Mommy Is Not As Important As She Thought She Was

Tree growing although it has been knocked over.

Cross section of cut trunk.

Toby says:

Today I took Mom for a walk through the park at the end of the street, but this time we approached from the opposite direction.  From this angle, Mom could see that her selfless efforts were not the driving force that shamed the township into removing the fallen tree from the park.  No, from the top of the hill you could tell that the gas company was simply clearing the area above the buried pipeline, and the tree had been in the way.  Ha!  Boy did I have a good time laughing at her perceived self-importance.

At the same time, they were doing something to the ink vine berry weed that grows rampant along the edge of the woods.  We couldn’t tell if it had been cut or sprayed or both, but there was much less of it.  Mom has mixed emotions about that.  The weeds help to keep the hillside from washing down to the road below.  On the other hand, she is allergic to the stuff, and her face swells if she touches it.  Take that, ink vine berry weed!

In the Spring, Mom had hoped to set free in the woods a little oak tree that had sprouted in the garden (as you may remember from The Airborne Oak ).  There are now two maple saplings growing happily in the garden despite being nearly devoured by bunnies.  Mom had hoped to set them free in the woods, but with all of this recent work, it doesn’t look like that would be a safe place for them either.  It would be nice if there were a quiet area for them to grow up.  They could help mitigate some of the rain forest losses from earlier this year.

Could anyone use two baby maples?  Seriously, if you pee on them now, by the time they grow up, yours will be the highest pee in the neighborhood!

Photo of dog's chin.

Just check out how high my pee could be!


Cover of the book Dream Our World

Catch up on Geordie and Toby’s latest adventure in Dream Our World.  In it, they view the world of art from a canine perspective while enjoying a day of unsupervised fun!

Dream Our World is available from Amazon.

The Supine Not-Pine and a Canine

Today Toby and I went to the woods to spread some acorns we had collected.

Hand holding acorns

Remember this guy?

Tree growing although it has been knocked over.

Look!  It seems we have finally shamed someone into doing something!

Sideways tree is gone, and only tall grass remains

The removal must have been within the past week because no one had cut the tall grass that had grown around the trunk.

Tall grass where tree trunk had blocked mowers.

Initially I thought someone had pushed the trunk into the woods like I had, but it had been hauled away.

Cross section of cut trunk.

I would have liked to have taken a picture of the part of the tree that remains in the woods to show how huge this fellow had been, but I am allergic to all of the plants that grew up around it.  Maybe later when they die back I can return.

As you can see, Toby was his typically cooperative self.

Picture of dog's shoulder.

Photo of dog's chin.

Poorly framed photo of Cairn terrier.


Geordie didn’t go with us today.  My little guy hasn’t been feeling all that well.  I can see that the heat and humidity are getting to him, as is his arthritis.  I am hoping that the cooler weather will help him to feel better, but I suspect his time with us is short.  It has already been two years since his cancer diagnosis.  He has exceeded everyone’s expectations, but I can see that he is tired.

Elderly, sleeping Cairn terrier.

Although it hurts thinking of my Geordie leaving, I find myself hoping that another pup will come along to play with Toby and me and brighten our days.  Some say that once a pup crosses the Rainbow Bridge, he or she finds the perfect new companion for the earthly family.  No one can replace you, Geordie, but if you meet someone who would have fun with us, please send them our way!


Come join virtual Bitey Dog and Toby in their latest adventure Dream Our World.  In it, the boys visit the museum of their dreams.  They view the world of art through a canine perspective and enjoy a day of unsupervised fun!

Cover of the book Dream Our World


Karma the B-Word

What is left of the sideways tree

Pretend there is a bunch of snow on this tree.

Toby and I went for a walk, and he wanted to visit the sideways tree.  (Turns out he is just at happy peeing on the bottom as the top)   The tree was covered with several inches of snow, so I thought I would be safe from spores. Wrong! My idea to play bouncy-tree and rock the trunk in order to scare Toby backfired.  While he was mighty scared, I ended up having an allergy attack.  Keep in mind that you never want to startle a pup. The universe will get even with you.   After all, karma is a bitch.


Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Poopiter.  It is available at Amazon.  The book tells the illustrated tales of my boys as their friendship begins.

The Sideways Tree, Revisited

What is left of the sideways tree

Whenever we have a dry day, I try to go down to the sideways tree to help it sneak back into the woods.  This is my progress so far.  At the point you can see here, the trunk split into four branches that grew basically vertically.  I got all of them cut off and moved near the trunk in the wooded area.

I have also been digging up branches that have been buried under very tall grass. In this picture the grass has fallen over, but it is mature enough to have gone to seed.  What amazes me is that the grass I cut in December is already turning green and growing.

This is what the tree looked like in late Summer before I started helping it.

Tree growing although it has been knocked over. I really enjoy bringing order from chaos, but no good deed goes unpunished.  Our dead tree friend is covered with fungi which cause me to have an allergy attack every time I work around them.

Orange fungus on tree trunk

These orange fellows bring some color to the day, but I am hesitant to handle them.

White fungus on tree trunk.

These white “clam shells” are everywhere, so it is hard to avoid brushing against them.

Blue green fungus

The color is a little off on this picture, but this fungus has a blue-green cast.

Hand used to determind scale of tree trunk

This can give you an idea of the diameter of the trunk of the tree.  Its not huge, but it is surprisingly heavy.


Deer butt running away

As I was taking pictures, three deer crashed the party.  You can see one of them as she runs away.

Toby likes to come with me when I work down here.  He digs holes or eats dirt and grass.  It is little puppy heaven.

  Bored terrier lies next to his tennis ball.

Aw, can’t we go to the tree today?

If Toby is upset about no longer being able to pee on the top of the tree, he hasn’t said anything.  Perhaps I should check my slippers before putting them on just to be on the safe side….

The Sideways Tree

Tree growing although it has been knocked over.

It’s hard to judge from the photo just how big this gentle giant is.  He is huge!

If you could peek through the trees a few feet, you would be able to watch the Keystone Pipeline being put in.  Workers pushed over the trees in this wooded area  to make a place for the pipes.  Part of me would like to blame the workers for knocking over healthy wood, but these trees were nearly all past their prime and should have been thinned  long ago.  Over the years when the pups and I have walked by, I was struck by how many trees were still upright simply because they had died leaning against a fellow tree.

One day during a bad storm, this giant of a tree was knocked over.  Even though he was down, he continued growing and put out a full display of leaves that first year.  By the second year, his spirit flagged.  As you can see in the photo, his leaves were thin, and he looked tired.

At the end of the Summer, he finally gave up and died.  He had had enough.  What is sad to me is that he has had to lie there for all of those years while the township mowed around him.  Again, my photography isn’t good, but there is an island of unreasonably tall grass as large as the outline of the tree.

Toby and I walked past the tree last week.  I brushed against a branch, and it was so brittle it easily snapped off.  Inspired, I broke off more and more.  On several more days (sans Toby) I went back to the park and broke off all the branches that would snap.  I even dug through the snow to reach the ones buried under the 30″ tall grass.

This is fun for me.  I like the work, and I like making that public area look better.  I am planning to sneak back with a saw and keep hacking the tree into pieces that I can drag into the woods.  I am wondering how long I can do this before someone decides to yell at me.  You know, because after nearly 3 years of ignoring the problem, the township is suddenly going to develop an interest in it.

I hope that the parts of the tree I have returned to the woods will decompose and become fertile ground for new life.   Season by season we can watch that stand return to its former glory.

Terrier pups waits next to his tennis ball.

I can’t believe you are getting rid of my chance to pee on the top of a giant tree!


Christmas is right around the corner.  Order your copy of Poopiter for yourself or for someone you love!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Poopiter is available at Amazon.