Meet Carole Bigwood
Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
Kind, compassionate, creative, ambitious, and a survivor with a great sense of humor and amazing resilience all aptly describe Carole Bigwood, who also has a huge pet-loving heart.
Her business, Wild Child Pet Fashions, is well known locally for pet clothing, jewelry and personalized services, as Carole sews every single order herself. The business began a little over eight years ago when Carole was looking for a solution to her not liking the smell of “wet dogs.” With two German Shepherds, she soon realized that the only way to keep them dry was with raincoats she made by hand. Soon everywhere she went with her dogs in raincoats people were asking where she got them, then asking if she could make one for their dog. Before long she was making all kinds of coats, clothing and costumes for dogs and pets of all sizes.
Just before opening her own store in June 2015, Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rather than give up on her business, she created a full store out of her garage at home in Battle Ground, where she can work and recover, continuing her treatments and fight.
Carole’s creations can be found at Beastie Boutique and Family Pet Supplies, and her doggie apparel is often on display at the Portland Pet Fair and Pet Expo. She also frequently helps dress up dogs at local pet adoption events to entice people to adopt.
Tucked away in her home with her husband and four loveable Yorkies, Carole recently endured yet another surgery and more treatments. But she’s already getting back to working and life. “I love being busy and it helps take my focus off the cancer,” she smiles. “I constantly joke that I am my own one-woman Chinese sweatshop, as I do it all myself,” she laughs.
Morning person or night owl?
“Definitely a morning person, as I am always up bright and early. I am a ‘Cokealcoholic’ as I live for caffeine. I have three a day, even when I am supposed to cut down on sugar as a cancer patient. I try, but it’s not easy,” she laughs.
“Hershey’s chocolate kisses! I love them and always keep them by my bed.”
What do you do to relax?
“I get into my Jacuzzi tub, light candles, and unwind. I also like to get a chair massage at the mall — 20 minutes makes a huge difference. The other thing I like to do is escape to places with no dogs,” she says, laughing as she so often does.
What’s your super power?
“Surviving cancer. I was almost at stage IV when diagnosed. So being a cancer survivor and surviving chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy pretty much nails my super power abilities,” she affirms. She adds that her dogs’ super powers are what keep her going.
Now about that shoe?
“Well I prefer to be barefoot but my favorite shoes are my Skechers D’Lites as they are so comfortable and like having little clouds on your feet. I have the slip-ons and love them because of the padding inside.”
Photo credit: Rayleigh Leavitt
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Hunter live in Sherwood.
Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers. She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.