Category Archives: puppy
It’s been over a month since the move, and the corgis have been settling in slowly. When we first moved in, they were on their very best behavior. Here is a picture of them on the very first morning in the new house. They had been there but ten minutes and already seemed to know they were not allowed upstairs, just like in the townhome.
Seemed is a key word.
At the vet’s recommendation, we try to limit the amount of stairs the corgis conquer each day (because of potential back problems—their father broke his leg and injured his back doing the corgi version of acrobatics). When I went upstairs to unpack some boxes, they stayed without any physical restraint, patiently waiting for me to return.
It wasn’t a day later that Leia was doing laps around the house, up one staircase and down the next. Yoda, good as always, stayed put. We soon acquired three child safety gates to keep her downstairs during the move.
Next, the sleeping arrangements. At the old house, the corgis had a very large, open kitchen that could be easily gated from the rest of the house via a large safety gate. The floor, vinyl, was easily cleaned, and Leia’s slopping around in the water dish (she dips her paws while she drinks if we’re not watching) didn’t cause any problems. Because the new house has a very different layout, there was no large, cleanable space available. The only choices: crate the corgis or let them have the run of (most of) the downstairs floor.
We decided to trust them, and for three nights, they proved that they would sleep all night in their beds, spend time when people were away in the kitchen, and not go on furniture or anywhere else they weren’t allowed.
Or so I thought.
One morning, I decided to sneak downstairs quickly and snap a picture before the dogs had time to react. Note that each morning, Leia had been sleeping next to her brother, either on the floor or in her dog bed. But here is what the picture proved:
Yes, Leia is a sneak. She had been sleeping on the couch and jumping off when she heard me getting ready upstairs. You would think the solution would be to crate them at night, but no–as cute as they are, the solution was just to make sure I covered the couch really well with the blanket next time
For a few days, the corgis enjoyed the new house without incident (unless you count Leia puking twice on the nice, stainless carpets an incident). Leia seemed comfortable almost right away:
Yoda, still afraid of everything, followed his sister around and watched everything from a distance. After watching Leia “help” to unpack books twice, Yoda decided finally to help:
Inside the house, the corgis had settled in nicely. But outside… a whole new world.
The new house has a very large yard, and it’s only fenced in by a horse fence–a corgi could easily escape. It also came with an invisible fence. But when we first moved in, the corgis seemed hesitant, staying only very close to the house or to me. They’d previously lived only in a townhome with a tightly-fenced, small yard. This was a big change for them. I thought I’d cut them a break and not train them on the invisible fence just yet. We were scheduled to go away for a week (the corgis were staying with their dog cousin Buster), and I decided to commence training after we returned. But once again, adventurous Leia spoiled those plans. One morning, at dark:thirty, Leia lit out after a group of deer about a quarter mile away. Sharing her excitement, Yoda followed her. I screamed at them, of course, and Yoda stopped almost immediately, plopping on his back so I could put his leash back on. Leia did not stop.
You’ll understand why I don’t have a picture!
Though Leia will listen indoors, when she’s outside, she is distracted by anything. I was screaming her name, shouting any tone I could think of–anger, fear, control, calm–and nothing got through to her. She was feral. It wasn’t until she hit the treeline two yards down (and the deer disappeared into the woods) that she turned around, realized she was being called, and ran back. She ducked under the fence and immediately plopped onto her back in ultimate submission. I didn’t yell at her, but she knew I was mad. All that morning, she followed me around the house, cuddling as much as possible. I’m telling you: it’s impossible to stay mad at Leia.
Still, it necessitated an earlier-than-expected invisible fence training. And that will be the subject of the last of the moving chronicles. See you next time.
This Friday, June 8th, Leia and Yoda will join up with another pair of corgis to take part in a book signing event at Books and Other Found Things, a used book store in downtown Leesburg. This will be part of Leesburg’s First Friday celebration, so I hope the weather holds out. We’ll be set up in the beautiful back yard of the store under a canopy of trees from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Before the signing, I wanted to introduce the corgis’ canine partners.
Merlin and Razz are the canine authors of The Tale of Two Corgis (they wrote it with help from their human parents, Claudia and Bruce Winkle). Merlin and Razz are the corgis of the Cardigan variety—they are larger and have tails, as compared to the stubbly-butt Pembroke Welsh variety (i.e., Yoda and Leia). The beautifully-illustrated book documents the daily adventures of the two Cardigans.
Meet the stars of The Tail of Two Corgis
Merlin is an AKC registered Cardigan Welsh Corgi, officially named “Dobcarr’s The Magician”.
The Brindle-and-White-colored corgi was born on March 7, 2009.He has a white blaze on his face which is shaped like a heart at the top. His white collar goes all around his neck, and he has a black polka a dot on his right front knee.
He loves to have people admire how handsome he is and to make new friends. Merlin has been in many breed dog shows and have lots of ribbons. He enjoys seeing all the other dogs at the shows and making new friends.
Razz is an AKC registered Cardigan Welsh Corgi officially named “Dobcarr’s Razzamatazz.” He was born on October 19, 2010. Like Merlin, his coloring is also Brindle and White, but he has lots of blond highlights on his back end. The white blaze on his face is shaped like a flame at the top, and his white collar only goes three quarters of the way around his neck. He is training to start showing in Rally.
Photos of Merlin and Razz courtesy of Bruce Winkle.
You can learn all about Merlin and Jazz here.
The book signing will also feature splotch artist Steve Loya (check out his awesome artwork here)
About the Books:
Last night, when our People put us in our crates, they latched mine nice and tightly, but they didn’t latch Zeph’s all the way. When he turned around on his blanket, the door popped open. You know what I would do if my door popped open? I would spend all night running around the kitchen in big circles. I would try to knock over that delicious smelly thing that people call Trash, and I’d eat as much of it as I could. Then I’d roll in it until I smelled delightful. After that, I’d dance in my water dish the way I love, tracking dirty pawprints all over the kitchen floor. That would be a fun night!
That’s what I would do if my door weren’t properly latched.
But you know what Zeph did?
Nothing! Nothing, nothing, nothing!
He just sat there in his crate, turned around twice, and curled up.
“Zeph!” I shouted.
“I don’t give a darn what our People said,” I told him. “Your crate door is open.”
“So that means you can escape. Run around the kitchen. Do whatever you want.”
Zeph just looked at me like I had three eyes. I don’t think a naughty thought has ever even crossed his mind. “Zeph, Zeph, Zeph!” I tried again. “Push open your door. Run around wild. It’ll be fun.”
But he just ignored me and went to sleep. In the morning, when our People came down, they saw that Zeph’s door was open, and they saw that he was still sitting inside.
“What a good boy, Zeph!” Adam said.
Zeph sat up and wagged his tail, but he STILL DIDN’T GET OUT OF HIS CRATE. In my opinion, there’s a line between “good” and “stupid.” And Zeph crossed that line. Anyway, Adam kept telling Zeph how good he was. By this time, I’d had enough, so I was clawing at my crate to get out.
“Out, out, out!” I barked.
But Adam turned to me and said, “Sapphie, Shhh!” The nerve of him!
Then he went to the cookie jar and got one cookie. Just one. I thought surely it would be for me as an apology for not leaving my crate unlatched, too. But then—Adam did the unthinkable. He walked over the Zeph’s crate—Zeph was still sitting in the crate—and gave Zeph the cookie.
“Good boy,” Adam said again. “You could have escaped and made a mess, but you didn’t.”
A cookie, for barking out loud! Zeph misses the opportunity of a lifetime, and he’s rewarded with a cookie! The injustice of it!
Well, I just thought I’d post that little incident so that the world could see how unfair things get here at the Hollinger household. Can you imagine, being rewarded for staying in a crate! Because of the injustice of it, I thought it would be nice if all of my online readers took pity on my situation and sent me a cookie. If each of you just sent me one, I’d have more cookies than I can count. You can just send them to the Hollinger household, care of “Sapphie Corgi.” I’ll make sure they get to the right place.
Anyway, I hear Zeph playing with his favorite squeaky toy. And you know what that means—it’s time for me to take it from him.
Happy Barking! And send me those cookies!
Until next time,
I’m sharing pictures of some of the characters from Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive. These pictures were created by the fabulous Marji Cooper. Along with each picture, I’ll introduce a bit more about each character. If you enjoy these characters, be sure to check out the free short story (posted earlier in this blog) or the novel, available in print or e-book format.
My name is Zeph. I’m a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and above all I’m a good boy.
I was the third dog to be born in our litter, and my sister was the fourth. When I found out all of us puppies were going to new homes, my father pulled me aside. He told me my sister was a rambunctious bundle of trouble, and he asked me if I would watch over her. I made sure we got adopted together, and I’ve been keeping track of her ever since. One time she found a stack of newspapers. She tried to climb it, but she ended up pulling it on top of her instead. Luckily, I was able to sniff her out in time, but watching over Sapphie is a full-time job.
Right now she’s sleeping in my rocketship bed, something that my Person, Adam, gave to me. But Sapphie likes it better than the one she has, so I let her sleep in it from time to time. It’s what a good brother would do. Besides, if I didn’t, she would just tackle me and bite my ears until I gave up.
Aside from keeping Sapphie out of trouble, my main concern is watching over my Person. His name is Adam, and he’s a good kid. He also has sister issues—his sister is almost as much of a pawful as Sapphie. My favorite thing to do is curl up at Adam’s feet as he reads something called a “comic book.” I’m named after Adam’s favorite comic book hero, outer-space Captain Logan Zephyr. But when I’m not curled up at Adam’s feet, I also like watching him play baseball—though I’m afraid of the ball… and the yelling crowd… and the strange noise made by a scary thing called an “ice cream truck”… there are some scary things out there in the world.
My other interest is language. There’s absolutely nothing scary about language, so it’s my favorite hobby. Ever since I was a puppy, I have been learning as many words as possible. They come in handy when I’m trying to figure out what Adam and his family are saying. My sister isn’t as good at language, so I have to explain things to her. All the time.
I hear Sapphie trying to sneak into the basement, so I’d better stop her before she finds trouble.
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you enjoy the interview. Feel free to leave a comment on Chastity’s blog.
The Corgi Capers corgis recently paid a visit to K-9 Town to meet with Omar Blue and his canine buddies. You can read all about the corgis’ adventure at O. Warfield’s blog.
O. Warfield is the author of Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA.
In Corgi Capers, Princess Sapphie is Courtney’s little puppy. Like Courtney, Princess Sapphie’s personality is a difficult one. Sapphie is capricious and sometimes self-centered, and she doesn’t always think about the consequences of her actions. The inspiration is my little corgi, Leia.
Leia has been a challenge ever since we brought her home. Of our two corgis, Leia was the first to learn words. She quickly learned the word for “pee,” and whenever we would say it, she would pee on command—right on the rug!
Leia is fearless: when she first arrived at our house, she ran all over investigating her new home. She ran up the steps of our townhome—until she realized that though she could run up the stairs, she was still too tiny to get back down! When visitors arrive in our house, she is quick to approach them, and she would probably jump in the car with just about anyone. Leia’s mischievous blend of intelligence and curiosity has gotten her into some sticky situations. She quickly learned to knock over and open plastic bakery containers. She has, in the course of her three years here, eaten a pound of donuts (in one sitting); a half-pound of the donuts we bought to replace the ones she ate (I guess we didn’t learn); and over a dozen chocolate chip cookie (in one sitting while we were sleeping!). Even though her stomach regretted these indulgences the day after, she continually sneaks around checking out what there is to eat while we’re not watching.
Her personality is such that she gets easily excited. When my sister visited, we were sitting on the couch watching TV, and Leia was so excited to have a visitor overnight that she jumped on my sister’s lap and wagged her tail so hard that her whole body wiggled from side to side. She vocalizes her excitement in a mixture of a growl and a howl, which she continued to do while on my sister’s lap. It took her nearly twenty minutes to finally settle down. And it doesn’t stop there. On walks, she gets excited when she sees other dogs. She gets excited when she sees other people. She gets excited at shadows or butterflies or leaves blowing in the breeze. And every time she gets excited, she bites her leash so vigorously that it is now in shreds. And it is not the first leash I have bought her.
Her excitement is not limited to walks. Among her many loves: water. She loves baths. She will sometimes run up to the bathtub and sit on the bathmat, waiting for me to wash her. She loves splashing around: once when a pipe burst in the basement, Leia had a great time splashing around on the saturated carpet. She also loves drinking water, but she does so by plopping her front paw (or paws, depending on how hot it is) into the water… so that when she is done drinking, she leaves little wet pawprints all over the house. She loves chewing on cardboard: an empty shoebox will keep her entertained for hours (as long as we keep an eye on her–otherwise, she’ll eat the cardboard!) She also loves to play with empty bags of dog food. One day when I couldn’t find her, I ran all over the house and even checked the back yard. It turned out that she was hiding–she was sleeping inside the empty bag of dog food!
In the novel Corgi Capers, there is only one person with the power to control the rambunctious Princess Sapphie: Courtney. Courtney’s unique personality gives her the ability to understand Sapphie, and Sapphie behaves for Courtney like she behaves for no one else. It’s the same story with Leia. When we first picked out our corgis, Leia was running around in the pen with her fellow puppies. When I reached down to pet her, she gave me no mind. Instead, she wrestled with her brothers. But when my husband Eric bent down to pet her, she practically leapt into his arms. She’s only ever still when Eric picks her up. At night when she can’t settle down on the couch, she has only to jump onto Eric’s lap, and she’ll curl into a peaceful sleep.
Leia is a sweet and cute dog with a peculiar personality. She’s so endearing that it’s difficult to stay mad at her, especially when she rounds off her ears. I’ve tried to capture all the qualities of her personality in the corgi Princess Sapphie, making her appearance soon in Corgi Capers.