with a scalloped lid. It had a few dents, and some nice patina. My only consideration was that Red might not fit inside. I bought the vessel ($6.50) and my mind began to process the possibilities. It was time.
Next Week: Shopping at Collage

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