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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Obedience champ

Sometimes, Darwin just amazes me.

At obedience class last night he was perfect, performing his heeling around obstacles like a pro and with many distractions all around him. Now, this normally wouldn't be too surprising, as he is very smart and willing to work most of the time, except our practice of the necessary skills the three weeks prior had been very spotty ("Heel," "Park it"). (We haven't even developed 'heel' as a command yet and are still working on the appropriate positions before I introduce the word officially).

But last night, it was like some lightbulb went off in Darwin's head, and, in spite of Mom's obvious training failure these last few weeks(because of lack of time with graduate school demands and giving time to play instead - though I suppose we get in a little training while we play, just not 'heel' and 'park it'), he performed like a pro.

Plus, he always does it all with a great big happy smile on his face (see above).

*Note: I realize that this image does not depict a heel on the correct side. We were in fact not performing a heel but walking by the camera so Grandma could catch his movement.

*Note the second: So, I was correct about last night being the last obedience class for this session. However, the instructor extended it a week, so we will actually be doing our graduation walk next week, right on the heel of my finishing my midterms. I was very grateful for the practice last night, however.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Like a bird.

Apparently corgis are capable of flight when they want to be.

All four paws off the ground. I just love how athletic this little dog is.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Oh, and by the way, we will be graduating from intermediate obedience tomorrow and will be doing our 'graduation walk' where Darwin gets to show off his stuff. Wish us luck!

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There's a reason why we call him "Gremlin dog" sometimes...

And this is one of them...

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photo by Diane Hargreaves

Monday, October 19, 2009


You may have noticed that Darwin's leash seemed to be wrapped around him in yesterday's photos (see below for example). The reason for this is that I was attempting to convince him to lay on his back in the leaves, and he kept giving me an enthusiastic roll-over, accompanied by a delighted bark. So I just gave up and took what pictures I could. Ah, photography with my cardigan corgi. Always an adventure.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corgi amongst the leaves

I figured I should probably snap a few photos of Darwin in the leaves before our next unexpected snow covered them up, so here are the results of my attempted photoshoot with Darwin earlier today (He was bribed with a frisbee throw after every few poses, so he really didn't suffer for it).

I think his color complements the browns of the leaves quite nicely. :)

Darwin says: "This is my serious face."

A nice one without that building in the background.

Darwin's perspective on things.

Blending in. "Nobody here but us leaves..."

Corgi-shark goes trolling for buried frisbees.

This is what Darwin is really like. As opposed to that first picture which was very obviously done just to appease Mom and her need to take endless photographs.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

The Illustrated Darwin.

This wonderful bit of artwork was done by Shep over at Cardigan Complex. It definitely captures Darwin's enthusiasm for his frisbee as well as his unique color.

Thanks again, Shep!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sharing, Darwin style.

Darwin can, on occasion, share.

Proof below, in photos from this August when we traveled back to my hometown for a visit and a wedding.

The Brittany Spaniel is Darwin's Uncle Max, owned by my in-laws.

"Hey, Uncle Max!"


"I have a frisbee."

"See what I can do with it?"

"I'll share it with you if you want me to."

"Go ahead. Take it."

"Or I can just give it to you."

"Oh, you don't want it?"

"Then I guess I'll take it off your paws. And take it somewhere else!"

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

**Photos by Diane Hargreaves