Paying Homage & Saying Goodbye to Two Beloved Quilting Arts Mascots

I know I have been off the radar this past week, and well…I have been, simply put, a bit heartbroken. Louie, my Min Pin, and my pal in All Things Mischievous, who graced many pages in Quilting Arts Magazine with ads and articles, appeared in online videos, Quilting Arts TV, e-newsletters, and countless pix posted on Facebook, passed away this past week. And two days later, our cat Dickens, the most amazing creature, who my friend and former colleague Larissa Davis lovingly adopted this past year so Dickens could be spared the Houston humidity, passed as well.

Louie model

Dickens and PokeyLouie and Dickens used to be best buds, and Dickens, who was three times the size of Louie, used to spoon Louie at night, cradling him protectively. I like to think that Dickens sensed Louie had passed, and Dickens, ever the gentle guardian, thought maybe it was time for him, too, to cross the rainbow bridge, and take care of Louie once again.

Dickens Larissa

Dickens with Larissa.


Louie Houston.

They inspired me to make a lot of artwork over the years. A small sampling…

pet portraitsDickensLouie Dog Jacket

lou postcards


It’s been hard for me to put this blog post together. I admit I can’t quite find the words, but I think a fitting thing to do is write a brief letter to them, letting them know–not just on behalf of me–but for John, the extended Quilting Arts family, Larissa and her family, and all the friends and fans these two had…how grateful we all were to them.

So here goes…

Dear my beloved Dickens and Louie,

I want to thank you for all of the love, compassion, joy, humor, and affection you gave to so many people, and also:

For being my little editing buddy…

Editing Lou


And being the Task Master during “National Take-Your-Dog-To-Work Day!”

Louie John.

For reminding me not so subtly to maintain my workout regimen…

Dickens Exercise


For supervising all photo shoots…

Louie photo shoot quilt scene


For forgiving me after I accidentally ran you over in the driveway. (That was the most harrowing day, but you forgave me right away!)

Dickens run over


For attempting to keep the chipmunk population under control…

Louie squirrels


For letting me know how much you will miss me.

Dickens says dont go again


For guarding art in progress…

Dickens watching fabrics dry


And for guarding art nearly finished.

Louie supervising


For showing me how yawning is done!

Dickens yawn


For being my copilot on long trips…

Louie copilot


And my pilot on the shorter ones.

Biker Lou


For gazing at me like I was the most special person ever.

Louie head tilt


For showing affection to those who just entered our world…

Louie Keller

And for showing affection to those who had been in your world a long time.

Animal love

For all of these reasons, you will be dearly missed.




About three years ago I was painting fabrics outside with the animals nearby. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a little Dave Matthews on the iPod docking station, and I grabbed my flip video to capture the moment. Nothing really happens here; it was just an inconsequential but exquisite moment on a happy day.

Love to you guys…Louie helping

82 responses

  1. ohh. what a sweet and wonderful tribute to your beautiful furry friends…….thanks Pokey for sharing them with us all these years too. Sending you hugs and love..

  2. What a sweet tribute. Losing a beloved animal companion is so difficult to get through. I hope that sharing with your readers how special they were will bring you comfort and happy memories.

  3. Beautifully expressed, both visually and verbally. Wonderful tributes to amazing pets! Living with a son who is allergic to dogs and cats, and a husband who hates cats, we have neither. So, while I know you are grieving, I can also tell you know how privileged you were to have these animals threaded so completely into your life.

  4. What a lovely tribute! My heart goes out to you. I have lost such dear souls and companions too and understand the depth of your feelings. I carry the with me in my memories and heart and have been so enriched by their presence in my life. May you find some new furry friends to love.

  5. A very loving tribute, Pokey. I am so sorry for the loss of your two loves. It breaks my heart. Be gentle with yourself as you grieve. Sending you love, positive thoughts and prayers.

  6. In my old age I have become quite a softie so after reading your touching blog I have to pretend I have allergies. Sorry for all your trouble and we’ll see them on the other side.

  7. Pokey – The video is so sweet, and I love how Louie’s head cocks to the side when you say “cookie”. Even my husband is a fan of your pets, he especially thought Dickens was a pretty cool cat. Hug Clarence close and think of these happy memories to comfort you.

  8. I want to thank you for showing me that I am not the only one who loves my fur kids like they were human. We share so much of our lives with them, some people just don’t understand….

    Your tribute is wonderful and thank you for sharing….. we will never forget them, for in our everyday endeavors…. there will always be something to remind us of how lucky we were to have them in our life…….

  9. Pokey, that was a beautiful tribute. Louie and Dickens had good lives with you and I’m sure you were lucky to have them in your life as well. I will miss seeing them, always enjoyed it when they were in your photos and videos. There’s no easy way around this loss. Wishing you peaceful acceptance and healing during this rough time.

  10. I have tears in my eyes for you and your loss. So, so sad to lose wonderful fur companions. I have three rescue kitties in my sewing room as I write this and I can’t even begin to imagine a quilt without cat fur quilted right into it. You have my prayers.

  11. What a wonderful post Pokey. I’m sure it was very very hard to write, but will be an awesome one to come back to over and over again in times to come. I know how hard this is, but our lives would be so much less if we didn’t let our furry creatures into them. You were lucky to have these awesome creatures in your life, and they were so lucky to have you. My deepest sympathies! Candy

  12. What a loving and perfect tribute to your two furry companions, who had good, long lives thanks to you. This is the hard part of having fur-babies, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. Thinking of you as you deal with these losses. Love you much, Leslie

  13. A beautiful tribute to two fur-panions who brought joy to thousands via their antics and personalities. My heart is full of gratitude for your sharing your family with me and other readers/viewers. My Annie and Nelson will welcome Dickens and Louie on the otherside of the Rainbow Bridge with open paws xo

  14. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pets with us. I feel your sadness after reading the tributes. What a blessing you’ve had from them, and them from you.

  15. So sorry and know how much you will miss them! I don’t know what I would do if I did not have animals in my life. I too had a Louie, he passed when he was 14 and I miss him terribly but we have so many fond memories and to this day still laugh at his antics and he has been gone 4 years!

  16. Our furry friends are such a gentle and loving part of out lives and this was a gentle and loving tribute to Louie and Dickens. I am sure they are together sharing a sunny day on a patio in Animal Heaven and looking down on you and thinking “I think it is time for a cookie, don’t you mom?”

  17. Oh Pokey, what an absolutely beautiful tribute to your beloved friends. I was weeping before I was half-way through. If they didn’t bring us so much joy, I guess it wouldn’t hurt so badly when we lose them … but the joy is so worth the pain. Sending you <>

  18. So sorry for your loses. This was a great post honoring them I love the Dickens work I purchased from Virginia’s fund raiser a few years back. Glad you have that great photo of it.

  19. That was so beautiful and once again I am crying-Crying for you, Louie, Dickens, Sophie, Maggie, Edgar, John, Me too and Larissa.

    I am sure that when GQ Louie passed to Rainbow bridge, he decided to grab Dickens on the way and meet up with Sophie together.

    I bet they all hugged, just like they used to, licking each other at the gate. They are now running together in those beautiful fields with the warm sunlight

    shining down on them. The greatest thing to remember is when they pass into Doggie and Cat Heaven, there is no more pain for any of them. They are just

    happy little ones being so happy to be together again. They are now your guiding Angels. Remember when you see a Rainbow, it will be them letting you know they are just fine.

    My Willie passed away two months ago at 10 and I feel your pain and emptiness. But remember all those fulfilling happy times-they will bring a smile to your heart.

    God Bless you Pokey. Deborah (Robinson)

  20. What an amazing tribute!They will always be near. A psychic came to my house one day with a friend and volunteered a description of my dog who had died 2 years before. She said she knew because Cara was at the front door when she came to the house and she said she was always with me. I wasn’t surprised because I often sensed her in the car with me . I always took her everywhere with me. so this was corroboration for me. So your little ones will always be around. It helped me a lot. I hope this helps you a little too, I am truly sorry for the loss of your dear friends. Serafina

  21. Pokey –
    Thank you so much for the wonderful tribute to your friends. I sit here with a heavy heart, snuggling my kitties and feel your pain. So sorry for you.

  22. My heart is breaking for you Pokey. Thank you for sharing your loving tribute with us. The pictures are so cute and the video is wonderful. I love your description of it … an exquisite moment on a happy day.

  23. Dear Pokey, I am so very sorry for your double loss. Your heart is of course broken, but I truly believe that the animals are connected to one another, even if they didn’t live together lately, and that your big sweet kitty absolutely knew she wanted to be with Louie. Please know that they are still around you, just that you can’t see them. But they will be sleeping in their normal places, on your bed, and following you around.. You’ll feel them; maybe you do already. God bless you for giving them wonderful earthly lives.

  24. Pokey, I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, I know how it feels to lose two good friends at the same time. Our furry friends and their unconditional love are so hard to lose. Hugs to you!

  25. So very sorry. My Bailey passed away almost two years ago. I’m sure he’ll will share his cookies with them up in heaven.

  26. I’m so sorry for the loss of your furry babies. Your post is a great description of their special attributes. All of the unconditional love given by Dickens, Louie, and you is a treasure so very precious. You were so good to them. I just know it.

  27. You made me cry. We lost our 17 yr old cat this past summer to renal failure. The comforting thought is that we and our pets belong together and we make each other’s lives so much better. You gave your little furry family members a life worth living. Someday when the time is right and the combination is right you will provide another little one with joy and they will reward you many times over.

  28. How sad to lose your two best friends. My heart goes out to you. I know it’s early but Christmas always finds our shelters filled to capacity. Think about adopting again In Memory of your Babies. I think I cry more over losing my pets as they are like family!

  29. What special friends your animals were and how loved. Thank you for sharing. Maybe they will come alive on postcards for the Quilt Festival next fall???

  30. Pokie, The paw prints left on your heart will never be forgotten. May your sorrow be eased by recalling the love and happiness Louie & Dickens brought to your life. And how much love and joy you gave them.

  31. Pokey, I feel the pain with you. I lost my sweet little Cairn Terrier “Buddy” last year and I still cry over him. I was pretty much with him 24/7 for 12 years. More than any other being in my life. The tribute you put together is beautiful. Continue to love the memories of your dear sweet pets. My heart goes out to you. Kim Harrington
    One of your QA fans.

  32. What a sweet farewell. Thanks for sharing it with us. It’s a hard thing to lose our animals….I love what Melanie Testa said, ‘They make our hearts bigger and better places.’

  33. Hey Pokey – as you know, as a rule I prefer to respond to your post/facebook off line, but this is an amazing Post…a very moving, heartfelt. I will miss these guys…. thinking of you…great tribute… love you, Sally

  34. Dear Pokey, I am so sorry to hear about Louie and Dickens’ passing. Make sure you take the time you need to grieve. I too lost my dog and cat at one month interval this summer. Pets have a way of making ordinary days extraordinary sometimes, just by being there, making us feel like the most important person in the world, ever present with us.

    Your art is a nice reflexion of the love and affection you had for them. Louie has such a bubbly personality and it transpires in your art. So did Dickens’ cool and zen cat attitude. This is an inspiration for me and I will use pictures and memories of my pets to catch up on the art I should have made about them.

    Remember that Louie and Dickens were as fortunate to have you in their lives then you were to have them.

    Take care.
    Line from Montreal

  35. Heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your beloved companions. Horrible time of the year, but there NEVER is a “good time”. ((hugs))

  36. Such a sweet but sad tribute to your little buddies. Our pets make our lives so much better but oh how our hearts are hurt when they leave us. You have lots of happy memories to get you through this sad time.

  37. So sorry for your double loss. Our pets are so important to us. I am glad you had the time together to remember. We had a min pin and they have so much spark!

  38. I am so sorry, and know how hard it is to lose a wonderful companion. We have two min pins and two Dalmatians, and I will be heartbroken to lose them someday. It is terrible that they live such short lives. Another cannot take their place in your heart, but maybe sometime you can open your heart to another. Min pin rescue groups are everywhere, and there will be one who speaks to you, I am sure.

  39. Oh I am so very sorry Pokey, thanks you for sharing this great photos and stories. Bet the buddies are having a great time today!

  40. With tears in my eyes I send you a HUG…it can’t fill the empty spot in your heart – but know that we’re all here wishing you strength and love and heartfelt wishes. I’ve been in your shoes…many times…and with an aging ‘ninepatch’ (that’s my girl in my pic) and several of the feline persuasion…we will face those days again….but for the all the joy and the laughter they provide – and the sweet memories of those who have left us….I wouldn’t change a thing. Your post was beautiful – and now the screen before me is really a blur….*sniff*….so here’s one more HUG before I go.

  41. We love our little friends so much and I have wondered whether they are worth the pain of losing them. No question, they are worth every tear. Louie and Dickens have a special immortality from the work you have made inspired by them. Be nice to yourself🙂

  42. Oh my, what a lovely tribute! I am so sorry for your loss. I know you will always have joyful memories of your sweet pals. I’ve certainly enjoyed seeing Louie and Dickens in your work. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Pokey, I am so sorry to hear the news. Our 4-pawed kids teach us all about unconditional love…and as we let them into our hearts, they enrich our lives in ways we never thought possible. Look for rainbows…they will be messages from Louie and Dickens to you…and know that their love stays with you always.

  44. Pokey, what a thoughtful and beautiful tribute …. you are an exceptional person! For all of us who have friends of fur in our lives, our hearts are breaking along with you. We know that our turn to lose will also come. But for today, Fuzzy and I say that we are so sorry for your loss. We send our love, a tail wag and a few thousand kisses… from the Fuzz.

  45. I still remember meeting the pups when I came for my interview. I thought… This is is going to be a great place to work! And it has been. Sorry to hear they’ve both gone–such a loss. Best thoughts, Jenn

  46. Pokey the loss of a treasured source of unconditional love is difficult and yet you were tested by loosing two so close in time. Both Louie and Dickens were blessed having you in their lives. They will both be at the Rainvow Bridge when you arrive there out of the respect & love you gave to them.

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