Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jingle Dog!

It's officially past Advent 1 so I make no apology for Christmas-ifying things... The latest of which is Winnie.

I found this super cute collar on sale at our local pet store and it even has a sleigh bell on it! I'll be honest... When Win comes bounding in from the far end of the yard and you hear that metered jingle getting closer and closer it's like a childhood fantasy come true. :-) Today, I'm living the dream with my jingle dog.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sticking Close

Ok... I don't know about you but my (husband's) family can really fill a house for the holidays. It's nothing to have 35 people around for dinner. We sit at the table, on the couch, on the steps, and even out in the garage!

My favorite part about this? My pooch Winnie sticks close. She's not accustom to such a crowd at our place so she figures it just safer to stick by "mom." It feeds my ego, and makes my proud of our canine/human bond. Yay us. :-)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, I am thankful that my dog is so willing to share with my baby. It's sweet but gross. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dog Joy

I'm always amazed at how happy Winnie is to just BE with me. Here she is helping me clean the bathroom... Which I did last night after baby went to bed. Gotta love that Corgi smile. :-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Corgi / Baby Update!

We're still here! Oh my gosh... I can safely say two thing now that I am 2 years and 9 months into dogie parenthood and 7 weeks into human parenthood...
  1. Having a puppy really is a good "warm-up" to having an infant.
  2. Having an infant is the hardest thing I've ever done.
I'm not complaining, mind you... both experiences have, to date, yielded huge dividends in cuteness as well as a general sense of compassion.

Our baby girl is growing like a weed and has started giving us 4 whole hours of sleep in a row this past week. Our furry girl has given up sitting with me for each of our midnight feedings. Here's a picture of Winnie chilling with us at one such feeding back in September... look in the shadows just above the sleeping baby.

*Sigh... I wait and wait but I GUESS they don't need a corgi for this.
Winnie still loves here baby. She sits with us for "tummy time" and desperately tries to "clean" Claire's face of any leftover milk drips. But is always very gentle. I'm so proud of her.

Just us girls... Mommy, baby, auntie, and me!
I'm only now starting to get a few things done around the house. (Like get a shower every other day) SO... in an effort to catch up I took Winnie to our local Petsmart Groomer for a once over. This was actually the first time she's been to a groomer (I dunk her in our laundry tub and grind her nails here at home) but she did okay! Here she is on the table getting the "Furminator treatment."

Boy... what a treat! I get yelled for getting on the table at home...
As an aside, Yes, Winnie climbs onto our table like a mountain goat is we leave a chair out and she thinks we're not looking... I REALLY hate that. We have evidence of this on two occasions once when we found nearly a dozen cornbread muffin wrappers on the floor from muffins that WERE on the table. And once when a squirrel was chattering in the window and she forgot herself, jumped up for a better look, and then jumped down when she remembered we were watching.

On another note, has anyone out there actually USED the Furminator. Those things are so stinkin expensive but it seems to have done a good job on Winnie today. I guess we'll see how long it lasts.

At any rate, I hope to get back in the habit of making more regular posts. And I've enjoyed reading YOURS from my phone... it's so much easier than sitting with a laptop as I hold the babe. Which is a lot these days. :-)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Welcome Baby Claire!

She's here!  Winnie welcomed her new baby, Claire, last week! 

Claire 1 Day Old
Here are the stats:
  • 7lbs. 11oz.
  • 20 inches
  • September 1, 2011 @ 1:47am
Since we've come home from the hospital Winnie has been a champ!  She's been cool, collected, and very attentive.  Winnie has a very concerned look whenever Claire cries (which luckily is not over the top) as if to say "Hey!  Our baby needs something!"  And she sits up with me at all of our midnight feedings. 

Claire is a VERY good baby... the only trouble she's given us is that she's sort of a reluctant eater.  This cute little girl just gets too cozy whenever we settle in for a feeding and falls asleep!  Winnie, being the helpful corgi that she is, will sit next to us on the couch (when invited) and give Claire's feet a few good licks... this wakes Claire right up and we're good to go!  Thanks Win!

I'll try and get some pictures of the two of these guys over the next week or so.  I haven't quite figured out how to juggle a camera and a baby yet but we're learning as we go.  Thanks for all the well wishes!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Trick! (spin)

Being that I'm less than two weeks away from my due date my energy level has been L-O-W to say the least.  Winnie has been a terrific sport. She's really given me a break by not demanding a walk everyday and just sort of keeping me company on the couch when I can't muster up the energy for anything more.  But like every dog... she needs more. 

This is the face of a dog who needs more...

My solution:  New Dog Tricks!

Brilliant, right?

I thought so, too. 

I downloaded an iPhone app called 101 Best Dog Tricks.  Now, it's actually only 10 dog tricks (a few that we would all already know such as "sit").  It's sort of a teaser app to get you to buy the book... 101 Best Dog Tricks, which I may because I like the app so far.  Here's what it looks like:

Each trick has step by step instructions, a short video demo and a "log" feature so you can record up to 20 training sessions for each trick... it's good for us people to remember that once isn't always enough to really "learn" something.  For .99 cents... I'd say great... money well spent.  

So, I waddled out to the back yard and Winnie and I started learning the new trick "spin"  Kind of a dorky trick BUT it IS something we can do together that keeps her thinking with a little outdoor play that doesn't completely poop me out.  I think this will be a good little discipline for us for a while.  What do you think? 

This is the face of a happy dog... that just had lots of treats... yum.  :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nursery Update

Okay... so here's what's been going on the last few weeks. 
  1. We've "finished" our basement.  (And I use that term loosely...)
  2. Moved all of our office furniture and supplies TO the basement, a.k.a our new office
  3. Moved all of our nursery goodies TO the old office, a.k.a. the new nursery
Whew!  Our so called "finished" basement got that way by tearing out some old gross flooring and putting in some bright new paint.  We've also unloaded a few boxes of IKEA furniture down there but don't have it assembled yet.  Winnie, rightly so, as been focusing our attention on the nursery.

This daughter of ours is already one VERY loved little girl.  Our family, friends, and community have gifted her more than she could possibly need.  So we started by taking things out of the lovely gift wrapping and putting it in like categories around the parameter of the room... Winnie had her eye on a very cute stuffed duck.  I wonder how long we'll be able to keep her from it after our little one starts playing with it. 

Herders also make great sorters... look at what I did!
Next was assembling the furniture so we actually had some place to PUT everything.

I'm not at all convinced these guys know what their doing.
  I'm going to supervise from the hall way so I don't get assembled up into the dresser... *sigh. 
When all was said and done we ended up with this...

I still need to find a themed lamp and window dressing but in all pratical ways we're ready!

... a close up of the crib.
 After painting the basement we decided that wall decals were a much easier way to go for the nursery and being that cute corgi decals are hard to find we settled for woodland creatures.  :-) 

Our official due date is September 3rd so we're only a few weeks out!  Everything has been going great - other than the usual, uncomfortable tiredness that seems to be my life now.  I'll keep you posted as our household grows by one!  :-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blogaversary Give-a-way!

Hey, we missed it by a few days but we JUST passed our one year blog-aversary!  It's been a really fun year getting to know some of you out there in the corgi-loving community.  We've had paw-it-forwards, donated to good causes, and made some friends. 

Happy Blogaversary!

To say thanks for your readership we're having a Blogaversary Give-a-way!  Winnie and I would like to send you one of our two favorite books PLUS one of our favorite toys.  You can pick from:

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog  or  The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

Both of these are reviewed on the "books" page so you can see what you might like better.  We'll also include one of our favorite toys, although Winnie hasn't picked it out yet.  What do you have to do?  Simply respond in the comments section to this blog post and tell us why your like to cruse the dog-blogs.  Be sure to include what book you would like and your email address so we can contact you!  Have fun!  And Thanks for reading Herding the Corgi!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'Dangerous dogs' Ordinance

How often do you guys keep up with what your city or county says about dog ownership?  If you're like me it's not exactly a pressing issue.  There's a lot of other things on the'ol "to-do" list before poking around dog related city ordinances.  There is one in my community, however, that has been getting a lot of attention lately.  The 'Dangerous Dogs' Ordinance. 

Here's a link to the full article if you want to give it a read... it'll only take 5 minutes, promise.

Okay,  weather you read the whole thing or not there's my synopsis... see if I missed anything.  First, the ordinance is specific to "dangerous dogs" including: pit bulls, presa canario, bull mastiffs, rotweilers and german shepherds.  Now the owners of these breeds must:
  1. register their dogs and pay an additional $20 fee to regular dog licensing
  2. post a sign in the front of their homes that say "dog on premises"
  3. keep their animals on leash or in a 4-foot pen. 
I can't help but feel this was a really poor use of our city councilman's time and energy.  Of all the news reported, none of them identified specific issues that the city has (or hasn't) been having with these dogs so I'm left to assume that usual suspects apply but in my mind it boils down to this... poor dog ownership leads to poorly trained and frustrated dogs that THEN become dangerous. 

You guys are are informed dog owners... am I wrong about this??? WE are the people that try to provide healthy and fulfilling lives for our pooch-partners and even sometimes WE don't get our fur-balls licensed on time (if at all) is an additional $20 free really going to help this problem?  Yes, a sign warns neighbors and visitors, fine, they can have that one... no issue there.  But what about that 4-foot pen?  That's the size of a baby's play-pen.  How much more frustrated and dangerous is a 80lb dog going to be in a pen they can hardly turn around in???  

I don't like this one bit... I think a dog-education class for these dog owners would be a much better way to go.  A class that talks about healthy diets, lots of exercise, proper training... and someone to teach the class that can convince some of these people that only PROFESSIONAL dog trainers should ever be responsible for "attack dogs."  Now, instead of establishing a program that promotes responsible dog ownership all that has happened is that when a dog does cause an issue... it's that much more likely to be put-down.  Sad. 

Hum... maybe that's an idea?  Can we lobby an amendment for education classes?  I wonder... anyway... that's my rant.  Where do you guys weigh in?  Oh and here... a photo of my not-so-dangerous corgi.  :-)  This girl makes me smile. 
I don't know what you're talking about... I just DESTROYED that rawhide.  Pish, I'm dangerous. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dogs and Moving the Furniture

In an effort to get ready for Baby we're moving some office furniture to the basement and turning the office into the nursery.  This sounds easy enough.  Although while my husband and I pack boxes and/or haul heavy things up and down stairs in a somewhat cheerful way... Winnie seems to be very worried about the changes.  I wish I had had my Flip handy because the poor creature just sat in the doorway of the office and whimpered.  She is seriously concerned about these changes.  Which leads me to ponder the following thought...

Don't mind me.  I'm just going to sit in my corner and pout.

When Baby actually gets here how will Winnie adjust to a new routine?  Maybe we should start making more of the changes now that way it's not such a big deal.  Hum... up every 2 hours for a bottle... maybe not THAT part of the routine.  :-) 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday... or is it Friday?

Hey Guys.  I've been a SUPER bad blogger lately with no good excuse.  I've been putting in a lot of hours at work and with some of my other civic groups trying to get projects and schedules up-to-snuff before I go off the map into Baby Land late this summer.  That doesn't mean however that you haven't been on my mind.  :-)

As a matter of fact, Winnie came into the office with me this afternoon and INSISTED that I not put posting off another moment.

Do I need to come up there and type it for you?
It's the look that knows...

I've also started reading Living with Kids and Dogs...Without Losing Your Mind by Colleen Pelar.  The official review will be coming shortly but I will say that so far the book has offered a lot of insight.  One funny little tip goes like this:
Dogs can get jealous now that your spending so much time with baby.   Try working dog and baby time in together so that EVERYONE is having fun at the same time.  For instance, instead of cleaning up the bits of cereal that junior left on the kitchen table after snack time, just wipe them onto the floor!  Fido will clean the mess and REALLY start to look forward to junior getting his snack.
How this works in real life is TBD.  But it's a fun thought! 

June is the last of my once-a-month appointments.  Then we start every two weeks.  Crazy, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Much is Too Much? Kids and Dogs.

Blogs are fun.  They are timely, relevant, and help build a since of community.  What's not to love, right?  Well, they are also very public and most of the time that's what we want!  More readers!  :-)  However, I think it's also safe to say that there are certain things we don't want published for the world to see. 

So here's my issue... family.  How many pictures of people do you post?  Do you use their names?  Will they like what they read?  Naturally, Herding the Corgi is not a controversial blog but nevertheless I think these questions are worth asking. 

Why the sudden boundary of personal space you ask?  Well, much like Corgi Butts, Herding the Corgi will be getting a new addition!  My husband and I are expecting our first child in September.  We're pretty excited and we know that Winnie will love having something wiggly down at her level. (I think a "Get Low" onesy from the Corgi Butts store is definitely in order.)  And you KNOW that babies and dogs make for great entertainment. 

So here's what I need from you guys:
  1. Your thoughts on blog privacy
  2. Your thoughts on living with kids and dogs
Fire away!

As a side note, we've already instituted a "baby gate" to keep Winnie away from construction we're doing to get ready for Baby.  She doesn't love it.  Poor pup.  :-)

Seriously?  But how will I be sure you're doing it right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Antler Chew Update

As many of you remember form my March 12 post, The Antler Chew Bandit, Winnie recently got a new deer antler to chew on.  We like this for sever reasons outlined in my previous post but the real test on chew toys is of course... How long to they last???  Well, just to give you an update Winnie started chomping away on March 12 when the antler looked like this:

March 12, 2011:  New
Today on April 6 it looks like this:

April 6, 2011:  Nice rounded tips
23 days and the antler chew lives to fight on!  :-)  The tips have been worn away but the bulk of the chew is still there and I can honestly say no funny smell, no staining on the carpet, no gooey ends.  Yup... the antler chew delivers. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winnie, Meet Toothbrush...

A few weeks ago at Winnie's Annual Vet Check-Up our vet found that Winnie had chipped a pretty big chuck off of a back molar.  Ouch, right?  Apparently not.  Other than a little pawing at her face Winnie seem pretty unaffected.  Nevertheless, our vet suggested that I get a dogie toothbrush and try cleaning the tooth each week because it will be more prone to collecting plaque and thus causing future trouble.  Sounds like a plan to me so this is what I got...

Chicken flavored toothpaste... yum, right?  :-)
Via my favorite online pet supply supplier - the Drs. Foster & Smith - I purchased the EZ Finger Toothbrush and some Drs. Foster & Smith brand Tartar Control Toothpaste

I've tried a regular tooth brush first but Winnie just wanted to chew on it.  I had hoped that a finger style brush would give me more control and when she started to "chew" I would (for obvious reasons) be more immediate in my response to tell her "gentle"... so far I've been right.  I liked the idea of this finger brush extending down to your palm for a better grip and more control. 

I picked the Drs. Foster & Smith toothpaste because unlike the other toothpastes I found that just "polish" the tarter off the tooth this one includes an special enzyme that helps actually "break it down."  Maybe that's total crap but it seems like a sound concept. 

The packaging included some good advice about how to introduce your pup to the idea of brushing her teeth so I won't belabor the point anymore.  I took a short clip "Winnie Meets Toothbrush" just so you could see how it all looks.  Winnie seemed to like it... I guess time will tell!  Enjoy. 

Oh!  Did I mention that the toothbrush is dishwasher safe?  Bonus!  Okay... bring on the slobber. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Dog License Dilemma.

Do you license your dog?  I know this sounds like a silly question since we're all SUPPOSED to license our dogs but my thought is that maybe not all of us do.  Apparently the cut off in Michigan to get the cheap rate ($12) for a dog license is February 28th.  Obviously we missed it.  I could have sworn it was in March but, no.  Instead the price doubled ($24) because I waited to get my license at our annual vet check up on March 16th.  I have two thoughts on this:
  1. Yes, I think we all SHOULD get the license.  It helps our local government keep track of the needs and trends of its citizens which SHOULD lead to more dog-friendly cities that include parks, trails, clean-up bags, animal control, and other dog accommodations.  It also insures that licensed dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations... which is good. 
  2. Doesn't this seem like old technology?  Why don't these things automatically renew or at least send a notice each year? 
We got a new ID tag just for good measure, too.
I feel like I got a little ripped off.  I'm a good dog owner.  Winnie is clean, vaccinated, well fed, well exercised, well trained, well socialized, AND neutered so she won't be adding any unwanted critters to the mix.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm good for the $24 bucks but why do I feel like the good-guys just got taken?  There are a TON of un-licensed dogs out there that are NOT so well taken care of and no one has the time or energy to police this anyway.  My point?  It would have been really easy to say at the vet "Oh, the price just went up?  Uhh... I don't have my checkbook today so I'll just take care of it later."  and skip out on my civic dog duty.  (Yup, I said dog duty and I'm sticking to it)  I wish someone in a municipal office out there would have said "Hey, let's give these otherwise proactive people a break and remind them they need to register their pooch... you know, the pooch that doesn't make any trouble for us anyway."  Instead they punish the people that are at the vet - doing the right thing - with a higher price. 

That's my rant.  Here's your $24 bucks Michigan.  Please put it to good use.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Annual Vet Check-up

Winnie had her annual Wellness Exam today and passed with flying colors!  She's a lean 22lbs.  And Dr. Mayer actually commented on how muscle-ly Winnie was... nice, right?  Must be all that pulling on the leash... who knows.  My only concern going into the appointment was that Winnie has been pawing at her face lately and I can't figure out why so I asked.  Ears looked good, eyes looked good... ah ha... her teeth. 

How do you tell a human your tooth is broken, exactly?
Winnie has some pretty pearly-whites.  She's young and is a crazy chewer so she keeps them pretty clean all on her own but apparently she chipped a tooth!  She chipped one of her back molars to be specific.  And after doing a left-side/right-side comparison it seems to be a pretty big piece missing.  Poor Winnie! 

The Vet's official recommendation is to get a dogie toothbrush and be sure to keep it clean since that tooth is no longer smooth and will be more likely to collect tarter and build up.  Otherwise the official prescription is to just wait and see.  Since dogs aren't particularly prone to infections in their mouths she said there was no point in extracting it unless it really started bothering her.  I guess that makes since.  Poor girl.  Too bad you can't just cap it like a human.  :-/

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Antler Chew Bandent

The CRIME... tampering with mail from the United States Postal Service.

This was clearly not addressed to Winnie.
The DEFENDANT... Winnie Boadicea Petunia Matilda Gizmo Simons.

Who?  Me? 
Yes, you.  This is exactly how it happened.  I was expecting several small packages one of which was one of those tasty antler chews that Kelly from Corgi Butts told us about.  This morning, I went to fetch yesterdays mail from the box and two of the packages arrived.  Without much care I tossed the mail onto the kitchen table and when upstairs to shower and start the day.  When I step out of the bathroom what do I see?  THIS...

You got it.  Did you hear me say anything about opening the package?  Nope.  Winnie did it herself.  That little stinker got on my table, picked out the package with the antler chew in it and helped herself.  Are you kidding me?  She has never done anything like that before.  I was totally dumbfounded.  Do you punish that somehow?  I have no idea.  So I just cleaned up the packaging still on the floor and left it alone. 

On the other hand the antler looks REALLY cool. 

Peak Antler Company: 10 inch Large Dog Chew
No slimy goo.  What's not to love?

Dog Friends

Does your pup have a best-dog-friend?  Winnie did.  A Golden Retriever named Miguel.  Last Fall he moved to Texas and boy are we missing him.  (And his family, of course.  :-)  Field trips to the dog park and hikes just aren't as fun without this boy.  But here's the thing... I found that not only did having a steady dog-date for outings make me more consistent with taking Winnie out and about but Winnie picked up a lot of good behaviour from Miguel.  For instance, Winnie can be shy about getting in and out of cars... if Miguel were still here I'm sure she would just follow him right into the back seat without a problem. 

Have your dogs picked up anything from their dog friends?  Good, Bad, Ugly?  :-)  Anyway, here are some Winter Romp shots of Winnie and Miguel before he left... Don't these two look like their having a blast?

We're coming!  We're coming!
Wait!  What was THAT?  Shhhh... Oh, it's just a cross-country skier. 
There's nothing like a good run with your pal. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review: The Other End of the Leash

So Winnie and I are going to try something new here at Herding the Corgi and move some of our favorite books and toys from the sidebar and into actual posts.  Then we'll put them on their own page so you can find them again more easily.  

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around DogsAs I was collecting some of the information for the Book Review page I noticed that although I've talked about it a LOT I've never actually written an official review for The Other End of the Leash so here it is! 

In my opinion, if you were only going to read ONE book about dogs it would have to be The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia McConnell.  In fact, I've had a few friends that have gotten dogs in the last year or so and I went out and just got the book for them.  I think so highly of it that I've actually purchased the darn thing 4 times.  Now, that's an endorsement, right? 

Patricia McConnell is an animal behaviorist that specializes in dogs.  Besides the usual academic litany you would expect she has a sheep farm and several different herding dogs of her own.  As an added bonus I keep a link of HER blog over in the Dog Blogs section.  Check it out! 

The Other End of the Leash is written from a bit of an academic perspective and can be scientifically minded.  However, this is an angle that I found quite helpful since Winnie was my first real swing at owning a dog.  I mean, we had a dog or two when I was younger but without ever building real relationships with them.  (My mother was scared of them so mostly they stayed outside and like most things... out of sight is out of mind.  I'm not proud of the start but that's what it was.)  I however did like dogs and wanted to correct my own behavior to better communicate with them.  That is exactly what this book talks about.  How to act around animals of another species. 

A short skim of the table of contents looks like this:
  1. Monkey See, Monkey Do
  2. Translating Primate to Canine
  3. Talking to Each Other
  4. Planet Smell
  5. Fun and Play
  6. Pack Mates
  7. Patient Dogs and Wise Humans
  8. Personalities
  9. Love & Loss
So you can see how it's a little sciency but McConnell does a terrific job of speaking plainly.  Here's an excerpt so you can get the feel:
"Greetings, Canine and Primate Style - Imagine walking down the street and seeing someone whom you know and are happy to see.  What do you do?  Most of us call out his name, maybe wave to get his attention, and move directly toward him.  It's especially polite to look directly at his face as you get closer, walking straight toward him, looking right into his eyes and smiling. ... This is just not friendly if you're a dog.  Direct head-on approaches can be threating to dogs, ... The politest of dogs tend to approach from he side, perhaps even at 90 degrees.  They avoid direct eye contact.  On the other hand, two dogs standing face-on staring into each other's eyes are trouble - big trouble... "
I think this is just one of the best dog books out there but if this is a little too basic for you then I would definitely suggest looking into some McConnell's other materials via her blog and website.  Have you read The Other End of the Leash?  Feel free to post some of your own thoughts and experiences! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watching the Dog Show

Winnie and I caught the second night of the Westminster Dog Show last night...

So when do we see the Corgis?  This isn't even my group. 
 We were really enjoying ourselves until it occurred to us that it was the second day and we missed the herding group!

AHHH!  Use your thumbs and LOOK - IT - UP...
So we got online and looked it up... turns out that a Bearded Collie won the group.  Not my fav.  But the Pembroke Welsh Corgi made the cut and came in 4th. 

Did you click that link and look at that corgi?  She doesn't have anything on a Tri like me.  Granted I've never tri-ed. 
After that we admittedly lost interest and played a game of "tug."

Umm... it would help if you got off the couch. 
Congratulations to the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club winner:  GCH Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, Scottish Deerhound.  If it had to be a hound... we're glad it was you.  :-)

Hey!  Fill that bowl with water... showin' makes a pooch thirsty!