Gwen the Super Star

One of the things I have wanted to do with Gwen even before we got her was Agility. Now that she is almost 2 years old, we figured we should get to work on that goal! In January I signed Gwen and I up for the Pre-Agility/Tricks class at a local dog training facility. We have gone to 3 classes so far; here is the summary of those three days…

Class 1.

Gwen was a total butt the first day of class! It was like she had never been in public! Oh it was embarrassing. She didn’t want to walk nicely on the leash and she was so excitable that she couldn’t hold in her barks. She did listen just enough when we were doing introductions to show off her two good tricks (bang! and sit pretty). I decided after that first class that we had some homework to do and it didn’t even have to do with what we were learning in class.

Gwen and I went to the Sportsmans Warehouse with friend Betsy and her dog Hershey and we just practiced walking around with distractions and other dogs (Hershey). It really helped a lot!

The things we learned/did in the first class were: walk nicely on the leash, work on “creep” (Gwen didn’t get that one), walking over poles, “paws up,” going thru a hula hoop, getting on/in things (e.g. Trash can lid, boxes), and overall just seeing where all the dogs were at. This is the first class we have taken with this lady and you could tell that a lot of the other dogs had been in her classes before…

Class 2.

The second day went better than the first. Gwen walked nicer on her leash, though I still had to make a makeshift no-pull “harness” by looping her leash around her belly.

I don’t really remember everything that we did that day since I went home and proceeded to fall deathly ill for a couple of days. Needless to say we did not practice too much the following week.

Class 3.

Gwen was such a little super star! It was the first time that the equipment was set out. We weren’t allowed to take our dogs on the dog walk or a-frame until after class began but we were encouraged to work them around the obstacles while we waited for everyone to show up.

I arrived early and was one of the first dogs in the ring. I walked Gwen around and started making her do her do basic obedience things to get her mind focused. I think having her the a bit early and before all the other nervous energy dogs got in there was key. Gwen was focused and wanting to please.

When it came time to take our turns going over the dog walk and the a-frame, Gwen got on the dog walk like a pro. She was so eager to go forward…we were supposed to walk them across but Gwen had other ideas! The trainer lady asked me if Gwen had ever seen/been on the equipment before and she had. The dog park we frequented in Charleston had a full agility course. Gwen was so eager to show off on the dog walk that when I went to make her sit and treat her after she crossed it, she turned back around and headed back across!!! The trainer lady said, “Corgis will do this all day long. She’s like a kid in a candy store right now!” And that’s the truth!

The A-Frame was a bit harder for Gwen. In the past (at Sky Dogs in Charleston), it was harder to get her to go up and over it but she eventually did it. In class it was a bit slick so she had a little trouble getting to the top. Had to scrabble to get a toe hold but she made it! On the way down she thinks it is easier to just leap off the middle…which is bad. The dogs have to touch in the yellow area at the bottoms and Gwen doesn’t think that’s very cool. Of course we haven’t gotten to that part yet but I can just see how this is going to go. Oh brother.

My little super star and a female Aussie decided that lunging and snapping at each other would be a good thing to do…now we know who to keep away from in class!  (The other dog started it.)

Overall, I think Gwennie is doing very well and will eventually turn into a great agility dog if I can keep up with her! She is so eager to do everything and do it all fast that we are going to have to continue to work on the focus and slowing down. Fast is slow and slow is fast.

How much is that puppy in the window?

I remember when I was little, my mom would take me into the petstore in the mall so I could see the little puppies and kitties.  I remember they were cute but when I was little I never understood what it meant for them to be there.  I also don’t remember (to my knowledge) ever begging my mom for a new puppy or kitten…

Today, I went to a nearby feedstore to buy some grain for my horse.  When I pulled up to the store (not my usual store, by the way) I glanced at the sign and noticed the word “CORGI.”  This shop is a feed store, pet store, and farm supply store all rolled into one; and they are known to sell puppies and sometimes kittens.  They had a Corgi, Keeshund, Cockapoo, Eskimo, Goldendoodle, Papillon, and a Wheaton Terrier (according to their website).  After seeing the sign I should have put my car in reverse and left and gone to my normal feed store.  I knew it was going to be hard to go in and not go by the puppies, ESPECIALLY KNOWING that there was a corgi right there!!!

I sent a text to my friend Betsy, who is like my own personal dog guru.  Anything I need help with with dogs, I talk to her!  She’s a dog trainer, has shown dogs, was in 4-H.  My text read:  OMG as bad as it is to almost even consider this…farmland sign says they have corgis!  I have to go in to buy food…how to resist looking at puppies?! I don’t think I’m strong enough! This is like puppy mill animals isn’t it? I’m against those but I also feel totally bad for them!  HELP!!!! 

Of course I went in.  Of course I went by the puppies.  And I think you know where this is going… Of course I asked the lady if I could hold the Corgi puppy!

He is an 8 week old red/white male.  Born Nov 29th.

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He is so dang cute!  I spent a little time asking the lady questions about the dogs and cuddling this little puppy.  He was so scared and I think maybe a little cold because he was shaking!  I felt so bad for him!  After a few minutes he started to look around and nibble on my fingers.  I felt so bad when I had to hand him back because I couldn’t take him home with me and I needed to finish my errands for the day.  I told them I’d think about it…

It broke my heart to hand that puppy back to the lady and watch her put him back in his kennel!

This brings me to the whole point of this.  I am afraid to purchase a puppy from a shop like this one because I do not support puppy mills and I am afraid he may be a product of a puppy mill or possibly a random backyard breeder.  I asked them if they knew anything about the dog’s parents or the breeder and they said “we have pictures and his pedigree” and they told me that the dog is able to be AKC registered.  Puppies that come from the store have their first round of vaccinations, are microchipped and have a health guarantee that if something happens to them health wise in their first year and if I chose not to keep it then they would either refund completely or partially (depending on the circumstances).  Now this is reminiscent of the health guarantee that I got when we purchased Gwen from a very reputable breeder but not quite to the same standards.

Gwen’s breeder was a reputable lady who has shown dogs for many years and both the sire and dam (both parents) were champions.  Gwen has a pedigree, champion parents that have both been given clean bills of health for their eyes and hips.  As a puppy, Gwen was examined and had her little hips cleared.  I don’t remember the exact rating they were given but since she is not being used for breeding, I guess we didn’t deem that important enough to remember.  All that mattered was she was healthy and had no major health concerns.  We were also able to meet both parents on site and were able to see their personalities and temperaments.

What I don’t know with this little one is anything about his background!  I feel that if I am going to pay $865 for a puppy then I need to know something about it.  If I am going to take a gamble, then I might as well go adopt something else from a shelter or a rescue.  Pound puppies can give you their heart and soul for way less.  Before Gwen all we had ever had were dogs rescued from shelters.

My friend Betsy evaluated the puppy and said he looked pretty sound mentally and physically but then there is always that off chance that he would develop some sort of health or mental issue in the future.  This didn’t really help discourage my interest in this puppy…

Before Andrew left on his current deployment (again) he had started to talk about wanting another puppy or dog.  I want to find a dog that needs a rescue home or a rehoming situation.  I’d prefer to not have to house train another dog right now and I want something that Gwen can rough house play with now.  Almost every email I have gotten from Andrew has some mentioning of puppies or dogs…  I made the mistake of telling him about a Cardi that is looking for a home.  He was all over that one flies on a hog!  I am still contemplating a Cardi and a Pem together.  Could be cute…

But I digress!  I don’t know if I am ready to take on an itty-bitty puppy by myself.  I guess I am trying to convince myself to hold out for our next perfect dog and if it is meant to be then somehow that puppy will find its way into my life.  I am trying to tell myself to focus on working and training Gwen.  I am trying to convince myself to stick with my original thought of wanting another female and the specific coloring too (black-headed-tri).  Though I’m wavering on that one since there is a cute corgi-mix nearby that I’ve had my eye on!  I know if Andrew had been with me then I would not even be dealing with these self-arguments but rather trying to keep him from going back tomorrow morning bright and early to bring that little guy home!

I am at war with myself! :(

Before I leave you with a couple parting questions, here are a couple of links I saw the other day and thought they were quite relevant now after this little event of the day.  Please click the link and check them out, they are well worth the read! :)

What is your take on this whole situation?  Given the information you now how, how would you proceed?  Walk away and not look back or run back and snap him up?

Do you think this dog is from a local/non-local breeder or a puppy mill breeder?  

Letters to Santa!

 

DSCN7323Gwen wrote a letter to Santa Clawz this year. :)

Letters to Santa 2013

 

 

Gwen even convinced her “fire-breathing dragon” brother, Owen (my horse), to write one too.  Though his is definitely not quite as good as these ones!  (read them, they are hilarious!)

Letters to Santa 2013-1

Owen just wants to live a very easy life…bigger stall, more food, less work…he needs to win the lottery for me then!

Owen antler

MERRY CHRISTMAS-EVE!

 

Christmas Cards & Trees

I like going into the card aisle at the grocery store or even stopping by Hallmark just to look through the cards.  Granted I usually end up buying one or two so I don’t do that very often.  I did stop in Hallmark the other day to try and find one last card for Christmas and ended up not buying anything but just sitting there reading the cards for a good chunk of time before I realized I had to get going so I could feed her royal highness the dog before she starved (Corgis always think they are starving even when they are little pudge balls).

This was one of my favorites that I saw there and I would have purchased had the people I still needed a card for understood the card…I am afraid they are not really animal people. *gasp!*

Christmas with pets…

If you have pets then you know this is true!  Last year we ended up with our Christmas tree cordoned off with an x-pen so little puppy jaws and claws could not reach the presents or the ornaments.  This year we decided to try letting her near the tree and she has done well about leaving the presents alone and we did refrain from putting any ornaments down low.  Well, there are a couple but they are metal (i.e. not easily broken by a curious Corga!).  The only time she touched one (it was a white metal horse) she jumped back when it moved and started to bark at it.  Since then she’s left it alone!

In the past, my family had two cats and we had to anchor our tree to the wall…I don’t remember exactly what our cats did but I have a feeling it had something to do with climbing up inside the tree and thereby making it fall over.  So my parents were smart and just anchored the tree so the cats could play inside their new evergreen treehouse.

I tried to find some pictures of trees by people with pets, but it was difficult to find anything!  I know I have friends that have to set trees on tables and presents up on shelves but I either couldn’t remember who had those trees or I couldn’t find their pictures!  I resorted to Google Images….

Dogs knock over Christmas trees too, of course!

Or you have THIS problem…

I found way more cat photos than I did dog photos but I did find this link with some helpful reminders about Christmas safety.  It is quite close to Christmas but some things to maybe think about next year.

“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How dangerous can you be-e-eee…”

2013 CorgiButts Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

We participated in the Corgi Butts Secret Santa gift exchange again this year!  Of course this year Gwen was a little impatient to open her present…plus we kept seeing other Corgis that had already opened theirs…we wanted in on the fun too! ;)

Gwen with present.

“After I opened my prezzie I had to pose for pictures. (Silly hoomins.)”

Hi everyone! Gwen here.  Da hoomin let me tell all about my presents!  I got some Greenies Joint Care nom noms to chew on to keep my little dwarf joints all healthy!  AND I also got a Corgi squeaker flopsie!  Da momma is happy it has no stuffings but da daddy hoomin thinks I a pest because I take my new squeaker toy and jumps on the couch and squeakes it on top of him.  I is such a good Corga, not sure what he is talking about!

Isn’t this so cool?!

And just in case you are wondering where Hermann and his humans got this gem from I will post the link HERE for you.  They also have all sorts of other breeds! :)

Thank you to Hermann and his hoomins!!!!!  I lurves my prezzies!!!  – Gwen

The Corgi name(s) that we drew were Luna and Twinkie.  They have already opened their presents and know that we were their secret santa.  They have a Facebook page too!  These are Gwen’s new fur-iends with part of their present from us:

Twinkie & Luna

We got them some nom noms and a couple little greenies and their human told me they liked bandanas so I made some bandanas and we got them puzzle toy too!  (Black Friday dog & pony shopping is AWESOME!)

One last thing to share was this Corgi Nose Art sticker that we got for Luna & Twinkie’s owner.  I just happened to also buy one for my new car too! ;)

Christmas is right around the corner!!! Gwen is getting her letter ready for Santa.  Though I feel sorry for Santa since Gwen wants to leave dog biscuits for him…we tried to tell her he like HUMAN cookies but her reply was only, “why would I want to leave cookies out of humans for him?!” 

Pictures with Santa Pawz!

This year Gwen and I went to see Santa Pawz at our local Petsmart.

Picture with Santa-1

Andrew had to work that day so we went with a friend and her Chocolate Lab, Hershey.  Hershey’s mom got the picture where both dogs looked good.  I got the picture where Gwen looked goofy. :)

Hershey and Gwen

This past weekend Andrew had Saturday off so we were able to get a family picture with Santa!

Santa blinked, I know, but Gwen kept being naughty so we took what we could get… SHE will most likely be getting coal this year in her stocking….

AEG Santa pic

Merry Christmas

from

Gwyendolyn Rose

and

her Hoomins!

I’m a Little Corga!

Always a critic. I made up this song for Gwen…

I’m a little Corga short and stout!

Here is my nose hole, here is my snout!

When I get all steamed up hear mom shout!

“Stop it Corga or I’ll throw you out!”

…and she gave me a face similar to this one!

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