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, April 28, 2010

Sage's First 5K for Charity!

This past Sunday we got up early and headed up to San Francisco for the annual MMRF (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation) 5K walk/run event (3.1 miles).

The race starts on Marina Green and takes us along the bayfront in Chrissy Field - a lovely venue. Generally I do the run and Moe the walk. This year Sage got to be our official canine entry.

From the time he was a very young puppy Sage been very other-dog reactive; easily over-stimulated by others. Consistent attendance in obedience/rally classes has really helped him learn how to behave around other dogs. This event was a real test, as there were quite a few. He did better than we expected and was a great little corgi ambassador. Growing up has helped too. Can't believe he's already 1.5 years old!

At one point a little girl, age six or so, gave him all kinds of attention. He smiled, gave kisses, rolled on his back and solicited tons of belly rubs. Once again, I was reminded of how wonderful it is to have a dog that spent his first ten weeks with a toddler! He had absolutely no fear or hesitation and she was able to pet him to her heart's content.

Sage did the 5k easily, acting like it was a walk around the block. But when he got home, it was time for a serious nap. Moe felt the same way so they curled up together.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

RAE Leg-2 (And a Family Visit)

Denali and I went to Vallejo today. This was our attempt at RAE, leg -2. This was also Denali's first time showing outdoors on grass. When we got there for the 8:30AM start, we found the grass hadn't been mowed and was really wet! I wasn't sure Denali would do a "down" in the wet grass, but no problem!

My goal was just to keep her from sniffing and to qualify. I was pleasantly surprised when we got a 4th-place finish in the Excellent and the Advanced classes, with a score of 91 and 94, respectively.

This club gave medallions to those who placed, so we got a matched set,
to compliment our matched set of ribbons.

The great part about shows in Vallejo is that we get to see Sage's brothers, Cappy and Fig, as well as their respective canine and human families. Denise, Cappy's mom, was kind enough to take pictures of Denali and me in the ring for our Excellent round. I had no idea she was there!

Ready to start, getting Denali's attention. Naturally the "family tongue" is right in place, so I guess she's ready to go!

Because she was on grass Denali thought that our heeling passes were great times to bound so as not to get her belly tickled. When she started to do this she got the idea that it was time to play. The result: we ticked up those "out-of-position" points and I found myself using my hands more to indicate where I wanted her to go. Once or twice I saw her glance outside of the ring and I didn't want her getting any ideas about bolting.

As usual, she needed no additional help in flying over the jumps and Denise caught this one perfectly!

Waiting for the next dog to enter so we can start the Honor exercise.

It was so nice that we were in the shade for this exercise. It got pretty warm as the sun spread over the course.

Here's where Denali realizes she's being photographed. "Oh look, Cappy's mom is here!"

Waiting to enter the ring for awards. Yes, I am definitely prejudiced. She's a beautiful dog! Gotta love that coat!

In the ring, we had time for an ear scratch before the judge came in to present awards.

Stiff competition today. Three dogs, including the gray poodle behind me, and the border collie, just out of the shot, were clearly trained in formal obedience and were absolutely flawless. All were competing for RAE legs. Accordingly, they scored 100%. I believe that one of the handlers is a professional trainer. With competition like this we were surprised and pleased to nab the 4th place ribbons!

Afterward we got to visit with Cappy, and his people, Trenton and Denise, as well as Alden, Ian and the trio, Fig, Watson and Duncan. Duncan has lost some weight is is looking much more perky as a result! And as the only-female-in-residence, Denali garnered attention from all the boys!

Alden convinced Trenton to "stack" Watson for photos so we'll get to see what he looks like as an official dog-on-a-table. Trenton put Watson on a show lead and took him for a little walk too. Alden couldn't believe it was her dog - he behaved so nicely on the leash!

A nice day for all!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One Click Feeds a Dog!

Please do this for the SPCA

Literally, it takes one second of your time and costs you nothing!

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (about 15 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals for free'. This doesn't cost you a thing.

Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Click on the purple box to feed an animal in need. (It's FREE!)


(Add the link to your desktop, so you'll remember to click every day!)

Stacking Watson - Oh Dear!

Alden wrote yesterday asking if I could help her "stack" Watson for pictures this weekend, in response to request for a "stacked photo" from Mama Penni. My response: LOL!

I am a serious dog person, but I am not a "confirmation person." The closet thing to stacking a dog that I've ever done is to set Elbee on a counter so I can put drops in her dry eye each day. Trust me, it's not all that pretty!

Here's how Watson would probably look if I tried to make the "stack" happen. This is actually how he did look the last time Watson and I saw one another and Alden posed him for a picture - not attempting a stack here, no worries!

Of course, I will have Denali with me this weekend. And Trenton will be there with Captain. As you see, they were both attempting to give Watson a focal point during our last photo shoot. The result: Definitely not much of a stack! I guess this counts them out as photo assistants, sorry Penni.

The good news is that now that Cappy is actually a Champion, he's got Trenton well trained. Thankfully ONE of the silly people in the bunch should be able to position Watson appropriately! (Hear Penni's sigh of relief.)

Alden, looks like you and I are about to get a stacking lesson! See you Saturday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Hardest Part - Farewell Carbon Blue

As we all know, the hardest part of having a dog is knowing that one day we'll have to say goodbye. Sadly, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi World has lost one of its most amazing creatures, the oh-so-famous Coedwig's Carbon Blue, age almost-15 years.

For many of us he lives on through his progeny who possess his sweet temperament. Denali is a Carbon granddaughter and Sage a grandson. How fortunate I feel to have them both.

See Traci's Tribute to Carbon

Great photo of Carbon with three of his sons, one being Sage's father, Wally!

Some beautiful photos of Carbon from Emily.

(For those not familiar, you'll be amazed at the contributions this dog has made.)

Thank you Carbon - peace be with you always.
You are sorely missed and deeply loved.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rescue Kharma

Anyone who has ever spent much time rescuing dogs knows that there is definitely something in the atmosphere that steps in to help when the situation really warrants. Call it luck, call it coincidence - I call it Rescue Kharma! While the pragmatist in me resists this notion, I've seen it happen WAY too many times for it to be pure happenstance.

Just such an example took place right in my own area during the past week. I got to witness as kharma unfolded, and meet all the parties involved. In the history of ForPaws Corgi Rescue, this is the first time in which a former owner and the new owner met face-to-face and the dog was officially blessed into his new home. As rescuers, it was a pretty cool experience for us!

Meet Guinness - the star of this show:

Guinness lived with his first family from the time he was a puppy. That worked out fine until a baby came along. Now she's a two-year-old toddler, mobile and active. Like so many corgis, the child's typical behaviors made Guinness very nervous and the combination wasn't safe. These situations, terribly heartbreaking for the owner, are commonly seen in corgi rescue. Ultimately, his family accepted that Guinness needed a new home.

Just as we were making arrangements to take Guinness into foster care, up popped a new online adoption application. When I read the contents, I knew instantly that this was Guinness' new family! While we get applications from all over the United States, this family lived quite close the home in which Guinness was to be fostered...right here in the San Francisco Bay area! Tell me that's not kharma!

Last weekend Guinness arrived with his first family. They were kind enough to tell us all about him and were pleased to be able to meet his planned adopters - wonderful people with prior corgi experience and great dog sense. It didn't make it any easier to say goodbye, but it did provide a measure of comfort to know that he'd be in such good hands.

This is one great little corgi. He's got a wonderful temperament, happy, smart, affectionate - everything a corgi should be. His former owners worked with him a lot and he's got nice manners and some solid training under his belt. The ultimate "plug and play" corgi!

Guinness stayed in foster care for a week while we observed him and learned a lot more about him. One of the things we learned is that he doesn't always appreciate being a photographic subject. (Note the look I got when approaching with the camera.)

Last Friday he went home with his new family. During the time in foster care, his new people came by every day to take Guinness for walks. By the time he was ready to go home, they'd already bonded. You should see his face light up when he sees them!

On Saturday morning, Denali and I went to visit. We took the dogs for a nice walk in the neighborhood. It was a beautiful day to be out with your corgi. It's a beautiful new chapter for Guinness!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Salt and Pepper

This evening I was sorting papers on the floor of my office. It had been a busy day. Suddenly I had a feeling that I wasn't alone. I wasn't...

The evil twins had appeared, looking so forelorn. A quick check of the clock indicated that dinner was over an hour late...doh! And they weren't about to let me forget it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rescue Update- Another New Mix!

In the mid-90's ForPaws Corgi Rescue started out specializing in helping corgi mixes, when few other rescuers were doing so. At that time, the most well-known corgi rescuers were affiliated with breed clubs that only rescued the purebreds. In response to the need, the group of small, independent corgi rescuers has proliferated and there are now more who will take mixes.

In 1997 I actually had a well-known "show person (pembrokes)" tell me that, "There is no such thing as a corgi mix." She contended that corgi owners were all so responsible that there was absolutely no way that a corgi mix could ever happen. Seriously....what world was she living in?

That comment still dumbfounds me, and was my first wake-up call to the fact that we each have areas of passion where dogs are concerned. Just because you know the nitty gritty of one, doesn't mean you know diddly about another! And there is always more to learn, regardless of your experience level.

In any case, the rescue niche that ForPaws occupies by helping mixed breeds has meant that we've see a lot of different corgi mixes. Last I cataloged, we'd seen over 100 different corgi-xxx mixes that we'd been able to identify - and many that remained mysterious.

Recently, we added another new (cute, cute, cute) corgi mix to our library. Meet Lacey! (Fostered in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA)

Our best guess on Lacey is CWC/Cavalier King Charles (Ruby) Spaniel. She has a much softer temperament than a traditional Cardi, but the same sense of humor! The result: a very affectionate, easy, loving temperament, with a bit of a character thrown in.

When she came to us she was clearly shy and under-socialized. But she's been finding herself while in foster care and has never displayed any aggression, in spite of her shyness. Recently we discovered that she's a toy thief...but only when you're not looking. Little by little she has collected all of the dog toys in the house and stashed them on her bed - frapping madly during the process!

She will need a relatively calm home (sans young children) with someone who can continue the work we've started to build her confidence (experienced owner required). She's still quite young, about 12-18 months. She has a lot of potential and is as sweet and affectionate as they come. This is a very cuddly dog!

The eyes are striking, and closer examination of her coat coloring substantiates the merle in her. But that gorgeous silky, golden coat comes from the spaniel. It's so soft!

As you'd expect, this dog is lighter boned than a Cardi, and not very big. Lacey weighs in at about 22 pounds. In this picture she's shown with my uncommonly-small Pembroke, Elbee, who weighs only 16 pounds. But the body shape, deep chest and leg structure are very Cardi-like. And check those pants! (BTW, we know for a fact that the white dog in the background is also a second-generation corgi mix...with plenty of sight-hound thrown in...go figure.)

Somewhere along the way someone taught Lacey to sit up in response to hearing, "Good Dog." She can sit like this all afternoon if she thinks it will command attention.

She's not ready quite yet, but at some point in the very near future, this incredibly-sweet little dog is going to make someone very happy - and the feeling will be mutual!

Welcome to the ForPaws Library Lacey! This breed mix is definitely a winning combination when it comes to creating a very nice companion!