• It’s not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

  • Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

    It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..." _Hermann Hesse
  • Denali – Queen of our Pack

    C-Myste Denali RAE3,CGC (a.k.a. Wild Woman!)

  • Kenai – Our First Cardi

    Trust 'n Luck Keep an Eye Out (The Funniest Dog in the World)

  • Elbee – Our Teeny Pembroke Princess 1998-2010

    Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC

  • Sage – Our Perpetual Puppy!

    C-Myste Baledwr Redwood Sunrise RN

  • Quimby-Sweet Spirit

    Toreth Spirit in the Sky BN, CD, RAE, CGC

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Preparing for the Cardigan National Specialty 2013

Look for this little sketch at the 2013 Cardigan Welsh Corgi National Specialty! Inspired by my girl, Denali, she’ll show up if you look for her!Cardi-3_crop


Breathing through the Holidays

For most of us the pre-Christmas season is a busy time of stress, filled with too much to do. This morning Denali reminded me to savor the moment. I came around the corner, cell phone in hand, and found…this

After eight years, she still makes me laugh every day. An upside-down sleeping corgi, still funny! Thanks for giving me a smile and a moment to breathe Denali!

Now I’ll go wrap presents!

Whee…it’s an RAE3!!

Two days

Four Trials

One Blue Ribbon

One Perfect Score!

One new RAE3 Title!

One incredibly beautiful working dog!

Congratulations C-Myste Denali RAE3

Check out those scores. This is how it went ALL weekend. An amazing field of dogs performing wonderfully well. A real pleasure to watch! The downside – no margin for error. If you didn’t score 98 or better, no chance for a placement in many cases.

Denali was as focused and consistent as I’ve ever seen her. She did an awesome job, but should have traded me in on a better handler. I did things I’ve never done before – walked through a sign (would have been a second place) and didn’t notice that the judge swapped a Pivot Right for a Pivot Left between the Advanced and Excellent Classes (would have been a third place finish).

Redemption came with the award of a perfect score in the Advanced Class of our Title Leg! The clapping at the end said we looked good out there. I was hoping for a 99. When I saw the 100 I was thrilled! Must be an audience. Last time we got a perfect score Denali’s Gramma Carolyn and her family were there to see it! This time we had some new cardigan friends who were anxious to see how Denali looked in the ring. She didn’t disappoint! Thanks to Lynn and Peter for sticking around to watch!

The final result…one tired girl. Have a nice nap Denali – you earned it!

A Weekend of Firsts!

Last Thursday Denali and I set off for the Lost Coast (Ferndale, CA), home of the splendid giant redwood forests and site of the Lost Coast Kennel Club Dog Show. Other members of our Cardigan Family were there too, camping at the show site fairgrounds. Denali showed in Rally while her “relatives” were there for conformation. This was the first time Denali and I have been able to do a “Family Meet Up” and it was a lot of fun!

Denali’s “Gramma Carolyn” brought Uncle Huxley – we LOVE the Hux!

And the two Wild Young Things, Kady and Audrey!

Sage’s beautiful blue brother, Cappy, came with his people, Trenton and Denise. As did his look-alike brother, Hiro, from the second Hannah/Wally litter. Hiro was accompanied by his “parents,” Jamie & Catherine, and his canine grandma, Phoebe.

Cappy, ready to go into the show ring.

The Rally experience:

Generally I don’t enter my black, fluff-coated dog in outdoor events in the summer time. Within seconds she melts like the Wicked Witch of the West when she’s in direct sun. But Ferndale is far north and only five miles from the coast. Typically at this time of year the dense cloud cover hangs in, keeping temps in the high 50’s and low 60’s – perfect Rally weather! Plus, Rally is always early in the morning – oops, not at this show. Show times both days 1:00PM…ugg!

The first day, Friday, proved to be an abnormally sunny day – sigh. My black dog melted, her performances were uninspired, to put it mildly. She did qualify, getting her RAE3, leg #2, but it wasn’t pretty and she didn’t have a good time at all.

Fortunately, Saturday was a better day! Amidst  cloudy, cool and windy conditions she was back to being the Rally Dog I recognized. As her Fan Club (Carolyn, Tom, Jamie & Catherine) shivered in the gallery, she not only qualified for leg #3, but she laid down the gauntlet!  The first dog to run the course in Adv-B, she scored her First Perfect 100 and the First Place finish! As we passed the Finish station our adoring fans burst into loud applause that could be heard clear across the ring!

Denali goes Blue! Nice job Rally Dog!

As you can see by visiting Carolyn’s FB page, Kady had her own Good Day on Saturday, which made things even better! Congratulations Kady!

Topped off with a late afternoon visit to the Loleta Cheese Factory, a score of freshly-picked garden greens from a local stand, and the efforts of our grill masters, our excellent campsite dinner was just the thing to complete the day. (Thank you again to all the chefs! And sign me up for the lemon-infused olive oil!)

After the cardigans showed on Sunday we headed for home.

Carolyn with Kady

Catherine with Audrey

On the way we experienced another first as we traveled the entire 31-mile distance of the Avenue of the Giants, home to some of the most spectacular redwood forests imaginable.

Although dogs are not allowed on the official trails, we had no trouble finding a beautiful cove to explore.

Denali was fascinated!

And dwarfed!

Oh look, this one is short, like me. What’s this green stuff?

Not a first, but always exciting when the San Francisco Bay is clear and you can see to the top of the majestic towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Last, but certainly not least…as we were driving down fwy 280 in Woodside I looked up and saw a small plane heading right toward us, only about 100 feet off the ground. It was pretty obvious that the plane was planning to land on the freeway! Had I been thirty seconds slower, I’d have been in the wrong place at the wrong time! I kept looking in my rear view mirror for signs of a crash, but saw none.

In the end, the plane managed to land safely on the other side of the freeway. Here is the news report: 

This is a video that someone took just after the landing. This definitely qualifies as a first, and I hope the last, time a plane buzzes quite so closely over my head!

We’re happy to be home for the 4th. Someone really missed us!

Happy Fireworks everyone!

Happy 8th Birthday Denali!

It is really hard to believe that our beautiful little girl is eight years old. Confident and grounded  she is a dog that can go anywhere, a lovely ambassador for the breed.

Over the years she’s learned a lot. She has come a long way. Just how far was evident when I started looking back. Taking a walk down memory lane, here are some high points.

Seriously, does a 14-week-old puppy get any cuter? (Oh no…I am not at all prejudiced!)

How about now? Is she adorable, or what?

Are you starting to get a feel for her personality?
How about now?

Think she knows how to express herself? It certainly seemed that way to her big brother, Bart!  He was instrumental in raising her from the time she was 12 weeks old for her first five years. Below, Denali gives us her best Arrrooo, while Bart gives his customary kisses.

Now we’re at 16 weeks. OK yes, she is EVEN cuter!

The only thing cuter than one puppy is two! Denali shares her beloved wading pool with her litter brother, Dakota.

By this time we’d figured out that we’d gotten the little Wild Woman in the litter. This look, perfected at just 16 weeks of age, saved her life during her “teen” years!

It took two other dogs, and two people to even begin to keep Denali occupied. In addition to Bart, her mentor and pack leader, she had a “pack” of her own in her little sister, Elbee. Four years older than Denali, Elbee was thrilled to have a buddy and was very happy to award Denali the female alpha status. They were fast friends for the next seven years until we lost Elbee to kidney failure just before her 13th birthday.

One afternoon, while I was working on the computer, these two girls were working on a project of their own.

And just like all classic hoodlums, they chose to return to the scene of the crime!

Dog beds were not the only things that didn’t survive Denali’s puppyhood!

She celebrated her first birthday with two of her litter brothers, Max (tan points) and Dakota.

A BIG part of Denali’s life revolves around her toys. Like diamonds, a girl can never have too many in her opinion.

Today’s Birthday Gifts!

By the time she was eighteen months old, there was no denying that she was going to have a beautiful Glamour Coat!

Bart remained a pivotal influence for Denali. He was an awesome model and Denali made sure that he didn’t take life too seriously. They were strongly bonded throughout the course of Denali’s first five years. When we lost Bart at the age of nearly 17 years, Denali was ready to become the alpha dog she’d always wanted to be.

The other most important “man” in Denali’s life has been her human dad, Moe. Truth be told, she is his favorite! Can you tell?

Getting older means getting fuzzier!

AND no less amusing!

At age four, a new chapter opened for Denali. With the passing of her CGC Test, her competitive obedience training was initiated.

We trained for quite awhile. As a “newbie” to this, it took me awhile to realize that Denali was completely bored with formal obedience. Repetitive heeling just wasn’t her thing. She was too quick to learn and needed more mental stimulation. A switch to Rally obedience changed everything!

She earned her first of many Blue Ribbons, and a few treats, with the completion of her Rally Novice Title.

Along the way, she celebrated more birthdays.

And more Rally placements of all colors. This great photo was taken by Gadabout Photos during her RAE Title leg.

At our Training Club banquet, Denali celebrated the award of her RAE Title.

In January 2011 Denali attended her first CWC Specialty Show in southern California, completing leg #9 of her RAE2.

A couple weeks later, she got her RAE2 Title!

Meeting up with friends and family at various dog shows was part of the fun! Corgis on a Table at one of the Vallejo Shows! (From left: Denali, Captain (Sage’s litter brother), Watson, Fig (Sage’s litter brother), and Duncan, Denali’s maternal Grandfather.)

In addition to running around on the Rally course, Denali is a big-time squirrel chaser. Just as we were considering a transition to agility, Denali severely dislocated her toe while chasing a squirrel! Sigh! Limited jumping in her future, but she can still do formal obedience…yay!

Her brother Dakota came to visit while she was in the healing process!

Over the years, Denali has received many wonderful gifts. One of the biggest was the one she got in 2008 – a little boy puppy of her very own! Welcome Sage!

Raising Sage has been a great life lesson. It allowed Denali to become the grounded role model and confident alpha dog she has always wanted to be. The relationship brought out the best in both dogs.

They couldn’t be better friends! (Photo below taken today.)

The first eight years have been pretty good ones for this wonderful girl!  She has been an incredible gift! (Thank you again Carolyn & Mandy!)

November 2009 after her first Rally competition in Napa.

Taken today 6/2/11

Happy 8th Birthday C-Myste Denali RAE2, CGC –  and to all of your SUV/Truck littermates!

Here’s wishing you all many more!

Denali’s Easter Colors

At 6:30AM Denali was very excited about going to today’s Rally competition in Vallejo. We hit the road, got there just in time to set up and see the rain start. Yes, it was an outdoor course on very long, very wet/muddy grass. Little miss FancyPants was NOT happy about having to “sit” and “down” in those conditions. Her motivation/scores definitely suffered, but she persevered.

Here is her “nice face” in front of her plastic-wrapped campsite.

And here’s how she REALLY feels about this whole deal!

In spite of the ongoing showers…

she did manage to bring home some nice Easter Colors! Good job Rally Girl!

Recognition for Denali and Sage

This past weekend our dog obedience training club held its annual banquet. We always recognize dogs in the Club that have been awarded a title(s) during the prior year. Those dogs are featured in a nice slide presentation and each owner gets to say a few words when their dog’s slide comes up. This was Denali’s slide. (Thank you again to Denise Sponsler for the great jump photo of Denali in Vallejo last year.)

(Click on images to enlarge)

This year there was also a new feature in the evening’s presentation – the Presidential Pardon. Any dog who had committed an “indiscretion” of any sort was allowed to apply for an official pardon by the Club President. Seeing as Sage had managed to steal and shred a roll of toilet paper just a few days prior, it seemed only appropriate to apply for a pardon for him. His picture (as you see in the post below this one) was shown for all to see. Here is the official document, so I guess he’s off the hook – for now! There’s a good chance we may have to apply again next year. With Sage, you never know!

And last, but not least, the AKC sent us another official document last week, Denali’s RAE2 Title Certificate! Next year this title will go on her banquet slide!