Sunday, December 13, 2009


Well, the snow has finally arrived in all its white, fluffy glory (and in time for Christmas too!). It started yesterday afternoon and has continued unrelentingly until sometime this afternoon, covering the ground in about a half-foot of powder. It looks like it has finally decided to stay! (Though, unfortunately, it is not quite sticky enough for snowballs).

Darwin, naturally, was ecstatic. He had his first introduction to the concept of snow a month back, but there wasn't enough for him to truly get the 'powder experience.' Today changed all of that. I could describe how he took to this metamorphosis of his world, but I think it's better to show you. He had a multitude of varied, and highly entertaining, reactions...

So, I present to you, 'Cardi in Snow,' or 'Is that a white blur I see before me?"

"Mom, what am I supposed to do with this? I like that it's cold and that it's wet. It tastes rather good. But, it's up to my chest, Mom..."

"Oh, now I see, I'm supposed to run through it!"

**Note: He kind of has to bounce through snow. This is highly adorable and entertaining.

"Okay, that was fun. Is there anything else we can do with this stuff?"

Darwin ventures forth into the great white unknown.

Investigating (I love his curious face).

"Maybe I'll just take a break for a moment."

Old man snow beard.

Fire Hydrant In Winter.

Having a good shake to get the snow off his whiskers.

Leash blooper.

Eating his first snow ball.

The adventure continues (I love this photo).

We both returned back to the apartment soaking wet. But it was well worth it.

Unfortunately, Darwin has not yet discovered the joy of rolling in the snow. But I'm sure that will come in time.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

So I apologize for the absence of Darwin on the blog over the last month and a half, but that will be changing soon. This semester of graduate school was something else, and as I near the end of the semester, the challenges keep building (but it is all over next Friday, thankfully, and essentially finished with classes altogether so will have more time in my evenings to post long-term). There have also been a smattering of holidays and other events that have kept me from sharing the highlights of my little corgi's life.

Rest assured, he has been having adventures, getting in copious amounts of frisbee chasing and cat bothering, and, most recently, helping to decorate our apartment for his first Christmas. He was quite the little helper and even managed to fall asleep on a pile of tinsel in the process. As soon as I can fenegle these photos off my husband's phone, they will be posted here.

I'm rather excited for the winter break, for while I will be busy working in my lab, I am planning on intensifying Darwin's trick training. I have recently started working on teaching him the concept of the target stick, which is a first for me as well, so we are learning this together.

I would also like to refine his formal obedience (heeling, etc.) as we have been rather lax in this of late :P.

He's nearly 10.5 months old now and is such an integral part of our family it's difficult to comprehend the fact that there was once life without him. We have now had him for almost seven months, and I am looking forward to what the next year will bring.

In conclusion, I leave you with a photo of Darwin from this summer to represent the fact that the blog has merely been 'sleeping' the last month and a half, though Darwin rarely does during the day, as he is a busy little guy:

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Faster than a speeding Golden Retriever

So, Darwin has been absent from his blog for a few days from no fault of his own. His Mom just happened to have some midterms that ate up about 70 hours of her life last week, and so he was not able to make an appearance.

However, those are over now, so... back to the regularly scheduled Corgi-fest.

Well, as I indicated earlier, Darwin had his graduation walk on Friday for Intermediate obedience. He passed with flying colors, and after the obedience 'exam,' we were invited to do a couple of activities (The Longest Stay, and The Fastest Dog). For the latter, the dogs were placed in a 'wait' on one end of the aisle and the owners walked down a ways and called the dog to come from the wait. Whoever arrived back at their owner the fastest was pronounced the winner.

Darwin's competition was a golden retriever named Mojo. Mojo's owner turned to me and told me that I was probably at a disadvantage having a dog with such short legs. I told him that, while Darwin's legs were short, he is a fast little bugger.

Sure enough, when it came time to release the dogs, Darwin beat the pants off of the golden retriever, frantically racing towards me at top speed. He even had to make a few victory lap zoomies afterwards, to continue proving that he was the 'fastest dog.'

He continues to try to break his speed record on a daily basis.




Blast off!

Let's just hope I can channel this rocket-powered drive when we begin agility next summer...

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Friday, October 30, 2009

Funny Face

Darwin certainly is a little character.

(I feel like telling him: "Better not leave your face like that or it'll get stuck that way...")

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Chair Shark

Darwin has recently figured out that ripping his stuffed toys apart is a) quite possible and b) extremely fun. Particularly the removal of those troubling squeakers (which are removed from his mouth by us immediately after he extracts them). Last night, he finally managed to remove a squeaker from within a removable pouch that had once been inside the head of his Kong-brand Snake. The squeaker and the pouch were set upon a chair to remove them from his reach.

However, being the smart little corgi that he is, Darwin had a different idea...

*WARNING: THIS POST IS EXTREMELY PICTURE-HEAVY (i.e. I couldn't decide on my favorites so I included pretty much all of them!).

So I introduce to you: "Darwin, Sneak Thief and Chair Shark."

Blurry security photo captures the thief on camera. Darwin replies, "I'm not doing nothing...."

Chair Shark eyes his prize (denoted by red arrow).

Circling his prey.

"I sees it..."

*CHOMP* "I gots it!"

The prey is unmercifully dragged away, leaving only the poor lonely remnants of a squeaker behind...

Enjoying the spoils of the hunt. At leat, that is, until Mom takes it away and puts it back on the chair.

On the hunt again...

When photographers and wild beasts size each other up...

Darwin thinks, "Perhaps if I stick my nose up there just right...."

This chomp was too quick for even the camera to catch...

"Mine. Please don't take it away from me again..."

Back for round three... "I'll have you yet," he thinks.

Trying a new maneuver.

Not quite...


Oops. Dropped it. (Love that white spot on the back of his head!).

"You won't get it back so easy from me this time!" (And indeed I didn't! There was quite an epic game of tug that was sadly not documented).

"Okay, okay. I'll let you be, Chair Shark. You've earned it this time..."

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Dreaded Frisbee Stalker

I have a little stalker. He is about a foot tall, furry, and occasionally smells of wet dog.

But I'm alright with that... Especially since he's so cute and all...

*Note: This is a film of Darwin "stalking" his frisbee. He will perform this 'creeping' behavior, head down and body slinking towards towards me with full concentration on the object of his herding desire, whenever he is behind me and I have the frisbee cocked and ready to be thrown. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am throwing the frisbee, as well as taking the video, I have not been able to capture Darwin doing this 'creep' at a slower pace, which harkens back to the behavior of herding border collies I have seen. I know he is bred for it, but it still amazes me every time I see these types of behavior come out. Instincts are fascinating things as they are not learned behavior, but the behaviors they produce are so strong! (And I have a great love for the herding behaviors - it's amazing what these dogs can do!)

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What is love?

Love is entangling yourself completely in thorny bushes with rotting leaves surrounding you looking for your dog's favorite frisbee for over a half hour in the dark while the rain pours down on you, and brings out the smell of said rotting leaves, coating you in their pungeant odor (as well as a variety of wet leaves).

This happened to me the other night, and thankfully, I found the frisbee!

And Darwin is certainly happy that I did!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, October 26, 2009

Drama, drama, drama

*We've been working on the 'play dead' command lately, which I am teaching Darwin to understand as making a gun shape with my hand and saying "Bang!" as the command. He is doing rather well with it. (Of course, it is an alteration on the roll-over command and he is quite good at that as well as enthusiastic! - Corgis were built for these types of commands).

And the drama unfolds....

Darwin: (Protecting the family from some unseen, imminent, and ultimately benign danger) "Roof!"

Mom: "I'll teach you to bark at random noises!" (Gives 'Bang' command...)

Dancing the Hula... Er...Playing dead!

"Oh, Mom, you got me! See my surprise and shock?"

"Now I'm really dead, Mom. Can I have a treat now?"

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seven groups, one choice

So I'm a little behind on this activity, as most of the other blogs I read have already posted this weeks ago, but C'est la vie.

(excluding your own breeds)

Group 1- Sporting
Group 2- Hound
Group 3- Working
Group 4- Terriers
Group 5- Toys
Group 6- Non Sporting
Group 7- Herding

Over the course of my life, I have loved several different breeds of dog. As a child, prior to my family bringing the first dog into my life, my greatest love was German Shepards. This love shifted to Golden Retrievers, of course, when, at the tender age of eight, one became my first dog. And now I'm a corgi person after falling in love with the breeds (particularly Cardigans) nearly five years ago.

But on to my choices:

Group 1- Sporting: Murphy was my first dog and happened to be a Golden Retriever. While there are many wonderful sporting breeds out there, I think that, given the chance, I'd own one again. They are such loveable dogs, so easy going and eager to be your buddy. So Golden Retriever would be my top choice in this group.

Group 2- Hounds: I'd have to say a beagle for this one, with whippets as a close second. I've always had a secret love for beagles, and had a stuffed one named 'Sam' as a child, so they filled my imagination at one point in my life. The only part of them I wouldn't appreciate is that bark. Hounds are amazing dogs, but I'm grateful to currently have a breed that doesn't get 'too' distracted following his nose.

Group 3- Working: Probably a Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute. I've always admired these breeds and my neighbors had a wonderful Malamute named Kodiak that I pet-sit for as a child who was an excellent dog. So perhaps I'm a little biased ;). They have a certain special mystique about them.

Group 4- Terriers: Jack Russell Terrier. I'm not really much of a terrier person. I admire them for their tenacity, but they are definitely not my top group. I think the energy of a Jack Russell would be great for agility, though.

Group 5- Toys: Probably my least-favorite group. I've never (until recently) been much of a small dog person (and I think corgis are on the borderline, still somewhat of a medium-sized dog). However, I do like the Pomeranians I've met and Papillons would also be an acceptable dog to have if I had to choose one from this group.

Group 6- Non Sporting: Shiba Inu. These little dogs have always fascinated me.

Group 7- Herding: Probably the toughest category in which to choose. The herding breeds have really captured my heart in the last few years. Someday I would love to have a purebred border collie to train and work with, as they are such amazing dogs. I don't feel my life is suited for one at the moment, but someday. That would probably be my top choice (next to Cardigan Welsh Corgis, of course). I also really love Australian Sheperds, I could own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and have a secret love for Australian Cattle dogs. And, of course, that childhood love for German Shepards still hasn't died, so it would be in the running as well.

So there you have it...

Darwin says: "I'm still your favorite though. Right, Mom?"

Of course you are Darwin, of course you are.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves