Bull Terrier Tuesday: Balody Bull Terrier Build

Regular readers know of my boyish love for LEGO sets of any kind, and that I’ve been building more and more of them over the past year.  Those same readers will know of my dog, Murphy, an eight-year old female bull terrier that I adopted last summer from The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission.

Apparently, there exists a bull terrier building set from Balody, an Asian (probably Chinese) company that makes a LEGO knock-off, with a twist:  the pieces are extremely tiny.  Indeed, they’re called “micro building blocks” on Amazon.

That’s where the inscrutable East gets that much more inscrutable:  on Amazon, the company selling this set is called “Larcele.”  I can only assume it’s a classy French rebranding to make the toy sound more European (LEGO is Danish).  There’s also a site called mylozblocks.com that sells the sets.

I can’t find anything about Balody or Larcele online, other than the latter’s Amazon page.  If any toy enthusiasts are reading this blog and can weight in, I’d appreciate it.  Granted, I spent a grand total of maybe seven minutes searching the web, so who knows what I missed.

Regardless, a new lady friend gifted me this Balody/Larcelle bull terrier set for Easter, an incredibly thoughtful gift.  It was also incredibly difficult to build, despite the box boasting a difficulty level of three out of five blocks (whatever that means).

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Even More Little Paintings

I took a bit of a break from painting last week to finish up Péchés d’âge moyen, my short collection of twelve original piano miniatures, but by the time “More Little Paintings: Hearts and an Octopus” posted last week, I’d already churned out a total of fifteen of these little guys.

Rather than subject you to week after week of bizarre paintings, I figured I’d dump them all into one post:

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More Little Paintings: Hearts and an Octopus

I’ve kept plugging away at my little paintings, and have a slate of new paintings.  This post does not feature all of them, but some of the highlights from my recent forays into primitivist doodle-painting.

I really do paint the way that I draw—poorly.  But my distinctly grotesque style seems to hold a certain charm, as I’ve already sold and/or committed to gift two of the three paintings in this little post.

Like last week’s paintings, these are done on small, 5″x7″ canvasses.  They’re very thin canvasses, but of a good quality, and they hold the acrylic paints I’m using well.  All of the materials are very basic, including the cheap brushes and paints (which are leftover from the TJC Spring Jam), but they work perfectly for what I am doing.

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TBT: Baby Sea Turtle

It’s the last quiet week of summer vacation before returning to school.  It’s been a good summer, with a trip to Universal Studios; a grueling but successful move; and getting a dog.  The one thing I didn’t do this summer is see a baby sea turtle take its first, adorable steps into the sea.

But I did get to see that last summer!

There’s something magical and miraculous about witnessing a baby sea turtle leave his little egg and waddle into the ocean.  I thought I’d never see it in my lifetime unless I was specifically trying to see it.

Adding to the magic was that it was totally unplanned—wonderful happenstance.

With that, enjoy this treacly little post, 3 August 2020’s “Baby Sea Turtle“:

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Murphy’s Vet Update

Yesterday I took Murphy to the vet, and Audre Myers of Nebraska Energy Observer asked me to provide an update.

Murphy is doing well.  Other than some very sensitive skin and a possible flea problem, she is in good shape overall.

She also has an inverted vulva (click at your own risk), which could be the result of excess weight.  That means I have to take extra care to clean out her lady parts, as the extra folds can harbor bacteria.  I also have to clean the vulva itself, which can bleed slightly if she rubs her butt too much.  Fortunately, the veterinarian expressed her anal glands, providing much-need relief in the hind quarters, so Murphy hasn’t been spinning on her butt quite so much.

She is on a two-week antibiotic to help with her skin inflammation, and I have special shampoo that’s supposed to help with her skin.  She does not like getting a bath, but once I put her doughy, sixty-pound body in the tub, she stands there very patiently while I wash her.  I just wish she would sit down in the warm suds—it would feel soooo good on her stomach, and would make cleaning a bit easier.

The vet saw one flea on her, but she has a good flea collar and took her first monthly dose of flea medicine last night.  I’ve also given Murphy her first monthly dose of heartworm medicine (she’s heartworm negative, but we want to keep it that way).  I’ve washed all of her bedding (and mine), and I think we have eradicated the flea menace.

All the medicine has given her some diarrhea, but it’s not uncontrollable (thank goodness).  She goes outside when we walk, and I clean her rump judiciously when we get back inside.

That sounds like a lot, but she really is doing well for an eight-year old who has endured a great deal of change in the past few weeks.

On the plus side, her nails are finally trimmed!  That seems to have helped with her limp considerably, and today was the first day in over a week that we have taken some good walks (and runs).  We still aren’t going very far, but she has enjoyed getting out more, sniffing every bush and fence post she can find.  We ran into some neighborhood kids, and she completely hammed it up for them, rolling around in the grass and begging for pets (and, knowing her, treats—she’s quite the chunk).

She’s dozing now on the couch while I write this and watch The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs.  She enjoyed some steak in her kibble tonight, and probably won’t more for another couple of hours (or she’ll pop up as soon as I’m about to click “Publish”).

There you go, Audre!  I always deliver for my readers.

—TPP

Bull Terrier Tuesday I: Big Vet Visit

Despite the sheer volume of dog-related posts a couple of weeks ago, I promise that the blog isn’t going to become a dog blog.  Bull Terrier Tuesday won’t be a regular feature, but maybe once a month or so I’ll give some updates on Murphy, the eight-year female bull terrier I’m fostering for The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission.

We’re nearly three weeks into the thirty-day foster-to-adopt process, and today Murphy has a big vet visit.  She had a good first visit the day after I got her, and her bloodwork has come back clean.  She’s also heartworm negative, which is a real blessing.  That first visit got her vaccinations updated, too, so Murphy is street legal now.

But today’s visit is a really big one.  Murphy is an old girl with a number of issues, all of which are easily resolved (I hope), but which will require her to go under sedation.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: She’s Allergic to Cats (2016)

Regular reader and Nebraska Energy Observer contributor Audre Myers frequently tells me that I am offering a valuable service by describing movies people should not see (if you agree with Audre, I take donations).  This Monday’s film, 2016’s She’s Allergic to Cats, likely qualifies, and I would like to apply it towards my contributions to humanity.

The description for the movie on Shudder.com reads thusly:

A lonely dog groomer in Hollywood searches for love, but his true passion is making weird video art that nobody understands. His menial routine spirals out of control when he meets the girl of his dreams, crossing boundaries between reality and fantasy as he dives deeper into his video experiments.

I guffawed as soon as I read the line “making weird video art that nobody understands.”  That sold me on the flick, which I actually found enjoyable, if baffling.

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Lazy Sunday CXXIII: Murphy

The big news this week is that I got a dog, Murphy, an eight-year old female bull terrier.  I promise that I am not turning the blog into a gushfest for this lovable, chunky fur ball, but given how much I’ve written about her this week, it made sense to dedicate this Lazy Sunday to posts about Murphy.  I mean, she is super lazy (she’s asleep at my feet at this very moment), and so I am; why scroll through a bunch of posts from all over the years, when I can just rehash the three related to my awesome dog?

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Dog Days: Early Reflections on Dog Ownership

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Note to subscribersI am still working on last Saturday’s post.  It should be up later today.

As I noted in the title to Wednesday’s post, this blog is going to the dogs.  Don’t worry—not forever, and not always.  But with the experience of fostering sweet Murphy still fresh, I wanted to take some time today to reflect on the past two days of dog ownership.

Naturally, it’s a bit early yet—the term of the foster is thirty days, and after which I am allowed to adopt the old girl if I so choose—but it’s already been a positive experience, both for myself and, more importantly, the dog.

Murphy is an old girl—she is eight-years-old as of June—and was caught up in, as far as I can gather, some family drama, leading to her placement in a shelter in Havelock, North Carolina.  The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission swooped in and got in touch with me, just a week after I’d put in an application to become a foster for the organization (you can read that story here).  As such, she’s been through a great deal in the past week, and is already inclined to be a bit more relaxed, given her advanced age (the life expectancy for bull terriers, per the American Kennel Club, is between twelve and thirteen years, though I frequently hear of bull terriers passing around the age of ten).

That means we’ve enjoyed a lot of short walks and long naps.  She’s definitely my kind of girl.

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