Some dogs inspire their owners to be more active, responsible or caring. Ryn Gargulinski’s dogs inspired her to write a book.
Gargulinski, who goes by Rynski for short, recently self-published her sixth book, “The Rynski Doggie Dictionary.” It contains humorous explanations for common dog behaviors and proverbs about canines.
It’s a pick-up-and-put-down book. Each page is illustrated and has such pithy dogcentric “definitions” as “dog fish: what sporty hounds do on weekends with their kids,” and “dog tired: the outcome of not letting sleeping dogs lie.”
“It’s easy and it’s piecemeal, like a vitamin boost of dog fun,” she said with a full-bodied laugh.
As a full-time freelance writer, Gargulinski works from home. Her backyard is a jungle nestled in the middle of a uniform midtown neighborhood. There are trees, bushes, vines and succulents covering every square foot. Take a few steps through the irrigated maze of greenery and you’ll find small cots where her two big dogs rest their tired tails.
She attributes a lot of “The Rynski Doggie Dictionary” to her pups, Elmo and Gigi. They were not only inspirations for the book’s concept, but also models for her illustrations.
Elmo was a 2-year-old rescue dog when Rynski adopted him, and Gigi is a purebred Belgian Tervuren that she found through a “hippie farm” in Vermont.
Though her target is dog lovers, she thinks it goes beyond that. “I think it extends to anyone who likes playing around with words and likes colorful cartoons and a little bit of humor,” she said.
Using an extra-wide sharpie marker, her favorite drawing tool, Gargulinski creates graffiti-style illustrations of humans, dogs, cats, skeletons, rats, fish, birds — pretty much anything with a face. Large playful eyes and big toothy smiles are the first things you see.
Gargulinski has written similar illustrated books: “Little Book of Big Jerks,” “The Septic Bucket List,” “Bony Yoga,” “Rats Incredible” and “The Boy with Moldy Cheese Pizza Under His Bed.”
She said this newest release is special to her because of her strong connection with her dogs.
“I think this one is more in my soul, and I’ve had the most fun with this one,” she said. “Other ones were more like projects to complete, even though they were fun, too. This one was like a part of me.”
In addition to publishing books and doing freelance writing, Gargulinski creates her eye-catching illustrations on metal signs. With a fondness for old discarded items, she repurposes scrap metal objects and sells her creations on Etsy.
“My main goal, which I love, is when people smile,” she said. “I sell the signs and stuff on Etsy and my favorite compliment is that they smile every time they look at it. That to me is like, ‘I did my job.’ That goes beyond the pay.”