Why would a successful San Diego dentist pull up practice stakes and relocate to Idaho to become an alpaca farmer? Who knew large practice burnout could so easily become barn duty with benefits.
I grew up in Southern California, attended UCLA, and then the USC School of Dentistry. A USC Trojan at heart, I opened a general dentistry practice in North San Diego County and enjoyed all the benefits this career has to offer. My team grew the practice into a large office with an in-house oral surgeon, and endodontist, two additional General Dentists, and a staff of 25.Our personal lives were fast-paced and very busy. We seemed to have it all, but at what price? Sound familiar?
My wife, Lisa – an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant, and I realized we had burned out on the Southern California lifestyle and dense population in the area. Having always enjoyed the mountains, we decided to make a lifestyle change and move to a smaller mountain community. We made up a wish list for our new home and began scouring the Internet. Our search focused on the Pacific Northwest. In the beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho area, we found a property that ticked off more boxes on our wish list than any other. This one had 20 acres, a year-round creek, gorgeous forests, spectacular mountain views, and a beautiful home on the property. It also just happened to be a former alpaca ranch.
"Century 21 Riverstone helped our family find a beautiful ranch that checked off ALL of our boxes in Sandpoint, Idaho. They saved us time and money."
Dr. Tom and Lisa Davies
Had we intended to become alpaca ranchers? No. However, Lisa has always been an animal lover, so we purchased two alpacas from the sellers of our property to add a new breed to our two Chihuahuas, one Newfoundland, and one Himalayan cat.
Though we had sold our practice in San Diego, I was not quite ready to retire from dentistry. Fortunately, there was a dentist in Sandpoint who was retiring to Texas. He had a small practice in town, which we purchased. Thus, we went from a huge office to what I affectionately call, the “Shire”- 900 square feet! I’m the dentist, my wife is the assistant, and my mother-in-law (who lives with us) handles the front desk. With our overwhelming growth to our dental office we have added new dental staff.
Having been very blessed in our dental careers, we wanted to give something back. So we set lower fees for the community, and decided to be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to accommodate those needing appointments outside the normal work week. For us, this also means a four-day “weekend”. This approach has brought us patients all the way from Washington and Montana! We’ve decided we must be the only office in the Northwest who offers these hours of business. Tom Davies, D.D.S., PLLC is located at: 103 W. Superior, Sandpoint, ID. Please call us at (208)263-8514
Advantages of Raising Alpacas
Back to alpacas…We decided to treat this endeavor as a business, one we could operate simultaneously with a small dental practice without sacrificing our new lifestyle. With the intent to maintain a small herd perspective on raising world class genetics, we purchased a few more animals with champion bloodlines and began building a small herd.
In the process of learning about the business, going to alpaca shows and attending seminars, we discovered there are many tax advantages to raising alpacas. The tax code contains several opportunities for deductions that apply to alpaca ranching. For instance, Section 179 of the Tax Code allows for deductions for capital assets as soon as alpacas are purchased. As an investment, owning alpacas has these additional advantages:
These tax advantages, along with the sheer joy of raising alpacas, have led us to a rewarding lifestyle that easily combines a part-time dental career with the alpaca business. Lisa has gone from city living to country girl in no time. We sip our morning coffee on the deck surrounded by alpacas, mountains, and quaking aspens next to Lake Pend Oreille.
Our commute is to the barn to feed the alpacas or to the dental office in town on country roads with no traffic. We enjoy our time together now as a family, hiking with our daughters, living on our ranch and traveling. We are part of a friendly community of alpaca breeders whom we see at local and national shows and events. The lifestyle is a blessing, and we don’t ever look back!
We welcome guests to visit our ranch, learn about our alpacas, and experience all this lifestyle and area have to offer. If you are a skier, nearby Schweitzer is one of Sunset Magazine’s favorite winter destinations. Summer visitors can attend the Festival at Sandpoint, featuring celebrity performers and fireworks over the lake serenaded by the Spokane Symphony. When you visit us, don’t be surprised if you end up with a shovel in your hand. You’ll find chores on an alpaca ranch a completely different drill.
See www.jcreekranch.com for more information. To visit J Creek Ranch, contact Dr. Tom Davies or Lisa Davies, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-920-9062.
How much land do alpacas require?
Alpacas can be raised on small acreage. Because of their relatively small size and calm dispositions, six to eight alpacas can be easily managed on an acre. With padded feet and a grazing habit gentle on the land, alpacas require only grass pasture, hay, and water.
At J CREEK RANCH , LLC you receive:
Call TODAY and schedule your private ranch tour. (208) 920-9062
Dr. Tom and Lisa Davies
3688 Wrenco Loop Rd. Sandpoint , ID, 83864
www.jcreekranch.com * email@example.com