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.





Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

We had a cool and rainy stretch over the last week. Early one morning I stood on the back patio, with a hot cup of coffee in my hand.
The cool and damp night had soaked the wooden backyard fence and the warm morning sun made individual rivulets of mist rise off each fence slat. I stood in stillness and watched the quiet morning scene.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, take the time to stop and savor the small scenes of beauty that the world sets just for you. It may just be a damp fence post drying in the sun, but it can be a special moment in time worthy of being thankful for. Hug your loved ones, snuggle those animals, and have another piece of pie.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday Morning Snuggling Seminar

Professor Snuggles hosts her Sunday morning upper division snuggling seminar. Class is invitation only.
Class is generally quiet, surely they're busy taking mental notes of the lecture.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Deaf Dog Playtime

We haven't posted a video in quite some time, and it's possible that you'll watch this blurry video and think "thank goodness".

With Alycia out of town at a conference, the girls had some extra playtime energy to burn off. Oddly, when both of us are here, they rarely play. And when I'm out of town they don't play together, it's only when Alycia is gone.

You'll notice a few things:

- Tito is not involved. He wants no part of this at all.
- My poor Birkenstock sandal somehow got dragged into the fray. I'm not sure what he did to deserve this treatment.
- At the 0:41 mark, Shadowfax attempts the butt whiparound maneuver, which Shaak Ti slips like a pro boxer. It's a good thing too, Shadowfaxs' butt is large and powerful. If that had landed we would have had to stop the action and put Shaak Ti through the concussion protocol.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Shadowfax Napping

Shadowfax was napping this afternoon, as usual.
She may have been completely asleep, but her ears weren't.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Silver Maple Tree Removal

We moved into our new house over the Summer sight unseen. Due to a number of factors we had to make do with video conferencing with our realtor, still photos and other technological means of looking at the house.
One thing that we would have noted, but probably wouldn't have precluded us from buying the house was a large tree on south facing area of front lawn that was noticeably struggling. You can see in the picture above that even in late-Summer it was only about 25% leafed out. These pictures don't do it justice, this was a big tree.

We had multiple arborists come out and look at the tree and their assessment was unanimous, it should be removed. The tree is a silver maple (Acer saccharinum) and we learned that these were a popular tree decades ago and since have fallen out of favor, with some cities actually banning them from being planted.
The City of Boise website, "Species Prohibited on the Right of Way" section actually had this to say about silver maples:
This Class III species has weak wood that is prone to extensive decay creating an extreme public hazard.  The species may appear viable despite the hazardous condition. Silver maple also have shallow, aggressive roots that are more likely to damage sidewalk and curb than many other allowed species.  Species grows quickly to 70+ feet tall and wide.  Silver maple is more prone to storm damage than any species growing in Boise.
We can attest to this assessment. In the few months since we moved in the tree dropped several decent sized branches. In my experience, it's better to remove a tree on your terms rather than the trees' terms. Better to have it removed now than have something happen in the middle of the night or during a fierce rain/wind/snow event. Still, it's always a bit sad to remove a big ole' tree.

As you can see above, this left a large empty space in the front yard. This will allow a lot more sunlight into the front yard until we decide what we want to do with this space.
The folks that removed the tree needed numerous pieces of heavy equipment - a bucket truck, a crane, a chipper/dump truck, and finally a stump grinder. It took the better part of the day, but in the end all that was left was a ground out stump hole in the lawn where the tree used to be.
The tree removal crew ran all the branches, and some of the logs, through a chipper and had a dump truckload of wood chips at the end of the project. I asked to keep the wood chip mulch, so they dumped it in our driveway. I'm never one to pass up free mulch and this isn't the first time we've had dump trucks of dirt or mulch dumped in the yard. It's not the same as having a free mulch yard right down the street like I had in North Dakota, but we'll make do.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Shaak Ti Post Anesthesia

Shaak Ti had her teeth cleaned this week. It's something that she hadn't had in several years, so it was overdue. The good news from the doggie dentist was her teeth looked pretty good and they didn't need to pull any of them. Teeth cleaning requires a general anesthesia for dogs and Shaak Ti has a history of post-anesthesia odd behavior. This time was no different. It's likely that the effects of the anesthesia made her feel strange and having her teeth cleaned probably felt a bit weird too.
This is how she looked for the rest of the afternoon and evening, tongue sticking out. This is just a still photo, so it doesn't capture the audio component, she was whining loudly and squeaking the entire evening. It became tiresome after a while. By the next morning though she was back to her old self with no ill effects.

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.