Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yes, We're Open!

Hi everyone and welcome to Lord Ozwald's Curious Goods. Who is Lord Ozwald, and what are these "curious goods" that he sells? Well, let me explain...

My name is Lauren. Oz (aka, Lord Ozwald; aka, Ozzy; aka, Ozzybodens; aka, Bobo) is a Rottweiler that my husband MJ and I adopted at the end of January 2009. We had been robbed just six months after moving into our first home and had decided to get a second dog (one of a larger breed) who could act as a deterrent to future burglars while serving as a loving and loyal companion to us. We already had a rescued 3-year old Feist mix named Dizzy and five rescued cats (Fiona, Jekyll, Gremlin, Jinx and Mojo), but we had always planned to get a second dog so Dizzy could have a playmate.

What we ended up with was a shy, 6-week old puppy who wanted nothing more than to spend every waking moment with us. We even took turns sleeping on the floor with him the first couple nights because he would cry to the point of hyperventilating when we crated him. We knew he would never be a real guard dog and we had no desire to make him one. We just wanted a giant teddy bear who looked tough. :)

In April 2009, I became pregnant with our daughter. Some people worried that a Rottweiler would be dangerous to have around a child, but we knew the real Ozzy. Sadly, the criminals in our area realized that he was nothing more than a big baby and we were robbed again. Fearing for our own safety as well as that of our pets and our future daughter (we had a full security system installed prior to the FIRST burglary), we finally bit the bullet and put our house up for sale.

Fast forward to December 2009. Our house was still up for sale (not even a single offer) and our daughter Tessa was born on the 18th, the day before Oz's first birthday! He fell in love with her and became her diligent protector and companion. He would check on her with she cried and lay by her when she was in her swing or bouncer.

When I returned to work in March 2010, all hell broke loose. We had numerous attempted break-ins (including one on my first day back at work!). Despite still having our house on the market with no offers, we knew we had to get out RIGHT THEN. We found a new home (a much better one in a MUCH better area) and relocated. While this made us feel more secure we now had the financial burden of a second mortgage in addition to the added costs of raising an infant. Add in the drama that we almost couldn't get homeowner insurance on the new house due to the claims on the old house and that the company insuring our old house DROPPED US, and you've got a tight situation.

Anyway, back to our Ozzy. Despite all the drama and all the stress he has always been our loving pup. He loves us, loves our other pets, loves our family and friends and can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to give him butt scratches. Since he was roughly 6 months old, he had suffered from intermittent leg and joint pain. The vet had diagnosed it as panosteitis ("growing pains") and a short regiment of anti-inflammatories seemed to be enough. In August 2010, things got worse again and I took him in for another assessment.

Oz was diagnosed with torn cranial cruciate ligaments in both back knees. His left knee is significantly worse than his right. The fusion and swelling in the joint is pronounced and arthritis is already detectable on X-rays. Oz was only 20 months old and already becoming crippled with arthritis. His right knee, while much better, was showing early signs of swelling (probably partially due to shifting most of his weight off his left knee). The vets unanimously agreed that Oz needs a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). This is an intensive surgery that runs roughly $3,000 plus aftercare physical therapy costs. It's also reported that 40-60% of all dogs that need the surgery in one knee will need it for the other within 2 years.

For now, Oz is on a weight loss program to minimize the stress on his joints and has been prescribed pain medicine for his "bad days." Ultimately, he will need the surgery. If the ligament ruptures, he will need the surgery immediately. Our goal is to manage his condition so that surgery can wait until after our old house is sold (it's now being sold as a a short sale at nearly $45,000 less than the balance of our mortgage... UGH!) and we can put away enough money to put a good dent in the veterinary costs.

This is where Curious Goods comes into play. Neither MJ nor I like to take handouts (we've already taken some monetary help from family to ensure financial stability while we try to get out from under the second mortgage), so I wanted to come up with a more creative way to raise the money. I've always loved to do crafts (painting, knitting, etc), so why not focus this hobby into a way to raise the money? I can do it in my free time, which means I still get to spend time with my husband and daughter. It also gives me a creative outlet, something I've neglected for a long time thanks to all the house drama.

I try to use reclaimed items whenever possible. Not only does this keep my costs down, but it also benefits the thrift stores and re-sell stores that I purchase them from. (Why spend $15 on a brand new picture frame that I'm going to paint when I can get a similar item from a thrift store for $3?) Right now most of the items involve tiles (coaster sets, wall art, etc) and picture frames (display frames or decorated picture frames). I also do knitted projects (scarves, wrist warmers, etc) and baked goods (dog treats and human treats!). In addition to coming up with my own designs, I encourage people to request custom designs and suggest new craft ideas.

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone a better idea of what this whole thing is about. I was hesitant to create a blog (hearing "blog" used as a verb actually makes me cringe at times), but this medium will be much more manageable than some other options and make the products available to those who don't have accounts on social networking sites. It's going to take me a few days to get most of the current items posted, so please bear with me. Once it's all caught up, I should be able to update regularly.

Thanks for checking out Lord Ozwald's Curious Goods! Please feel free to email me at regarding item inquiries or suggestions!

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