Happy Surprise

Pretty nifty, huh?

This portrait of Maxwell was done by Leslie Bowman. Wait a minute…Leslie Bowman…as Quasimodo said, “That name rings a bell!”

Of course it does. Leslie is one of us! A dog blogger and I think almost all of us enjoy visiting her blog “Adventures of Bitey Dog.” We all love her whimsical cartoons and tales of the (mis)behaviors by her Cairn Terrier Toby and his spirit brother, Geordie.

It’s Toby! Image shamelessly stolen from Bitey T’s website.

Some blog visitors may not realize that Leslie is a very accomplished author and artist and one of her specialties is dog portraits. Along with pet portraits, she has written a couple of books, available on Amazon, about the imaginary adventures of the terriers and has a unique curation of gifts in her blog store.

I have to admit that for the longest time I thought her last name was “Studios” because I kept seeing the name “L. Bowman Studios” on all this great dog art.

OK, I’m not too bright but you already know that. Anyhoo…

Leslie, a “revealing” self portrait with Geordie (L) and Toby (R).

Awhile back, I wrote here of Max’s health problems, an incurable condition that would define his life expectancy and limit his activities. It was sad news and your kind wishes and expressions of sympathy were much appreciated even if it might have seemed that we shrugged them off.

:…shrug…: We’re not good at expressing feelings. :…shrug…:

While we were (figuratively) sitting around scuffing our shoes and going “aww shucks,” Leslie surprised us by painting this portrait of Sir Maxwell to bring cheer and smiles. We love it and asked if it was OK to share it with you.

Now some may say that Toby, star of The Adventures of Bitey Dog, was the actual force behind this creation. Unknown to many, he has a soft side. Yes, it’s true, he prefers to go by his tough street name of “Bitey T” but he’s actually a small softie. Maybe Geordie had a good influence on him.

If you know about pet portraits, and I assume you do, then you know that Leslie Bowman Studios is pretty near the top of the heap. I don’t know all the proper art terminology to describe how she did the portrait but maybe Leslie will chime in on the comments, if we haven’t embarrassed her into another universe.

We feel privileged to have this portrait of Max. We cherish the thought, the effort and talent she put into it.

But it’s more than that.

For roughly 8 years we’ve been blogging about this silly little Maltese and this blog has, for us, established a mini-community of friends. The heck with the blog stories, it’s the comments section where the fun happens and where we joke, harass, mourn and commiserate with each other. It’s kind of a dog family.

So Leslie’s gift to us touched us deeply. As I told her, the Alpha Japanese Female, a samurai who does not express emotions often or easily, said with damp eyes, “I can’t believe someone did this for us.”

That’s the unexpected joy a silly dog blog can bring. Of course, I will continue to harass Leslie and Bitey T as before. It’s my thing. But before I start in again, let me say, sincerely, “Thank you” and that goes for all of you.

58 replies

  1. “Nifty” sums it up perfectly Tom. Max’s portrait is amazing. It’s a priceless treasure for you and the AJF. It will bring you years of joy, memories and tears.

    Leslie, you did an outstanding job and clearly it was painted and given from your heart. The best place a gift should come from. Thank you for allowing Tom to share it with us. If anyone needed a good cleansing cry, they got it today! We’ve all come to love Max as our own. How could you not?

    And thank you for doing the portrait of Max and not Tom!! 🤗

    Max, when you look at your portrait, you’re going to have to work hard not to let your head swell! You are such a handsome bundle of fur. You sure have captured my heart.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sitting here teary-eyed…joy-teary-eyed! This is absolutely beautiful! And what a sweet sweet gift that you will cherish forever!
    I’m sure Max likes that he is constume-less in his grand portrait! 😉 😀
    Leslie is an amazing artist and crafts-person with a huge beautiful heart! ❤ And Toby is THE bestest doggie! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello. My boy Fatty is a Maxwell clone. Would you be interested in adopting him?
    I’m not deadset on it, but if Fatty could have a life like Maxwell’s, that’d be sooo awesome. I can send pics. I don’t know how else to contact.
    Email: yaypointless@gmail.com

    Liked by 2 people

  4. *shuffles feet* aw shucks….*shuffles feet again* I’ve been embarrassed off into my own universe. (At least it’s quiet here.)

    The secret to pretending that you can do art stuff is to scour eBay for a painting that looks like one you want and then claiming credit for it.

    Don’t forget, you can always put googly eyes on it if you get bored with a costume-less picture of Max. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • I remembee those “Draw Me!” ads that were to suck you into art lessons. Sadly I failed at drawing even stick figures Even now I look at the back windows of family minivans and marvel at the depictions of a Mom, Dad and multiple children plus a dog. But, yeah, Caprain Morgan and I have sailed a few seas together and Uncle Bacardi Dark is no stranger here at Casa Max.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. So I was having a pretty good day that turned craptastic really fast and then I came on here and saw this and first, couldn’t believe you were actually being sincere because – well – because – and then I got really misty eyed. Probably allergies or something
    Seriously, this is just so special. I love this so much. And I’m proud to be part of this group of blogger friends.
    Also, rum – totally – but only if you can’t get champagne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rum…champagne. Porque no los dos? I try to avoid sincerity in all its forms. Nothing good ever comes from emotional honesty, a trait learned at or on my Daddy’s knee. But the dog blogger community is indeed special. Absent our common love of the mangy mutts we would likely tear each others throats on matters political, religious ir just liquor preferences. But the dogs make us…human, I guess. It’s a good group and better for having you in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely portrait of Max. Thank you for sharing it with us. I showed it to Nox and she was very impressed. She thinks Max is a very handsome fellow.

    Nox thinks I should contact L Bowman Studios to have her portrait done. I had to explain that a portrait wouldn’t fit in the RV, but she thinks the TV could go and her picture could hang above the fireplace.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, Tom!
    That portrait of Max is amazing. So well done.
    Well, Lady took one look at it, printed it out and has hung it up in her kennel. So, Max has now officially become a pin-up boy.
    Rosie was very impressed until she realized he couldn’t chase the ball and he was just a picture dog. I look forward to showing the kids once they pop out of their rooms. We have Venturers cooking via zoom going in the kitchen and Miss 15 is in her room.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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