All About Pet-Paws


Tracy, Dawn, and Miles on the Oregon coast.

My name is Tracy, and I make the Pet-Paws. I live on the Palouse in the state of Washington with my husband and all our animals. Some of them are pictured above at the top of this website. From left to right: Molly, the best little Schnauzer pup in the world; Wotsie, the Asparagus Forest cat; Sun, Star, and Moon, my babies; Planet, or Acktwillinhannering as I call him; Ghoulie, my beautiful Border Collie; and Tripper, Ghoulie's brother. Other creatures in the family include: horses, cows, a yak, pigs, chickens, Ancona ducks, peafowl, guineafowl, turkeys, pigeons, and fish in the ponds. Our cats have rescue stories. They are all spayed and neutered and they eat homemade catfood. They all have their very own Pet-Paws! Some of my chickens do too. We practice "coyote curfew" every night with our cats. At dusk, when the coyotes start to howl, we call our kitties inside and lock their cat-door for the night. In the morning, their cat-door is opened up and they are free to come and go as they please. You can read the stories about our cats and how we make their catfood here: www.starsunmoon.com

I have always followed my dreams. When I was 8 years old I announced to my mother and father that I was going to ride horseback across the United States (I also told them that I was going to rope a wild zebra in Africa, but that hasn't happened yet). Thirteen years later, I left New Hampshire with my horse and dog and rode for 3-1/2 years through 23 states to Washington. You can read about my horseback journey here: www.starsunmoon.com

I do my best and make use of the entrepreneurial spirit within me. I follow my dreams and I follow my heart. And I am happy.

I also sell Egyptian Walking Onions: www.egyptianwalkingonion.com

Why do I make Pet-Paws?

Once upon a time I went to Washington State University to become a veterinarian. I signed up for a sculpture class in between my heavy load of science classes. I wanted a "fun" class and I loved art and working with my hands. Going to sculpture class was such a joy. It turned out to be my favorite part of going to college. I loved working with the clay. My hands magically sculpted a lump of clay into two tigers playing together. I was taught how to transform them into wax and then into bronze. I was blown away. To me, it was pure magic to melt a chunk of metal into liquid and pour it like water.

After I graduated college, it was ok that I never made it into vet school. I thought that being a veterinarian would be my key to living a life with animals and helping animals, but I was already living with animals and helping them right in my own home. After I got my BS degree in Zoology I was done with school and I went on to get jobs (one was even based on my degree!). But I never stopped thinking about sculpting and that molten metal pouring like water into my mold. I knew I would be building my own backyard foundry someday, there was no question about it. I thought about the things I would make and turn into bronze.


My first bronze sculpture.

Over the years I have shared my life with many special cats and dogs, and many of them have passed. I was always drawn to their paws. Zuzu, my beautiful Husky/Wolf always slapped her paw into my hand when I offered her mine. I have always held my cats' paws and kissed them (some cats of course didn't feel the same as I did about this). I thought how great it would be to have their paws permanently in bronze. I went about getting paw impressions from all my cats and dogs, and even some of the cows, chickens, and pigeons. There was a bit of a learning curve as to what made the best impression material, and just how do you go about getting a paw impression from a cat? It was actually pretty easy (mush easier than trying to give a pill to a cat), and the cats actually enjoyed it because they got to have their favorite treats in the process. The dogs didn't really care one way or another, they were just happy that I was holding their paw. I poured wax into all the impressions and wound up with little wax "sculptures" of all the paws. I still didn't have a foundry, but I had the paws!
My first foundry was a waste oil burner that I built myself. It was unpredictable, dirty, smoky, stinky, and hard to get fired up. But I did get bronze to melt in it and I poured my first Pet-Paws. I was elated! I carried my little kitty-cat Pet-Paws around with me everywhere. It was sad to make the Pet-Paws from the cats that had passed on, but I was so glad to have them. I could hold their little paws in my hand once again. It doesn't bring them back, but it's something physical and permanent that was made from them that I will always have. All my Pet-Paws are very sacred to me. Every so often I will get a new impression from one of my cats or dogs (or chickens) and make another Pet-Paw, maybe this time it will be in brass, or aluminum. I love having Pet-Paws from all my animals so much. Since it brings me so much joy, I thought that other people would love to have them made from their pets as well. So I created this website.



Copyright © 2009-2017. All rights reserved.
Pet-Paws | 20421 SR 194 Pullman, WA 99163 | 509-715-7238 | tracy@starsunmoon.com

 

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