Jen Ha / Visual + UX Designer
Hoku / Age 4 / Shiba Inu
Does Hoku have a nickname? If so, how did he get it?
A lot of his nicknames start with the letter B. Aside from the typical “Boy” and “Baby,” we also call him “Ball” for the way he curls up into a ball when he sleeps…so lately it’s just been “B”!
Where do you shop for your dog (online shops, stores, etc)?
We buy almost everything from Amazon. (Honestly, how did people shop before Amazon Prime?) I also love checking out pet shops when traveling, especially internationally, and will usually pick up new toys for him wherever we go.
Are there any dog products you especially love/couldn’t live without?
On a daily basis, we can’t live without his Ezydog harness (the only harness he hasn’t been able to escape out of), Ezydog lite leash, and a simple dog brush (he sheds a lot). For hiking, we love his Surepaw Dog Gear rope leash and Gulpy water bottle.
What does being a “Dog Person” mean to you?I still don’t know if I consider myself the true definition of a “dog person,” but I am “Hoku’s person” and a lot of who I am today has been shaped by having him in my life. He’s taught me a great deal about patience and responsibility. When we first brought Hoku home at the age of 2, he was retiring from a show dog life, had no real obedience training and was extremely reactive. We wanted nothing more than for him to experience all the joys of being a real dog and were persistent with working through his issues despite all the frustrating/ tearful/ embarrassing days that made us want to throw in the towel. It took 3 months of desensitization training for him to finally be able to walk confidently around the block. For a whole year, I wrote down every single milestone in a notebook that I still look back on to remind me of how far we’ve come. And now, just couple years later, he is happily climbing mountains with us, has dog friends, travels with us around Cali (and recently flew with us all the way to New York City), likes to stick his head out the car window, and chases lizards like a pro. We couldn’t be prouder.
What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone looking to get a dog?
Having a dog isn’t always the fun, happy moments posted on Instagram. There’s a lot of hard work involved behind the scenes, like carving out time every day for walks, play and training, no matter how busy life gets. The companionship of a dog is one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences a person can have in life.
Tulum was such a treat to visit. Everyone has been calling it was the Williamsburg of Mexico, but I found it to be more like the Venice Beach (LA) of Mexico. It definitely has more of a west coast hippie vibe. The town of Tulum is still very undeveloped and authentic feeling, which we loved. The main path/road where all the boutique hotels and restaurants are located is nestled into the jungle. Most of the spas/retreat centers/little hotels face the sea. The shops on the main path are all hip and modern, but with a hippie flare. Lots of yoga and meditation-centric spots. It’s easy to see why people come here for that…on the land side you’re surrounded by jungle, and on the sea side you’re looking out at beautiful blues of the Caribbean sea. We loved how it wasn’t developed like other parts of Mexico. While we were there we walked along the path stopping into each of the little shops, walked on the beach, smelled the perfumes at Coqui Coqui, had a drink or three, and ate dinner under the stars at Casa Banana. Right now (late summer 2015), there is a seaweed overgrowth problem in the water which gives the water a brownish tint and washes seaweed onto the beach with the tide every day. I was glad we moved around while we were in Mexico, first flying into Cancun and spending time at Isla Mujeres where the water was amazingly blue and seaweed-free, then staying in Playa del Carmen, just a few miles North of Tulum, where the water wasn’t as bad.
If we had more time, I would have loved to visit some of the Mayan ruins nearby. Everyone says to go to Coba (about a 15 minutes drive southeast of Tulum), because the ruins are large and the only ones in the region you can still climb on. The Tulum ruins are smaller, but next to the ocean and supposedly beautiful as well. We were too focused on swimming and diving this trip, but…next time! I would have also liked to have had dinner at Hartwood since everyone has been raving about it, but it was closed until November. After visiting Tulum, we came back to our hotel in Playa del Carmen and enjoyed our last night there. In the morning we packed up and got on our flight back to San Francisco. Mexico was a great time and I can’t wait to go back again!
Where to drink: Gitano (Mezcal bar)
As you likely know by now, I love dogs. And today I’m happy to host a giveaway for an awesome dog person and artist (who has quite the following!), Geninne Zlatkis. Geninne creates amazing watercolor, ink and pencil drawings, as well as carves her own stamps. She even wrote a book about it! She lives a dreamy life in Santa Fe with her husband, two boys, and dog. Earlier this year she lost her sweet border collie, Turbo at just six years old. My heart (and her many, many fans hearts) broke with her. Jack is six, so it especially hit home. From one herding dog lover to another, I knew I had to reach out and befriend her and I’m glad I did! I love following along and seeing her updates from her studio. While all her art is lovely, I especially love the coyote/dog drawings and stamps she does. Recently, a new little pup started popping up in her photos…a heeler puppy they adopted from their local shelter. They named him Zorro because he looks like a fox. So sweet!
Geninne was kind enough to offer two prints to one lucky Wildlandia reader! A coyote print + bird watercolor. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section, or on our Instagram and I’ll choose a winner later this week. For more of Geninne’s art, you can visit her online shop, here. And for more of Zorro, you can follow along on Instagram. Good luck and thanks Geninne!
HOW’S IT GOING?
Is it hot as bananas where you are like it is here in the Bay area? Everyone is getting excited for Fall meanwhile I’m marinating in my own forehead sweat. Yesterday it was 90 degrees! Where’s the AC when you need it? No one has that here. Anyway, what are you guys up to this weekend? There’s this place down the street that has THE BEST chicken wings, but only on the weekends and last weekend they were a no-show so I’m pretty dang happy about ordering a ten-er of those this weekend. Other than that, we’re keeping things pretty low-key. The dogs picked up bordetella during their stay at Pet Camp last week, despite having the vaccination for it. It’s a nasty, highly contagious respiratory infection. They are on antibiotics and can’t go to public places at the moment. Jack crawled up next to me last night and watched dog youtube videos with me on my phone. He stared at it so intently. I imagine we’ll be doing some more of that while they are on the mend. Poor buddies.
Here are some fun things I found on the internet this week. Have a rad weekend!
This hipster barbie Instagram account is hilarious
A pretty chair
Couple tells how they met in Drunk History style
Private part rugs
This has been on repeat in our house lately
So sweet! The last living 9/11 search dog is honored with birthday celebration
We had so many pina coladas in Mexico and this recipe looks delicious
A cool cloud art installation in London
Above photo via A Restless Transplant.
Last week we traveled to Mexico for one last summer jaunt before fall hits and our schedules ramp up. We took the red-eye flight from San Francisco to Cancun, then rented a car and spent 5 days exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. It was the best time. The people, the pace of life, the food…we just loved it all. After landing bleary eyed, we skipped the bright lights and touristy parts of Cancun and went to Isla Mujeres instead, a relaxed little island just off Cancun. The water was the most beautiful blue. We swam around and had coronas and ate fresh ceviche. My favorite part was when we took a boat out to go free-diving with the docile, plankton eating whale sharks. It was amazing to see about 50 or so of these massive animals up close. Our captain took us about an hour off-shore in deep blue waters until we saw fins. Trey and I would sit on the edge of the rocking boat and when our captain gave us the signal to jump, we’d jump into the water and dive down to them. Swimming along with them was like swimming with dinosaurs. They grow up to 40 feet long and are just mammoths! When I was a grad student at Scripps (UCSD), there was a whale shark embryo specimen in our fish lab. It was about a foot long. To see the adult version that was 40x larger was just too rad. We were exhausted after that and took naps in the shade at the hotel pool when we got back. The next morning we packed up and headed south to Playa del Carmen…photos from that leg of our trip coming soon!
“He carries the paper for me every morning. He’s a good old boy”.
“The big dog? Oh, he’s the neighbor’s. I know this because they always come looking for him”.
“His name is Jack and his ears are like big steaks”.
“BELLA! HER NAME IS BELLA” -guy working on the roof next door
There was a sign at the dock where we left from that had a photo of a golden retriever who had recently passed away. This was their new dock dog in training.
“This is mama, and here is her baby. People think she’s mean but she’s very nice”.
I didn’t set out looking for dogs in Mexico. They just kept popping up on the streets, or on old dirt roads, at bus stops and beside docks. I loved making conversation with the owners, giving me a great excuse to use those 3 years of Spanish I took in college to ask the very important question “Es este tu perro? (is this your dog) ?”. I couldn’t always understand what they were saying, or them me, but we had one thing in common: a mutual love for dogs. Which is just about the best thing ever in my book.
We’re off to celebrate Trey’s 29th birthday in Mexico. Yesterday evening while Trey was running an errand he accidentally pocket-dialed me and it was the funniest thing. Coldplay was on the radio in the car and I swear he nailed every note. Normally I would just hang up, but I couldn’t resist listening in on his awesome Chris Martin rendition. When he got to the store he discovered he had accidentally dialed me and asked coyly “how much of that did you hear??”, and I told him through muffled bouts of laughter “all of it”. And now I’m sharing it on the blog. I’ll wait with baited breath to see how he’s going to get me back for this one. Happy birthday babe!
Here are some links around the web I found interesting this week. Hope you have a rad weekend!
Can’t put this book down lately
To smile or not to smile
Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence are writing a screenplay together
Don’t like any of the 2016 presidential candidates? Perhaps you’d like Deez Nuts
Music for your weekend
Above photo found here.