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Friday, April 22, 2011

One Last Sad Tale

It's a gloomy, drizzly morning so I may as well finish up the sad Corgi stories. In October, 2008 I brought in a six year old sweet foster Corgi boy I named Charlie because his original name did not fit him and I can't even remember it now. Charlie needed a new home because his human dad had passed away and the widow was physically unable to care for him. My hope was to get him checked out by our vets, up to date on vaccinations, and then find him a new forever home. Unfortunately, Charlie was positive for heartworm and had a fairly heavy load. Since he was young, and in good health otherwise, we decided to treat him. This involved staying in the clinic for the injections of the poison to kill the worms in his heart then keeping him as quiet and stress-free as possible while the dead worms were sluffed into his circulatory system. This is serious stuff!

Charlie was on a variety of medicines to regulate his blood pressure and relieve the build up of fluids and developed pneumonia. He was weakened from the heartworm treatment and pneumonia and started losing weight. So, I cooked ground beef and macaroni and cheese for him on a regular basis. We really thought he was getting stronger as his attitude and appetite improved. However, on Christmas Eve when I took him his dinner I found that he had left us. Our own little Christmas Corgi Angel. A sweet boy who was gone way too soon and I will never forget him.

And here's my warning to all dog owners...get your dog tested and on heartworm preventive. It is not expensive at all when compared to the alternative. Charlie's treatment and meds ran around $800. CorgiAid, a wonderful organization that helps with rescue Corgi medical expenses, paid for his veterinary bills. I was heartbroken and so angry for a while after losing Charlie--it was all so unnecessary and so easily prevented and he was such a sweet dog who deserved much better.

CorgiAid exists through the generosity of donors. Their website is   This is a unique organization as there are very few that provide financial support for the medical treatments that are sometimes necessary for rescue dogs to get healthy and find their new forever homes.

More Corgis

My background in Corgis would not be complete without writing a bit about a couple of other significant dogs in my life. In July, 2001, I had the opportunity to get a six year old Corgi whose family had divorced and circumstances were forcing them to find her a new home. So Samantha came to live with us. She hated the cat, Mr. Clark the Stealth Kitty. She and Jerry got along well. She was terrified of thunderstorms. That was a new experience for me--dealing with a 30 pound (she was a large Pemmie girl) trying to push herself in between the toilet and bathroom wall when storms rolled through. We tried several things to ease her fears and finally she got  her own prescription for diazepam (valium).

Samantha on the left, Jerry, right

Samantha was also a bit of an escape artist. Her most memorable adventure occurred early on a warm December morning when it was nearly time for me to leave for school. (I was a teacher and that's another blog entry someday.) When she didn't come in the house with Jerry, I looked in our fenced backyard, nope, not there. She couldn't have been gone more than a few minutes so I drove the neighborhood without finding her. Back in the house I called our veterinarians' office to let them know in case someone found her and called from her tag info. At the same time I'm telling the receptionist about my lost dog another clinic employee was taking information about a found dog...goosebump time. Miss Samantha had decided to go visit a preschool just three blocks from home. She had walked in the building with some of the arriving children and apparenty was quite a hit. Oh you silly Samantha!

In the fall of 2008 our veterinarian found a mass in her abdomen. An attempt to remove the tumor revealed a large hemangiosarcoma involving both her spleen and liver that was seeping blood in the abdominal cavity. After a call from the doctor I was able to go see her at the clinic and say a proper goodbye to funny, sweet, silly, Samantha. Even called my daughter while I was there and held the phone so Samantha could hear her voice. And then she left us quickly and quietly. And I can't write anymore right now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Transition or Second Childhood?

I'm not sure. I left behind a husband, a house, and a cat, not to mention a number of really good friends and some family in Northwest Missouri last July to move to Kentucky with my two Pembroke Welsh Corgis. So this blog is, for myself and any friends who drop in, a way of keeping track of our adventures and discoveries in a totally new place. It is not a place for discussin' or cussin' the many and varied reasons for my leaving. If you're reading this and you really really must know about those reasons email me privately, and if I think it's any of your business, I'll reply.

My profile picture shows three Corgis, from left to right, a very young Rhys, Jerry, and Molly. It was one of those later in life ephiphanies my discovering a complete and abiding passion for Corgis. Jerry, the beautiful sable boy, was my first Corgi and came to live with me in July, 2000, when he was four years old after his breeder finished his championship and decided he needed a home of his very own. Jerry was officially CH Tartan's I Am I Said, CGC. He taught me many lessons about having a dog in my life. He went with me as many places as he school on special occasions, was a therapy dog making visits to nursing homes, dog public relation events sponsored by the St. Joseph Kennel Club. He was calm and quiet and the very best first Corgi anyone could ever have. At the age of 12 Jerry twisted his back resulting in partial rear leg paralysis. Although he did regain some use of his rear legs for a while, a year later he was down completely. In February 2010, at the age 14, I made the decision to let his spirit leave his deteriorating body behind. I still miss his quiet, calm and calming presence. Jerry's DNA was tested and he was classified as "at risk" for Degenerative Myelopathy. Although his initial back problem was IVDD (inter-vertebral disk disease), we believe his slow loss of control and difficulty using his front legs the last two months of his life may well have been from the dreaded DM. And the discussion and debate regarding DM, DM testing, and breeding decisions is best left for it's own blog entry as it is an issue I am quite passionate about.

The Corgi Road Crew, my two bestest in the whole world four-legged friends, are Molly and Rhys. During the summer of 2009 we took a six week trip, just the three of us, and I wrote a few blog entries and signed emails during our trip from The Corgi Road Crew.
Molly is an eight year-old red-headed tri-color officially named Tartan's Unsinkable Molly B. She talks a lot. Sometimes she barks for a very good reason--someone is at the door, the neighbor is walking up the hill, the guineas are on the roof again; and sometimes she barks for reasons known only to herself. Molly's nickname is RooRoo because she possesses that endearing corgi vocalization called "roooing." It's not a crow, it's not a yodel, it's an ahrrrrooo and I have heard no other breed of dog make quite the same sound. Molly is also our sergeant-at-arms and protocol officer; if something is out of place or not quite right according to her standards, she lets everyone know in no uncertain terms. She is also a "Hi, I'm so glad to meet you and here I'll flop on my back so you can give me an hour of belly rubs, oh and by the way, do you have a cookie for me, too?" type of Corgi.

Rhys is my four year old red and white showboy. His official name is Kallista By Starlight Beguiled and he is two points shy of the necessary 15 for his AKC Conformation Championship. I have managed to show him to all but three of his 13 points which speaks to his stellar breeding and qualities and not necessarily to my handling skills. Rhys is a sweet-tempered, biddable, snuggle Corgi. He barks only when he has something very important to say and he does not have a roo. He is a truly lovely boy and I have hopes of seeing Rhys babies some day in the future.

I think that's enough of an introduction/opening post. Next one will include recent pictures.