A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.





Friday, February 23, 2018

Shaak Ti Contemplates the Meaning of Life

Shaak Ti spends a lot of time in front of the fireplace, usually warming herself. But occasionally she'll just lay there and stare at the fire.
"I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall fire*
Thinking about everything
But then again I was thinking about nothing."
 - Mike Muir, singer/songwriter

* only this word was changed from the original lyrics

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Birds Have Returned

One of our favorite hobbies is watching birds, either here at the homestead or when we're on vacation. We aren't hardcore birding folk by any means (though we still vividly remember the Harlequin Duck we saw in Glacier National Park years ago), but anywhere we go we try to have a bird identification book, binoculars, and Alycia's iPhone with bird ID apps aplenty.

Back in North Dakota we had a plethora of birds visit the homestead. You can find old posts about cool birds we saw in North Dakota here, here, here, and here. There are probably even more bird posts, because uhhh we kinda like bird posts. Bird visitation was usually concentrated in Spring and Summer though and there were few year round inhabitants.

During our first several months at the new homestead in Boise, Idaho we'd noticed a real absence of birds, spotting a few common chickadees and nuthatches, but not much else. We're in an older neighborhood with lots of large, tall, densely planted trees. Hawks and raptors crying in the distance and circling way overhead are common. We were afraid that the presence of birds of prey would diminish the local small birds at our feeders. It took a few weeks of putting out feeders with nyjer/thistle, black oil sunflowers seeds, and suet before we finally had visitors.
Some small goldfinches started showing up, and after a few days they were numerous. These goldfinches are noticeably smaller than the American Goldfinches that were regulars in North Dakota. Alycia and I have settled on an ID of Lesser Goldfinches. Since it's still Winter, it will be a few more months before the males develop their bright yellow gold coloration. We'll be watching in anticipation for them to develop their summer plumage, and eagerly awaiting any other birds that stop by for a visit.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shadowfax Watches the Westminster Agility Trials

Shadowfax has never shown any interest in watching television, but this weekend the Westminster Agility Trials were on and she was very excited. She was happy to see at least one competitor that looked like her - a spotted American Staffordshire Terrier. He didn't win, but he made at least one new fan.
She watched intently for a few minutes then returned to lounge in front of the fire. Luckily none of the pups have a tendency to watch too much TV, so we've never had to discuss limiting their screen time. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Packed Up and Ready To Go

Dogs are smart and intuitive creatures. They know that the appearance of a suitcase is a bad sign. One or both of us is going away, and that's no good.
Alycia recently had a conference to attend. Based on experience we know to delay the presence of the suitcase for as long as possible to avoid the pups consternation. Alycia started packing for her trip and Shaak Ti tried her best to tag along.
After a few minutes Shaak Ti realized that this was going to be a lengthy and difficult vigil and it might be best to rest up for the upcoming "if you're leaving, you're taking me with you" protest.
Unfortunately Alycia's suitcase was already partially packed and she wound up with a nice coating of Shaak Ti hair on her clothes. Nothing like a light dusting of dog hair to remind you of home. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Shadowfax Needs Attention

Shadowfax can be a bit needy at times. And she's not shy about making it known that she needs some attention. Like, right now.
It's a fairly predictable routine, morning and early afternoon is spent snoring away the hours, then about 2:00 she demands attention. I've even got the time stamp  on the lower right hand corner of my laptop to prove it. Today she was super patient and waited until 2:02.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Three Deaf Pups as Cartoons

You may have seen that we changed our picture on the Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes Facebook page to the following cartoon. This is indeed our pack of awesome deaf pups drawn as cartoons!

Alycia got me this as a Christmas present and had the image put onto a coffee cup and some cool stickers. It perfectly captures our pups: Shadowfax and her goofy bully pose, Tito and his cloak of simmering rage, and Shaak Ti happily upside down.

If you're interested in getting your pups drawn as cartoons or, even better, turned into stuffed animals, you should check out the website - https://sockdogs.com/ or find them on Facebook under Original Sock Dogs.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Staying Warm by the Fire

We spend a great deal of our time in the living room. Between the leeway of Alycia's academic career and John's "work" from home, there's a great deal of time spent in cozy couch computer productivity. Our purchase of a gas fireplace insert this Fall was a great decision. We can keep the living room quite cozy and the heat eventually spreads to the rest of the house.
The dogs REALLY like the gas fireplace insert. There are even rumors of Tito being caught whilst taking a relaxing nap in the dog bed in front of the fireplace. These remain just rumors...
Sadly neither Shaak Ti or Shadowfax seem to have the ability to regulate their time in front of the fireplace. Typically after an hour or so, they're overheated and panting, with bright pink tummies. We have to occasionally physically rouse them up and hustle them to another bed to cool off so they don't bake their brains. Usually moving one dog causes the other to immediately take their place in front of the fireplace and it's a constant rotating dog bed carousel.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Local Boise, Idaho Canine Celebrity

At a Holiday craft show back in December we had the good fortune to meet a local dog celebrity. Kohl has become famous nationwide for his enthusiastic retrieving of the kick-off tee during Boise State football games.
You can watch his exploits from various news outlets here and here. He's a pretty talented pooch and we got to meet him! And not only is he talented, but a multi-sport dog as well. He is also the official bat-dog for the local minor league baseball team, the Boise Hawks. He retrieves the bats as eagerly as the kick-off tees.