A Tribute to The Berto

Most days I carry on living my life as normal… I get up and get dressed, go to work, blog, shop, swing dance, meet people, etc.   On the outside I look just fine.

But I am not fine.  Sigh…  I am heartbroken.

It’s been two weeks.  Two weeks since the only constant in my life passed away. 😦

Friday morning, July 25, 2014 … I awoke to find my Berto in none of his usual spots.  Instead, he was sitting in the dark in my bathroom panting heavily and with a blue tongue.  And for the next 5-hours, I sat with him in my arms with 100% oxygen over his little face until the Vet and Heart Specialist talked to me about making that “tough decision” and end his suffering.


He had been diagnosed with a collapsing trachea since his first surgery to remove bladder stones a few years earlier (poor lil’ guy).  This is why he’s (mostly)  seen wearing a harness in order to take any pressure off the trachea.  With the help of medication and modification of lifestyle, the collapsing trachea can be controlled but seldom cured. In severe cases, surgery to help open the airways may be beneficial, but most cases are managed medically not surgically.

Unfortunately, Bert’s heart condition wouldn’t be able to handle the meds needed for the trachea, and there was great risk with putting him through any other surgeries.  So I’ve been mentally preparing for the day when he’d have to leave me… I just thought I would have more time.

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt.  Thoughts of “woulda, coulda, shoulda”  keep running through my mind.  If only I didn’t go swing dancing in the Beaches that night, maybe I would have noticed sooner. Had I noticed earlier that night, I could have taken him to the Emergency Pet Hospital at Davenport/Yonge with an ICU and the outcome maybe could have been different.  I dunno…sigh…

So, I’ve written this memorial post as a tribute to Bert aka The Berto aka Bertso the Flirtso, to his spirit and to the love, loyalty, laughs and companionship he’s given me  through the years.

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 The Beginning

2001 was a big year: I had just broken up with my first serious boyfriend and was about to live completely solo for the first time in my life.


Growing up, my folks weren’t big on having pets.  I’ve always wanted a puppy!!!  Buuuut, having never owned any kind of animal before….. I got myself a hamster (named “Puppy”, of course) as training for dog-ownership.Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 6.49.36 PM

Now this lil’ pup wasn’t without his own style – in fact, there’s a bin devoted to housing all of his many outfits. Yup…I was one of “those” owners 🙂

Here’s a mini-collection of all his diva looks from Summers to Christmas and everything in-between over the years …


puppy outfits


1979670_10152004950954072_801448949_n 484811_10151262921804072_693946312_nJust a sample I said, there are MANY more outfits in his wardrobe I’m afraid 🙂

This year… 

Bert became a condo-doggie, creating a perch at the end of the sofa to gaze out at the city…


Pee-pad training on the new balcony was a fail…


Bert cheered on the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team as they won gold at Sochi…

1010990_10151993120839072_291410436_nWe got to spend the day together lounging in Trinity Bellwoods Park and he’s been featured in a blogpot or two...


And, we got to take a mini-vacay to Sugar Ridge  a dog-friendly Yoga Retreat, where Bert got to hangout with the girls (and Turnip) for an extra long weekend.  This was the last trip we took together.  He lived it up like a king…

10425114_10152227047299072_5076443535583390754_n He’s always been more of a “people” dog, than a “dog’s dog”. Check him out drinking water out of a proper glass. Diva!IMG_3720

Yes, he’s wearing a sun hat…because it’s AWESOME!

Last trip with the pup….Yoga Retreat with the girls
Bert & Turnip … all tuckered out after a long relaxing few days of beach and yoga.

Writing about him and all the fun memories we’ve had together has really helped.  I miss him so much.

Farewell my beloved pooch.

Thank you for reading.

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~ Bert ~ 2001-2014

Dogs may not be our whole lives.  But they make our lives whole. ~ Roger Caras

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Have you ever lost a pet? Do you know what it feels like to watch your faithful friend fade away right before your eyes? Are you familiar with the agony involved in deciding to have a beloved pet euthanized?

If you’d like to share your story with me, I’d love to hear it…use the Comment Section below.


From now until the end of the year,  My Beaded Designs will be donating $5 to the Pomeranian and Small Breed Rescue (PSBR) in honour of Bert’s memory from every Swarovski PAW sold!!:)

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Share. Tell A Friend, friend 🙂

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Dog Days of Summer

I’m a total city girl.  Growing up cottage-less, I’ve never really got to enjoy “the great outdoors” much as a kid…and have only really started to appreciate being out in nature as an adult.

Before moving into a shoe-box sized condo, I owned a house  in the East York/Upper Beaches area of Toronto with a standard mini-backyard with just the right amount of grass and greenery to lounge and laze about a summer afternoon, with the pup.


Sigh … I miss that lil’ green space.  Nowadays, I’ve taken to keeping a picnic blanket, book and bottle of water pre-packed in a beach bag at my door so that when the mood strikes, me and The Bertso (that’s the pup) can re-create that zen-like lazy feeling in Trinity Bellwoods Park instead.  Here’s what I wore on a recent lazy weekend afternoon:


How I Got The Look:

Orange Italian Leather sandals from Hudson Bay Co.; Lime floral tank from Lane Bryant; Jean skirt (with built-in shorts) from Reitmans; and a ridiculously large floppy sunhat from The Public Butter (vintage shop on West Queen W/Duffrin)

Moi, looking a lil’ dopey after 5-hours of sun worshiping
These Orange Italian Leather sandal’s life came to an end…sigh


Have you LIKE’d the Facebook Page yet?  You should!!!! 😉

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The TVS Pin Up Picnic

The Toronto Vintage Society hosted a lovely Pin Up Picnic at Trinity Bellwoods Park a few weekends ago…. A simple social gathering to celebrate the amazing whether, show off our summer vintage gear and meet new people in our vintage community.   Celebrating Sun, Fun and Vintage!

The Admin & Events Teams met up earlier in the afternoon for photo ops, to set up and to pow-wow about the various other exciting events TVS is planning for the upcoming months (stay tuned to the TVS FB Page and new blog site so you don’t miss a thing friends!)

Outfit planning was done with careful colour consideration, with special instructions and effort to keeping the ‘patterns’ to a minimum of 10-25% of the look.  Our team photo was going for a more monochromatic look. I was to wear RED!  I used the following image as my inspiration…..


Here’s what I wore:


Click here to see this dress in a ‘wintery’ look 🙂

I studied the following Hair Tutorial to get my hair into Pin Up perfection:

…But ended up cheating by creating a faux bang with half a foam hair donut instead  🙂


The TVS Admin & Events Team took some long awaited shots for the website – along with some fun candid ones too.  Take a look at all the shenanigans that took place that afternoon amongst Vintage Pin Ups, Greasers, Teddy Boys, Retro Divas and Rockers:

TVS Admin & Events Team! Photo taken by Shermette
TVS Admin Team – photo taken by Shermette

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A few snaps taken by Bianca Baumann Photography ‘behind the scenes’ as we got ourselves organized for the group pic:

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Photo Credits: Shermy Freeman of Shermette and Bianca Baumann of Bianca Baumann Photography

How I got the Look:

Red Swing Dress from Collectif + white short-crinoline from Rosie The Rebel; White crop sweater from Old Navy (was wayyyy too hot to actually wear during the day tho); Vintage wicker purse earrings and bangles; Zebra stripped head tie & wedges from Payless


The Toronto Vintage Society did a great blogpost of their own….check it out for more Pin Up Picnic pics and fun, complete with other picnic-ers and favourite pin-up poses 🙂

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