Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Great Dog

I was so proud of Trekker yesterday! You never know how the dogs are going to handle a new situation until it arrives. I knew that Trekker liked kids, but he’d never had them invade his house. I was sure that he would initially like the attention and giving kisses, but how would he be an hour or two into the invasion? My niece and her two daughters were here for a Christmas celebration. Savanah, age 4, squealed with delight as soon as she saw Trekker and off they went to play. Trekker handled having little girls at the house like he’d been raised with kids. In fact, you’d think I had two corgis here the way they frapped together. Up, over, and around the furniture the two went. I was tired just watching them. For several hours they matched puppy energy with kid energy. When they left both puppy and girls were exhausted, naps were needed by both.
Shiloh, on the other hand, took the more reserved attitude. He enjoyed giving kisses when a young face was stuck in front of his and would take gentle pats, but otherwise he slept off to the side out of the commotion.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Fun

Thanks to Luke I have my first video. The dogs had fun with the new tunnel.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Shared Presents

My Christmas was Trekker's Christmas. I got pieces of equipment for us to start dog agility in January. Trekker's favorite was the tunnel. There was no hesitation, in he went. After a short time Trekker found that the tunnel was a real asset in his races with Shiloh. Nip at Shiloh's legs and run, up, over and around the furniture then through the tunnel. Shiloh wouldn't follow the tunnel spooked him. Shiloh and Trekker fell in love with their new Christmas toys and of course wanted the same toy at the same time. Trekker had to work and work to get the toy away from Shiloh, but once acquiring the coveted toy to the tunnel Trekker headed for safety. He thought lying in the middle would keep him safe. Wrong! Shiloh gathered his courage and went charging in. There was no way that he'd allow Trekker to win even if it meant going in the scary tunnel.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I rise early Christmas morning and the dogs and I make the voyage to the cold outdoors for a first morning pit stop. Then we wait. Next comes Grandma down the stairs. Then we wait. Finally, husband, Rich comes down the stairs. And we wait and wait. Finally, enough is enough and I send in the reinforcements. It works like a charm. What a sad day when the fascination of waking early for Christmas presents takes second place to sleeping in. I think I’ll have to wait for grandkids before we have another rush for the tree. For now I wait and use the best wake up alarm I have.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Finding Humor In Each Day

Dogs do the funniest things. I am busy trying to get ready for Christmas company and one of my tasks is to find a way to contain the dog toy clutter throughout the house. I bought a decorative basket to house them and began the pick-up. Trekker did not think that containing his toys was a good idea. As soon as I got the toys picked up he found a way to dump the basket and return the toys to their rightful place. I’m going to have to sneak them away to have any success. It doesn’t seem fair that when I almost have the son trained to pick up as he leaves a room that I now have a four legged boy that needs the same training.
As I hung a new picture Shiloh took the opportunity to steal the chew toy away from Trekker. Trekker whined for it back. Shiloh ignored. Trekker then ran back and forth between me and the toy, trying to get me to intervene. When I ignored his pleas and turned back to my task he tried to nip my calves to herd me over to Shiloh and the toy. That didn’t go over the way he’d planned.
Today was also the day Trekker discovered window gazing. I rearranged the sun room and a foot stool that he likes went close to the window. As he got up there to nap he had an ahah moment. He looked over at me with a look of surprise. Now he feels that he has to tell me about every squirrel that scurries through our yard. At his first warning bark Shiloh came running to see what he had missed. Had a real intruder gotten in? When he saw what Trekker was really barking at he gave him a look of disgust. They are funny creatures that just make me smile.

What Kind of People?

Having a restless night of sleep gave my mind plenty of opportunities for ponderings. I kept coming back to the topic of the blog of Cardi Corgi Capers by Russ. What kind of people would our Corgis be? Shiloh was easy. He’d be the old farmer. The kind that goes to the elevator to hang out and have a cup of coffee all the while telling anyone who will listen his stories. When there’s work to do on the farm he’ll pitch in, but wants to make sure he’s still perceived as being in charge.

Trekker, on the other hand, was a challenge to figure out. I finally settled on a new primary level teacher. Generally new primary teachers are go getters, full of enthusiasm, high ideals and expectations. They’re ready to assist their charges at all times, from a band aid and a hug to the tying of shoes and zipping coats. They can be seen gathering up their class and herding their little charges around the building with gusto. Due to inexperience they sometimes make their task harder, but they do that task with such zeel that the older teacher just shakes her head and smiles. Yes, I can see Trekker as that new primary teacher. Just an FYI—Even as a young teacher I didn’t have the energy to work with that level. I was always better with the fast witted, ornery middle school student. But as a reading consultant I’ve worked with many new primary level teachers and they all seem to have that same energy and idealism. They are what teaching needs and the heart of an elementary building.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unusual Playmates

Trekker is out, he is exhausted. What a weekend he’s had. Yesterday was two dog classes and today Trekker was invited by our dog class trainer to participate in a playdate with a few of her friends’ dogs. It was an odd assortment of dogs to gather, all (except Trekker) are either show or agility dogs. There was a Borzoi, Dalmation, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard, Ibezan Hound, a Rat Terrier, Border Collie, Belgian Sheepdog pup, and of course my corgi. A couple of these breeds I’d never seen before.

I had thought I had socialized Trekker. He’s gone numerous places and met quite a few dogs but most of them were on leash. Any off leash play has been one on one. This is the first time he’s been let loose with a number of other dogs, all were mannered. Trekker wasn’t sure how to act, he likes other dogs but is a little careful. He still hasn’t forgotten being pounced on by two Boxer puppies at our first puppy class when he was 10 weeks. This was really good for Trekker. The Borzoi was particularly taken with Trekker, it was the first corgi she had ever seen. What a size difference! Trekker’s favorite was the Belgian Sheepdog puppy. It was funny to watch him herd another herding dog. What a great experience for Trekker. He’ll be ready to go again.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Soft Spot to Rest

Since the storm has hit and the last day of school before winter break,was cancelled we're having a lazy day at home. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into the family room and found Shiloh using Trekker as a pillow. I've seen Trekker trying to snuggle in on Shiloh before but never the reverse. They even cooperated and let me grab my camera.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Making Himself Comfortable

For not getting in the living and dining rooms before Trekker quickly made himself quite at home! He was not there for more than 15 minutes; it became a race track, wresting room, and finally each piece of furniture had to be tried. Finally a rest was needed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Again

Trekker's estatic that there's new snow to burrow, notice the nose.
Me...yuck! Once is enough!

Tag Answered

Here is my tag photo response, see I was a better reader this time. The 6th folder was the pictures the breeder sent me weekly. The 6th picture was the litter at 6 weeks. Can you tell which one Trekker is? The picture was taken in April and I was going nuts. I couldn't wait to get my hands on my new addition and at this picture I did not know which pup I'd get. Patience is not my virtue and I had been waiting for 8 months. I wanted to know who was mine yesterday.

And my tag goes to My Favorite People Are Dogs.

Christmas Gift Suggestion

I heard on the radio that over 80% of the dog owners buy Christmas gifts for their dogs. Mine are already bought, but I draw the line in wrapping them. For those of you who are looking for ideas may I suggest a Nylabone Double Action Chew. There are very few things that can with stand Shiloh’s strong jaws. If it can, he usually doesn’t like it. I found this chew at Target and it was an instant hit with both dogs. There was so much tussling for the chew that I went out and bought another. That wasn’t successful because they still wanted the same one. We’ve had it since early fall and it still is a favorite. Just an idea.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Focus Needed

Trekker and I started a new round of classes on Saturday. Actually we started two. First is the beginner’s class at noon. There is no doubt that Trekker is the most obedience trained of the group of 13 dogs. But the class is a wonderful situation to run him through commands with lots of distracters. He still has a lot to learn about focus. Then at 2:00 is the advanced class. Things change in that class. There are three of us in it and it is rigorous with lots of individual attention. With so few participants I feel like I had to be on my toes all the time. I heard several time, “Joy, if you want him in TDI and agility you need to …” The class was very tailored to each of our needs. It was great, but both Trekker and I went home dragging. I did learn something else. Next time bring higher value treats to the second class. Trekker wasn’t sure he wanted to up his performance level for the same treats he had just had for the beginner’s class. Fortunately the instructor had hot dogs and hot dogs Trekker would work his heart out for.
Sunday we went to observe an advanced agility class. I have never seen focus like that. It demonstrated that Trekker and I have a really…really long way to go.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tagged for Favorite Things

Being a reading teacher, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t read. I’ve been tagged for my 6 favorite things earlier this week and just noticed today.
1. Spending time with family and that of course involves the dogs, my boys.
2. Reading, hopefully better than I did the tagging.
3. Gardening, as long as it’s not too hot.
4. Taking the dog training classes and learning new things. I’m not sure who has the greater learning curve Trekker or me.
5. The hanging, rocking chair under our deck is the perfect place to watch the dogs, read a book, and the garden grow. It’s one of the most relaxing places I know.
6. Watching the light go on in the kids eyes when they finally get something that they couldn’t figure out before. It’s the best!

Guest Writer

Trekker Here (recorded by Luke) -Each morning, after Mom and Dad have left for work, Shiloh, Luke and I wake up and go for a morning walk. Yesterday, the sidewalks were covered in black ice and all three of us slid and skidded around the neighborhood. I accidentally one took a misstep and slipped on my side; don’t worry, it didn’t hurt and I jumped right back up! When we start our walks, I always have a lot of energy and enjoy pulling on Shiloh’s leash (even though he doesn’t like it very much)! After we walk around the block, we go home and drop Shiloh off because the doctor says his legs aren’t as strong as they used to be. Then, Luke and I go for a longer walk and work on “heel.” He says that I’m doing really well and gives me lots of treats along the way, but don’t tell Shiloh because he likes treats just as much as I do!

A Partner in Training

Luke is home from college and is becoming a great partner in dog training and care. Trekker has loved it. Rather than be kenneled as I go off to work, he's gone into Luke's room for a little play and nap time. (Shiloh goes to the pillow at the front door.) That worked perfectly until last night when Luke brought down his computer power cord. That morning Trekker had been busy redesigning it and the telephone cord as Luke slept. Monday we'll have to alter our choices. Trekker has also gotten another long walk each day; early morning with me, late morning with Luke, and evening with Rich. Trekker's in heaven! Luke has also been working with Trekker's obedience commands. Today we start a new class and we want to be well prepared. Lastly, Luke will be guest authoring blog spots. Yes, Trekker and I will take advantage of Luke's good will as long as we can. If we're lucky it will last until the train rolls out January 2nd.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Small Amount of Jealousy

Shiloh is a one person dog, he loves me to distraction. He loves the attention of others, people and animals, as long as I am present. When he can see me, Shiloh settles comfortably into their company. If not, he becomes anxious. There was the time that he heard me talking to a neighbor in the front yard. He scaled a six foot privacy fence between our backyard and front to lie at my feet while I talked. When we took the TDI test, the testers fudged a little because he was anxious over our separation. Even when it comes to going outside for a bathroom break he’d like me to go out on the deck and wait for him. He would hold it forever if it meant going out alone. When I’m not home Shiloh lays on the pillow at the front door watching for me to return home. It makes no difference if Rich or Luke is home, whom he loves, he waits for me at the door.

Trekker, on the other hand, is a love the one you’re with dog. He wants to be where the action is. If Luke, Rich, or Shiloh is ready to go so is he. Go…Go…Go… though when it’s time to settle in, it’s my lap where he retreats. Trekker’s attitude is a healthier and it will make him a better TDI dog, but I find myself with a slight twang of jealousy as I watch how much Trekker is enjoying Luke being home from college.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I am a keeper and a collector. I love the ritual of getting the cherished Christmas decorations out year after year and adding an item or two to the collection. This season has been a challenge. Over the summer we began to downsize with the intent of moving south in a couple of years. Many pieces of furniture, knick knacks, etc. left our house. This weeding process has made me reflect on what I really love and want to pass down to my son as opposed to what was okay and filled the rooms. But what do you do with the decorations that have always been placed on pieces of furniture that are now gone? You rethink and pare down. I work with many young teachers who are just beginning their households and are in their acquiring stage. This works perfectly with this middle age educator who is in the weeding stage and wants to give things away.
So you would think that with all this giving I wouldn’t buy a new piece. Wrong, but to me it was one great piece that HAD to be purchased. I love Fitz and Floyd for its hand painted intricate detail and over the years I have collected quite a bit. But I have never brought myself to buy the large table top Santa sleigh. This year it called to me over and over telling me that it belonged on my dining room table, which is where it now sits. I want to state for the record I have kept my deal with the husband. I agreed that I would not bring in anything without getting rid of something. I did that. I just didn’t agree that they would be of equal value.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Soft Heart

If you asked my husband, Rich, about our having dogs he would adamantly state that they are all mine and he wants no part of them. He would say that he had said NO, we don’t need a dog and we still don’t! The first no came when I was in college and wanted a puppy in the worse way but had no way of keeping one. Rich, on the hand, could because he was farming. After a little sweet talking and a little too much drink he said yes. The next day we had our first puppy, a sheperd-border collie. This puppy soon became Rich’s shadow, where ever Rich went so did Sasha. That bond lasted for over ten years.
Thirty years later the song has not changed, but actions speak louder than words. Every night after work Rich takes the dogs for a long walk. He takes both dogs on a short walk (all Shiloh can handle) and then returns home with Shiloh and continues on with Trekker for a lengthy finish. (The pictures show the dogs waiting impatiently for Rich to come through door ready for their nightly walk. Sometimes it’s a long wait for the impatient Trekker.)
I have allowed the dogs to sleep with us. Over the years Rich has pushed Shiloh into the middle of the bed or made him get down so that he could claim his side. Now I occasionally find Rich sleeping on the sofa. When I ask him why he tells me that Shiloh was comfortable and he just didn’t have the heart to make the old boy move.
A couple of weeks ago I had made a pork roast. After the meal Rich was helping me clean up and was taking forever in clearing the roast. Finally he handed me a bag of meat scraps and said that he had cut it into small bites so that I could give the dogs treats throughout the next week.
Rich’s actions sure speak louder than words and fortunately he doesn’t know how to find my blog because he wouldn’t want the world to know that he is a real softy. He would continue to tell you he never wanted any dog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Song About Corgis

Did you know that there is a song out now about corgis? I just spent a few minutes out on the web and heard it. Here's the site I found it. How fun.

A Little Rough Housing

Living through modern medicine, that's us. Better and stronger medication is again allowing Shiloh more time. After a couple days on the stronger meds he's participating in a little rough housing. The play times are shorter and fewer between but at least we have them. I am so glad that Trekker and I are starting beginners agility right after the holidays. The boy has always been energetic, but now with Shiloh slowing he has energy to burn.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling Others Loss

In the past couple of days I've read blogs about the passing of Bart and the aging of Petunia, both well loved dogs. Tears well up in my eyes as I read these because if you have ever loved a dog, a best friend, you have to survive the his aging process and eventually their loss.

Shiloh came to be part of our family as a young pup from the Animal Rescue League. He has been my shadow and best friend for the last ten years. In my eyes he has been a near perfect dog. As Shiloh turned nine he began to age quickly. Our once semi annual veterinary visits are now coming at least monthly, if not more. No easy answers are coming to explain a wide variety of symptoms. As he now reaches ten each day that he is feeling up enough to harass Trekker is a blessing. Today we will once again visit Dr. Henning and hope for a medicine or treatment that will allow him more time as a valued member of our family.

Yes, my heart goes out to Bart and Petunia's families.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Need Experienced Corgi Owner's Opinion

I had a dog trainer to my house this afternoon and she said that Trekker was an unusual build, really slim and athletic. The corgis she had seen are much stockier in build. I told her that Trekker was 9 months and 23 pounds and that between a year to 15 months he'd get his bulk. His mother was 31 pounds and his father was 33 or 34. Since Trekker is my first corgi am I correct? Thanks.

Waiting for Santa Under the Tree

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A New Find

Trekker does love his snow burrowing. Today it was the neighbor's yard since ours was complete.

Trekker was invited to neighbors to play with Casey, the Chesapeake Bay mix puppy. Before serious play could take place Trekker had to relocate a little snow and low and behold what did he find? Casey's precious squeaky football buried under the snow. Unlike Shiloh, Casey was not able to retrieve it from a quick and cunning corgi. Trekker gave the poor pup the same teasing treatment that his brother gives him. Casey gave chase after chase trying to retrieve his toy, but the only part of Trekker that Casey could catch was his tail. He held on like a champ until Trekker finally returned his find.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Snow Treasures

A little background information is needed—Shiloh has never been much for toys. When he’s had them it has been a matter of minutes before his powerful jaws chews them apart. Yet he loves the sound of squeaky toys. Last summer I found a squeaker that seems to have lasted. Or more accurately, Shiloh hides so that Trekker can’t confiscate. Trekker, on the other hand, loves his toys. His feelings are the more the better; he doesn’t seem to have favorites. Knowing Trekker’s passion for toys, Shiloh regularly takes away Trekker’s toys and lays on top of them just for kicks.
Now on to the story—Trekker has decided it is his mission to burrow up all the backyard snow. Mother Nature seems to need a relocation crew of one. Finally as he got to the perimeter of the yard the burrower hit a jack pot, a squeaky toy. To be more specific, Shiloh’s precious squeaking bone that he had carefully hidden. Trekker pranced the yard displaying his new treasure, that is until Shiloh caught sight of what Trekker was holding. Shiloh marched over to Trekker and grabbed it away from him. Trekker tried to quickly retrieve the toy back, but Shiloh was having none of that. Trekker then tried the “I’m telling Mom” whine. When I wouldn’t intervene Trekker tried sneak attacks and direct attacks. None worked. Shiloh was keeping the beloved squeaker. Shiloh kept the bone in his mouth or right next to him even taking it up on the deck for safe keeping. When it was time to go inside Shiloh stood aside and let Trekker in first, set the bone down outside, right in front of the slider, and came inside. He then lay on the rug in front of the slider so that he could warmly keep watch. This leaves me wondering what goes on inside his devious mind. Why didn’t he bring squeaker inside? Maybe, it’s just one more way to torture his younger brother?