Dawn, and Miles on the Oregon coast.
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
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.
also sell Egyptian Walking Onions: www.egyptianwalkingonion.com
do I make Pet-Paws?
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.
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.
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.