Courtney Beth Keller here, and I'm going to share my newest pattern with you, but first I'll give a little insight into my inspiration for this one. This one is for you, dog lovers!
In the summer of 2015, I was on a hike with my son, then 4, and our dog, a mama pit-mix named Pinky who I'd rescued when I lived in Austin Texas. She collapsed on our hike, and sadly passed away. We were lucky that our local Fire Department was doing training on the trail, and helped us with the immediate situation, but my son and I were devastated as it was unexpected. Pinky had just had an A+ health review at her last vet appointment - we were in shock. Driving home from the hike without her was awful.
After about a month, I began looking at rescue dogs online. We visited a pet store that was holding an adoption event with some rescues, but when we got there they were all very young, and none seemed like a good fit. The woman in charge mentioned that she had another female rescue who was about a year old and VERY good with children. She hadn't brought her along though because she is deaf. She asked if we were interested in a deaf dog, and I asked a few questions - mainly wondering how deaf dogs might behave with children and how hard it would be to communicate. She assured us that this was a very intelligent dog, really sweet and well behaved. I figured it wouldn't hurt to meet her and see, maybe start a new adventure. My son and I waited while she drove and picked her up, brought her back - the little pup was named Nelly and she looked like the younger sister of our dog Pinky. My son said "Mom, this is our dog!". We brought her home, and in the months since, we have taken training classes to help us learn to sign, and realized she is no different from any other dog - except she doesn't know when you call her, so she can't go off-leash outside the yard. I'm proud to say she earned her AKC's Canine Good Citizen Certificate and blue ribbon! Go Nell!
Here's our little sweetheart Nelly, and the pattern she inspired, in process and printed out and envisioned on a hoodie. I'm also sharing a snippet of my original sketchbook drawing:
Here are two photos of Nelly next to a photo of our dog Pinky (on the right, or at the bottom if you're viewing on mobile), so you can see the similarities. The girl at the pet shop had no idea she was introducing us to a mini-me version of the dog we were mourning the loss of!