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Archive for October, 2016

Well, we have have moved from Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho. Boise is the state capitol of Idaho and as the seat of state government, much of the activity and architecture revolves around that feature. At the center of downtown Boise, sits a majestic capitol building.

Idaho Capitol, Boise

Idaho Capitol, Boise

And just a few blocks to the east, is another delightful feature of this capitol city, a dog park with a pond that is full of ducks at this time of year.

a few city blocks to the east sits a great dog pond

a few city blocks to the east sits a great dog pond

Where else is it possible to train a retriever on the water just a few thousand feet from where politicians are hashing out the details of what it is they do?

Carlin and Tooey at sunrise

Carlin and Tooey at sunrise

Those are not lame ducks flying away from the capitol or the IWS.

Those are not lame ducks flying away from the capitol or the IWS.

And surrounding the pond are the usual ground critters that have to be found.

Ms Tooey up to her elbows while crittering

Ms Tooey up to her elbows while crittering

Then, back at the ranch, Tooey and Carlin confirm that yes, there are squirrels in the new back yard.

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And in the neighbor’s back yard, too.

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When I first arrived in Boise, I went out to find the local leash-free dog parks. I was very disappointed to learn that the city leash-free parks prohibit intact male dogs, so I went off to look for other alternatives.

Turns out that there is a large park called the Military Reserve that has a off-leash area and many off-leash trails. But when I arrived in the parking lot, two very friendly dog owners warned me about goat heads.

It’s a plant, apparently, with thorns that can push deep indents and even holes in shoes and dog feet. One of the dog owners showed me the bottom of her boots so I could see how deep the thorns go. Yikes!

We looked around at the reserve to see if we could see a sample of the actual plant, but I didn’t actually see one until I visited a friend’s house yesterday and found one growing in his back yard.

It’s a low growing plant that has seed pods with pairs I’d 1/8″ inch thorns.

You can see a green seed pod in the lower right quadrant of the photo below, just under the long brown tree seed.

The green ones are reportedly softer and not quite so painful. But here’s a dried one I just pulled out of my shoe.


So now, on top of the ticks I already knew about, and the cheat grass that I haven’t seen yet, now I have to worry about goat heads.

It looks like I’m going to have to clip my dogs even shorter than I thought, just so that I can examine them closely for all these small, but not insignificant, complications.

So far, I think Boise is beautiful. But it doesn’t offer the tick-, cheat grass-, goat head-free luxury I left behind in NW Oregon.

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I have disappeared. Or at least, that must be what the dogs think. I’ve been gone for more than a week, the whole house is in an uproar of boxes, missing furniture, unusual activity, and barely enough attention from Russ to keep them fed and taken to the park. Plus, I hear it’s been raining a lot in Portland, and with the house needing to stay relatively clean so it can be sold, the dogs can’t run freely in and out. 

Everything is just so wrong. So I guess the dogs are thinking that safest thing to do is stay on or near Russ at all times. Kind of cute, but it does make it hard to pack. 

Soon. Soon we’ll all be together again. And everything will be okay. Really. I promise. 

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