Monday, December 31, 2007

The First Dollar Has Been Dropped

The other day Husband and I went to PetSmart and bought all our initial puppy essentials. The best part? I have a friend who works there, so she gave us her employee discount and we saved $60! Thanks Mother of Rowdy! :) We spent a lot, but we also got a lot of really great stuff! I found most of it on their website, so I can show you all. Just click the picture to link back to the website. I'm told PetSmart has a ridiculously good return policy (not only do you not need a receipt, you can actually bring in something you bought at another store), so let me know if you've had bad experiences with any of these products. Other general opinions are also welcome. :)

First thing we got was a pen.

This is going to be the area for the puppy when I'm out longer than a couple of hours. It's big enough for a crate/bed, puppy pads, a bowl of water, and a toy. This will only be needed until the puppy is house trained, which will hopefully be very fast!

Next we got a doggy gate.

My husband figured this would be a nice thing to have in general. He thinks we're going to put it at the bottom of the stairs to keep the puppy from going upstairs, but he's wrong. We're not banishing our dog to only the lower level of our house. But it'll still be good for sectioning off areas of the house when we don't have puppy to have free range of the whole house.

For our next car I'd like to get a hatchback for our dog to ride in, but until then, we got this thing to protect the back seat of our sedan and keep the puppy there.

I like the it's easily removable and washable. Plus all those pockets are great. And there's a Velcro opening in the middle so you can still buckle a doggy harness in. We opened it up in the store to make sure. Also, this picture doesn't show it, but you can let one of the sides down, so a person can ride on one side.

Unfortunately, my husband's practicality won out over my girlishness in some cases. I wanted a cute collar and matching leash, but my husband insisted that nylon leashes are a pain to hold and said we needed leather. But at least he agreed to the collar I wanted.

Now we didn't buy a pink collar. PetSmart doesn't have the right color on their website, but it's the same one. The one I bought is blue. It's a gorgeous bright blue that I think will go nicely against his/her red fur. Imagine a male puppy named Bowser wearing a pink collar! Hehe.

Husband has allergies, so we need to take grooming very seriously to make sure he's as comfortable as possible. So we got the best.

From what I hear, the Furminator is the best grooming tool out there. It gets loose dog fur like nobody's business. It was pricey, but I had to make sure we got all the good stuff while we had the 15% off. Hopefully it'll be well worth it.

Also for grooming we got just a regular bristle brush as well.

It's supposed to help distribute natural oils and keep the top coat lookin' pretty.

For a food bowl I went with stainless steal.

Plastic and ceramic supposedly hold on to bacteria more because they're porous materials. And since Corgis are supposed to be grub fiends, I went with the non-tip style.

In terms of toys, we got quite a few. I wanted to get even more, but Husband was getting too anxious about our total cost skyrocketing. Hehe. Of course, we got a puppy Kong.

The rubber is a little softer than a regular Kong. We also got a puppy Kong Frisbee, a rope toy, and a couple of Christmas themed stuffed toys. They were 50% off and I doubt the dog will care if s/he's playing with a Santa in the middle of March. Hehe.

We also got a Chuckit.

I see people playing with these in parks all the time, and they look so fun! We got the big one that can hold regular tennis balls. For some reason people think that because Corgis have short legs, they can't run. They're herding dogs, or course they run!

We got something to keep puppy's teeth clean

It comes with a toothbrush, toothpaste, one of those brushes that goes over your finger for the gums, and some doggy breath mints (we only got the one with the breath mints because it was cheaper :p)

For playing with the puppy out of the house we got a bag for treats and a portable water bowl

Husband actually wanted the bag. I would have been fine with a baggy in my pocket. The portable water bowl is something that's always seemed like such a great idea. I got the pink one. ;)

And last, but not least (ok, maybe a little least), poop bags. Hehe.

This was another one Husband picked out. Now that I've looked closer at the packaging, it doesn't say the bags are biodegradable, like the bags on board brand are. So I may either return these if I'm back at PetSmart soon, or just not buy them the next time.

Phew! I think that's mostly what we picked up at PetSmart. Before you mention the obvious things I've left out (i.e. the crate, bed, and water bowl), there are some items that we kind of already have (or will have). Apparently after Husband's parent's dog, Mickey, was put down, they just couldn't bare to get rid of any of his stuff. So when they came to visit for Christmas, they brought all of his crap. We're getting rid of most of it, but some stuff we're keeping. We're going to keep his two huge ceramic bowls and use them as water bowls. And we're keeping his beds (begrudgingly on my part). I agreed to keep the beds because Husband insisted that our puppy would most likely tear up and destroy the beds pretty early on anyway. With my luck we'll get the one puppy who doesn't tear up his/her things. Hehe.

The crate and the food are coming from the breeder. She'll give us the crate to take the puppy in, which Husband thinks we'll be able to use for a couple of weeks. When the puppy gets bigger we'll get the bigger crate. I think he just got some sticker shock after all the stuff we bought. I may be able to talk him into the crate sooner. :)

So what do you think? Did I miss anything?!

The Reservations Are Made

It's official. I cleared the dates with the breeder and booked the travel. February 17th I will be returning from Oklahoma with my very first PWC puppy!!! That means I have a whole month and a half to (impatiently) wait. I know it will be the longest month and a half of my life. I'm already starting to have dreams that I'm there playing with six adorable puppies choosing my puppy to bring home.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Video Of The Week 12

Since I'm all about puppies this week, here is a neat video on puppies! I don't know what breed they are, some toy breed (Shih-Ttzu?). But it's fun to see them develop from lumps of fur into the puppies you get to take home! Hehe.

Slightly Fatter Lumps of Fur

Here's the newest puppy pic. I hear that more will be on the way soon.

Now that they've got some meat on their bones, they're all looking pretty darn cute. I can't wait till they open their eyes!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

And Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2007

We're The...Other Ones! (One Week, Part 2)

I wouldn't dream of leaving out the girls! Here they are.



Dolly (not available):

The girls have such squishy looking faces! I'm curious to see how they develop over the weeks. Right now they seem so tiny. I definitely favor the boys right now in coloring and looks. But who knows what open eyes and a good personality will bring!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We're The Chipmunks! (One Week, Part 1)

The breeder has already updated her website with new pics of the puppies! Yay! They still just look like adorable lumps of fur (or snausages as my mom and sister like to call them), but at least we can see them at new angles.

Here are the boys (the chipmunk theme I think is cute).




Theodore is still my favorite right now. But that's just because I liked the look of him right away. As they develop into more than lumps with nubs for ears sticking out of their heads, and open their eyes, I'll be able to see some personality. Though it would be very sweet if Theo ended up being the right personality for us too. It would mean it was love at first sight! Hehe.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're Off To Oklahoma

We've decided once and for all that we're going to fly to Oklahoma to choose our puppy in person. That's right, I said we. I found an airline that flies directly from our city to Tulsa for cheap! The tickets were so inexpensive, in fact, that my husband decided he would come too. I'm so ecstatic. I was really dreading trying to choose a puppy on my own. That's partly what influenced his decision. He said he'd better come along to make sure I come home with only one puppy. Hehe.

I'm glad we found an airline that flies direct. This way we can bring the puppy back with us in cabin. And the flight is only a few hours, so little Bowser should be fine.

I'm still finalizing the dates with the breeder. As soon as she gives the ok, I'm booking tickets! Wee!

More Puppy Pictures, Sad News

So there's good news and bad news regarding the puppies. The bad news is that the breeder lost two of the male puppies. She said it's always harder with big litters. They were just too small. It's very sad.

But on a good note, the puppies had their tails docked yesterday, so the breeder was able to take individual pictures of the puppies. And good news for you, here they are!







Dolly is going to be staying with the breeder. Based on these pictures alone, I think Theodore is gorgeous. I love his collar, and the blaze on his head, and that little patch of brown in between. Hehe. He looks like a Bowser.

I mentioned in my last post about names that Husband liked the name Bowser. I was kind of joking when I first suggested it, but since then it's grown on us. I think if we get a boy, he's going to be Bowser. What do you think? I can't wait until Halloween. We can dress him up with a red mohawk and spikes. Hehe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Video Of The Week 11

Check out the adorable puppy Gonzo!

Oooh! I can't wait till I have my own!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some Education

I just showed my co-worker, who I like to call Mouth, the picture of the puppies. His reaction was "they're brown!"

Yes, red and white puppies are brown when they're puppies. They develop their orange color over time. When you bring home an 8-10 week old puppy, s/he should have a brownish, slightly orange-ish color. Some corgis you see at the pet store look orange as young puppies. That's because they've somehow bred them this way, and from I hear it's a bad thing. Don't be put off, your puppy will get that gorgeous coloring soon enough.

He then asked me "which one is yours? Don't you get first pick of the litter?"

Oh Mouth, you can't choose a puppy that's only two days old! It's just a blob of fur at that point. Its features aren't developed yet, and certainly its personality hasn't fully developed yet. You have wait a few weeks before you can get a full sense, right? Besides that, I haven't been out to see them yet! No no no. I can't say which is mine yet.

Puppies, First Look

Here it is folks, the very first picture of the puppies. I only count six fur balls, but I'm sure the other two are in there somewhere. What cuties!

This past year I've been impatient for a puppy, and that's putting it nicely. I didn't think it was possible, but now that they're born, I'm even more impatient!

Update: The puppies will be getting their tails docked on Friday. After that the breeder will take individual pictures of the puppies and send them to me. That means I have to wait until at least Friday for more pictures. Torture!

Is It Just Me?

Ok, what is going on with my blog picture? It's messed up in my non-dog blog too. Does it look cut off (on all 4 sides) to anyone else, or is it just me? How long has it been like that?

Monday, December 17, 2007


The puppies are here!!! My puppy mama is now the proud mother of 3 girls and 5 boys! 8 puppies, what a litter! I guess I'll have lots to choose from. From the breeder's description, it sounds like she just had them tonight! And here I was saying I didn't expect to hear from her for a while because she'd be busy. That was very nice of her.

Well she said she'd take pictures tomorrow, so I won't have anything to show you until I get something from her. I'd love to see pictures, although newborn Corgis look like gerbils! They don't get to their super cuteness until around 5-6 weeks, right? Hehe.

Oh, I'm so unbelievably happy right now! I was doing the dreaded self evaluation for my yearly performance evaluation, so this was definitely the cheer up I needed. :)

No News Is No News

Well as you can see from my counter at the right, today is the day. But not really. Puppy births (whelping) are like human births, you can't exactly time them. December 17th was just an estimate. Actually, the breeder's website now says December 18th, so I guess you can pretend the counter still has one more day. ;)

I've been thinking, and even if she does have her puppies today or tomorrow, I probably won't hear about it right away. I mean, the breeder is going to be busy with the puppies. She's not going to have time to email me. That kinda bums me out, but it's ok. I'll send her an email tomorrow or the next day asking about them.

I just hope she emails me before she updates her website. This summer she didn't update her website with the info that she had puppies until like a month after they were born! She best be emailing me some pics well before that!

Hold tight everyone. You'll know when I know!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Crazy Offer

So I think I may have mentioned in the past that a couple months ago I contacted another breeder just on a gut instinct. It was Lynn's breeder actually. She sounded like a really sensible breeder, and she was having a litter in November. It fit my timeline, so I shot her an email, just to see what would come of it. Yes, I know, I'm cheating on my breeder. But my guts said to go for it, so I did. After exchanging a few emails with her I figured nothing would come of it because she didn't like the fact that my husband and I would be gone all day at work (even though for the first few months I would come home in the middle of the day, that wasn't good enough). Well I just got the most unexpected email from her.

Apparently she has a one year old gorgeous black headed tri named Murphy from a past litter that she is trying to place in a good home. Murphy and one of his litter-mates are living together with a family, and since they're not getting along (read: being aggressive toward each other), they are willing to place Murphy "with the right family". I guess the breeder thought I would be a good fit. She said that she thought this dog would be better for me than a puppy because of the not being home all the time issue.

What should I do? Before I read her email I would have said that I wanted a puppy period. But after reading her email I'm having second thoughts. This dog is friendly, house trained, has had some obedience training. I wouldn't need to deal with puppy neediness. But at the same time I would miss out on a puppy and all the good things associated with that! I would miss out on shaping my puppy into the dog s/he'd become. After everything I've read about puppy development I don't trust some family to do the things that I would do.

Hi, I'm JuLo and I'm a control freak.

Hehe. But of course, on the other side, this family has socialized Murphy in ways I would have trouble with in my own house. This family has kids and cats, Murphy has been back to the breeder's house to play with her dogs. That means this dog is already socialized with people, kids, and other animals. That's a pretty important step in development.

But then again the bonding experience would be totally different. With an 8-10 week old puppy I'd be taking home a baby who would experience homesickness, but then would bond to us and be part of our family. With Murphy I'd be taking him away from his family that he's already bonded with and loves very much. I feel like I would never have the same relationship, or at least I would wonder.

I talked to Husband, and he's just as puzzled. His first concern was that Murphy was an aggressive dog, but according to the breeder that's not the case. Murphy is a needy dog that always took up a lot of the family's attention. The other dog would get jealous and pick fights. According to the breeder, Murphy never started these fights, but he wouldn't back down either. So that makes me feel like Murphy wouldn't be dog aggressive, though we'd have to be very careful if we ever decided to get a second dog.

I think I'm leaning towards no...but I'm just not sure! I think I could be convinced either way. I'm going to tell the breeder that we'll think about it a bit more, but if i had to decide right now I'd say no. It's too bad too...he's so pretty! I'll see if I can get a good picture to post so you can see him.

PS: I actually love the name Murphy. It's a little boring, but it also reminds me of Murphy's Law, which has been my good (not) friend these past 25 years. If you look at the wikipedia entry there's probably a picture of me next to it. Hehe.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Video Of The Week 10

Darla is back and she's out for blood! The dog is seriously offended by the poor little festive singing turkey. Too cute.

Introducing The Puppy Daddy

It has recently been brought to my attention that I never posted any pictures of my puppy daddy! This isn't entirely true if you've read through my non-dog blog, as I've posted the pic to the left once before. You might also recognize it from the one of the pictures in the blog title. :)

This guy is Dawson, my puppy daddy. The top left picture is of Dawson as a puppy, and it is one of the cutest pictures of a Corgi I've ever seen. He just looks so adorable and happy, and his coloring is amazing! The other two pictures are Dawson as he is now: all grown up and gorgeous.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Clothing Just For Corgis

I just came across this website, that sells clothing specially sized for PWCs! I'm not really into the whole animal dress up thing, and these clothes are kinda...plain, but I still think it's awesome that it exists. I think it's still pretty new, maybe if it takes off a bit, they'll offer a wider range of merchandise. I know some people would be glad for better fitting dog gear.

A Countdown Of Sorts

I decided that I wanted a countdown of some sort in the blog (blame igoogle's gadgets!) , seeing as how we're so close to the puppies being born. I searched high and low for minutes to find a descent counter. They were mostly just counting down specific things like Christmas or New Years, or they were generic, but also boring. Finally I stumbled on the little treasure you see to your right. Sure, it was made to be a countdown for human babies, but same diff, right?

11 days!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'd Sell My Soul For A Free Paperclip

I love free stuff, and I love contests (even though I've never won one...), so it should come as no surprise that I am whoring myself out try and win a free Get Fuzzy book. That's right, Get Fuzzy, the adorable comic strip in the Sunday paper. As I said in the Food Bowl comments, if the phrase “Who am I? ‘I want tuna! I want tuna!’” means anything to you, you’re alright in my book.

You can enter the contest for yourself here (part two of submission complete!), though that would make you my competition...*evil glare*

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

As The Time Draws Near

Can you believe it's December!? You know that puppies are going to be born this month!!! Of course, only one of them will be mine, but since I'm just a possessive person, I'll keep referring to them as my puppies. Back in October the breeder estimated that my puppy mama (pictured right) would be having her liter around December 15th. I haven't heard anything new, so I'm still operating under the assumption that that is the big day (or there abouts). I just emailed the breeder, so we'll see what she says.

After all this time I still feel so unprepared! I never read most of the books I wanted to read, though that's partly because I've had a hard time getting them back from the library after I had to return them the first time around. We never fixed that fence. We never chose a vet or a training facility. I guess most of that stuff I don't even need to do until after the puppy comes home (except the vet, which we'll want to pick out right before). I guess I'm just getting nervous because this is my first dog, and I want everything to go great.

Well after the puppies are born, I get to do the fun part of the puppy preparation: shopping! That's right, I'll need collars, leashes, food bowls, a crate, bedding, toys, chews, treats, food, etc. All the stuff you need when you first bring your puppy home I have none of. That's going to be a fun, but expensive trip to the pet store (it'll probably be more like 3 or 4 pet stores, but that's ok).

Update: I just got an email back from the breeder. My puppy mama is huge and the puppies are due by the 17th! 13 days!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Goodbye Mickey

I forgot to mention in the whirlwind that was my last few weeks that Mickey, Husband and his parent's dog, was put to sleep. We don't know exactly how old he was because he was a rescue, but Husband thinks he was at least fourteen. He had a gray muzzle and his paws were pretty gray as well. He was definitely an old man of a dog. In the years that I knew Mickey, he was a happy dog that loved life. Husband's parents held off on putting him to sleep for months. First his pancreas started to go, and then he started having horrible indigestion. Husband's parents altered his diet to be friendlier on his system, and watched his health closely. Then his legs started to go. The last time I saw him, his back legs were so frail, he couldn't even sit down. He just kind of squatted when you pet him. His parents tried to make him comfortable, including buying him a ramp for getting in and out of their car. Finally, poor Mickey completely lost control of his bowels and had a few other problems. Surprisingly, Husband's parents didn't let go of him for another few weeks. Throughout this ordeal, Mickey was his normal happy self. Sure, he couldn't sit down while you pet him, but he would still wag his tail, stick his tongue out, and enjoy himself. He had discomfort, but he wasn't in pain, which is why Husband's parents waited so long to put him to sleep. They felt that as long as they could keep him comfortable, he deserved to be around as long as possible. Unfortunately, the time came when he was no longer experiencing just "a little discomfort" and it was time to end it.

Husband's parents are visiting for the holidays, and it still hasn't sunk in that Mickey won't be with them. Goodbye Mickey. You were the best companion anyone could want, and you are already missed.

Tub-O-Puppy Mama

I talked to my breeder last week and she sent me this pic of my tubby-looking puppy mama. I'm no pregnant dog expert, but according to her, this is how a pregnant dog looks.

What do y'all think? I also don't know when this picture was taken. She's supposed to be due the middle of December. Why isn't it December yet?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year I'm thankful for my husband agreeing to finally get a dog. I'm thankful we decided on a great breed, and I was able to find a breeder. I'm thankful that my puppy mama is pregnant and will be having her puppies next month. I'm thankful that there are other Corgi owners out there who read my little blog and give me some great advice. I hope you all have a good holiday, and as a cashier at Stein Mart told me yesterday, don't drink and drive!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Video Of The Week 9

I know, I know, I missed last week. Shame on me! Well this week's video is just the cutest:

Little Darla likes to try and find her daddy under the blanket! So cute! And since I didn't post a video last week, here's Darla's YouTube page so you can view her videos to your heart's content.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Everything In A Name: Continued

I think this is an interesting subject, I've given it some more thought, so I thought I'd do a second post.

First, I disagree that the dog's name has to be influenced by his/her personality. There's nothing wrong with doing it, I just don't think I need to be limited by that. I wasn't named for my personality. I was named for my great grandmother. Heck, most dog's names are probably more representative of their owner's personalities than their dogs. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think it's a great idea to choose a name based on something that's reflective of you.

So in that spirit, I've come up with categories I think it'd be fun to choose a name from:

The first category is actually from another person's suggestion: video games. I love video games, my husband loves video games. The names are unusual but still known, but not too overused (usually). But which name? Hmm. Well I'm mostly a Nintendo fan. Probably the game I've ever played the most of is Super Mario Smash Bros. Great game. Let's see...there's Kirby. That's cute, though definitely a boy name. And I don't think every dog could pull off being a Kirby. Hehe. I won't choose Jiggly Puff (I'd kill myself before I named my dog after a Pokemon), but I think I'll tease my husband with it for awhile! ;) Yoshi is kinda cute as well. Oh, I'd be tempted to use Bowser if the puppy I get ends up being like Ranger, that puppy from the last litter that was described as a "tank". Hehe. What about Ness? Those are all boy names though. Are there any good girl names? There's Samus, but since I thought Samus was a boy for the first year of playing the game (I never played Metroid), I don't really associate that with a girl's name. Zelda is a good girl name for a dog, but I've seen it before. It's something to consider.

The next category would be something ancient Greek or Roman. I have a Classical Studies degree, and I've always loved Greek and Roman culture. Hmm. I don't know any good names off the top of my head. I wouldn't want anything too cliche, like Caesar, Augustus, Odysseus, Zeus, etc.

And lastly, I was a child of the 80s. I was thinking it could be fun to pick a name from an 80s cartoon from my childhood. Let's see. There's Boober and Wembley from Fraggle Rock. There's Zummi and Tummi from the Gummi Bears. My favorite show as a child was She-Ra, but unfortunately the names on that show were too ridiculous to name a dog after. Example: the sorceress on the show was named Castaspella. Hehe, I never said I had good taste! I also loved the Care Bears, but they had names like Funshine Bear and Love-A-Lot Bear. No thanks. Again, girl names, I've got nothing.

Let me know if you think of any fun names in these categories (or just in general)!

Update: Well I ran some names past Husband, and he agreed that Bowser would be a cute name if we end up with a monster of a Corgi. He also liked Kirby and Yoshi for the reason that in their games they eat everything...and Corgis eat it's perfect! I'm liking the video game names.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Everything In A Name

One subject I've been avoiding for the last 10 months has been a name. When my husband and I originally decided we wanted a Corgi, we decided that we'd go with Ein, in recognition of the dog that got us looking into the breed (well that was all my husband, I knew about Corgis before Cowboy Bebop). Well now that it's months later and I've been out in the dog world a bit, I now know that like 1/3 of all PWCs out there are named Ein, which has completely put me off the name. It's too bad because it's a great dog name. It's easy, yet distinct, and according to my husband dogs do well with having one syllable names. But I feel like that would be naming my son John. Sure, it's great name, but everyone else has it, which for some reason makes me a lot less excited about it. Plus, somewhere along the way my husband conceded that Ein would only be suitable if our puppy is a male. We've got no ideas if we get a female.

So what I'm wondering is, what's a good name (male or female)?? I know that I don't like just normal people names (like George or Maggie), or cliche dog names (like Bear or Buster), or names that sound like they came from a 5 year old (like Sparkle, Sprinkle, Star, etc). No offense if your dog is named any of these. There's nothing wrong with them, they're just not for me and my first puppy!

If you guys have any ideas for a good dog name, please leave me a comment!

Behind On The Times

So I've been a bit behind lately on my beloved dog-blog. Shame on me. My first offense is that last week I had to return all the books I'd had checked out because I had reached my max number of renewals. Of course, I hadn't finished reading any of them, so I'm not going to be able to write any reviews really until I can check them out again. Arg! I can write a review for one or two of the books, since I read through them somewhat, to give me general impressions, but that's it. I'm disappointed that I've been so busy because a few of them I was really looking forward to reading!

Next, I know I didn't do a Breed of the Month in October. I was too busy to research. I'll try and get one out this month. I've been bored enough with work to welcome the distraction. :p

And lastly, I don't have a Video of the Week for last week either. That's because I was here at work all week and they block YouTube and other streaming video sites here. Bastards. Hopefully I'll be able to get one up today or tomorrow, but that's totally dependent on my willingness to anything other than zone out on the couch once I get home. Usually when I work a long day, I'm not so willing.

So basically, please bare with me while I get my sh*t together here. It may take awhile, but I'm still here. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rate Your Kibble

While we're on the subject of food, I also found this post on the GoCorgi forum. I think it's really interesting because it's finally a way to quantify all the stuff you read about what's good and bad in dog food. I would also add that the score would be an instant zero for companies that don't use human-grade food as well. By using this system it's not just about good food and bad food, it's also about the gray area. How bad or good is the food exactly? I think it's pretty neat stuff!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just Say No To Puppy Food

GoCorgi Forums has a very interesting article posted on why you shouldn't feed a puppy "puppy food". I've heard this from numerous other sources before, but I think this person sums up the reasons quite nicely.

We May Be Pregnant

Apparently my breeder is all about the low tech. When I asked about the puppy mama and if her pregnancy took, she said that she was "getting tubby", so she thought yes. When I asked about an ultrasound or some kind of equivalent, she said her vet didn't have one, and we would just had to "wait for her tummy to grow". I don't know if that's normal or if my breeder is just behind on the times, but I think it kinda stinks.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Plan B Out, Back To Plan A

So my breeder was able to find homes for her two remaining puppies, Taylor and Ranger. As I stated earlier, I figured she'd be able to find homes for them before the end of the month. I tried not to get my hopes up about it, but I did find myself entertaining the idea of having a puppy in as soon as just a month! So I guess now I'm a little disappointed. But I think it's also for the best. I was on the fence a bit, and I never got all the information I wanted about them. And I hadn't done any shopping yet. This way I'll have more time and when I'm bringing a puppy home shouldn't be a question.

So the original plan is still in place. My litter of puppies should be born around mid-December, and I'll be able to take one home in February. Sure, that's only 4 months away, but after a full year of waiting, the final months have definitely been the worst. I hope this holiday season just flies by!

Now all I have to do between now and December is wait for my puppy to be born. Though there's still one more possible obstacle. I believe it's been long enough to find out if the pregnancy took. I sent an email to the breeder this morning asking about it. I'll let you know as soon as I hear!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Video Of The Week 8

This week's video star is Sully the corgi. Why this video? While the spin at the end is very cute, if you observe his tail nub in the first 15 seconds of the video, I think you'll see why I've posted it.

Look at how he wags that nub! It's adorable! Nubs are officially cuter than full tails!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back To Puppies

Alright, in the spirit of getting back to the blog at hand, I've gotten some more news on the two puppies my breeder has from her latest litter. First off, she still has them, which is too bad for them, but possibly good for me.

To the right is little puppy Taylor. Isn't he just the cutest little guy you've ever seen!? Look at those big floppy ears that look like they've got black eye liner around the rim. Hehe. Look at that "I didn't do it" face. He looks like a little trouble maker!

Ugh, this picture just melts my heart. The breeder describes Taylor as a "ham" and a talker. I don't think my husband particularly wants a talker, but that's not such a bad thing if we fit in every other aspect.

I haven't heard anything back yet from the breeder about their mother, and the other questions I asked. Until I hear back about that, and until it gets closer to a time we could actually take a puppy home, I'm still not getting my hopes up...well at least not too much. I do admit to checking on airfare to Oklahoma! Hehe.

Oh, and to the left is Ranger, puppy number two. The breeder is actually recommending this puppy for us, based on the type of puppy we're looking for. He's described as more laid back. He's also a tank! Just look at him! Hehe.

Based on looks alone, I like Taylor better, but they're both adorable. And, of course, neither of them will be for me until I hear more about their mother and a plan for their development.

I'll keep you posted. I don't expect to have any decisions made until it gets closer to Thanksgiving. Oh, I wish this month were over already!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Somewhat Back To Normal

The short version is that the fires are basically out, my house is fine, and I'm finally back in it.

We were able to get back into our house Thursday afternoon. It was fine, but we weren't able to clean it enough to live in it until Saturday when our power came back on (it's kinda hard to clean without power). Luckily, we were able to stay with friends through Friday night, so we never had to stay at a shelter or hotel.

We spent the weekend cleaning the ash out of our house and washing all our clothes, bedding, and dishes. We got through a lot this weekend, but there's still tons to do. Our house is unharmed, but it was so close to the fires that the inside got very dirty. Today was our first day back at work since the fires. It's really hard to concentrate and get back into the grind. I just want to be at home.

Last week was also supposed to be my last week of class ever. That's right, it was the last week of my last class. Now I have to go another week and it's so hard to concentrate! I can't wait until it's over and done with and I won't have to think about it anymore.

I'm always one with good timing. On Wednesday night I decided to do some laundry at my friend's house. I ended up leaving my cell phone in my pocket and put it through the wash. It got totally fried, and I ended up having to buy a new one. Whoops.

Hopefully things will start getting back to normal now. Luckily, I don't know anyone whose house burned down. Plenty of people's houses did, just not anyone I know. That shouldn't really make it better for me, but for some reason it does. Though I'm still very sad for the people who lost their homes. I think as Husband and I go through cleaning our things, we'll pull out things we can donate to those people.

We can now return this blog to its regularly scheduled Corgi talk!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Into The Fire

Well it looks like my blogging is going to be spotty at best for the next few days, at least. Yesterday morning before dawn I was evacuated from my house because of an encroaching fire. I woke up at 4am to a heavy smell of smoke. When I turned on the tv they were mentioning that the area a few miles away had just been hit by the fire. Husband started packing our clothes while I sat there in denial saying that they hadn't called for evacuation yet, so we were probably fine. Husband then opened the shutters to our bedroom window. It looked like sunrise, even though dawn was still about an hour away. When I looked closer I saw very tall flames just a few miles away from our house headed right towards us. Husband then reiterated "it's time to go", and I jumped up to help him pack.

A few minutes later we got a reverse 911 recording that told us to evacuate, and to head to a high school that was a few minutes away. When I looked out the window again I saw a storm of burning embers raining over my house. Husband and I stuffed all our luggage in our car, I grabbed food and water, and we were outta there.

When we opened our garage door we saw the hill 50 feet from our house up in flames (courtesy of those burning embers). I was almost frozen in panic the flames were so close. We didn't see anyone else on our street (they had probably already left, but we weren't sure) so Husband laid on the horn as we left, just in case anyone was sleeping through it. Everyone in our neighborhood was leaving at the same time, so there was a huge traffic jam to get out of the area. We were stuck in a parking lot with flames coming down the the hill behind us. I tried calling 911 to let them know about the fire that had just started in our area, but I couldn't get through. As we finally got out, I saw fire trucks coming in. On the freeway there was a fire on either side of it. It was frightening, but I was glad we were safe and out of there.

From the point when I saw the flames until about 2 hours later I was constantly on the phone with people I knew in the area. I woke up several people, told them to pack their things, and get out of their house as soon as they got the call to evacuate, if not sooner. Luckily, they all live south of me, so they had more time to pack and they never saw flames.

Husband and I were at our evacuation center, which was a high school, for a few hours until they evacuated it as well. We then headed to a friend's house towards the coast, which is where we are now. They graciously took us in and said we could stay as long as we needed. Offers of a place to stay have since poured in from friends, family of friends, and friends of family. It's heartening to know that so many people are willing to take us in, and that we won't have to stay at a shelter.

Right now I don't know if my house is still there. I know that the fire has been burning houses all over the area, but they haven't mentioned my neighborhood. I'm hoping no news is good news. But the fire is still going with no containment. I'm just glad that so far this fire has had very low numbers of fatalities and injuries, and I'm very impressed with my city for evacuating areas early to avoid endangerment to people. Their response time has been impressive considered how understaffed and overworked they are.

I'll give updates as I get them, but the media is not planning to announce which homes are gone until tomorrow. In fact, our information from the media is now in jeopardy because relay towers are in the path of the fire, some have already burned, and areas all over the city have been losing power.

Cross your fingers for my city and for my home. In hindsight, I'm very glad I don't have my puppy yet. That would have been an added level of complexity I'm glad to avoid.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Video Of The Week 7

Normally I look for videos that have embedded links, so I can just post straight into the blog. Unfortunately, this adorable video has the embedded link disabled. I'm using it as my video of the week anyway. Yeah, it's that cute. Who wouldn't melt over 9 5-week old Corgis falling all over each other? I know I do!

If you're interested, this is the person who has the cute Corgi videos I've been posting the last two weeks. Adorable little Clover!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Corgi Color Genetics

Over the months of waiting for my puppy, I got curious about coat colors. Now the PWC comes generally in three coat colors: red and white, black headed tri, and red headed tri. Since I know the coloring of my puppy's parents, I took it upon myself to read up on coat color genetics to figure out what my options for looks might be. The puppy mamma is red and white and the puppy daddy is a gorgeous black headed tri. I ended up doing searches on the interwebs for my info, but today I found this resource, which I wish I had had months ago! It is a bit daunting to read, so let me sum it up for you.

If I understand it correctly, the three coat colors have three degrees of dominance. The red and white coat color is the most dominant, the red headed tri is recessive to red and white but dominant to the black headed tri, and the black headed tri is recessive completely. So if I have one red and white parent and one black headed tri parent, that would mean my puppy is going to be red and white unless the red and white parent carries the black headed tri recessive gene. I don't think she does since her last litter with the same puppy daddy came out all red and whites. It's possible, but highly unlikely. Also, if the red and white carries a red headed tri recessive gene, I could get a red headed tri.

I don't care about coloring, next to personality and temperament coloring is nothing. But I thought I'd share if anyone was interested. If coloring is important to you, I would ask about the coloring of past litters of the same parents (if applicable). It's a crap shoot either way, but such is life.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Want This: Corgi Stuff

I found this website a few weeks back. It basically has all the kind of human-use Corgi crap you could want. You know, the t-shirts, tote bags, mugs, bumper stickers, etc. that all say "my Corgi owns me" type stuff. I managed to forget about it for awhile, but it was recently brought to my attention again, and, oh goodness, I actually want some of it!!! I fully admit to being a materialistic consumer whore, but I'm still resistant to being one of those people who has Corgis on everything they own.

But I do have to admit that some of it is pretty darn cute! I mean, check out some of this items to the right: so cute! I'm not saying I want a "Nothing Butt Corgis" thong (yes, I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw offense to anyone who owns a Corgi related thong. I just feel like that takes it to a level we humans just shouldn't go...), but a nice tote bag to carry my doggie stuff in would be nice.

I wouldn't mind a nice "Corgi Butts Drive Me Nuts" magnet I could chuckle at when I made breakfast in the morning. Or a coffee mug that stayed in the cupboard except on coffee or tea-drinking occasions.

Am I crossing into crazy territory? Tell me if I'm crossing into crazy territory here. Either way, not to worry yet. I'm keeping my credit card safely hidden away. I figure I'll actually get a Corgi before I start totally geeking out. But common, some of this stuff is cute, right?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Picky Is Too Picky?

In the last email I got from my breeder, she mentioned that if her two male puppies from her latest litter don't find forever homes by Thanksgiving, she'll save me one. This gave me pause because, well, I'm not sure I want one at that point. Does that make me awful?

What I mean is, by the time Thanksgiving comes and goes, those puppies, which were born in mid-August, will be almost 4 months old! Am I being too picky to say that I want an 8-10 week old puppy and I'm not willing to give up those 2 months of cuteness? Well, yes, I am. But am I also being reasonable?

If there's only one or two puppies left, I will want to fly out there and meet them. As much as I like this breeder, I have to assume that she'll be...I don't want to say desperate or impatient, but she'll be ever more inclined to find homes for those two puppies as they get older. Maybe she won't keep me and the kind of puppy I want as in mind than if I was the first pick of an entire new litter. So I think I would have to fly out there and meet them. Then what if I don't bond with the one or two puppies? Do I just say "No thanks, I'll wait for the next litter."? That would also mean I would have to have my house ready for a puppy possibly by next month, or possibly by February, and I won't know which until I fly out there. I know I can't be ready by next month fully, there's no way we'll fix that fence in time, but I think I can be ready enough with the puppy-proofing (I already bought socket covers last time I was at Home Depot) and stuff-buying.

The thing is, if I decide right now that, no, I just want a puppy from the new litter, how do I tell the breeder that without sounding like a tool? I suppose I could tell her that I'm not familiar with the dam of that liter (which I'm not, she was actually a puppy from a past litter that was staying with her for the summer). I could tell her I don't think I'll be ready in time, and I'd rather just wait until the February litter. But my main concern is making sure I don't give the impression that I'd be an unfit pet owner and I'm getting a dog for the wrong reasons. Does saying I'd rather wait for the new litter convey that?

Hopefully she'll find homes for those puppies and it won't even be an issue, but I'd like to tell her something now. Any ideas?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mark Your Calendars

for October 22nd. This site showcases a "cool dog site" daily, and October 22nd is apparently my day. I got an email from them this morning. Woohoo!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Guess I'll Keep Waiting...

So I laid my cards on the table in an email to my breeder last night. I had been sprinkling in questions about when she was going to be breeding my puppy mamma in several emails, and she avoided the question each time. This time I said "Look, when we first spoke you said you were planning for a November litter. Now I know these things can't be exactly timed, but November is next month and I haven't heard anything from you. Is she pregnant? Is this litter happening? I just want to know what's going on and what to plan for."

Apparently that did the trick because this time she responded to me (plus I think she just didn't have anything to report the times before). My puppy mamma's cycle came later than expected, and she's not going to be ready for breeding until next week. That means I'm looking at a mid-December litter, which is about a month and a half later than I was hoping for.

She added she has two male puppies available from a litter one of her other dogs had last month. Husband and I discussed it, and while rash JuLo wanted to just go ahead and get one of those two boys, practical JuLo said it would be better to wait. We're not set up for a puppy yet, and these guys will be ready for their forever homes in just a few weeks! Our fence is still broken, we haven't shopped for anything, and I still have 20 million books to read. Plus, we have plans to travel for Thanksgiving, and I really don't think a 3 month old puppy would be the ideal house guest for my parents. Not to mention if we wait, we'll get first pick of the litter. So practical JuLo won the argument and we decided to wait.

So while it's nice to think that I'll be getting a puppy for Valentine's Day. I'm not looking forward to more waiting...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Video Of The Week 6

Corgis are the cutest puppies ever. As evidence, I give you exhibit A:

Embedding the link is not working at the moment. I'll update that when I'm feeling less inept. I'm feeling less inept! This adorable video is courtesy of this person.

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. Check out my non-dog blog in the next few days for the full scoop on my uber-busy-ness! It's nothing terribly fun though. :(

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Video Of The Week 5

This week I'm going back to being all about Corgis. Check out how smart and adorable they are:

So cute!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Book Review: Katz On Dogs

My latest read is Katz on Dogs: A Common Sense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs by Jon Katz. I actually finished it quite a while ago, but I've been busy, and I figured such a thoughtful book deserved a bit more of a thoughtful review. Hope the wait was worth it!

Katz on Dogs is described as a "common sense guide to training", and that's exactly what it is. Jon Katz writes about his own experiences raising his 3 dogs, and stories from people he has encountered, using his own common sense and experience to come to conclusions about how to train your dog in such a way that you can live together in harmony. That's the reason I have such a love/hate relationship with this book. Sometimes his reasoning makes complete sense, and makes training my dog seem easy. Other times I completely disagree with him and feel like he's over simplifying, being unrealistic, or being just plain arrogant.

Jon Katz lives on a farm with his 3 dogs, 2 Border Collies and 1 Labrador Retriever. He's written a few other books that also cover his experiences raising his dogs, so I got the feeling I wasn't always getting the whole story. The two Border Collies, the way he described them, seemed to have behavioral issues he was working past, but he never went very in depth with his own dogs (he saved that for other people's),so I'm not sure what their deal was. I'm going to say upfront that halfway through reading this book I read that he actually gave away one of the Border Collies, and had the other one put down. When I read the article he wrote talking about the decision to put Orson down, he (again extremely lacking in specifics) mentions that Orson bit a child. Well what kind of biting? Did he send the kid to the hospital? Did he just nip at him a little bit, accidentally drawing blood? I think there's a big difference if it's a decision between life and death for a dog that supposedly completes you. I also read that he got rid of Rose, his herding dog. I don't know if that one's true, but it wouldn't surprise me since he didn't write about her with much affection in the book. Actually, all three of his dogs are written almost as caricatures, rather than read dogs. Rose, in the book, is the herding dog. She cares for nothing but herding. Orson is the dog with problems. He sticks by Katz, and cares for no one but him. Clementine is the new kid on the block and obvious favorite (probably because labs are easier?). She is the playful one that loves chasing squirrels and playing with sticks. Really? That's all there is to your dogs? Probably not, and Katz probably knows this, but for me it lessened his credibility because he made it seem like he didn't understand the depth of his dogs' personalities. He comes off as being rather cold, but that's probably just him trying to come off as objective.

The good points in the book were the beginning. Like all good dog books start, his first chapter is on making sure that getting a dog is right for you. He applies his common sense well here, by pointing out that dogs are a lot of responsibility, and you should realize what you're getting into. There is no perfect dog, it is an ongoing process that never ends. One thing I think he really nailed was the idea of the "quitting point". This is the point that we stop training our dogs, either because we don't realize we've stopped, we think we've trained them enough, or we've just given up. He also talks about the "good enough" dog. This is when we train our dogs to a point (usually the basics), then say that it's good enough, and stop training them. His lesson is that we should never stop training our dogs, or at least observing their environment so we can recognize when it changes. If your quitting point occurs before you've trained your dog enough to live harmoniously with him/her, then you should seek help in getting past it. I think being aware of the quitting point is important, because then you can be conscious of it, and know to watch out for it when you feel your dog is trained "good enough". He also has a lot of insight on multi-dog households, though again, he doesn't offer up very much in the way of specific examples.

Past that point, the book went downhill for me. The case studies were very uneven. Sometimes they were interesting and insightful, other times they were obvious. I think the worst chapter in this book is the one where tries to tackle nutrition. He obviously has no interest in canine nutrition. He feeds his dogs store-bought kibble, and basically refuses to judge people on how they feed their dogs because, obviously, he hasn't taken the time to learn anything about it. He even mentions, but doesn't address people who feed their dogs a vegan diet. How can you not say anything about people who feed carnivores no meat products? I'm not saying he should have torn them a new one, but why mention it if you're not going to address it? On the contrary, he wrote with an air of conceit toward people who take their dog's nutrition into their own hands. He had an air of conceit on a lot of subjects, including holistic medicine as well. He says that he never had a problem with his vet, so why wouldn't he trust what they tell him? Well that makes sense to me, but holistic medicine isn't necessarily about competent vets, though I'm sure incompetent vets often drive dog owners to holistic medicine.

This book was a good read, as long as I used my own common sense to separate out the good information and advice from the bad less good. In the end all Katz is doing is encouraging the reader to observe their dog from an objective perspective and consider what's best for both of you when figuring out how to live together. He heavily promotes training and being mindful of your dog. I definitely agree with him on all those points, and I gained some good perspective after reading this book. Reading this book may give you some good perspective as well.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what they can do to better live with their dog. This is not a how-to book on training your dog. This book trains you. This book could be helpful to people who have dogs with behavioral problems and want to know how to better approach them, or to people who generally want some good ideas on raising their dog. I don't think this book is a keeper as a reference book. If your local library has it, I would recommend saving your money and getting it there. I may check out his other books another time, but for now I think my reading list is fine without them.

Update: I also want to add that anyone reading this book should not take what Katz says as gospel. If something sounds like an idea you'd like to try, do some research on it first. Some of his suggestions I found conflicted with other, more trustworthy sources, while others matched up with things I had already learned.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's The Deal With Hip Dysplasia?

I had a very informative conversation yesterday with a person with two Corgis about hip dysplasia. I've read a bit about it over the course of my research, but before yesterday I never took the time to really learn about it and what effect it could have on my Corgi puppy. The person I spoke with told me that one of her Corgis has hip dysplasia (even though his parents tested good), and after surgery for it, he forever has a limp (but no pain luckily). Unfortunately, this is a common problem in Corgis because of how they're built. It's genetically passed, but if the parents have it, that doesn't mean the puppies will have it, and just because the parents are clear, that doesn't mean your puppy will be. It's kind of a gamble, but your odds are significantly better if you make sure you're getting a puppy from a line that isn't known to have it. Try and find information on the grandparents if you can as well.

A great resource is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. It offers lots of information on what hip dysplasia is, when to test for it, and what the results of those tests mean. If your breeder has gotten their dogs tested, all you need is their name or registration number, and you can view the results. Just use the quick search text box in the top right corner.

When I did the search I discovered that my puppy daddy was tested when he was 12 months old and tested "preliminary mild". To understand what the different results mean, check out the explanation here. "Mild" sounded pretty serious! A preliminary test is done when the dog is too young, and its hips aren't fully developed yet. What I read worried me, so I asked my breeder about it right away, and I think what I got back from her was a very honest answer.

She said my puppy daddy showed luxation in hips, which is very common in Corgis, and there was no sign of hip dysplasia, just a more relaxed hip joint. This is basically what the OFA website stated as the meaning of "mild" as well. She also added that the vet commented that he wished my puppy daddy had shallow hip sockets, but he had great muscle tone and connective tissue. The thing that really put my mind at ease was the part where she told me that of all the ~25 puppies she's had, none have had hip problems that came up. Does this mean it won't come up with my puppy? Of course not. But it means that my breeder isn't knowingly breeding puppies that have a high chance of having hip dysplasia. I know that whichever breeder I choose isn't going to be a 100% guarantee of no problems, but I can at least make sure I'm purchasing a puppy from an ethical breeder, which thankfully, I still think I am.

PS: This is one of the reasons that it's so important to not let your Corgi get overweight. Their bodies are not designed to handle the extra weight, and the stress ends up being concentrated on their back and hips, the main areas where Corgis have problems. Everything I've read says that if you can see your Corgi's rib bones, s/he's underweight. If you slide your hands over their ribs, you should be able to feel them, if you can't, s/he's overweight. Also, the breed standard calls for your Corgi to be about 25-30 pounds (remember females tend to be smaller and weigh less than the males), so if you're beyond that you may want to talk to your vet, s/he may just be big boned.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Video Of The Week: 4

Since I was all about Cavachons this week, I decided to make the breed the subject of my video of the week. Check out Sammee, the cute little fluffball running around:

My favorite part is when the dude running around stops to tighten his belt. Heh, no actually it's the part at the end where Sammee, tuckered out from his run, just plops down, finished with the game. What a cutie!

And for a bonus, here's Sammee playing around, being cute, and chasing his own tail.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Breaking Down Food Ingredients

Click on the picture for a readable size. This is a "good" and "bad" comparison chart for dog food ingredients. I think the side by side comparison, for example the chicken meal vs. poultry by-products, was very helpful.

Right now I'm thinking that I'd like to do mostly home-cooked food for my puppy, but incorporate some human-quality dry kibble in as well. This will help keep puppy's teeth clean, and will be a good compliment to the food I'll be giving. Thus, I'm in the process of researching good dog food brands. I'll post a comprehensive list of the companies that sound up to snuff.

Another reason to research human-quality food companies, even if you are doing home cooked meals, is for treats and supplements as well. As much as I'd like to make my own dog treats, I'm guessing that I'll be a bit time constrained, and buying them at least occasionally will be far easier. And dogs need vitamins, just like people. I'd rather get them from a company that has the same philosophy on canine nutrition that I do.