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.





Saturday, October 7, 2017

Head in the Plants

Some have their head in the clouds. Shadowfax? She has her head in the plants.
Shadowfax says "Nap hard or go home... and then have a nap when you get home."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Quarterly Tito Update

Whilst there was great interest in the pictures of our new homestead in Boise, Idaho, there's still a near constant clamoring for the red meat of the Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes blog, updates on Tito.
Our recent stories about his 17th Birthday and looking scraggly while losing his winter coat were among our better received posts of late. Tito is still doing well, incredibly well in fact for a 17 year old dog. We've had to work through his medications to get the right dosage, enough so that his rate of his congestive heart failure is slowed (it's not going to get better) as much as possible, while giving him a good quality of life.

For Tito, a good quality of life means food. Initially one of his meds killed his appetite and after conferring with his awesome vet, we decided to cut back the dosage and accept slightly less efficacy for improved quality of life. His appetite returned, though he now gets ground beef and rice mixed in with his kibble. For the record, John doesn't get ground beef and rice with his kibble. Ever.
Our warm weather broke last week and we enjoyed cool temperatures and rain showers for almost the entire week. It was glorious. We celebrated the return of cool weather by breaking back out the warming bed inserts for the pups. More info from previous posts about the warming beds here. If you have older pups that have trouble getting up, suffer from arthritis, or would just appreciate a warming bed insert, we highly recommend these. It wouldn't be Fall (or Winter and Spring) without a plethora of heated dog beds.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New House Pictures from Boise, Idaho

Finally. Finally a few pictures our new house in Boise, Idaho. We've appreciated your patience, and some photos and background story are probably long overdue for all of our loyal readers. It's been a busy summer moving and getting Alycia settled into her new office/lab at her new job.
We tried to find a house that was as old or older than our 1918 American Four Square style house in Grand Forks, ND, but the best we could manage was our 1925 built little bungalow. We're in the Boise Bench (specifically the Depot Bench) area of town, just South of downtown and Boise State University.
The house is actually smaller than our old house, but feels larger. Perhaps that's because the square footage is spread over 2 floors (a main floor and basement), instead of three in North Dakota.
 
These are pretty grand looking photos, that's because they're the pictures from the real estate listing, so they're truly showing the best side of the house. We'll have more pictures of the garden and other areas in the weeks and months to come.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fun New Dog Toy

We'll get around to posting pictures of our new homestead and garden here in Boise, Idaho eventually. For now, pictures of Shadowfax and her new dog toy will have to suffice.
You're not seeing things, that's a ball covered in unicorns farting rainbows. Alycia was at our local independent pet store and had to buy this. I applauded this. If you want one for yourself, you can find the Amazon link here.
Shadowfax really enjoyed her new ball, but wound up pooping herself out and then taking a nap in the most awkward position possible. As we've learned over the years, too much fun can take a toll. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lazy Sunny Afternoon

Sometimes pictures just speak for themselves. 
 And a day wouldn't be complete without a kiss or two.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Scraggly Tito Picture

As I mentioned in his Birthday post, Tito is shedding in droves and it looks pretty funny. 
The picture may be a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea, it looks like he's got a furry cape on. The hair literally falls off  him as he walks around, like a boat throwing off a wake of white hair. On the bright side, the sleek Tito coat underneath makes him look quite svelte.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tito's 17th Birthday

It's Tito's birthday this July! We can't be exactly sure what day, or even what month he was actually born though. As a thrice returned to the pound deaf mutt with questionable parentage, Alycia had to simply take July as the most likely month he was born and treat that as his birthday month.

Tito is 17 years old this year. Seriously. I'll repeat that since it wobbles the mind to even write it. Tito is 17 years old. Tito has been with Alycia for 16 years and (aside from Alycia) is my longest tenured non-family live in companion. He looks and acts dang good for 17. Except for a few health issues and some occasional quivering/shaking in his back legs, he's about as healthy as can be expected at this age. 

We wrote back in March about Tito's health issues, a seizure and subsequent numerous vet visits. Between his age and health issues I was afraid that a big change in his environment (moving houses) would hasten his demise. In fact the opposite has happened and Tito seems downright reinvigorated. I don't know if it's dry air, the altitude, or the sweet new backyard, but he's improved noticeably. He's still on his medication for the congestive heart failure and he still has an occasional hacking cough, but he tries to play with me, Alycia, or the other pups nearly every day and he's been going on our short afternoon walks a few times a week, even though it's 90+ degrees outside.
Aside from his birthday, Tito's other overpowering characteristic is his shedding. It's hard to tell from the picture above, but Tito is shedding like a crazy. Chunks of his undercoat are coming out and he looks even more bedraggled than normal. Even though he's deaf and has obviously lost some vision, he somehow still knows when the camera is out and this is the best picture we could get.

Tito is probably part Corgi, a breed known for shedding. Every summer he usually sheds a reasonable amount and loses some of his undercoat, but this summer has set a new standard. There are huge Tito hairballs everywhere. Swept up one day, they magically reappear the next. They aren't so much hairballs as hairboulders. Shaak Ti and Shadowfax shed as well, but nothing in comparison to Tito. Plus the other dogs will actually let us pet them and when we're outside we give them both thorough massages to get the loose fur out.
Tito being Tito though, he won't let us brush him. We have (or had) dog brushes galore, and I think even one of those Furminators somewhere, but we can't use any of them. If he just gave us 2 minutes to brush him he'd probably be much more comfortable. But we're left to try to occasionally sneak up and grab handfuls of loose undercoat. As you can imagine, he's not too fond of this technique. The picture above is one such "Tito-grab" worth of fur.
Tito looks so bedraggled and scraggly that he reminds me of these bighorn sheep that we saw a few years ago in Glacier National Park (more pictures from this old posting). It was early June and the sheep were losing their winter coast and looked very scraggly. They were bickering over something tasty that was left in the campsite fire pit, an activity that Tito would likely have been proud of.

So the next chance you get, please wish Tito a happy birthday, after all he's 17 years old. Celebrate in true Tito style: snarl viciously and unexpectedly at a loved one, snap at a stranger, urinate on something you probably ought not to, or eat way too much meat in a single sitting. Tito salutes your efforts.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shadowfax Demands Attention

At some point in the afternoon (every afternoon), Shadowfax begins to stir from her sunbeam slumberings. She'll usually explore the backyard, patrol around the grounds, and maybe bark at some squirrels for a bit. Ultimately though she will get bored and demand more personalized attention.
Typically I'm sitting in my chair, getting some work accomplished when she'll plop her big ole pittie noggin on the footrest. This is her "Ummm...yeah, so I'm bored and want some attention now" face.
"Hold on just a second, was that a squirrel?!?!?" These are also great photos that capture Tito and Shaak Ti in the background. More on Tito in future posts, but he's about to celebrate a big birthday. 
Meanwhile, Shaak Ti sleeps through it all. Today she had a big morning of chasing squirrels and barking vociferously at them. In her defense, the squirrels have seemed to recognize that the dogs cannot climb trees and are not threat from a branch that is 8 to 10 feet off the ground. The squirrels now just sit there, taunting our poor pups. Not cool.