Friday, July 31, 2009

Graduation Day and other matters...

The Good News:

Darwin successfully graduated puppy class yesterday! He was definitely the star of the class, performing the puppy obstacle course perfectly and showing up the other dogs with "Sit," "Down, Stay," "Sit, Down, Sit (aka puppy push-up)," "Rollover," "Leave It," and a long distance "Come."

And, of course, "Walk nice."

After everyone had completed the course, the puppies were treated to a hula-hoop filled with toys and were allowed the opportunity to pick three to take home. Rarely has Darwin strained that hard on his leash, he was so excited by the plethora of toys.

He was not, however, impressed with the hat.

The Bad News:

Darwin has worms. I noticed something amiss in his stool yesterday, and correctly identified a roundworm wrapped around one of his leavings. A call to the vet and we had pills take care of the infection, though they caused a massive expulsion of Darwin's stomach and bowel contents, having him needing to go out every few hours all through last night and culminating in a worm-filled vomit this morning. This, on top of the neutering earlier in the week, has not led to the best week for the puppy. (Though it does explain his being rather ill two weeks ago). So kudos to him for excellent graduation obedience in spite of it all.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cone Head

Well, it's over and done with. Darwin has officially been neutered. Unfortunately, he was a cryptorchid, which means that one of his testicles never descended, so they had to go in and pull it out. This resulted in him having to stay overnight at the vet clinic, with a parent missing him very much, but he is home now, and normal aside from a shaved belly....

...And a new accessory.

As he was very interested in licking his stitches, Darwin has been given the privelege of wearing a cone around his head. He is adorably pathetic.

Though this impediment has not stopped him from enjoying all the edible things in life...

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dog Tired.

Darwin has been on the go for the last two days (we all have). Thus why there have been no entries posted. And the poor little guy is rather sore, lacking in puppy energy, and a little cranky.

However, many photos were taken, and Darwin promises that he will make his mom post them shortly.

For tonight, though, the dog is just dog tired.

(And he is going in for neutering first thing tomorrow morning on his sixth month birthday - how terrible is that?)

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Saturday, July 25, 2009


The ever adorable "I'm-really-focused-on-the-words-coming-out-of-your-mouth-and-I'm-sure-they-are-important-but-am-not-entirely-clear-what-they-mean-can-you-repeat?" head tilt. Jarod is a master of this too.

(Also, I love the dangly tongue.)

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Friday, July 24, 2009

Water water everywhere...

Darwin wanted to remind everyone that it is important to stay properly hydrated during those hot summer days. However, I think he is taking this concept a little too far...

-Mel, Corgi-keeper


In spite of the fact that a corgi is a somewhat awkward looking dog, they can be surprisingly speedy and agile on their feet. Darwin has a lovely gait and his speed contributes to his ability to dodge and weave about larger dogs (as well as chase down an escaping frisbee). This ability will hopefully eventually be used towards sheep.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sanctioned Puppy Torture

In light of Darwin's sudden bout of teenage rebellion, here is a photo of the other side of the story. Darwin wishes to express that some of his recent actions are to go against the times when his parents forced him into undergoing the steps necessary for proper hygiene. Indeed. Sometimes they even insisted on grooming him.

I present to you 'Squished Puppy Face Getting His Tummy Brushed.' His life is so difficult, can't you tell? He probably feels like his teenage angst is fully justified.

What do you think?

-Mel, Corgi-keeper


He has them.

Seriously, on a Cardigan corgi, the ears have a life of their own. We call them Darwin's 'radar,' and indeed he seems to use them for surveillance of every strange noise he encounters (real or televised). The even 'power down' when he's tired or asleep, descending from the top of his head to either side of it.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, July 20, 2009

That Woe Face...

Default corgi expression. Even when not really sad. However, if people think you are sad, treats generally soon follow.

Working for millions of corgis since the breed was first envisioned.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beating the heat... with indoor frisbee chasing!

As it was so hot outside yesterday and Darwin was full of unchanneled puppy energy, I decided to introduce him to the concept of the frisbee. Here are the results:

At first, the frisbee was seen as something to be chewed, as it is made of that perfect kind of plastic that dogs love to munch.

However, after throwing it across the living room, the little lightbulb in Darwin's brain decided to click. We then switched over to our prey drive, herding mode.

"I will use my lazer beam eyes to convince you to throw it again!"

(I just love how intensely this dog can focus on something that is to be thrown)

An awkward reach. i.e. Mom does not have the greatest finesse with accurate frisbee throwing.

Bringing it back like a good boy (though the other side of this story is that he didn't want to let go once he had brought it back). You can tell by the sway of his body that he is just the happiest of puppies.

Contemplating life, love, and how high he will need to jump to grab the frisbee. (This, of course, requires complicated corgi math).

Turns out, not that high.

"Mine. I'm going to chew the crap out of it and there's nothing you can do about it unless you come closer."

We made the transition to throwing the frisbee outside today, and he absolutely loves it. What better treat for a puppy than to be taken out for a routine bathroom trip and get some bonus chasing, grabbing, and chewing in on the side. (And, in spite of the fact that he likes to hold onto the frisbee indoors, Darwin was more than happy to drop the frisbee for me outside - locational bias - go figure).

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Watcher

Just like the man he is named after, Darwin is a watcher, an observer of the natural phenomenon around him. Part of this is an expression of the herding dog instincts within him, the other part is purely his personality, as all Cardigan corgis are not like this (at least to this extent). He has to think about the world before jumping into an unknown situation. I can't help but admire this aspect of him.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Friday, July 17, 2009

Those eyes...

For all the occasions where this puppy has caused me emotional irritation, all is forgiven by looking into these eyes.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Doggy Kong (Or how to help a sick dog get well)

I swear, these past three weeks have been a curse on the dogs in my family. Two weeks ago, Max, my in-laws' dog, became so ill from an infection he had to be hospitalized. A week ago my parents' dog, Jarod, had also developed an infection and had to be put on the best antibiotics money can buy (though the causes of the infections were unrelated). So, at the beginning of this week, my paranoid mind wondered if this would be Darwin's week to fall ill, completing the trinity amongst our canine counterparts. We almost made it through the week, but today Darwin became violently ill. He is presently doing fine, napping under my chair, though he definitely is not 100% (it currently seems like he just needed to clear his system out). Don't worry though, I am monitoring him carefully and if he has not improved further by tomorrow, we will be taking a trip to the vet's.

Pumpkin provides fiber that can help with loose stool. As Darwin was at a point of no solidity in his excretions, we decided to treat him to a kong, stuffed with pumpkin, and frozen for a few hours in the freezer. Well, of all the terrible things that poor puppy has had to go through today, some of them were forgotten once he had this treat in his eager paws.

"Look, Ma, no paws!"

*A note: The above is what is known as a corgi log. It is sometimes an elusive thing to see.


*A note: The length of corgi legs make it somewhat difficult to hold anything down for the sake of resistance while chewing, though Darwin is beginning to get a handle (literally) on a few chewable items.

"Yum! That was tasty. May I have another? I can pretend to be lethargic, if that would help! Look at my droopy eyes..."

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

*Also, props to anyone who sees the blatantly obvious, not-so-very-funny spoof in the title of this post.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just Chillin'

Sorry for the absence in posting, but both Darwin and I have had very busy but wonderful times with his other set of Grandparents and his uncle Max, a Brittany Spaniel (who I have yet to introduce on this blog, and who Darwin was dying to play with but couldn't, as poor Max had a really horrific infection last week and had to have a shunt put in his face and one of those cone collars around his neck). The lab work to which I devote a portion of my life has also been very consuming of late. So, in light of all the recent activity, we've spent a few days just chillin', getting back into the normal swing of things.

As proof, I offer:

"Mom, I'm too tired to even think about playing with these toys."

"I think I'll use them as a pillow instead."

And, of course, the cat is making full use of the downtime as well. But then, her entire life is pretty much downtime.

On an unrelated note, Darwin lost what I believe to be his last baby tooth tonight. My puppy is transforming into a teenager, with hormonal changes soon to follow.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"That's no corgi, it's a retriever!"

Darwin's current favorite game is fetch-the-stick. Fortunately, the apartment complex has those in abundant supply. Here is a pictorial offering of a recent game of fetch, starring Darwin. **Apologies for the crappy quality of some of these.

"Okay, Mom, I'm ready. Throw the stick already!"

Bounding after the stick in typical corgi fashion.


Bringing it back in style.

"Oh, you're wanting me to drop this for you?"

"Here you go!"

"Are you gonna throw it again?"

The chase is on!

Ghost blur races through the grass.



"I'ma chews it now!"

So very proud.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Darwin's Sister and the Puppy That Almost Was...

Darwin's breeder posted some more recent pictures of her available puppies, so I thought I'd share.

The first is Darwin's sister, which they have called "Slipper." She wasn't available for adoption when we were there, as she had been slated to go down to someone in the southeastern United States. But, apparently, something came up and he couldn't take her and now she is available for adoption. It's interesting to think, given my desire to, at least at some point in my life, own a female dog, that she might have been the one I would have chosen had she been available.

But probably not, as she was described as wild and more "in your face" than Darwin is, and his personality is definitely the one I was looking for. Still, she's very pretty and it makes me happy to see this updated photo of Darwin's sibling, to watch her grow as I watch him, to know there is another puppy out there related to him... (And who knows, this could be what coloration Darwin would have been had he not recieved the recessive genes!).

The other older puppy that is available is named "Rip". He is currently about seven and a half months old, and was our other option when we went down to the breeder's to look at their puppies. Before I had even met Darwin, all I had to go on was pictures of Rip and 'Cream male (Darwin)' on the internet. Rip is a furrier Cardigan corgi, and I find that look very attractive. So, visually, he was the one I was most interested in when we went down to the breeder's. However, he was a lot crazier than Darwin was, and Darwin's gait is so much more beautiful than his, directing us to choose the latter puppy as our own. I still think Rip is a magnificent looking dog, and if I had been more set in my career, experienced with Cardigan corgis, and better trained in agility, might have chosen him, as his energy level seemed fitting for a high drive agility dog.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the puppy that fate delivered into our waiting arms. Darwin is perfect for us, and we are glad that he waited for us when the rest of his litter had gone to their respective homes. Really, I wouldn't trade him for any other Cardigan corgi out there.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Darwin v. Epic-Sized Dog Food Bag

"Mom, I think that is a reasonable sized portion for me. Just open up the bag and let me dig in. After all, I'm growing!"

This is what happens when a corgi's eyes are larger than his stomach (or, in this case, the whole dog), because I know he'd try to eat that entire bag if given the opportunity.

**This picture was taken shortly after we brought him home. Thus, he is much larger now.

***Also, we incidentally still have about half that bag of dog food, and the bag itself is still proportionately larger than him.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, July 6, 2009

Corgi Operating System, Version 2.0

This is how Darwin views pretty much every object he encounters.

Step 1: "Oh, look, I see it! It appears to be interesting!" Goto Step 2.

Step 2: "Is it edible? If so, then I will eat it!" Goto Step 3.

Step 3: "Oh, it's not edible. I will try to eat it anyway." Goto Step 4.

Step 4: "Turns out, it really wasn't edible. Is it herdable?" Goto Step 5.

Step 5: "Not a herdable, therefore, no longer of interest." Goto Step 1 with new object.

This applies to woodchips, insects, random bits of who-knows-what lying in the sidewalk cracks, bicycles, etc.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grooming Day.

Friday was grooming day. Darwin, because of his low stature in relationship to the ground, needs a weekly bath, and is just generally an odiferous dog (much moreso than Jarod, who is largely without doggy odor, even when wet). Saturday is the usually scheduled puppy bath, but he definitely needed it this past Friday. He also had a buildup of wax in his ears and I hadn't brushed his teeth in a few days, so those were cleaned as well. (Don't worry, I let him have some fun too! We had some fetching in the yard to make up for the puppy 'torture'). In fact, below is an image of him waiting for me to throw the stick.

Darwin is not the greatest fan of baths. However, this past bath, he did not try his usual tricks to get out of the bath during the course of it. Instead, he just stood calmly in the tub while I poured warm water all over him, shampooed him, then rinsed it off in the same matter as I initially used to get him wet. In fact, he basically waited for me to wrap him up in the towel after the bath was over, which was rather impressive. This, of course, allowed for some photo opportunities.

Shake, shake, shake!

"Okay, Mom, I'm ready to get out!"

"Are you expecting me to dry myself?"

Obviously, as a puppy, he is growing by the week. Here is an image of his teeth that clearly illustrates this. A few weeks ago, I noticed that he had lost his two lower canine puppy teeth. Well, the adult versions have started to come in! The red arrows illustrate the difference in size and shape of the puppy vs. adult teeth. The top, needle sharp little teeth are the puppy teeth, whereas the duller, less pointy lower teeth are the adult canines.

My little boy is growing up so fast!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Saturday, July 4, 2009

So, it was 6:45am on the 4th of July...

and what was Darwin up to?

Darwin and I were taking advantage of the "still slightly less hotter than the sufrace of the sun" morning temperature outside and having ourselves a nice walk in a town that was literally dead to the world. Not very patriotic, I admit, but nice.

I would say that this is one of my favorite times of day, as the sun is just playing nicely over the landcape, backlighting the world. Darwin was kind enough to pose, just so I could illustrate this point. And notice the wonderful sit-stay he is demonstrating. This dog is awesome!

And I was rather impressed with his walking this morning, too. He is the first dog I've been around, where I've had to train him to walk IN FRONT of me! I know part of it is the herding dog in him, but it has been rather interesting to shape that behavior. I swear, for the most part, this dog doesn't know the meaning of pulling on the lead.

Here he is, demonstrating his beautiful loose leash walking.

Meanwhile, the cat was inside getting a little sun of her own. Lazy kind of sun. On the dog's bed, of course. They are such siblings, and perfect opposites.

Happy 4th of July!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper