A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, 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.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Shadowfax and the Arrival of the Grandparents

Shadowfax might be a big tough pitbull, but she's really just a big softie.  She may look like a rough and tumble, muscle bound fearsome beastie, but she's really a 70 pound wiggling pile of love.

I'll set the scene for you.  Shadowfax is upstairs and has spotted the unmistakable red Pontiac Aztec of Alycia's parents pulling into the driveway.  You'll want to have the volume on for this video...
This is a standard scene every time that Grandma and Grandpa stop by for a visit.  Shadowfax turns into a whining, howling, tail-wagging mess until Grandma and Grandpa come inside and give her some love. For the record, Shadowfax never acts up this much when Alycia or I get home, this special performance is only for the Grandparents.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Giving Hearts Day

Today is Giving Hearts Day!  It is a statewide day of charitable donation to numerous charities and is a huge fundraising event for the Circle of Friends Humane Society.
We would love your support on this Giving Hearts Day.  You can follow the link below, click on it, scroll down, and search for "Circle of Friends Humane Society".


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday Dog Pictures

Super Bowl Sunday is pretty quiet around here.  It's been a chilly winter weekend and we haven't been able to to spend much time outside.  Instead we've focused on indoor activities, where it's warm and dry and we don't need to wear our sweaters. 
Alycia and Shaak Ti spent a bunch of time doing some team computing.  Once it was time to grade student assignments though, Shaak Ti was conspicuously absent. 
We spent a lot of Sunday playing inside and wrestling with various dog toys.  Shaak Ti got in the Super Bowl spirit and chomped on her new football toy. 
Shadowfax had a festive weekend playing with her toys and balked when it was time to play outside. A fresh new blanket of snow is falling and Shadowfax displayed zero interest in going outside and getting her toes chilly.  As you can see her interest in the football game is minimal...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Shaak Ti and Shadowfax Sheep Shuffle

Shaak Ti got a soft stuffed sheep toy for Christmas and Shadowfax got a chance to finally grapple with Sherman the Sheep.  Sherman the Sheep sat untouched for nearly a year, we thought he was too cute to be destroyed, but eventually Shadowfax and her winter indoor playtime needs took precedence.
The end result was a simultaneous sheep festival.  Shaak Ti playing with her stuffed sheep and Shadowfax disemboweling the poor, unfortunate Sherman the Sheep.
It was a good opportunity to fill the house with toy stuffing and for the people to practice their "sh" sounds. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Shadowfax in the Snow

Shadowfax loves being outside, especially if her people are out there.  When it's warm and pleasant she spends hours just lolling around on the grass, thoroughly sniffing every square inch of the the yard, or supervising us doing yard tasks.
In the winter though, it's a different story.  She tries to fight it and stay out as long as possible, but she just can't manage it for very long.
If we're out shoveling snow Shadowfax tries to come out and help, but invariably after a couple of minutes just sits down and looks cold and pathetic.  We have to herd her back inside to warm up, usually shutting her behind one of our many baby gates to keep her from getting back outside.  This is OK with her as she's content to supervise from the window as well. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Snowy Pictures

We got yet another substantial snow storm to start of the beginning of the week.  It's only just January and we're running out of some space in our favorite places to store the snow.
The official tally from this storm was just over 9 inches of snow in about 48 hours. The path from the door to the garage is a wall of ice and snow that is waist/chest high.  It's a lot like living on Hoth.  I fully expect to find a remains of rebel base somewhere in the backyard when the snow melts. 
Every year we toil to create a good space in the backyard for the dogs despite the snow.  They need both cleared space for "business" and sometimes some more fun or unusual features.  Last year I made a sweet terrain park for Shadowfax including a ramp so her fetching ball could get airborne, this year I went with the banked oval design.
With Tito's vision deteriorating we try to keep the paths in roughly the same area so he can find his way around outside.  We've seen Tito get turned around and flounder in snowbanks in the backyard, so we closely monitor when he goes outside to make sure he gets back in safely.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Snowy Christmas Forecast

Christmas is just around the corner here at the Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes homestead.  We received over a foot of snow from Blizzard Alivia a few weeks back and have even more snow and wind in the forecast for Christmas Day. 

Here is the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend. 
Alycia and I have been taking full advantage of the snow cover and relatively mild temperatures this week (it's been near 30 degrees all week) and have taken several snow shoeing adventures along the Red River of the North.  It is very convenient for us, we just walk down the block, over the dyke wall and we're on the Grand Forks Greenway along the Red River.  This upcoming snowstorm should mean enough snow cover for show shoeing and cross country skiing for the rest of the season. 
The dogs are either unimpressed with all the snow, apprehensive about another foot and a half of snow on the way...
...or still trying to impress upon Santa that they've been good all year. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Shadowfax Indoors in Winter

With temperatures plunging below zero, accompanying wind chills making it feel even colder, and a fresh layer of snow on the ground, it's cold!  That's expected here in December in North Dakota and so we spend a lot more time indoors. Outside playtime is relegated to a minute or two at most before the critters toes get chilly, so we spend more time playing indoors. 
Shadowfax loves her 6-Foot Rope Toy (Amazon Link), and we have three of them, swapping them out every few days so she has something fresh to chew on.  It's a pretty good workout for the human too. A game of Tug-of-War with a 70 pound chunk of deaf dog on the other end is some pretty serious lifting and pulling.  In this case she's actually chewed herself into an almost-nap, barely awake and chomping away. 
I also thought we should throw in the stereotypical (and always funny) "big dog in tiny bed" photo.  Tito barely fits in this dog bed, let alone Shadowfax, who is twice the size of Tito.