It's not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

ForPaws Helps Corgis and Corgi Mixes

Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kayla's Not-So-Excellent Adventure!

After following Kayla's trail, via Google Maps, for the last five days, I am convinced that Kayla is clearly a dog with some "extra lives." She used more than one during this adventure.

She traveled somewhere between 6-8 miles, crossed a major highway multiple times, often in the dark of night. At a point she entered a 400-acre area of dense forest - so dense you'd need a machete to get through. That forest was inhabited by all manner of animals that might have made a nice meal of her, including a female bear, with two cubs!

Only AFTER traveling through the forest, crossing the highway, visiting multiple residences, where she was sighted, but spooked and ran when she saw people, running along the beachfront for about a mile in what appears to have been record time, did she make a wrong turn and enter the Hood Canal Bridge - a HUGE bridge, about half a mile in length, with tons of cars.

Evidently, she had at least twenty cars all stopped on the bridge, before some people got out of their car and managed to catch her. That nice couple then turned around, brought her back across the bridge, then quite a distance, to a local PetCo store. It was about 9-10PM at night when she was found on the bridge.

If you've ever wondered just how far a loose dog can travel, and what sort of terrain they can handle, just check out the satellite images below, showing Kayla's path!

This will orient you to the area. Kayla's home is in Poulsbo, WA. See the "B" marker on the map. She traveled northeast, up through the "Forest," crossing Hwy 104 to the "Beachfront." At that point she doubled back multiple times and was seen numerous times by area residents, who were unable to catch her. This meant she crossed Hwy 104 many times, often at night in the dark!

Here's the highway route, showing how far Kayla traveled more graphically. She appeared to have followed the highway path for some distance, before diverging into the forest area. Point "B" is Salisbury Point Park, a park on the beachfront where she was seen last night, not long before she was found. Distance from home to the park is about 2.6 miles.

click on image to enlarge
(sorry, due to some bug of Blogger, not all of the photos will enlarge)

This shows Kayla's path of travel, after she traveled about two miles northeast, and was closer to the beachfront. She entered the dense forest, at #1. the end of Salisbury Hill Place. She was seen multiple times by residents on this street. She then traveled deeper into the forest in a counterclockwise direction.

Here is a closer look at the forest, just to the northeast of Salisbury Hill Place. These are the houses you see near the end of the street on the map above. This is where Kayla entered the forest. This huge forest is old logging territory, and is impassable to a person without a machete. One of the search volunteers actually did make an attempt to trek in with one of her dogs, in spite of the fact that they were told there was a cranky mama bear with cubs in the area!

Kayla then moved north, to #2, where she crossed the highway, ending up at the beach. She doubled back across the highway and back into the woods multiple times, then started to head west again along the beachfront.

On Monday and Tuesday she was seen by residents along the beachfront area #3, but none could get close enough to catch her. On Tuesday night she was seen around Salisbury Point Park and area residences #4. She was obviously getting really hungry, as she was coming up on porches by this time. Evidently she ran about a mile along the beach, stopping at the entrance to Hood Canal Bridge #5.

This close up shows the highway entrance to the Hood Canal Bridge. You can see that it is a major highway, always full of cars! We think that Kayla was on the beach and came up the bank and onto the highway.

Clearly the stars were aligned in Kayla's favor, as she managed to literally stop traffic on the bridge long enough for some incredibly kind folks to whisk her into their car. They returned to Kayla's side of the bridge, taking her to a local PetCo store, where the clerks recognized her from the poster that Kayla's mom had left over the past weekend.

Kayla was out for five days. Fortunately there was some rain and she was able to find some sources of water. But much longer and dehydration and lack of food would have started to take its toll. Had she begun to get weak, she'd have been likely to hole up and make a den. Once this happens, the dog moves around a lot less and sightings are unlikely. There must have been at least one guardian angel watching over this girl!

The rescue person in me just has to remind anyone who does not have a dog wearing an identification tag...please put one on. Dogs are still more quickly reunited with their owners by the ID tag than any other means! A microchip is certainly good, and recommended. But a loose dog generally starts to travel at night, and sleep during the day. This means, they're usually spotted in the evening hours when places with scanners are often closed.

Welcome Home Kayla!
We're SO glad you're back!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Wonderful of this evening, Kayla was found and is now home safely with her owner!

She had traveled about 5 miles from home, hit the beachfront and could go no further. She doubled back toward her home, but instead of continuing toward it, chose to start crossing over the Hood Canal Bridge...yikes...scary! She had about twenty cars all stopped on the bridge before she was safely picked up. Obviously it was not her time! Kayla definitely had a guardian angel looking out after her tonight!

Fortunately, a couple picked her up on the bridge and took her to a nearby PetCo store. Thankfully, Kayla's owner had thought to put a poster up at the store and they called her.

Speaking for myself, and all the others that know and love Kayla...I am SO relieved and happy to hear that she is home.

Also...MANY MANY thanks go to Kayla's owner, Liz, who has spent all of her time since Kayla's disappearance, looking for her, as well as some wonderful local people who really chipped in and put forth an amazing amount of time and effort to help search!

Congratulations to you all. Kayla is home, she is hungry, thirsty, but not injured in any way. She is a VERY LUCKY girl!

Happy Homecoming Kayla!
Remember, we all love you!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kayla - Lost Cardigan Female in Poulsbo, Washington - UPDATED 9/29/09

This pretty girl, Kayla, was bred by the same breeders that gave us Denali and Sage. She got out of her owner's yard on Friday, 9/25/09 when the gate was accidentally left ajar. She lives in Poulsbo, WA.

Scroll down for a complete description of Kayla and contact information for her owner.

UPDATE: 9/29/09

Kayla's home is on Dozer Lane, just off of Hwy. 3 and Scenic Dr., two miles south of Hood Canal Bridge in Poulsbo, WA. It appears that Kayla has traveled several miles northeast and may now be establishing a territory.

She was last seen on Monday evening (9/28/09) by a resident located northeast of Salisbury Hill Place NE*, Poulsbo, WA. This is several miles northeast of her home, just to the east of Hood Canal Bridge. This is the second time Kayla has been seen in this area.

*Note: This street doesn't show come up on Google Maps, but if you Google "Salisbury Point Park, Poulsbo, WA" on Google Maps, you'll see Salisbury Hill Place NE, where Kayla is thought to be, southeast of the park and just across Hwy 104.

Here's a map, showing the location of the last sighting, and anticipated movement, if she continues on the path she's been traveling:

click image to enlarge

More info. below!
(scroll down)

CH C-Myste Kahlua 'n Cream (Kayla)

Kayla accidentally got out of her owner's yard in Poulsbo, Washington – (Puget Sound area, north of Bremerton). She does have an AVID microchip.

Anyone with information on this dog should immediately call her owner:

360-271-6622 (cell), or 360-697-1885 (home)

You may also e-mail:


Call name: Kayla
Breed: purebred Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Gender: Female - spayed
Age: Approximately 4-1/2 years
Coloring: Dark brown brindle** with white markings on her face, chest and legs
(**Note: Her dark brindle might appear to be black in heavily shaded areas.)
Weight: 32-34 pounds
Microchip: Kayla has an AVID microchip, registered to her owner and breeder.

Special note: Kayla had a litter of puppies about three months ago. She had a c-section, so her belly was shaved. She may be blowing coat now.

More pictures and information about Kayla can be seen here, on her breeder's blog.

Very important - if you see this dog do not chase her. She is friendly, but reserved. It is best to kneel down and call her. If you see her, but are unable to get her to come to you, please call the owner and report the location of the sighting at once! Timing is critical. If you're able to lure her, using food, to a contained area, that would be the best thing. If she can be contained in a gated area, a garage, etc. then her owner can be contacted to come and get her. Anyone in the area that might be able to help look for Kayla, your help is appreciated!


Help is really needed, as Kayla has entered a heavily forested area, located a few miles northeast of her home. Finding a dog in this terrain requires people who are willing to help search on foot. If you're willing to help, please e-mail: Please include your name and telephone number.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Elbee - the Penultimate CGC!

Our little Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Elbee, was never supposed to stay with us. A shy, skittish little rescue dog, she confronted a serious illness and a serious injury, looked Death in the eye and fought back - twice in her first year of life!

Elbee arrived via airplane on her first birthday. It was a gray, rainy day. She was extraordinarily small, meek, and still weak from a serious case of generalized demodectic mange, and a deep tissue infection under her eye. Later I would find that she had a staph infection, as well as an aerobic bacterial infection in this eye wound, sustained in an attack from another dog. Ultimately, it would require surgery to remove the infected tissue and we'd learn that her tear duct was permanently damaged, resulting in an eye that gets zero lubrication and has required special care for the duration of her life. She's weathered all of this, without complaint, without hesitation. She's nearly lost the eye about three times. Each time, she fights back!

Upon arrival, she weighed just twelve (12) pounds. She was thin, trembling and wouldn't come out of the crate, or even meet my eyes, when I opened the door. Fear was her middle name. She was supposed to go to someone else, but that was before I saw how much rehabilitation she required. When I saw her condition, I knew she wasn't ready/healthy enough for a new home...yet.

So, she stayed with us. The eye wound was much more serious than it initially appeared. It was deep and took many months to find the right combination of antibiotics to fight the dual infections. Every day I examined the tissue with a magnifying glass, noting the smallest change. The teeniest speck of infection still apparent meant that the drug combination still wasn't right. It was a battle, not only to save the eye, but to keep the infection from traveling down the optic nerve to her brain.

Together we worked - hard - to regain Elbee's health. And in the nine months that it took, we worked on her emotional health too. She learned to trust me, but no one else could pet her for the first three months. She wouldn't approach anyone else for the first six months. The first year of life hadn't been kind to Elbee, on a number of levels. When she came to me, she'd never had "her person." At the end of nine months, she was healthy...and we had a bond that couldn't be broken.

Elbee was called "Roadie" originally. It really didn't fit, but I didn't want to name her, as she wasn't going to be my dog. So I found myself just calling her "little bit" as an affectionate nickname. She never got bigger than 16 pounds, so the name stuck and it is her registered name now. "Little Bit," shortened to L.B. (Elbee).

Ultimately, it took three years for Elbee to develop her confidence and become the sweet, social little corgi she was meant to be. Now she is 11 years old. She will be 12 in January. She has always been incredibly sweet, a dog I could take absolutely anywhere. Everyone she meets sees her sweetness, her affectionate, funny little smile.

More than once I've had to keep an eye on her, as I knew someone else would take her home if I didn't watch closely. She has helped numerous young children overcome their fear of dogs with her calm, affectionate approach. But, don't underestimate her just because she's small. This Pembroke Princess has developed every bit of the attitude that we've come to expect of the female corgi. It is "all about me!"

Elbee learned some basic obedience when she was young, but I've never really spent much time training her past that. She has watched carefully while all of the other dogs received their training. Little did I know just how closely she's been watching!

This evening I had Sage registered to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. I knew he wasn't ready to pass, as he is still too exhuberant when meeting new dogs, but thought I'd see how he could do. At the 11th hour, I decided to take Elbee too. She's the best Canine Good Citizen I've ever known!

When we arrived, I saw that this test was set up as stations. This meant that there were multiple dogs on the course at any given time...not a good setup for Sage! In the end, I wasn't able to test him. He just couldn't calm down enough to share the circuit with so many other dogs and not engage them.

But first up, Elbee. Naturally, she'd asked to go first during our ride to the park. I brought her to registration. She immediately smiled, made her cute squeaky noises at everyone and was convinced that our sole purpose was for her to be admired by as many people as possible. She passed through each station, executing all of the CGC requirements with ease. Every examiner remarked as to what a sweet little dog she is. Elbee didn't know she was taking a test, she thought we were just there to visit.

When it came time to do an informal healing exercise, I wondered how it would work. I've never trained Elbee to heal, but she will walk with me. We started out and she walked next to me nicely, not a perfect healing position, but good enough. When it came time to "halt," she stopped, then looked up at me, "Is this the part where I'm supposed to sit?" I nodded slightly and she plunked her little bunny butt down and smiled! OK, I've never taught her that move. But then, I never taught her to communicate with me using her facial expressions, but she does.

So, from a sticky start, this little 16 pound Pembroke has shown a heart as big as that of a rottweiler, and a personality that is every bit as tenacious. She has never given up. She has always made me smile. And today, she made me very proud!

Here's to you Elbee! Congratulations sweet girl!
You truly exemplify what every Canine Good Citizen should be!
Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bark in the Park

One of the most popular annual events for dogs, Bark in the Park draws hundreds of dogs to William Street Park in San Jose, CA each year!

This year we took Elbee and Sage. Elbee found another one of "me," which always seems to please her. This gorgeous fellow, Benny, was a simply stunning Pembroke, complete with full tail. He came from Australia, where they don't dock the tails. Seems like the right idea to me! Being a "normal" sized corgi, Benny towered over teeny Elbee, but he knew she was the girl in charge!

Benny was as sweet as he was handsome!

It was a little warm, so lots of dog tongues were on display.

But it was Sage who got most of the attention. People were mystified as to what kind of a dog he might be and so many people wanted to pet him. This little girl, in particular, just couldn't take her eyes off him. She asked all kinds of questions and was just fascinated by "how pretty" he is.

Sage just soaked up all the attention, quite delighted with the adoration!

It is a real pleasure to have such a sweet, affectionate little dog. He greets everyone with enthusiasm, showing no hesitation. Sage just loves people, and is really good with little kids (thanks to Isabel's excellent socialization).

This little boy got a kiss too, and seemed quite pleased to be added to the long list of Sage's new friends at the park. Sage greeted plenty of other dogs too, and had a little play session with a female border collie puppy, of similar age.

There were all kinds of doggie products, services, and demonstrations of agility, frisbee and flyball. Moe took these, and other photos. They can all be seen here.

Gotta hand it to Bark in the Park!
It's a great day to be a dog!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things that go Bump on the Stairs

This morning I was sitting at the computer when I heard an odd "clunk" on the stairs. Investigation yielded this scene.

Evidently Sage was attempting to climb over Denali, asleep on the step. But seeing as he doesn't really know where his back legs are, he missed the step and is now sort of...well, stuck. It is hard to tell from this angle, but his left leg is actually back behind him, frog dog style, resting on Denali's back, while his tail drapes artistically over her neck.

In an attempt to act casual, he started licking the carpet. Sure, that will divert my attention.

Seeing as I didn't go away, and am still taking pictures, he continues to act like this position was part of his plan.

Only when Denali decides she's had enough, and moves away, is Sage's leg free to use for support once more. Sigh...he is the sweetest, most adorable puppy ever, but he definitely does NOT have a career on Dancing with the Stars in his future!