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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Six Words - Times Three

For Denali, Sage & Elbee

You are everything a dog should be!


The Best Dogs in the world!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fred - A Great Picture!

Taking truly good photos of dogs is never easy. Some of you are incredibly talented in that department. For the most part, I take photos to document the dogs that come to ForPaws Corgi Rescue, so they can find good homes, and of my own dogs - just for fun.

Today, one of the people who fosters dogs for ForPaws sent me this photo of a new rescue dog, "Fred." It's incredible! She will definitely be submitting it for calendar consideration! Isn't it great!

Fred - a.k.a. Mr. Personality
Photo Credit: Kathy DuVall

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rally Today-Denali Won Money!

In a field of over fifteen dogs, Denali earned herself a second place finish and her second leg in the Advanced Class of today's Rally competition.

On yesterday's course she was presented with a high jump, with which we've never trained. The solid "wall" took her by surprise, causing her to shy from the jump. Today's course took us back to the familiar bar jump, which is a rock-solid exercise for her. As if to compensate for yesterday, Denali sailed over the jump, landing about eight feet past me, almost to the next sign on the course. I've never seen her jump so far!

As a result I had to scramble a little to get her back into heel position so we could execute the next exercise in the proper place. She came right back and recovered nicely. But that kangaroo-sized jump, and a couple of extra-wide left turns cost us 7 points, to finish with a 93.

Again, her heeling was far better than it has been, so we're figuring out what works...finally! One of my dog training club friends (thanks Elissa) was kind enough to take a photo of us with the judge, Lora, who was excellent - kept things running right on time, and was one of the most pleasant judges I've seen!

As an added bonus, today's show awarded cash prizes to the top four finishers! So, Denali paid for our parking fee for both days of this weekend's competition!

As an aside: There was also a handsome little brindle Cardi boy, "Charlie," competing in the Advanced B Class. He did beautifully, finishing with a score of 99! I actually had to ask his owner not to trot him past as Denali was showing, as I knew she'd be completely taken with him. So seldom do I see another Cardi. It was great to have a good showing for the breed in Rally today. Nice job Charlie!

But, as so often happens, one of the best moments of the day was not about the competition:

As we were warming up next to the ring, in anticipation of being next, I realized that there was a woman with what was obviously a very nice camera sitting just behind us. I also realized that she was taking photos of Denali as she looked up at me, smiling in response to my praise.

I asked the woman if she had gotten some good shots. She explained that she was practicing with the camera. It was new and she was able to get good photos outside, but indoor shots are always more challenging. She had a friend with her and the two of them were smiling at Denali. Quite emphatically, the camera owner said, "She's got such a beautiful face, and she's so alert. I'll be sure to let you know of I get any good pictures."

I was preoccupied, as we were about to show, but later I realized I hadn't gone back and asked about her pictures. No matter. Her compliment reminded me how special my beautiful girl is. Seeing how pleased Denali was with her performance, and that beautiful face smiling up at me. That's worth more than a million ribbons!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Rally Update - RN is Official!

Interesting coincidence that this arrived in today's mail.

You're officially a Rally Novice girl Denali!

Rally Update

Denali got her first leg toward her Rally Advanced title today!

No placement today in a field of 15 dogs, but her heeling was SO much better than anticipated that I am very happy with our showing! The other issues are easy fixes with a little more practice.

Headed back tomorrow to attempt leg #2!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Establishing Preferences - He's Growing Up

Naturally, my home office comes complete with dog bed. All three dogs use it. But typically Sage spends his time here, when he's not wedged between my chair legs, during the day.

As a general rule, dogs are not allowed on the furniture unless invited. The exception being the sofa in the den, where the "whole family" gathers in the evenings. Typically Denali naps there at some point each day.

But today there was a new visitor...

Suddenly, I realized that Sage was missing. Not a good thing for a chewy young dog who likes to sample anything he can find. When I went to check, I found him in Denali's usual spot, completely zonked.

Last night was our weekly obedience training class. It just started again, after the holiday break. Sage had a very stimulating evening and today he's still tired (YES!).

So tired, that it evidently merited a special napping spot. Or, is our little boy just growing up and figuring out the "finer things" in life? Either way, he is one great "puppy."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lovely Rio (Our First Cardi/Pem Mix)

Over the years ForPaws Corgi Rescue has seen a lot of different corgi mixed breeds. At a point, we assembled some photos of them all and counted. That was about five years ago, and there were over 100 different combinations.

Oddly enough, we've never had a Cardigan-Pembroke mix come to us - until now.

Meet Rio!

Without question, one of the most handsome dogs ever!

One of the sweetest dogs ever...a true velcro.

One of the smartest dogs ever; nothing gets past him.

Of course he "talks!"

Sometimes, he has that Pembroke seriousness about him. While at other times, the Cardigan Character shines through. He is a "mix," inside and out!

In all the years and all the dogs, only one has been a more solidly grounded alpha male. That was my first rescue, Bart. Like Bart, absolutely nothing phases Rio. He is completely calm, completely self-possessed with all other dogs and all people. Other dogs come within three feet of him, sniff the air and just accept that he is in charge. It is uncanny.

He is a strong-willed dog - not one for a novice owner, as he definitely tests his people to make sure they're up to the task of presiding over him in the pack. But once he's figured that out, he is yours for life and just wants to be with you. A sweeter teddy bear you won't find.

Rio is just plain smart...too smart to sit around without a challenge. Right now he's a bit overweight, but he is on a diet and exercise program, so he'll be in shape in no time.

Nonetheless, he is a big boy. His correct weight is probably about 36-38 pounds, and he has some serious bone. Once he is moving a little more easily, he'd be a great candidate for obedience or rally. He is extremely biddable, once he realizes that he is on your team.

Truly, this is a very special dog! We'll make sure he goes to a very special home!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Bond between Runners

Me (in front) on a 14-mile run in Calero Park

I've been attempting to recover from a fairly serious back injury, piriformis syndrome, for several years now, and am only just finding myself able to run regularly again. I used to run 10-15 miles each weekend without thinking twice about it. I miss that a lot.

I've missed my running friends, the camaraderie, the sense of community between runners. There are just things you talk about with fellow runners that you don't talk about with anyone else. And when you're an endurance runner, going double digit miles on a regular basis, you find that running is a completely different level of experience - you just have to do it to get it.

This evening I was out for a short run. I was in my own space, thinking about how nice it felt to be running and not feeling pain in my back. As I ran down a street, not far from my house, I heard someone say "Hi." It wasn't a strong, robust greeting, but more of a matter-of-fact statement.

I looked up just in time to see an elderly gentleman standing on the front step of the house I was passing. He was easily in his seventies, possibly even eighty. But I didn't really notice his age as much as his apparel. He was wearing a track suit. I had only a moment to catch a quick glance and I was gone, but the Adidas stripes on his pants were unmistakable.

Taken by surprise, I didn't have time to do more than wave and smile. As I sped past his driveway, I heard him call out, "Good job!" Interesting. That's what everyone in my group of running friends always says to one another.

After I passed I got to thinking about our exchange. I wondered about the man. Had he been a marathoner? Was he still? Was he no longer able to run, but just out for a walk? Regardless of his status, he had acknowledged me as a fellow runner. It felt really good.

I'll probably never really know how far he runs, or if he still runs at all. It doesn't really matter, because I know he's still out there on the streets doing his thing.

And like that man, I know another Runner when I see one!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Good Day for Dogs in 2009

Thanksgiving Friday in Napa
A day to remember in 2009

(LtoR: Cappy, Malibu, Fig, Elbee, Sage, Denali, Watson)