Category Archives: Pets

The Queen’s Corgis

456px-Pembroke_Welsh_Corgi_frontal1

The Corgi has always been associated with the Queen of England. I love the scenes in the movie with stellar actress Helen Mirren in the fields with her illustrious pets. It was a masterful portrayal of the sovereign and the dogs stole the show. I can see her in her Scottish plaid with cashmere twin set, her modest hairdo, stolid expression, and ungainly walk. The Corgis were by her side in step with every stride. They have wiggled their way into British hearts more than the royal family itself.

Examples from the Internet show them adorned with crowns (what do you expect?) or posing for an official photo en masse. They have been seen festooned in British flag color or red, blue, and white. The Queen is always smiling with them in tow. Year after year they appear in print (now online) as symbols of her devotion to the breed. Even as a young princess, Elizabeth favored these short-legged wonders first given to her by her father King George VI in 1933. They are often at opening ceremonies and major events such as the 2012 Olympics (taking a back seat to Daniel Craig no doubt). Of course they also graced the Diamond Jubilee. Can it be that the dogs are on the borderline of extinction? Having raised dozens, she has done her part to foster the future of the line for some time to come. Buckingham Palace and other royal abodes in Scotland and Wales are home to the canine critters. God Save the Queen’s Corgis!

It is said that she feeds them herself with chef-prepared delights that include filet of beef and chicken. (Veterinary experts had to approve the royal diet). They keep plenty on hand at Balmoral and Windsor. A fastidious regimen is maintained wherever they go.

Why Corgis? Actually, to be more accurate they are Welsh Corgis. It has become a virtual obsession in any case. Never has there been such an association with a dog breed and a world-renowned owner. There is no shortage of images if you haven’t yet been so blessed. It is a familial tradition and long-time personal preference.

They say this is a wonderful dog in so many ways. It is loyal, easy-going, good-natured, and loving. While other breeds meet this description, the Welsh Corgi is the perfect size, color, and texture for the Queen’s taste. Some are yappy, but Elizabeth clearly doesn’t care. They romp about the palace at will and dash about her ankles with glee. There is an estate kennel no doubt, but they are rarely confined. Spaniels and Labradors are relegated to the pen with other hunting dogs.

When a royal Corgi passes on, it is a news event. When a new litter appeared before she decided to cease the practice of breeding, it was a newsflash. Royal followers never fail to include the goings on of the dogs. When one was put down in 2004, it was a national day of mourning. Meanwhile, Corgis are England’s most privilege pets and the recipients of hours of royal indulgence.

Dogs and Human Medicine Don’t Mix

The one who does not love animals does not love people. What do you think about this? The love between an animal and its owner is unconditional. Pets usually become members of the family. We nurture them, feed them, give them baths and sometimes even haircuts and hairdos. Time spent with our pets is special indeed. It does not matter what kind of a pet we have. It could be a bird, a turtle, a cat or a dog. It does not matter; a pet is a friend for life.

Dogs are incredible creatures. They are loyal; they give unconditional love, friendship and fun. But, having a dog means having a huge responsibility. Therefore, before you make a decision about getting a dog, you should think about if you have the proper conditions a dog requires. You should also think about other members of the family and their thoughts on this subject. Dogs are always ready to play, but even if they are not(for any reason), they are happy just sitting next to you. Their love and attachment justifies the saying ‘a dog is a man’s best friend.’

You should always take care of your dog because dogs depend on you completely. They need fresh air, a place to sleep, food, everyday activities, walks and veterinary check ups. Because of all these requests, dogs are not suitable just for anyone.

Dogs just like people have different characters. When you imagine your favorite dog, you should start from your own life habits and the amount of free time. Not every dog needs the same amount of attention. Puppies are adorable, but they request a lot of time and care. All animals are lovely. Corgis breed especially. Where do you keep a dog? In your apartment/house or in your backyard. Those are the questions you need to answer.

What happens when your pet gets sick? Before that happens, you should have a trusted veterinary. Do not try to give your dog a human medicine of some kind. Human medication is not good for dogs. Take your dog to a vet, and he will do everything in his power to help your dog. One more thing, when giving your dog a bath, do not use your shampoo. It could severely hearth the dog’s skin and cause a whole bunch of problems for your dog. You can not use the same products for you and your dog. For example, if you have or you had a problem with toenail fungus, and you have some drugs left, you can not use it to treat dog fungus. Animals and people do not use the same medications. State of Utah has many wonderful veterinarians and they are quite capable of treating your pets.

Dogs are great for kids as well. They will play with them for hours, and you will see the wonderful effect this will have on your kids. Remember, treat your dog like family and you will always have a friend in need.

Obeying the Law

original_corgi-obey-the-corgi-print

Every dog owner knows that they must be a good citizen and abide by the local and state laws and ordinances. Wherever you live, it is a good idea to have a short list of requirements as soon as you decide to have a pet. You can then meet each obligation in stride.

In Utah, there are a range of duties requiring attention. They are probably similar in every state, so have a look and go on to your own state website. Often the legal terms are extensive, so I would opt for an interpreted roster for easy reading. In addition, you will want to know about local shelters for potential adoptions, dog parks, training schools, and general animal services.

Cities and counties require licenses dogs in public places for owners 18 years and older. They are to be renewed annually and are obtained within 30 days of possession of the animal. Application forms include name, address, and telephone number of owner, breed, color, rabies and sterilization information, and any identifying marks.

Spayed and neutered pets will have certification of the surgery by a licensed veterinarian.

There is no limit on the number of pets that can be owned provided they are all licensed. Laws prohibit abandonment in unsafe places without food, shelter, and water. They also prevent physical abuse and neglect.

Exotic animals that are prohibited are enumerated in laws and ordinances and include endangered species. Animals that present a danger to life, health, or property, include wild animals such as bears, alligators and crocodiles, raccoons, skunks, venous fish, weasels and snakes. (Your Corgi definitely will not want to share quarters with any of these!)

The Office of Animal Services controls the above laws, sets impounding laws, and is responsible for the maintenance of shelters. They issue tags to be attached to dog collars and commercial permits as well as take reports of animal attacks, bites, and motor vehicle accidents. If you are a responsible Corgi owner, you will want to hear no more about impounding rules! (There are, of course, fees, and daily boarding charges.)

Nuisance laws also come under the local jurisdiction. Simply do not allow your pet to do his or her business on others’ property; cause unsanitary conditions; bark, whine, or howl interminably; molest passerbys; attack other animals; roam freely more than 3 times per year; or generally pose any kind of threat to public health, safety, and welfare. Female dogs in heat create a scent that may incite domestic male dogs and must be confined during this time. A side note: designated dog parks do allow animals to run freely such as Jordan Park, Lindsay Gardens, and parts of Parley’s historic nature park. If you chain or tether a dog, it must not be able to go beyond your property line.

Statutes are extensive and only the basics are listed in this blog. There are also regions where dogs are prohibited such as watershed areas. Included on the list are Big Cottonwood Canyon, Parley’s Canyon, and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Check your county on line for any supplementary ordinances in your specific area.

The Breed

Dog Breeds

If you are thinking of adopting a pet in the near future (it is always best to rescue), go no further than the wonderful Corgi. There are all kinds of options with this muscular breed such as the Cardigan Welsh and Pembroke. You can’t go wrong in my book. No wonder the Queen adores them. They are indeed a special part of the Royal Family.

This is my breed of choice as you can guess. It is a small working class dog. Originally bred to herd cattle, there is a residue of the fields in their genes. With the Pembroke, we now have a low-slung, short-legged beauty with an adorable foxlike countenance—no tail. The Cardigan is a larger, heavier dog with a tail, if that is your preference. The average female is 20-20 pounds, and a male can reach 35. We will not acknowledge the Internet description of a “hair-covered Twinkie.”

If you like spirited and athletic, you will be pleased. If you favor steady and dependable, then right on. Appearance aside, it is all about personality, loyalty, companionship, and adaptability. Plus, easy care is an added advantage. You can maintain their coats (they come in several colors) without too much effort. This sensible watchdog likes exercise, but not necessarily in excess, and adores good food. Learn your pet’s preferences and you will be richly rewarded with love and respect. They have the appetite of a big dog, and this must be fed to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. With their attentive ears, Corgis can hear the sound of a can of food being opened a mile away.

I go for strength of character every time and seldom sway from the Corgi breed. I own them and recommend them to friends and family. In pairs, they keep each other company along with other household people and pets. Give them time for naps and outings, and your dog will be in canine bliss in your humble home. OK, they do shed, but that is part of the territory for many dog lovers. Remember, when sweeping up those stray hairs, they are ever so cute stretched out on the floor looking like flying squirrels (or frogs as some say). It’s fun to watch them mimic herding and tracking: their agility is remarkable. They may be seen corralling other animals in the house from time to time! They are playful and safe with children.

Last but not least, the dogs are super runners who can burn calories with abandon. This keeps their weight in balance and their health on track. You don’t need to do much for them beyond the basics. They have their own routines and schedules. They know want they want and go for it with glee. Since they love treats, training is a breeze. They love to cuddle, so enjoy their furry warmth on a cold winter night. And they don’t mind car trips either. They are fearless and make good household guards if you are so inclined.

Faucet Fun

I have a great Corgi. He loves to whip around the yard in a frenzy, running around in concentric circles on a moment’s notice. It’s fine with me, except after I have just watered the lawn and he comes into the house a muddy mess. Not to worry. I have a place to bathe him downstairs in the utility room. There is a large laundry sink and pull-down faucet that I bought from FinestFaucets.com that accommodates him quite well.

I was sure he would hate the flood of water and erratic spray, but he seems okay with the rainy day ritual. The ergonomics of the thing are just right. He fits into the sink with a few inches to spare, settling down for a nice warm soak. The high-arch gooseneck spout on this faucet from Kohler will not puncture his soft hide and the rotating spray head adjusts to his needs. The amount of caked on mud dictates the setting. You can get a sprinkle or a forceful blade of water. I think it uses some kind of magnetic force. No matter, it works. Getting the right water temperature is a breeze with touch control. As you can tell, I got this gadget for this one purpose. I spent a tidy sum to indulge in an angled nozzle and ceramic disc valves. Mineral build-up is not an issue in my basement.

The cat, on the other hand, stares in awe. There is no way she will join the Corgi in this hideous exercise. She cleans herself and is dismissive of any manual assistance. Dogs need extra human loving care. They even look forward to it. However, I have seen her watch warily out of the corner of an eye lest she be forced to make it a communal effort. She could avoid the sight altogether, but there is some kind of morbid curiosity at work. She is often there.

The Corgi has also been known to shake off excess water after his rinse. If the cat is nearby, so much the better. He will inch closer if need be, slowly enough to be undetected. She has been caught one too many times, however, and I expect retaliation shortly. So far so good.

I also have a female Corgi who doesn’t particularly like to luxuriate in a sink environment. This one is hosed off outside with the help of a bucket and sponge. Her hatred is great enough that she will avoid the muddy lawn spots on purpose. To each his own: every dog has his or her preferences and they seldom match.

If you don’t have a specialty faucet, you can make do; but be sure the metal surface is covered so it will not harm your pet. A dog will squirm and wiggle and can easily become hurt with one wrong move. Mine has been a godsend during the rainy season and does double duty for rinsing boots and other gear. There are quite a few options so a little research online will help you make a good choice.

Corgi History in a Nutshell

miles-the-pembroke-welsh-corgi_65744_2012-05-08_w450

Corgis are a wonderful breed and my clear favorite. I share this preference with the Queen of England no less. I don’t have royalty in by blood but my tastes run to the sovereign’s best-loved species. I am in good company as the dogs are well-liked and common pets in both the UK and the US.

The Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis go way back in time giving them an aura of antiquity. Some say 1107 marks the date of the Pembroke’s entry into Wales from Flanders by emigrating weavers to this region according to lore. It was an agrarian existence at the time in which the dogs thrived as herding and guarding animals. The Cardigan may have been around for centuries left by Celtic tribes originally from Central Europe. There may be some connection originally with the dachshund. In any case, crossbreeding has produced the modern breeds of today.

Corgis certainly have come a long way from the fields to their status as pampered pets and small house dogs. Nevertheless, it is in their genes. With efforts to maintain their breeding, we have ended up with the two basic types. The Pembroke is shorter than the Cardigan with lighter bones and straighter legs. Some people prefer the fine texture of the fur. By contrast, you will find rounder ears on the latter (on the Pembroke they stand erect). A major difference is the longer tail and a variation in temperament. Owners find the Pembroke excitable and often restless, as if remembering the freedom of life in the wild. They were of course domesticated early on, but remnants of their former life as a cattle and sheep dog may persist. (They also collected domestic fowl from going astray.)

The low stocky dogs are easily identifiable. Dog shows in the late 19th century apparently helped popularize the Corgi and kept it in the public eye. The Kennel Club in England is a noted example. For a time, the two breeds were mixed up but later were identified and shown separately.

As late as 1931, the Cardigan reached the US as far as Boston. The Pembroke came shortly after. Strong and sturdy, the dog has a foxlike countenance a pleasant disposition. The status of the Corgi as the old herding breed gives it a distinctive cachet as does the royal family’s possessorship.

There are stories and fantasy tales about the dog that are amusing and worth reciting. A popular legend says the Corgi was the companion of woodland fairies (and that you can see their saddle on the back of the animal). Thus, the dog was said to be enchanted. It was mounted in battle and pulled mythic elf carriages.

The key canine organizations such as American Kennel, United Kennel Club, the Kennel Club, the FCI, and the Canadian Kennel Club, among many others worldwide recognize the corgi, both breeds. The word perhaps derives from the Celtic name for “dog” or perhaps an amalgamation of Welsh phrases. Whatever the exact meaning, these great companion animals have a large following. In that they may be vulnerable as a breed, attention has been given to their preservation and breeding.

Corgi Care

welsh_corgi_pembroke_03a

Taking care of any pet is a huge responsibility. Tending for your Corgi is a pleasurable duty as well. Each and every creature in your home requires consideration according to the needs of the breed. Learning what to do for your Corgi will bring many hours contentment to you and a long joyful life to the dog.

That being said, let’s get down to business. There are several major categories to cover:

  • Care and feeding
  • Grooming
  • Veterinarian visits
  • Training and obedience
  • Companionship

Care and Feeding

Your dog will have preferences, but general guidelines say that puppies eat a couple of times a day (mostly dry food of a high quality) while a grown animal also consumes kibble (mixed with water) but only once a day. Treats are ok as well such as canned wet food, yogurt, or cottage cheese. (Bones can cause intestinal track impaction.) Beware of allergy and stomach sensitivity problems and adjust the nature of the food as needed. Consulting your vet and breeder will certainly lead you down the best path early on. Monitor your practice and watch for appropriate weight gain. If your dog seems insatiable, it is usually normal; but don’t give in to begging. Consult a weight chart for your pet’s height and length as well as gender. With such a compact dog, you can’t make assumptions.

Grooming

Proper grooming with a professional will help make your dog’s coat glow with health (and keep toenails clipped). Finding a good groomer in your area may take a bit of trial and error so ask friends and family for help. Be sure to brush your pet during shedding season with the dog lying on his or her side. Otherwise maintenance is minimal unless you wish to do the bathing (with a mild shampoo) and modest trimming yourself. Don’t forget the paws (but be careful not to nick between the toes). Put cotton balls in the dog’s ears when immersing in water. Never shave the fur!

Veterinarian Visits

Your vet will give you a schedule of shots and vaccinations according to the dog’s age. After the first visit and a full checkup, you will have an account with a record for future treatment. You have now established a relationship and can take the pet as needed for any other issues that may arise such as ear infections, fleas, difficulty urinating, etc. Be particularly concerned if your Corgi stops eating. Make a decision about spaying a female dog or neutering a male. These vet visits are a large part of your expense for raising a pet along with the food, of course. The most shots occur the first year with boosters thereafter.

Training and Obedience

Training right out of the box is the first thing you think about with a puppy. There are many manuals on line and local classes; and for a Corgi, there are particulars unique to the breed. They can be naughty or nice. It’s up to you. You want an obedient dog who does not get aggressive with strangers and who can take a walk in public without a display of behavior such as excessive barking, nipping at the heels, or running away.

Companionship

After you have conquering urination in strange places, digging, and chewing, the hard part is over. The breed is smart and learns fast. Everything you do for your Corgi will add up to an animal who is a wonderful and devoted companion. You in effect help cultivate his or her personality and temperament. With a commitment on your part, your pet will be at sea in the world and have difficulty adapting to change.