Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending the Year with a Blast .....

.... of winter, that is.   We are enduring our third consecutive winter that is unusually brutal.   Honestly, I think this is the worst one yet, although up until yesterday most of the snow that fell, came straight down, without a lot of wind.   But now we are in the midst of a good old-fashioned blizzard, complete with heavy snow, 40-50 mph winds, and arctic air.   We are presently in a bit of a lull between the two-punch storm, so I decided to go out and at least get a start on dismantling the drift in my driveway.   What I didn't know was that there was a heavy coating of ice underneath the snow; which was polished to an unbelievable sheen by the wind.   When two little corgis cannot even walk on the driveway without falling over, you know it's bad!   Dee Dee was making her way up the driveway and literally fell over on her side.   Too funny.   It wasn't nearly as funny when I fell on my keister. 

Yesterday was one for the record books.   I made it to work in the morning (which is on the far, far southwest end of Fargo, out of the city limits).  It is more developed out there than it was ten years ago, but still, when the wind blows, it is a totally different experience than it is in town.   I worked a few hours, got the most important things done, and by noon I realized that I either needed to leave then, or plan on spending the weekend there.

 I had the girls with me, but with plans to leave for Michigan on Monday, I really needed to get home.   It was a white knuckle trip, on glare ice, with zero visibility at times and ice pellets pounding the windshield.   And, on the car radio, I was hearing reports of a 100 car pile-up just a few miles west of where I was.   Needless to say, I was happy to get home.   I crawled under my down comforter with the girls snuggled up beside me, and we enjoyed a quiet evening listening to the radio and following the reports of a major rescue operation going on at that accident site.  Some people were trapped in their cars for a number of hours, but by 11 p.m. everyone had been rescued and injuries were minor.    This picture of the girls was taken out at work.   I let them go potty, but didn't let them out of my sight. 

 The girls have had fun playing with their Christmas gifts from their best friend, Sadie, next door.   They got plush animals with two squeakers and no stuffing.   It's been almost a week, and the squeakers, so far, are still in tact! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Norwegian Corgis?

The agenda for this past weekend?   Baking cookies.   Lots of them.   I sign up for a ridiculous number of exchanges each year.  Six weeks out, it seems like a good idea.   I mean, what could be easier?   You make dozens of your favorite cookie, swap with other ladies who have done the same, and come home with a huge variety with which to impress your friends.   Actually, it is a good idea - to a point.  The problem is that I have no family in the area, and since most of my friends are also involved in the exchanges, I just don't have that many people to take plates of cookies to.    They go to the neighbors, I bring some to work, and then I usually take a plate to public servants like the police, fire department, ambulance service.  But I still have a lot left over and there's only one person at my house to eat them.   Unless, of course, you count the girls. 

When I was 13, our family moved to Minnesota and we were introduced to krumkake.   My Dutch roots make me partial to banket , although my love of banket soured a bit after I lost a crown in a piece of it a few years ago.   Yes, I looked for it, or maybe I should say watched  for it, but it was never found.   So that one piece of banket cost me $850 and it's never tasted quite as good since.   But  I also love krumkake and it turns out, so do my corgis.   There are a lot of recipes out there with various ingredients and flavorings, but in my opinion, krumkake isn't any good without cardamon.  I love to just stick my nose in it and sniff.   Ummmmmm     I suppose that's the next thing they will declare is a hallucinogen.

Anyway ... the rule at my house is that we only get to eat the ones that break, burn, or otherwise don't turn out.    Usually that is the first four or five, and then I get into a rhythm, catching drips, flipping the iron, and rolling cones.  Underneath my feet I have two little girls who are salivating and hoping that some broken pieces will fall their way.    I'm not sure if it's the texture, or the flavor but they have a definite preference for krumkake over any other kind of cookie that I bake.  

Of course they love all sweets ...and they can be quite adept at getting what they want.   One day last week I indulged in my favorite guilty pleasure - a  McDonalds caramel Frappe.  If you haven't tried one ... trust me, they are the best and taste much better if you don't ask about the calorie count.   I needed to make a quick stop at Herbergers, and since I didn't want Dee Dee licking the caramel residue off my straw, I took it with me into the store, leaving the 2/3 full Frappe (the kind with a dome cover and a little hole for the straw) in the car.  I did feel a little silly, carrying a sticky straw around with me.  At least one sales associate asked if I wanted her to discard it for me.  "Uh, no .... I mean, it's for my frappe ... I didn't want my dog to lick  .... oh, never mind."   Pleased with myself for being so prudent, I headed back to the car, looking forward to the rest of my Frappe.    Approaching the driver's side door, I saw both girls in the front seat, happily licking sticky sweetness off the seat.   Those stinkers had managed to get the cup out of the beverage holder, get the cover off and spill it all over the seat, the armrest, the floor.   As soon as they saw me, they stopped in their tracks and looked at me with faces that said, "It was her idea, Mom.  I'm just helping clean up the mess!"   Ah yes ... the mess.   Actually, it wasn't too bad.   They had done a pretty good job of "cleaning it up".    I guess I can be grateful for that.    Scrubbing sticky caramel out of the carpet in sub-zero temps isn't my idea of a fun time.  And a fun time they had clearly had.   

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Did you get that?!?

The falling snow and plummeting temperatures tell me that we're making the transition from Fall to Winter.   Actually, I don't mind either of those things so much, but I really hate the short days.   There's about a 3 week period when I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.   The only positive thing about that is that I sometimes see brilliant sunsets in my rearview mirror as I drive home in the late afternoon.   North Dakota has THE BEST sunsets .... combination of low horizon and combine dust in the air.   They can be simply spectacular.

I enjoy evening walks with the girls, but we all look forward to the weekend when we can go to the park in daylight.   A couple hours ago, I told the girls we were going to the park 'pretty soon'.   They know that 'pretty soon' means we are going - but not right now.  But they follow me from room to room in anticipation.   A few minutes ago, while folding a load of laundry, I tripped over them for about the fourth time today.   I looked down and said, "You know, I would work faster if you two girls weren't attached to my heel."   They looked at me with blank expressions, so I repeated it.   They cocked their heads to the side, and looked at each other with the funniest expression, as if to say, "Did you get that?" 

This is a short post ... because, well .... it's going to be dark in another 20 minutes and we still haven't been to the park.  Better run ....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Decade of Love

Ten years ago today - October 21, 2000 - Princess came to live with me.   I picked her up about 9:00 a.m.,  she jumped happily in my car and never looked back.    We spent the afternoon playing in the back yard, raking leaves, with friends dropping by to meet her.   They pronounced us perfect for each other.  We were - and still are - very much alike:   loving, independent and strong-willed.    Now a senior citizen, Princess often comes to work with me, as she did today.   She is friendly, but not pushy;  never barks at anyone but happily greets our guests, her little stub of a tail wagging.   People love her.   When the vet checked her over last week, she commented that Princess looks about half her age.  (I wish the same could be said of me!)   She is a wonderful companion and SOOOO very loved.   Happy 10th anniversary, my sweet girl. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mid October Musings

 This past month has been a blur.  Three weeks of fundraising at work were followed by an Extreme Home Makeover right across the street from us!    It was a crazy week with streets blocked off, porta-potties along the curb, hundreds of volunteers working 24/7 and more activity than I'd seen since the Flood of 2009.   Despite the noise, floodlights and dust, it was fun to be a part of it, and it was all for a wonderful family that has done much for disabled children in our community.   The show is supposed to air in late November or early December.

When it was all over, I was exhausted, and glad for a week of vacation.    I canceled most of my original plans, and we stuck pretty close to home.   The Fall colors have been exceptionally brilliant this year, and we enjoyed some day trips to area parks, and I did some biking on several of the MN state trails.   I had hoped to do more, but on Monday I had a little rollerblading mishap.  Princess was chasing me around a parking lot when my legs went out from under me, and I fell - hard - sustaining a whiplash and bruised tailbone.   I was pretty sore for a few days.

I got my leaves raked this week and other yard work done .... windows have been washed, gutters cleaned out, and the garage is looking better than it has in a long time.   My neighbor changed the oil on my mower for me.    You're supposed to do that more often than once every ten years???    Who knew?!?!  
Yesterday the girls went to the Vet for their annual wellness exams and shots.   Dee Dee has a tooth that needs to be pulled, and Princess has 'mature cataracts' on both eyes.   I'm a little perplexed by that since she can spot a squirrel or rabbit from 100 yards away!   Dee Dee put up quite a fuss while she was being checked over, and provided an unsolicited stool sample right there on the exam table.    That ended up costing me another $60 when it tested positve for some parasite.   Overall,  the girls are in excellent health for their age.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I was reminded of this beloved poem of Robert Frost this week as I turned the calendar page from August to September.    As if on cue, our weather made a dramatic shift from hot and humid to cool and crisp.   Some are complaining, but I don't dare.    I whined about the heat most of the summer.  I'm just not a 'hot and sticky' kind of person - and neither are my girls.   I hate having to carry water for them on even the shortest walks, and having to mow my lawn before 7 a.m. because that's the only time I can stand it. 
So bring on the cooler weather.  I love Fall.   I love sleeping with the windows open; the cool breeze pushing me down under the comforter and snuggling up close to my girls.   I love cool evening bike rides, Honey Crisp apples, the sound of crunching leaves underfoot (not yet, thankfully!) and the aroma of scented candles burning in my living room.   I love seeing school buses in the morning, wearing sweatshirts, and checking out the new Bible Studies in the church bulletin.  I love the smell of autumn air.  
Speaking of smells .... a few weeks ago my brother was traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula with his dog, Elvis.  Tim's favorite place to hang out (in the whole world, I think) is Au Train Beach on the south shore of Lake Superior.   It is a beautiful beach, and he recently purchased a parcel of land just a stone's throw up the Au Train River.   Making the trek north from Holland, Elvis slept most of the way.  When they got about a half mile from Au Train Beach, Elvis suddenly woke up, stuck his head out the window and sniffed the air, turned toward Tim and smiled.   He knew where they were.  My girls remember every park we've ever been to, and it doesn't matter what way we go, or where I park the car.   Familiarity is in the smell, and it always amazes me.

The last few weeks have brought sad farewells to some of our canine friends.   Einstein, the common link between my girls (Princess' brother and Elvis and Dee Dee's father) was put down a week ago.   We also lost Dee Dee's nephew, Scooter, and another corgi pal this summer.   And a few weeks ago I got a call from my friends, Phil and Val, telling me that their little Einstein (a charming little terrier who was obsessed with chasing balls) had died.   As Phil put it, Einstein 'helped them raise their five boys' and was with them through some major life transitions.   Only another dog lover can understand the bond that exists between canines and their humans.  These losses remind me that my girls are getting older too, and that I need to cherish each day that I have with them.   Nothing gold can stay.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

The Moorhead Park District sponsors a 'dog swim' event at the neighborhood wading pools the night before they are drained for the summer.    It was a cool evening for swimming, but in a way it was nice, as there weren't as many people there as there might have been otherwise.

Swimming in a pool is an entirely different experience for dogs than swimming in a lake.   For one thing, they have to step (or jump) off the edge into the water rather than run into it as they do at a lake.  Getting out is a little different too.  They have to push themselves up out of the water onto the concrete.   And then there is the chlorine - which, I suspect, stings their eyes, just as it does ours.   Both of the girls were nervous, and needed a little coaxing to get in the water.  For Princess, watching the other dogs splash around and chase after the ball was enough to make to conquer her fears.   She stood on the edge, leaning toward the water, trying to muster the courage to take the plunge.   I finally gave her a little push and she fell in.   Once she realized that she could swim, she was hooked.   I pushed her a couple more times and after that she did it all by herself.   I was so proud of her, and she had so much fun.   She is a brave girl. 

Dee Dee - not so much.  For one thing, she hates commotion, so just having so many other dogs around made her nervous.   I picked her up and put her in the water several times - even pulling her on a leash while she swam, but she just wanted to get to the edge and scramble back up to solid ground.    People were incredulous when I told them how she charges into Lake Michigan and lets huge waves swallow her up and absolutely loves it!    It's hard to imagine being afraid of a little wading pool after facing the waves of the Great Lakes.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Itasca State Park and Walker Bay

The heat and humidity have made it hard to sleep this summer, so what better way to relax than head to Itasca State Park for the weekend.  Lake Itasca is the source of the Mississippi River.   There's a lot to do there.

We pitched our tent at Bear Paw Campground and, I'm happy to say, didn't actually 'see' any bear paws other than the engraved ones on the sign!   There was, however, a skunk who found his way into the campground the first night.   Our food was safely stored in the trunk of the car, so we were bypassed, thankfully.

On Saturday we went to the Mississippi headwaters.  I'm sure I've been there at least a dozen times over the years, and I've never seen the water as deep as it was this time.  They've had a LOT of rain this summer; one ranger told me they'd had around 14 inches - just in July!    We waded across, none-the-less, and the girls enjoyed cooling off, although the congestion was a bit too much for Dee Dee.   She was happy to head back to the car and move along to the next spot - which was a stroll along Mary Lake and the Red Pine Trail.   My eyes were peeled for glimpses of the Minnesota State flower, the showy lady slipper, and I wasn't disappointed.
It was a hot day, so in the afternoon we took a drive to Lake George and on to Walker, which is one of my three favorite Minnesota resort towns (along with Grand Marais and Lanesboro). Leech Lake is a much prettier lake than its name would make it sound (I have yet to actually see a leech there), and the public beach on Walker Bay is just wonderful. We had a great time cooling off there.  When it was time to leave, Dee Dee put up a fuss.   As soon as she realized we were walking toward the car, she stopped in her tracks and looked at me with pleading eyes:   "Please, Mom, just a little bit longer ..."   I gave in - three times, in fact - before I decided that we really did need to leave!    In the evening, I went to a show at Jaspers Jubilee Theatre in Park Rapids.    By that time, the girls were worn out and happy to nap in the car.    I got this picture of them sharing the shady side of the back seat.   Dee Dee woke up when I slowed to take the picture, but they had been lying almost on top of each other, sound asleep.   

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dee Dee is Ten!!

Happy birthday, dear Dee Dee!   Happy birthday to you!    Tim and I sang that song to her this morning as we were rolling out of bed.   Tomorrow we will sing it to Elvis.   They were born an hour apart - on different days!   

We are in Michigan this week visiting family and will be stopping to see friends in Illinois and Iowa on our way home.   I've been very busy helping my parents with various things, but I've managed to get the girls to the beach to swim every day.    They LOVE it.   Especially Dee Dee.   

Last night after a wonderful dinner at the Everyday People Cafe in Douglas, MI, we watched the sun go down over Lake Michigan.   The waves were huge but Dee Dee was completely undaunted.   I'd throw a stick into the water and she'd charge in after it; the waves completely swallowing her little body.  Then she'd emerge, allowing it to push her to shore.   If she lost the stick along the way, she'd go right back in and look for it some more.   I was amazed - both at her courage and at her strength.  Princess was a little more cautious.   She's a year and a half older, and she knows her limits.   (The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.)   Elvis, of course, is an old pro .... he goes to the beach several times a week.    We attracted quite an audience of people who were watching and taking pictures.  One family actually clapped as we walked by!   When I told them how old the girls were, they were amazed.   We head for home tomorrow.   It's been a good week ... a nice mixture of work and play. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sheyenne River Valley

The girls and I went camping for Memorial Day weekend at Fort Ransom State Park in North Dakota. It's a quiet, peaceful place nestled in the Sheyenne River Valley, which is quite pretty. We hit a weekend of record-setting heat though (97 degrees yesterday!) so came home a day early. I turned on the air conditioner and all three of us crashed!  
Fortunately, the air was dry so it cooled down at night which made the evenings quite pleasant and comfortable for sleeping. Early mornings were lovely as well, and we did a little exploring. We even saw a bald eagle - a rare treat. The entire area is a bird sanctuary, and I enjoying the chorus of brown thrashers, western meadowlarks and morning doves as I awoke each morning.

The girls enjoy camping and love to sleep in the tent, but the first night we were there Dee Dee was clearly frightened of something and wouldn't get out of the car. At first it seemed to be the tent, as she wouldn't walk in that direction, even to get her supper. But when I carried her to the tent, she eagerly went inside. The only thing between the car and the tent was the firepit and a lawn chair, and to my knowledge, she's never had a bad experience with either of those before. Oh, to get inside her little head sometimes! I never figured it out, but after that first night, she was fine.

North Dakota doesn't have mountains, canyons or coastline, but there are some hidden treasures waiting to be explored, and you don't have to contend with crowds. The Sheyenne River Valley is one of them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Selective Hearing and Slow-beying

Mothers Day has come and gone, and I got my free sundae from our local Dairy Queen which offers dog-dish treats and recognizes dog-mamas.  Taking my girls to the park, breaking up squabbles, comforting them during a thunderstorm are just a few of the things that make me a 'real Mom'.    A few years ago we had some friends from out of town spend the night.   They were intrigued - and quite amused - as they observed me interacting with the girls throughout the evening, particularly when the neighbor dog showed up on our doorstep wanting Princess and Dee Dee to come out and play.  Later on, when Dee Dee started getting out of sorts, I told her to go to her kennel.  My friends exclaimed,  "They're just like a couple of kids!" 

Yes, they are like a couple of kids - in many ways.  Just like kids, they have selective hearing and often slow-bey when I tell them to do something they don't really want to do.   That's especially true of Princess.   If she's outside and I tell her to 'come', she will walk verrrry slowly towards me, stopping to sniff every blade of grass and go potty several times along the way.    She reminds me of a toddler who comes up with reasons why they shouldn’t go to bed yet and then – once in bed – needs several drinks of water followed by a couple more bathroom visits.  Anything to delay the dreaded bedtime!

A few days ago the girls were playing in the back yard when I went in the house for something.   I came back a few minutes later and called them.   Dee Dee came running, but Princess was no where in sight.   I stood on the back deck and called her name over and over.   Nothing.   The thought crossed my mind, 'Well she is getting pretty old.  She probably can't hear me - poor girl.'    Just as I turned to go back inside and grab my keys to go look for her, I happened to glance down.    This is what I saw.     She was hiding under the steps, obviously hoping I wouldn't blow her cover.  I gave her a little poke in her furry 'behind', and she made a mad dash to the house as if to say, "I'm coming!  I'm coming!"  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bedtime Routine

Dogs love routine, and so do I.  That makes us particularly well suited for each other.  But I do laugh at how little it takes to create a routine with dogs.   Do it twice, and it's a routine.   That's assuming it's something they like, of course.   Like a bedtime snack.  I often have a glass of skim milk before I go to bed, and one night, a few years ago, I gave the girls some too.   I'm sure it wasn't more than 1/3 of a cup.   They liked it.  So (and this was my mistake) the following night I did the same.   The next night I was brushing my teeth and noticed that they were both out in the kitchen, quietly waiting by their bowls.   I decided to ignore them, but they didn't move.    They weren't barking or whining or anything, but they were persistent and I finally caved and gave them some milk.  Wellllll .... that sealed the routine, and now they expect (and get) their drink of milk every night.

But then came the night when Princess wasn't feeling well.   I can't remember what had happened, but she was limping for some reason and had crawled into her bed early.   Dee Dee, however, waited by her bowl as usual.   So I poured a little in her bowl, and - not wanting to show favoritism - poured a little in Princess' bowl too.    I could see her out of the corner of my eye, and she was in a dilemma.   She wanted her milk, but she didn't want to get out of bed.   So ... (now, please don't think I spoil my girls when I say this) .... I brought her milk to her.    The next night she still was having some pain, so I brought the milk to her again.   And ... you guessed it ... we had a new routine!     Dee Dee gets her bedtime drink of milk in her bowl in the kitchen, while Princess gets her milk in bed - brought to her by me.    Last night, just for fun, I decided to put her milk down next to Dee Dee's and see if she'd come get it.   I peaked around the corner and there she was, in bed, with her head arched way up - towards the kitchen - waiting for her milk to be delivered.   And of course it was.    Sigh.  I do wonder sometimes who the alpha member of the family is.   I'm pretty sure it's not me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Many Faces of Dee Dee

It's Friday .... which means that Princess got to go to work with me today.   That started about three years ago when we had a turnover in staff at the radio station where I work.   Dee Dee comes occasionally, but not often, since she barks at whoever comes through the door .... UPS man, FedEx, listeners coming to pick up a prize, etc.    Princess rarely barks, unless you provoke her with something like the the vacuum cleaner, a rolled up newspaper or by blowing soap bubbles at her.  She barks when we're playing outside.    But she doesn't bark at other people, and so she is a perfect 'office dog'.   My co-workers love her.   When I come home from work on Thursday, I will say, "Princess, do you want to go to work with me tomorrow?" She lights up, and the next morning when I let them outside to go potty, instead of coming back inside with Dee Dee, she goes and stands by the car, smiling expectantly.    Dee Dee really isn't too upset by the fact that she doesn't get to go.   She's a homebody and likes the security of our home and her kennel.   On the rare occasion that she does go to work, she sleeps under my desk, by my feet all day.   The girls have very, very different personalities.    Princess is pretty even-tempered and stoic, while Dee Dee is much more moody and wears her feelings on her sleeve ... uh ... I mean, lip.    Even at almost 10 years old, she still looks - and acts, in many ways - like a puppy.   She's full of playful energy, and very affectionate.   She loves attention and once she deems you 'safe', she will roll over to have her tummy rubbed.  
She is actually much more obedient than Princess; she wants nothing more than to please me and loves being told she's a 'good girl'.   Princess couldn't care less.    But Dee Dee has a short fuse, and can be a bully - especially towards Princess.   I can read her body language pretty well, and so can Princess.   When I see Dee Dee steal a 'look' in Princess' direction and/or Princess turning to face the wall, I know what's coming - and it isn't going to be pretty.    I practice 'early intervention' and send Dee Dee to her kennel before it escalates.  Sometimes all I have to do is say, "Dee Dee" in a stern voice and she trots off to her kennel.   She knows it's a safe place to escape from whatever it is that is bothering her and everyone else feels safer too!    There isn't a more loveable dog in the world than Dee Dee, but other people don't always get to see that side of her and that makes me sad.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A missed opportunity?

Something I've observed over the years is that often times, the bigger the opportunity, the smaller the window for seizing it.  And that may have proven true in the case of Elvis being on the CBS Morning Show.   They wanted Tim and Elvis to fly to New York right in the middle of their speaking tour on the East Coast,  and it just didn't work out.   They indicated that they would probably be calling the following week to arrange a date, but now - two weeks later - that hasn't happened.   So it may have been a missed opportunity. 
Tim really isn't too sad about it, as he doesn't like having to 'ship' Elvis through the baggage department.   I don't blame him.  I can't imagine either of my girls handling it very well either.  Anyway - here are a few pictures of them on the East Coast, being interviewed for FOX news and with a special cake just for Elvis.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Elvis on FOX News

It is spring break week for  Hope College, and my brother Tim and his corgi Elvis are on a speaking tour up the East Coast.   They were on FOX News last night and will probably be flying to NY next week to be on the CBS Early Show.  Here is the direct link to the FOX news story. has additional links to the CNN Story that ran in 2008 (now on YouTube), the FOX story above, a longer version of that story on local FOX television in Virginia and an interview on Public Radio in VA.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Look Back .....October 21, 2000

Today is Princess' 11th birthday, and I thought I would post my journal entry from October 21, 2000 - the day she came to live with me.   She was a year and a half old, a little thinner, a little more spry but with the same confident, feisty personality she has today.   Little did I know, eleven years ago today, that in Sarasota, Florida a litter of puppies was being born - one of whom would change - and enrich - my life with more joy than I could have ever imagined.   Happy birthday, sweet Princess!

October 21, 2000
Princess' and my first day together could not have gone better if I'd ordered it straight from heaven. She really seems happy here, and Barb says we are a perfect match. I think we are. I picked her up about 9:00 and ran a few short errands so she would get used to riding in my car and having me disappear for a few minutes and come back. After the first time, she didn't seem to mind. Never barked or whined at all. Then we came home and she was happy in the house for about 1/2 hour - just as she was the other evening. I fed her, she ate well and then suddenly got very skittish on me - wouldn't let me approach her, ran and hid behind furniture. I felt so bad for her - could tell she was just very bewildered and scared. I finally lay down on the carpet and gingerly she approached me. When I could reach out my hand to rub her neck and tummy, she relaxed and lay down beside me. Ever since then, she's been fine. We were outside most of the afternoon. It was a perfect autumn day - sunny, in the 60's and I had a lot of raking to do. Laurie came over for a while to help me and she thought Princess was the cutest dog she'd ever seen. My next door neighbor has a black lab and when she came out, she (Sadie) barked at Princess but Princess just looked at her and didn't bark. However, Sadie kept barking so I finally went over to pet Sadie and Princess got very agitated. She barked at me (she has a high pitched irritating bark but fortunately rarely uses it) and when I came back over into my yard she was jumping at me and obviously very upset. It was kind of funny. My neighbor thinks she is beautiful and she said "Mike will be so jealous." The rest of the afternoon we raked and Princess had so much fun romping in the leaves. Denise Larson and her girls stopped by to meet her and the girls enjoyed playing ball with her. After a few minutes she was retrieving the ball. When we're outside she loves to romp and play but when we come in, she is pretty mellow. She loves to lay next to you on her back and have her tummy rubbed. She cuddles right up to you.  Princess is alert and responsive - comes when you call her. She does jump in the bathtub if she gets a chance. I was told that she LOVES to have a bath. She barked at the vacuum cleaner (I decided she might as well get used to it because I vacuum every day) and when I ran the mop over the floor she got behind and tried to "herd it". FUNNY!! She likes to be with me, but she doesn't follow me everywhere now that she is used to the house. I am setting down a few ground rules - no begging at the table, and she must stay on the passenger side of the car. I have signed up for six weeks of training with her, beginning November 1st (more for my sake than hers). She was pretty tired by tonight. It was a big day - lots of new places and new people. I have her little travel kennel, and when I opened the door she went right in, lay down and went to sleep!! I couldn't have hoped for anything better.  I was told to have her sleep in there and stay in there when I'm at work. Even though the space seems confining, they feel secure in there and do better if you leave them in there. Gradually, after a few weeks, I can try letting her have the run of the house for short periods while I'm gone.  All it all, it's been a great day. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We're Baaaacccckkkkk ....

I owe a huge thank you to the Google technical support team for restoring our blog!   Two weeks ago, in the process of changing my Email address, I accidentally deleted my Google account .... and this blog went with it .... disappearing far into Cyberspace somewhere.     CorgiTales is not a blog that makes any profound contribution to society, but I've had a lot of fun with it and we do have followers ... so I was pretty devastated at the thought of losing it.   Realizing that I was a mighty small goldfish in a HUGE ocean, I started posting requests for help on every site I could find, without a whole lot of hope that I'd get any.   But several days ago, I received a message that our blog had been restored!!!    Yeah!!!    The only problem is that my photos were not restored .... so gradually, over the coming weeks and months, I will upload those again.  I figure if I do a couple of posts a day, it shouldn't be too painful.   I learned a couple of important lessons .... 1) back up your posts in a Word document and 2) don't start deleting things when you really don't know what you're doing!!!    (I think I have learned that lesson before .... why didn't I remember it?!)   So anyway, we're BACK!    And CorgiTales, by the way, originated as the name of our scrapbooks ... now on Volume Six ... and counting!!  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drifting Along ....

It's mid-February and the main topic of conversation these days is spring flooding. Again. This year. It's getting really old. We have more snow than we did last year at this time, and it has a higher moisture content than last year's. And, just like last year, there is more snow south of us - snow that eventually melts and runs north. Crazy river. Many people still have battle fatigue from last year ... so the thought of going through it all again is hard to take. I broke down and spent my vacation budget on flood insurance. It was just too close last year. The big unknowns yet are how much precipitation we'll receive in March and April, and how fast the snow melts. A slow melt is what we're hoping for.

The long winter starts to take a toll on everyone about now; including the girls. They've been fighting more the past few weeks, and I'm not sure what that's about. It may be that they haven't been getting enough exercise. We've been getting out with the snow shoes on weekends, but I've turned into a wimp on weeknights. I get home from work and just want to hibernate for the rest of the night ... especially now with the Olympics going on! I tell myself that the girls are 9-1/2 and almost 11 now and they don't need as much exercise! But they've put on a couple of extra pounds, and we all sleep better if we get out for at least a short walk in the evening. Their leads are buried somewhere deep in the snow, so I let them run unleashed in our neighborhood. They're usually pretty good about staying close to home, but they do like to wander down the block to a house rented by college students where they know they're likely to find left over pizza and other tasty delights. One night last week I let them out to go potty about 11:00. When Dee Dee didn't come right back, I called for her, and she barked - from my neighbor's yard. There is a fence between us, but the drift in my yard is so high that she was able to walk right up and over it. Getting back wasn't so easy. I had to put my boots and coat on over my pajamas and sneak into my neighbor's yard to rescue her. I wasn't too happy with her that night - nor the next day when Princess did the same thing! The drifts are like concrete. I cracked my bumper on one at the end of the driveway (grrrr ...) and the girls have cut a track through the back yard on top of the snow. It's kind of funny because, looking out the back door, you'd never know we had a deck! It's just one giant snow drift that covers everything. Yes, we are longing for spring .... we just don't want it to come all at once!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cute, butt .....

I don't know if it's because they have no tails, or because they are so low to the ground, but corgis have the cutest little butts! Many times we have been out for a walk, and someone has come up from behind us and commented on this! Of course with two of them walking together, side by side, they are especially fun to watch. Dee Dee has wide hips (can anyone relate?) and when she lies down to relax or munch on a chew stick, her short little legs fan out to the side as in this picture. I call it the 'flying squirrel' pose because of how her legs are spread. Princess, on the other hand, finds it more comfortable to keep her legs close together, and lie with one of them tucked up under the other. I suspect that is the position she was in before birth, crowded in Babe's belly with the other puppies. Dee Dee is longer and has much bigger bones - and when you look at her from behind, you see how sturdy those back legs are. Princess has narrow hips and thinner, more fragile looking back legs. My brother says she looks like a woman walking on high heels.

A couple of weeks ago we were visiting a friend who lives in a third floor apartment with a walk-out balcony. It was too cold to go out there, but the girls loved watching the action in the parking lot through the sliding glass doors. My house doesn't have any windows that are low enough for them to look out, so it's always a big treat when we go somewhere that does. They can be entertained for hours, watching for rabbits, squirrels or other critters.