Sunday, June 26

the shine~ing

i promised the story of why my pal duffy has been living in shame the past few is his sad tale...with a bit of background to create the proper level of drama.
when i finally finished with the last diaper bag, i swore i would never carry another purse or tote again. just give me a wallet and call it good. this worked fine for quite a while, but then i started back to work and carried a lunch. then i started knitting. then i got a bigger camera. these things need to be carried somehow.
a couple of xmas times ago i spotted a fantastic tote in my friend liz's shop. it was a lovely oilcloth bag covered with a beautiful paisley design, sturdy, big enough for everything, with little pockets inside for "stuff." waterproof. it was a luxe tote made by papaya! - those of you familiar with this company and their fabulous soul-touching artwork know how wonderful their products are. if not, click here and you will see what i mean. i splurged. it went home with me. it was everything i wanted in a bag. then my daughter came home from college for xmas break, and her college-girl eyes spotted my tote. in the natural course of things she asked to borrow it for an overnight visit to a friends. i let her. a week later as she's packing to head back to school, we both eye my luxe tote on the floor by her suitcase with her laptop in it...i sighed and said fine you can take it. as the plane took off the next morning i was seized with regret. not for having to say goodbye to my girl again, but because i wanted my tote bag back.
months passed and i learned to live without my tote. until liz got a new shipment of papaya! items in...including the new styles of luxe totes. oh boy. one in particular:

look how it glows!!

perfection. loved everything about it. we all need to remember to let ourselves shine once in a while, right? i obsessed over this bag until i finally caved, and brought the shine bag home with me. when i wasn't actively using it, i kept the bag in my bedroom, on a little table, where i could see it when i woke up in the morning. i'm not a morning person. i need all the reminders i can get to wake up on the right side of the bed so to speak. my shine bag did this for me in such a beautiful way. papaya! art has that kind of zen to it. their cards, bags, prints, even their keychains just seem to carry an aura of happy calm prettiness. in a house of welder's coveralls, fishy boots, muddy small dog paw prints and spare 4 wheeler parts, i'll take pretty where i can get it, even if it's just a magnet on my fridge. (yep, they have those too, go look)
this is starting to be a really long story, and i apologize. it will all come together...
my pal duffy has become my close friend since i retired from full time work and my two oldest kids  moved on. i've always been quick to defend him as not your average jack russell terrier. he's really not a barker or yipper, unless someone is at the door - and that is a helpful thing to me as i don't always hear people drive up. he listens to us really well, unless there is a fox to chase - then forget it, the world we are in ceases to exist. the only time he eats something he's not supposed to is if someone leaves the butter dish on the table. or the birthday cake. not duff's fault, who can resist those things. he loves to walk the beaches with me. loves to swim. loves tennis balls. he's my pal.

and he has never, ever, in all his 7 years, chewed on anything except his toys. not a single slipper, pillow, or piece of furniture. the dog is not a saint, don't get me wrong. he sheds little white hairs like no body's business. and he LOVES rolling in bear poop. i'm here to tell you, there is nothing worse than a small white dog who has rolled in bear poop. other than one who rolls in bear poop and then jumps in bed with you.
bottom line, duffy never chews on things.
so imagine my surprise when i came home one afternoon to find him in his bed sound asleep...with my shine tote under him...with the handles chewed in half. both of the handles. in half.

he doesn't look very remorseful here, but trust me, he is.

at first i was speechless. then i kindof transformed into that famous image of jack nicholson after he axed his way through the door in "The Shining" know~

duffy ran out the doggy door. smart move. i was just sick. i picked up the parts and brought it all into my sewing room. left it there for a long while. called the vet to inquire about the cost of those plastic cones for dogs. i thought i could just sew some new handles...i have fabric, i know how to sew. but it wouldn't be the same. i wanted my bag!! with the handles.
so i emailed papaya!, at an address on their site. i thought if someone read it, maybe i could buy some replacement handles. or pay to have it repaired. i figured i had nothing to lose by asking, and if i got no reply, at least i tried.
well, boy howdy, the next day (!) i did get a response! from a very nice gal named mindy, not a computer, who offered to replace my bag. wow. another speechless moment. i was so excited i called my husband, who was working on a boat and had no idea what i was talking about. i didn't care, i was so excited. three days later, my new shine bag arrived, with a sweet note from mindy, and some shine cards as well! i have never had anything like this happen, i was taken aback that a company would care enough to replace a product that was not defective or ruined through any fault of their own. this was 100% duffy, and yet they still replaced my bag!
so, i'm not sure if this post is about my very bad small white dog, or about how wonderful it is, in this day and age, to find a business that still has heart.
the artists who create all the beautiful artwork for the products, and the folks who run the daily business stuff of papaya! are real people, who i guess can see the humor in the misdeeds of small white alaskan dogs even when their owners can't. i invite you to take a peek at their blog here, and meet them for yourselves. isn't it great to know that a company who creates awesome inspiring artworks has a real honest-to-goodness heartbeat?? i believe it is!

he even knows how to apologize...


  1. What a lovely post Deb (yes, I read it all and I jumped over to Papaya to see their bags and stuff) and that company deserves this shoutout! Such wonderful people!!! Hooray for kindness and love! It's good to know it is still there, even in 'bussiness'

  2. Wonderful story and it comes with a happy ending for everyone

  3. I truly don't usually read long blog posts - but was captivated from the moment I started yours. Wonderful story - gorgeous bag - cute as can be dog and a happy ending...what more could I want?! I'm on my way to hop on over to view the Papaya products. Just wanted to know how Duffy gets those lovely decorations on his backside?!

  4. Awesome story!! I am soooooo happy for you and it is really wonderful to hear that they came through in such a big way. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Papaya and ALL their gorgeous products! Anahata Katkin is brilliant with her artwork. Do you watch this show - The Big Bang Theory? I love that show. I do believe I've seen Papaya artwork in the background on Penny's walls! Anyhow, poor Duffy, he couldn't help himself - even he found it irresistable. The cutiepie. Now are those tattoos on his butt?


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