Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finding Your Right "Size"


'Puppy size,' Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to the animal shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this,' the mother told the volunteer. 'What is it she keeps asking for?' the volunteer asked.

'Puppy size!' replied the mother.

'Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for. '

'I know... we have seen most of them,' the mom said in frustration. Just then Danielle came walking into the office. 'Well, did you find one?' asked her mom.

'No, not this time,' Danielle said with sadness in her voice. 'Can we come back on the weekend?'

The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed. 'You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply,' the volunteer said.

Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. 'Don't worry, I'll find one this weekend,' she said. Over the next few days both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular. 'It's this weekend or we're not looking any more,' Dad finally said in frustration.

'We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size, either,' Mom added.

Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted. Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, 'Sorry, but you're not the one.'

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer. 'Mom, that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!' She screamed with joy. 'It's the puppy size!'

'But it's the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks,' Mom said.

'No not size... The sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed,' she said. 'Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!'

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both. 'Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms,' she said. Then, holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, 'Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!'

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Corgi Smell

As far as I can tell, Trekker uses more of sense of sight than smell. Even when I visit with other dogs he only needs a cursory sniff and is satisfied. That was until the night of the Winjammin' s chili supper last weekend. While there I had the opportunity to have corgi puppy play and came home smelling of "other corgis". It drove Trekker nuts. Literally for 45 minutes Trekker was on top of me sniffing. So now I have two more corgi facts--corgis smell different than other breeds and corgis like to play with other corgis more than other breeds (discovered at dog class two weeks ago).

Nine Tenths of the Law

Shiloh here—there’s a disagreement going on at our house as to who should sleep where on the bed. Mom has one side and Trekker snuggles in with her. Not me! I want to spread out. I’ve tried to nudging Dad out of his side. For a while I could stretch out and Dad would try not disturb me because I’m old. He found himself sleeping on the edge of the bed while I took my part out of the middle. When he almost fell out he kicked me out! Does he not remember that I have old bones? He just doesn’t care anymore. Well the jokes on him. He has to share a bed with Mom and Trekker, but I’ve found my own queen size bed. I share with no one! Thanks Luke, your bed is great, plenty of room to stretch out and my own pillows too. Mom did get grumpy when I kept making a nest out of your down comforter so she put it in the closest and got a quilt out. It isn’t near as nice to scrunch for comfort. I also have begun using my bed for daytime sleeping and window gazing. Possession is nine tenths of the law so I don’t know where you’re going to sleep Luke, but the bed is mine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tunnel Fun

Trekker here—I got this great tunnel for Christmas from my boy Luke. It’s great to duck in when I play with Shiloh. First I have to get the game going. What works is I nip his legs and bounce around until he turns to give chase. I do a few room laps and when I think he’s ready to bring me down I duck into the tunnel. He watches the end I just went in, but I barrel out the end, nip him again, and run. Ha…he doesn’t seem to learn that there are two ends! I could play this game over and over, but Shiloh will only stay interested for a short time so sometimes I just have to run the tunnel for the fun of doing it. Mom has taught me the word “tunnel” and I know to run through. I have to see which end she points to so I know where she wants me to go and then I run through. So far we haven’t done any of this in agility class, but I’m ready!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wonderful Corgi Fix

Wow, did I get a corgi fix this weekend. Thank you so much Sherliyn and Russ for inviting me over after the dog show. It was great to put faces to the names that I see on the corgi blogs. And better yet was to get to have a little puppy play. I hadn’t realized how much Trekker had grown until I saw your pups. Also, thank you Cindy for so patiently answering corgi questions. It seems the more I know the more questions I have. Hope the Sunday show results went your way.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warmth, Warmth
Come Again

Together Through the Cold

School was canceled for today at 5:00 last night due to cold weather and paralyzing wind chill. With 25 years of working in education it has never happened before. Snow and ice may stop us, but not cold. Unfortunately, Trekker and Shiloh did not seem to be aware that it was unnecessary for me to get up this morning. Did they not watch the news with me and see me do the happy dance? At 3:00 am, Trekker snuggles into his nitch between my neck and head. By 4:45 am both dogs were ready to go out for their early morning bathroom break. Since we live in a walk out on bad weather days I take the dogs to the lower level to let them out. I thought the 45 degree below warranted two floors of stairs, even at this early time. After carefully descending two flights of stairs in the dark I opened the door and let the dogs out. Trekker took one step out and turned around to come right back in. Too cold for him no matter how bad he had to go. After a few choice words, I wrapped the down blanket around me and went out too. Yep, it was COLD! The boys did their business quickly and were ready to go back in the house. ME too. Since I’m now wide awake, I’ll do a little prayer for all the animals and people who can’t go right back inside.

My next problem to solve will be how to exercise an active adolescent puppy enough to wear him out inside when he’s used to walking a couple miles a day. His interest in ball throwing and chase are limited.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Early Morning Alarm Clock

I hear in class every week how much dogs read body language. They understand signals that you don’t even know you are putting out. That must be the case with Trekker. About three each morning I must move or act differently in my sleep. Each morning about that time he moves to snuggle in between my head and shoulder with his head resting on my neck. Then Trek begins a soft almost purr. He’ll occasionally lift his head up and lick my neck or ear to let me know he’s there and content. On occasions like this morning, I wake a little more and give an another unknown signal because I then get not only kisses but nudges to make me aware that he’d like itched or stroked. If I stop he’ll move a little to put his body in contact with my unmoving hand but never enough that he looses his head position on my neck. It’s a very gentle, loving wake up alarm but I sure wish it would come about two hours later.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unforeseen Consequences

The snow is now past Trekker’s belly and he has to bunny hop or plow through the yard, but it doesn’t lower his enthusiasm for the white stuff. Trek wiggles, barks, and nips Shiloh to get him to partake in a chase game through the new snow. Shiloh engages in the chase. Usually Trekker is able to run and weave quickly through the yard so that Shiloh’s double size is never a problem. Today what he hadn’t counted on was the snow slowing him. There was no contest. Trek runs and Shiloh brings him down. Trek runs Shiloh brings him down. The lesson of the day—chase game works better with one less inch of snow on the ground or only playing with someone else who also has short legs!

Thanks so much for the corgi insights. Being new to the corgi world I have no baseline info. It’s nice to hear from those that know.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Corgi Questions

I've got another two corgi questions. Trekker is an extremely vocal dog. It's often like he's talking to me. He has all sorts of pitches he uses depending on what he's wanting. Trek even talks to Shiloh in play. Is that just his personality or typical corgi? Also, do corgis generally play with one of their own kind with more exuberance than other breeds. Trekker has played with all sorts of dogs but for the past two weeks there has been a pen at class and after the work is done they have off leash play. There is a marked difference in his play habits with another corgi than any other dog. Usual or just Trekker?

I was going to get some new pictures for the blog at our classes this weekend and of course forgot the camera.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snow Brings A Step Back

What a whirlwind start to a new year, it seems to be going by in a blear. I really feel that the school system should understand that I’m really busy and just allow me to stay home for a while, with salary of course. Actually, school has been as busy if not busier than my home life with meetings, mid-year assessments, and new projects. It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been back in session for a week.

I’ve made Trekker a priority this week. Last week we went back to training unprepared. Fortunately he kicked it in better than I did. Today, I hope, we’re ready. We’ve practiced and are looking pretty sharp. Now the test will be—can we carry it over where there are distractions? This is the last session for the advanced handlers’ class. I’m hoping she’ll announce a continuation. With only three to four people it is tailored specifically to the handlers and dogs immediate needs. I’ve never had to work so hard in a class because you’re never out of the eye of the instructor. She is demanding and we’re improving because of it.

Then tomorrow we start our agility class. Since this is my first attempt at it I have no idea what to expect. Will we have the skills needed to do it? I have no doubt in Trekker’s ability; it’s his owner’s ability that I’m worried about.

You could almost hear a sigh of relief this morning from the dogs with the new snow covering the ground. Our backyard has gone from an ice rink to a winter wonderland where they can finally get traction and play. Trekker’s first mission was to nose plow the pristine snow. He’s so enamored with it that when he’s not out he’s up on the footstool looking out the window and sighing. Rich, on the other hand, not so thrilled. He too looked out and sighed too with a completely different meaning before heading out too to plow. His comment was, “I wouldn’t have to do this if we lived in Arizona. “

My hope is to bring life to a little slower pace this weekend before starting all over again Monday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work

Ashamed of Trekker and my two week hiatus, we were back at class on Saturday. The first half of class we were pretty sad to watch, but the second half really looked up. You could almost hear Trekker say, “Oh yeah, we’re here to work. I know how to do this. I’ll make my lazy mom look good even though she hasn't earned it!” He handled it like a champ . Since then we have been kicking it into gear. The plan is to be most improved this week.

I met my first Pem puppy at class. She is 6 months old and made Trekker look huge. He’s getting to be a big boy!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Guilt Feelings

It's the first of a new year and seems to be my time to feel guilty. Not a useful feeling, but one that is here never the less.

  1. The yard has melted enough that it has become a land mine of ice. Man and animal alike slide and have poor footing. Trekker hates walking on it but for Shiloh, in his old age, it's just dangerous. I feel guilty that there is nothing I can do to fix it for him except pray for a warm spell.
  2. Because of the ice still on the sidewalks and I'm afraid of falling the dogs and I have not been walking. Thank goodness that Rich still ventures out because otherwise Trekker would be impossible to live with.

  3. With my mom visiting for the holidays and Luke home from college Trekker's training has gone to nonexistance. Tomorrow we're back in class and we will not be coming home proud.

  4. I was supposed to be dieting and like training that was nonexistent too.

  5. Luke heads back to college tonight and already I've taken over his spaces. Yesterday Trekker and I took over the rec room on the lower level. It's become our new agility course. With only two of us here most of the time we don't need the space so I put most of the furniture at one end of the room or in the storage room and brought out my new equipment. And the boy hasn't even left yet, but his sheets and towels are already in the wash. Poor Luke, his mother taking over his areas and things.

For the rest of the day I'll wallow in guilt and knowing I'll be an empty nester again and tomorrow I'll get to changing what I can.