Belated Happy Barkday, Toby

Toby’s barkday was at the end of last month, but thanks to me getting sick and then the car breaking, I wasn’t able to get him any presents. This week, G & G took pity on my little boy and brought him a fresh bag of tennis balls. The down side is that now he wants to play all day every day. The up side is he he is working off some of those holiday pounds.

Get that camera out of my face and throw the ball already!

Puppy dressed as ferocious hockey player.
Wow, you're pretty good at blocking thos tennis balls. When I grow up, I want to bMario Lemieux!
Bu Mario Lemieux isn't a goalie. Then I wanna be Wayne Gretzky!
Gretzky isn't a goalie either. Geez, where have you been learning about hockey? Mommy!!

To Toby, the game is to either catch the ball or touch it with his mouth. Then it is considered out of play.

Tennis balls with fuzz handles that a puppy has chewed from their covers.

The first thing Toby does when he gets a new ball is chew a fuzz handle into it.

Like most places, it is snowy and barely in the teens here. Toby doesn’t mind going out because he has a nice pet human to warm his paws when they get cold. If the pet human tries to thaw her paws on a warm puppy tummy, though, all heck breaks loose. Toby’s pet human is grateful for the tennis ball game so they don’t have to freeze as much.

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Care to find out what Bitey and Toby have been up to? Then check out Dream Our World! Inside, the boys view the world of art from a canine perspective and enjoy a day of unsupervised fun.

Dream Our World

Dream Our World is available at my shop at L Bowman Studios.

What Happened to Toby?

What happened? She's been drawing cats.

No, I didn’t trade Toby in on a green-sweater-clad feline, but I did think about it.

Toby had a grooming session at the beginning of the month. Afterward, he could no longer hide the fact that Gma had been slipping him goodies over the holidays. Now he is on a diet, and he just howls and howls for food.

Toby, pre-furcut.

Toby, post-furcut.

Toby howling for food.

Evidently Toby didn’t do much better on his second visit to the groomer than he did on his first. The woman working with him said that he hates the blow dryer so much that he fought and fought her about it. By the time she was done drying him he was thoroughly exhausted and fell asleep. She had to put him in a sling in order to reach to trim his paws and tummy. Who would guess that such a sweet-faced little guy could cause so much trouble?

While Toby’s year started off with grooming and a diet, mommy’s started with two broken teeth, a broken car and a pair of broken glasses. Yay 2022.

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If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can still pick up copies of Dream Our World. Inside, Bitey and Toby have a fantastic adventure as they visit the museum of their dreams and view the world of art from a canine perspective.

Dream Our World

Dream Our World is available from my shop at L Bowman Studios.

Gender Reveal

A few nights ago, I was throwing tennis balls for Toby. One time, I decided to let Rah Ru the tiger throw one of the balls.


In this picture, I am hugging a sock. – Rah Ru

Afterward, I praised the toy, ”Good boy, Rah Ru! Great throw!” Then I started to wonder, was Rah Ru a boy or a girl? Did Toby think of his tiger as having a gender? The idea dawned on me, why not ask him?

Boy or Girl

I gathered up the B and G flashcards so I could ask Toby “Boy or Girl?”. We went through a quick list of humans and pups we knew so I could make sure we were on the same page. He got them all right. I moved on to the toys and asked him, ”Is Rah Ru a boy or a girl?” In case you were wondering, Rah Ru is a girl. (Oops. Bad mommy. )

As for Blue Puppy, Blue puppy is a boy.

Toy kitty with stuffing ripped out of its head.

Humpty Kitty is a girl

Tiger turned out to be a girl too.

Mommy, however, is still a boy.

This exercise turned out to be a breakthrough moment for Toby and me. Since then he has been excited to do flashcards. I think this gives him a chance to tell me things he otherwise couldn’t.

😊

The “C” Word or The Winter of Our Death

No, not that C word.* Not even Christmas. I am afraid I have the other C word – covid. I haven’t had a test to make sure, but from my symptoms it would appear I have omicron. I guess from now on I will have to post using a Ouija Board or spirit box. My biggest disappointment so far is that the Other Side looks much like where I came from. I was hoping for more clouds.

This is the first time I have been sick in a while. The last time was shortly after Geordie died. (Remember those Fever Dreams?) I don’t know if Toby were still grieving or if he were too young to process my being sick, but this puppy will NOT let me out of his sight now. He insists we play ball or share food or hang out together at all times. He is fascinated and amused as my voice comes and goes. He acts as he’s never seen anyone cough before. It is hilarious. Also, I can get nothing done with him glued to my side.

Hey Mom, can we do something? Can we play ball? Wanna share a snack? I would really like to go for a walk. What do you say?

I have been curious if psoriasis might behave any differently if I were sick. People with autoimmune disorders are thought to have very robust immune systems that just get turned around and attack the body instead of invaders. I have wondered if my immune system had something constructive to do if it might stop attacking me. So far that seems to be happening. I no longer look as much like a burn patient, and my joints only hurt about half as much. Hey, I’ll take it.

If anyone has sent us Christmas cards, unfortunately we won’t be able to pick them up until after Christmas ’cause we’re not allowed out in public. We will still appreciate them, though!

Christmas card torn up by a naughty Cairn terrier puppy.

I like eatin’ ’em! – Toby

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It may be too late to shop for Christmas (and I can’t go to the PO to ship anyway. See above), but this would be a great way to spend that holiday loot that you know you’re going to get!

Cover of the book Dream Our World

Dream Our World follows Bitey and Toby as they visit the museum of their dreams. If you haven’t read it yet, it is fun for all ages. (And Toby says it tastes delicious as well. I don’t know; I’ll just have to take his word for it.)

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*I do have a cousin who started chemo on Friday. If you have any room in your prayers for him, they would be much appreciated.

Happy Toby

Things are so much better with my little Toby that I had to draw some pictures of us. It’s like I have my sweet little puppy back again. We have been doing so many fun thing lately that it makes my heart hurt. I can see in his face that he feels he is finally breaking through with training me.

When we go for walks, he will stop at random places and ask for hugs. (Eeee!) He does tricks nearly as well as Geordie. (Toby is more food oriented, so a good training session to him is when he can steal at least one treat.) My folks have been teaching him to say “Ruh-ro” like Scooby Doo and swear that he has said it on at least two occasions. In the evenings, we sit on the floor while he chews on hooves. A few times he has draped his head over my leg and gone to sleep after he was done.

I am so happy to have my happy boy back with me.

Toby gets a tiny treat whenever he goes into his kennel. He insists that his toys also get a treat (which Toby kindly eats for them).

Smile, Toby. You are one loved little guy!

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Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? Than look no more! Bitey Dog and Toby are here to share their latest adventure in Dream Our World. Inside, the boy visit the museum of their dreams and enjoy a day of unsupervised fun.

Dream Our World

Ghost Rider

Great googly-moogly, what happened to you?  Oh come on, it's just psoriasis.  I've had it for a while.  Mommy is Ghost Rider?
So h ow come you haven't drawn yourself like this so far?  Are you kidding?  I get enough grief over my weird eyes and my wonky knees.  I can just imagine what folks would say about this.  Mom!  Mom!  Here's a list of them who done me wrong so you can exact revenge on 'em!
Dogs offer commentary on their mom's condition.
Lemme guess.  Does it involve me wearing a paper bag?  Maybe...?  Where's your motorcycle?  Outside?

You would think that masks would have been my friends this past year, hiding my appearance from inquiring eyes. On the contrary. If you’ve ever wondered what that stuff feels like, it is like one of those horribly painful sunburns where even the softest silk feels like sandpaper against your skin – where simply moving is agony – where you absolutely positively do not want some smart aleck little brother to come along and slap you for the sheer enjoyment of your misery. Trying to wear a raspy mask over psoriasis is actually quite painful.

No, that is too good.  Pull some fibers on this part so Americans' noses itch.  Then they'll  have to scratch and will give themselves the flu.  Mwahaha!

Despite how much this looks exactly like one of my drawings, it is actually borrowed from the internet.

Americans are very polite about something like this. Nobody pointed at me and shouted, “Eww, that’s grody to the max!” In fact, they said nothing. If I brought up my appearance, though, they would jump in with tons of questions and healthy curiosity. Speaking as the resident weirdo, insults aren’t nice, but saying “Hey, what happened?” is perfectly fine. It’s OK to ask questions. The elephant in the room knows it’s there.

Getting to wear my unique gift from God on my face has made things harder when it comes to business. It is difficult to approach people with confidence and try to introduce them to my work. It is also more difficult to get a service sector job where you are the face of a business. While no one will admit that “fugly” is the reason for not hiring you, you will simply find that someone else always gets the job.

Have I tried medical care for dealing with this condition? Yes. The doctor charged me $300 for a 5 min consultation. Her advice? Hydrocortisone. Mmm hmm…Yup, I am definitely in the wrong line of work.

At least Real Life Toby doesn’t care about how I look.

Mom, mostly I look at you from this angle, and all I see is up your broken nose.

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Royal Purple Velvet Pillows are now back in stock! These 10″ pillows would make a wonderful gift for the whimsical child in your life – or the whimsical child inside yourself! Each pillow is trimmed with gold braid and has a silky tassel at each corner. The center is secured by two matching fabric buttons which give the pillow a pleasingly plump look.

These pillows and other fine gifts are available from my shop at L Bowman Studios. All items are made in America and ready to ship.

Caught in the Act

Toby was so pleased with himself chewing off the pumpkin’s stem…until when he wanted to pick it up and carry it around. Then he had no way to grasp it. Did he learn? I’m sure he didn’t.

After Toby had his fun with the pumpkin, I washed it off, cut it up into pieces and froze it for him to eat later. Now the humble decorative pumpkin can help to keep my boy regular for weeks to come.

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Country Fresh
Orchid Bread Cloth

Fixing a fancy pumpkin for your terrier? Perhaps a decorative bread cloth might make the even more festive. If your pup is like mine, he or she will greatly enjoy running around the house while shaking this new treasure.

These decorative bread cloths and many other fine gifts can be found in my shop at L Bowman Studios.

All products are handmade and here in the US ready to ship.

Where Oh Where

Where, oh where

has my little dog gone?

Oh where, oh where

can he be?

He’s back at home

hiding under the bed.

You silly,

silly puppy!

Roar!

In the few seconds that I was distracted, a certain furry someone sneaked under the bed and fell asleep. As I cluelessly walked past, I found a grouchy terrier affixed to my slipper.

Since Toby has been sleeping in his kennel, we have barely had any run ins like this one, and things are much better between us. I doubt Toby realizes why, but he is a happier, less stressed out pup.

(And yes, I do need my name on the slippers so I can tell mine from Toby’s.)

Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

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Looking for a beautiful yet practical gift to give this holiday season? Consider giving a handmade quilt or afghan. Not only would you be giving a loving gift to someone you care about, but you would be supporting a cottage, American-based industry as well.

These and other fine gifts can be found in my shop at L Bowman Studios.