Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two Kinds of Corgis

When I take my girls out in public, they attract a lot of attention. This has been a fun thing for me because I am not very outgoing, and my corgis are natural conversation starters. The comments I hear most often are "What kind of dogs are those?", "That's the kind of dog I've always wanted" and "Are those the Welsh corgis? They're alluding to the fact that there are two kinds of corgis, but actually they're both Welsh. Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are actually two different breeds. Both originated in Wales to herd cattle, but they descended from different breeds. Pembrokes are better known ... probably because that's the kind the royal family has. Pems and Cardigans have similar personalities. They're smart, strong willed and low to the ground with a long back and short legs. Cardigans are a little larger, and the most noticable difference is that they have a tail.
I haven't seen very many Cardigans, but we do run into this pair at the park now and then. They are beautiful dogs with alert, intelligent faces. And, as these pictures show, they can sit straight up, using that long tail to balance themselves. Actually, I think they just like to show off in front of my girls, who can only dream of being able to perform such a stunt!

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Street Fair Time!

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year ... the annual Fargo Street Fair. Many communities have some kind of craft fair during the summer, but I think ours is one of the best. There are a few vendors that I check out every year, but also some great new ones. There's the giant bag of kettle corn that I can't leave without (you can get a small bag for $5 or a giant bag for $8 ... kind of a no-brainer! ) and the turkey drumsticks that you stand in line 20 minutes for. There are the musicians and street performers ... we saw a guy on stilts so high that he had to walk around the traffic lights when he crossed the street! But I think the best part is running into friends that I haven't seen since last year's event, and just 'hanging out' and watching people. Princess and Dee Dee would not rank the Street Fair high on their list .... there are just too many people who stop to pet them and Dee Dee, in particular, hates 'commotion' ... something there is an abundance of at the Street Fair. But they fared quite well last night ... a two-dog cleanup team happily munching their way down Broadway, picking up popcorn, bits of burger, hot dog or pork chop, dropped french fries .... and anything else they caught wind of. (There are advantages to having your nose so close to the ground!) There have been many years where it's either rained - or just been too hot to be squeezed amongst so many bodies, booths, dogs and strollers, but this year the weather has been perfect. I think we'll go again tonight ... not to shop, but just to hang out and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a summertime tradition.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. Minnesota State University Moorhead hosts an Old Fasioned 4th of July Celebration every year, and I don't think we've ever had a nicer day than this one. It was gorgeous ... sunny, warm, light breeze and low humidity. Who could ask for more. The girls wore their flag bandanas and sun visors and were huge hits. They enjoy the attention to a point and then they get kind of tired of it ... especially all of the little kids petting them. But they did very well. A local TV station took their picture and so I hoped they would be on the news tonight, but they didn't make the cut. Oh well ... maybe another time! We came home for supper and I thought we'd go to the park for a walk, but by that time there were some fireworks popping off in the distance and Dee Dee refused to get out of the car. She cowered under the dashboard so I brought her home and she made a beeline to her kennel.
Princess and I walked all the way back over to MSUM (about 2-1/2 miles each way) to watch fireworks. She did so well ... didn't even crawl up in my lap until the grand finale, but just sat by me and watched them ... actually seemed to rather enjoy them. She was happy as a lark walking all that way, having me all to herself. I do love fireworks ... a great ending to a very fun day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Dee Dee and Elvis are litter mates, but they were born a day apart ... just before and just after midnight. Dee Dee is really glad she doesn't have to share a birthday with Elvis; there's a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between them and she feels like she's living in his shadow anyway! I haven't written much about Elvis on this blog (he lives with my brother in Holland, Michigan) but I will try to post some stories about him in the coming weeks. He is quite the dog ... I mean, how many dogs do you know who have an honorary doctorate degree?! (See November, 2007 posts for more .... ) Tim and Elvis are going to receive yet another award later this month. See for details on that. Today, however, we just want to wish Dr. Elvis a happy birthday and share a few of his funnier photos. Seems the boy likes ice cream.
He also enjoys sleeping with his head under the bed. Who needs mini-blinds anyway?   And sticks ... well, Elvis is legendary for his obsession with sticks. The story behind this photo is really funny. Tim and Elvis like to kayak. They also go to the beach. They go to the beach a lot. Elvis loves to have Tim throw sticks into the water so he can retrieve them. But this particular evening there were no sticks in sight. (For Elvis, a stick = something close to a branch.) So Tim told him to 'go find a stick' and Elvis dutifully trotted off looking for one. He came upon a group of kids who had built a nice bonfire on the beach and a few minutes later, Tim sees Elvis running down the beach with some kids chasing him,
yelling "Hey, give us back our firewood!"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Dee Dee

Dee Dee, who turns 8 years old today, will always be my baby. She has more grey than either Princess or I do, but those bright eyes, her zest for life and desire to please endeared her to me from the day I brought her home (in spite of the fact that she walked in the front door, went straight to the middle of the living room carpet and peed!) After I had Princess a few months I realized that I never again wanted to come home to an empty house. I thought that I'd get a second dog when Princess was 6 or 7 years old (approximately half-way through her life expectancy). But then, a few months later, I found out about Dee Dee.
She was only 8 months old and had already been in four different homes that hadn't worked out for various reasons. She was completely irresistable and I took her home 'on approval'. There were days I wondered about my decision. I wanted so badly to keep her, but she and Princess fought a lot that first summer. She was very insecure, but as the months went by and she realized she finally had a permanent home, the fights became much less frequent. Dee Dee is a very compliant dog; not particularly strong willed (unless she sees a rabbit). She loves her kennel, likes to hang out the car window when she rides, get tummy rubs and be told she is a 'good girl'. She is an awesome snuggler, and very in tune to people's moods. If I'm feeling sad, she will pick up on that right away, come over and put her chin on my knee and look up at me with big, sad eyes. My two corgis are on opposite extremes of the personality continuum! "Dee Dee", by the way, is short for Detour Dierdra (so named because the white on her back does a detour off to one side). She has a larger bone structure than Princess, so people always think she's the older of the two, but Princess is actually her aunt. Dee Dee's birthday wish list includes going to the park to chase rabbits, going swimming, then to the Dairy Queen and home for a tummy rub. Happy birthday, sweet girl!