Sunday, May 23, 2010

Road trip!

A week ago, the husband and I decided we needed to go out into the woods on a picnic, so we loaded up the dog in the car along with some food, drinks, and the ever-important frisbee. This week will present highlights from the trip.

Darwin in the car as we turned off onto a dirt road. He gets really excited when we arrive on dirt roads and starts doing his cardi singing and appearing as a head and two paws over the back seat as in the example below:

Along the way, we passed some bighorn sheep on the side of the road. Darwin gave them quite the talking to!

Then we drove on, past a rickety suspended bridge and through the woods, until at last we found a campsite where we decided to picnic. Which will be the subject of tomorrow's post.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The weirdest positions....

Bringing one's first corgi home is certainly a learning experience. Not only was Darwin my first corgi, he was also my first puppy as a responsible adult (the last one I had at eight years old and don't really remember). I'd done four years of research into the breed, but, of course, they still manage to surprise you. One thing that amuses me is the way that corgis seem to be magnetically attracted to sleeping in the weirdest positions (usually upside-down, on their backs). Darwin, as a puppy, had the proclivity to find the most absurd spaces to sleep in. Below are a few images of his relationship with our cat's scratching post.

"Uh, oh. Where's the corgi? He was just here a minute ago..."

"Oh, there he is!"

"Mom. Why did you have to wake me with that flashy thing. Can't you tell I'm growing and need my rest? Maybe if I sleep more, my legs will grow longer!"

*Notably, the middle photo is really the only picture I have where Darwin is truly asleep, as he has become wise to the sound my camera turning on and always has to get up and check it out whenever he hears that mechanical whir of the lens opening. Being stealthy with something that has such large ears is quite the challenge.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I can haz chewable...

Back when toilet paper tubes were about as big as his head. His paws can grab them better now, but corgi legs are still not perfect tools for this sort of work (allowing for their intellect to take hold and fill in the missing paw length with nearby objects of holding).

We started his love of destroying cardboard tubes early on and this is a love that has stayed with him. (In fact, we have several bags of the things lying around and he gets to tear up one or two every day or so). He doesn't eat the cardboard, though. These things were made purely for the shredding into itty bitty pieces and distributing to the four corners of the apartment, so Mom's weekly cleaning job is made that much more difficult.

But he is worth it. :)

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunshine boy!

When we first brought Darwin home, he was afraid to cross the threshold into our apartment as it was an entirely new place (In fact, he was nervous enough, he had an accident in our doorway). However, he soon realized that this was our home, and also his new home, and turned into the smiley self he has been since then.

I swear, some days this smile is what gets me through the day.

He is definitely one of the happiest dogs I've ever met!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A year ago today...

A year ago today, we went to look at some Cardigan welsh corgi puppies because I was feeling empty without a dog....

A year ago today, we made the decision that we would be bringing one of said puppies home with us...

A year ago today, the little cream puppy, the last of his litter at the breeder's, was named Darwin...

A year ago today, I found my heartbeat in a set of four stubby legs, a tail, some very large ears, and all the furry goodness in between.

We did not pick him up for a week, however, so for the next seven days you will be treated to baby!Darwin.

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Monday, May 3, 2010

First "swim"

Well, Darwin is reasonably comfortable with wading now. However, he is not quite sure about the mechanics of swimming just yet. We are still just playing in the river, so haven't actually had a chance to take him somewhere where we can go out and have a true swimming experience.

Here's some photos of Darwin 'getting his feet (and belly) wet:'

"This giant water dish feels quite good on my belly. And the water seems to taste better. Can we get one at home?"

"Wait a minute. Something has caught my attention. Now if I can just pinpoint the source."

"Gotta go! The frisbee beckons!"

Nothing more alluring to this corgi than a Frisbee in the Wild....

-Mel, Corgi-keeper

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Agility Debut!

Well, it has been awhile since I have updated this blog. This has mainly been because my semester sort of got away from me and I was not on the computer as much as I expected to be. Suffice it to say, Darwin had plenty of adventures during my absence, the most recent one being learning his first agility obstacle! (And don't worry, there are pictures of his adventures this past month, and they will be posted shortly.... though probably not until this weekend, as this is the final week of my semester).

A week ago, the in-laws were in town and we all decided to go check out PVC pipe at Home Depot. We did, of course, purchase some with the intention of making two jumps to start Darwin's agility training on. (We also bought some stick-in-the-ground posts that will serves as rudimentary weave poles- but we haven't started working with these yet so they will be a topic of a later post). My father-in-law helped me create the jump you see below in the picture, though so far Darwin and I have only worked with one (we made two). I started him on 8", but believe that he will eventually need to be at 12" (thus the two height marks on the jump) - those with agility corgis feel free to validate this or correct me if I am wrong (Darwin is 13" at the withers). (My last agility dog was lab-sized).

But you probably don't visit this blog to hear me blather on, so, without further ado, Darwin's agility debut!

"Okay, Mom. I see this thing before me. What am I supposed to do with it?" (Note the lip-bitey expression on his face)

Getting ready to jump.... Just look at the concentration on his face.

And a very blurry leap over! Yay Darwin!

"You want me to jump over it again?"

Before his first leap over the jump, Darwin first tried to go under it. When he recieved an "uh uh" from me, he tried to go around it. When that also failed to please me, he decided that maybe he should go over it! A click and a treat later and he understood.

Darwin can now be called over the jump, be directed over the jump, and we are working on getting him comfortable going over the jump as I run beside him (he still thinks that he should go around it at that point every few times). Overall, I'm very happy with our progress and he seems to be enjoying himself. I'm excited to introduce two jumps, but know I need to take my time and make sure things are correct before going any further. (We have practiced jumping in two different locations so far - my deck and an empty parking lot near my residence).

*I also taught Darwin to close a door with his nose this weekend. He really is my little superstar!

-Mel, Corgi-keeper