Category Archives: puppy
If your dog is anything like mine, you may notice a personality change in direct proportion to the level of stinkiness. My corgis are so sweet and cuddly when they’re clean, and then the dirtier they get, the more wild they become.
Had a b-b-b-bath last night.
Even the bedding was washed.
Fur smooth, scent fresh.
Must not allow this to happen again.
Person was very cuddly today.
Kept complimenting my smell.
Received two extra treats.
Bedding fluffy and comfortable. I awoke well-rested.
Maybe baths not so bad.
Tired of cuddling.
Bed too clean.
Went exploring Yard while Person distracted.
Found pile of dark brown Stink.
Thinking either skunk or raccoon.
Will investigate further for consumption.
Went back to Stink pile.
Started to eat it.
Was stopped by Person.
Rubbed nose against Stink while Person wasn’t looking.
Jumped into Crate, rubbed snout on blanket to save Scent.
Will have a good night.
Person asked, “What’s that smell?”, took out trash, seems content for now.
Found several more Gooey Blobs in Yard.
Person has been watching too closely.
Could not investigate further.
Fur has developed lovely patina.
Life is good.
Person would not come Outside with me.
Rubbed in Muck but Scent was wiped away by Rain and Towel.
Will try again tomorrow.
Rain made Muck perfect consistency.
Dashed outside despite Person’s warnings.
Was yelled at.
Smell like Muck.
I find this somehow exciting.
Had a b-b-b-bath last night.
Even the bedding was washed.
Fur smooth, scent fresh.
Must not allow this to happen again.
Today is May Fourth, as in “May the Fourth be with you,” as in, “Happy Star Wars Day!”
Understandably, Star Wars Day is a special day for Leia and Yoda Corgi. When we first brought the corgis home, we thought about what to name them. As a writer and English teacher, I had already told myself that when I got a dog, I would name him after an author or a famous literary character. Chaucer was at the top of my list.
But when we saw our little corgi pup, his ears were so large (they were already sticking straight up when we got him) that he reminded us of Yoda from Star Wars. The name stuck immediately.
Since we adopted a sister and brother, we decided we needed a female name for Yoda’s sister. I thought about Princess Leia’s famous hairdo, the one with two braids wrapped at the sides of her head. The puppy had also been acting like a princess from the moment we got her, so Princess Leia sounded perfect (though to prevent her from having a superiority complex, we just call her “Leia” for short).
When I wrote Corgi Capers, I wanted to name the corgis in a similar fashion, after famous characters that my protagonist, Adam Hollinger, was fond of. Because of both my desire to avoid copyright issues and to “make it my own,” I decided to create a fictional famous outer-space comic book series that Adam could draw from to name his pups.
In Corgi Capers, the pups are named Zeph and Princess Sapphie (but just “Sapphie” for short—Sapphie doesn’t need a superiority complex, either). Zeph is loyal and intelligent just like his namesake. Logan Zephyr is a fearless space commander who leads his crew, the Stellar Squadron, around the universe in search of adventure. Though Zeph the puppy is often fearful, he tries hard to live up to the bravery of his namesake, displaying courage even when he’s trembling inside.
During one of his adventures, explorer Logan Zephyr comes upon a strange planet covered in quicksand. Underneath the quicksand is the beautiful Sapphire Kingdom inhabited by a princess named Princess Sapphire. Instead of being forthcoming about the fact that she is lonely and trapped on her isolated planet, she uses deceit and flattery to lure the explorers to her, and she uses treachery to try to trap them. Though she is beautiful and kind, she has a dark side. Adam decided this would be a perfect name for Zeph’s rambunctious sister, who is sweet when she wants to be but likes to dominate any situation and prefers using tricks than brains simply because it’s more fun.
Each May the Fourth, I’m reminded of the corgis’ “gotcha day” and the fun we had in naming them and introducing them to their new home. Since then, each day has been a new adventure, and I’m glad the corgis are along for the ride.
Tomorrow, we have a special guest post about naming dogs from awesome author C. Hope Clark. Stay tuned!
My person has been complaining lately about a thing called “winter.” It sounded like it might be good to eat, so I searched all over for it—the kitchen, the pantry, and even the compost heap outside, which was covered up in snow. But I couldn’t find winter anywhere. I got so mad, mad, mad that I ran around the house until I found my brother. Then I bit his ears. Biting Zeph’s ears always calms me down.
Zeph was no fun, as usual, and told me to stop. Like that was going to happen! But then I remembered that Zeph knows just about every word in the world, so I told him I’d stop biting his ears if he told me what “winter” was. He answered right away.
He said winter was the cold and snow and white skies and swirling sleet. I growled a little.
“Give me one,” I said.
“One what?” Zeph asked.
“One winter. No, make that two winters. Give me two winters. Mine and yours. I want to take them into my bed and eat them.” I always took treats into my bed and ate them. I usually steal Zeph’s treats, too. What’s his is mine, after all. Then I remembered Zeph was taking too long giving me his winter, so I snarled a little and said, “Give me your winter. Now, now, now!”
But I’d heard enough. “Where are you hiding winter?” I growled.
“I’m not hiding it, Sapphie, I—” But as he spoke, he glanced outside. He’s not a very good liar, and I knew he’d hidden winter in the yard. I’d have to go out and look for it, I decided as I bit his ear again. Only… finding winter might have to wait a while. Digging is hard to do when there’s so much snow on the ground!
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!
Be sure to check out
the newest post on
Omar Blue’s blog:
He’s the corgis’ favorite Internet pal!
I hope you enjoy the interview. Feel free to leave a comment on Chastity’s blog.