As Corgi Capers go this one will be ranked among the top 10.
Little Puppy Rainbow (aka Rambo) pushed the stair gate down the stairs taking an Isabelle Bloom statue with it. (Now I am well aware that normal people do not use their Isabelle Bloom's for counter weight, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And the heaviest thing without bringing in concrete blocks from the shed was...an Isabelle Bloom statue.)
So once Little Rambo (all 10 lbs of her) knocked the gate and statue into the lower level family room, all the Cardis were free to roam among the cats. Now the cats are interesting but they are smart and hit high ground as soon as they hear the thundering herd. But cats come with other great stuff, like cat food, cat litter, and cat toys. Whooooo weeeee.....game on!
At the time the assault began I was soaking in a jacuzzi tub reading my latest issue of the Whole Dog Journal. Ironically I was reading an article on positive training, when I heard Kathy screeching at the top of her lungs what I thought was my name. (Turns out she was smarter than to yell for me when I am soaking and reading, she was yelling for Nick.) I was sure someone was dieing or had better be dieing if I had to jump out of a hot jacuzzi!
Well I policed up a robe and headed to the basement to find Rambo munching on cat food and the rest of the crowd milling about like it was the most normal thing in the world to be in the basement.
I was herding the hooligans up the stairs just about the time I noticed the decapitated statue. Oh she is getting nuttin' for Christmas...Santa's mad!
P. S. Turns out Cindy is a bit of an expert in head reattachment. I'll be making a date with her soon!
This morning I let the Cardis out this morning, and almost immediately noticed 3 eagles (2 adult and 1 immature) swooping the yard. I went to DEF CON 4 immediately. I called "Cardi Corgi Kids Come!" They immediately headed for me.
I opened the garage door and they headed in. I thought it was possible that the eagle flight was a fluke so I waited a few minutes and then went back outside to scope out eagles. Seeing none, I let the Cardi back outside.
They headed out and engaged in a full bark chorus. Within 30 seconds, I had 4 adult eagles flying and swooping the yard. CRAP!!! I bellowed, "Cardi Corgi Kids Come!" Gratefully they did and they immediately went into the garage.
So for the foreseeable future (March 2010), we are under eagle watch and recall boot camp.
Ella Bella turned a year yesterday, but I was too busy cleaning up after her to post.
Let's see first thing yesterday morning she broke my glasses, and turns out I can't get into see the eye doctor until April. Who needs to see anyway?
Then after a wild romp in the back yard, she began practicing her agility moves. She scaled the baby gate to enter the forbidden living/dining room again! This time she assaulted not only the tree but the village is missing several ice skater heads, and Santa will never be the same! Oh an one ice skater is completely missing inaction--only her boots remain! I wonder if she is getting coal in her stocking?
So while I was having tea with a friend, this beloved friend mentioned that she had a taller gate that she used to successfully keep her Siberian Husky out of the living room. She offered it to me and I accepted in a snap. About an hour later I had the gate installed and was feeling quite smug.
Then I bundled up my joy filled Cardi and headed to obedience class. This was seemingly our last advanced class and theoretically she would be ready to take her CGC test. Could I have been any more wrong? She totally blew me off for 80% of the class. The 20% that she was on she was really on. Well shame of all shame, we are repeating advanced and I will be working more on PROOFING!
With my tall baby gate still holding, I made a steak dinner, and all the Cardis got some to celebrate Ella birthday.
Then Kathy and I went to sit in the beautifully decorated living room. I built a fire and had visions of a relaxing evening dancing in my head. Could I have been more wrong? Ella scaled the Husky sized gate! Holy Mother Of Goodness! She scaled the 3 1/2 foot gate! Well as soon as she made the living room, I decided to let her stay. Almost immediately all &^%$ broke out with the puppy, so we brought her into the living room. Do you see where this is going?
Then Rambo, oh sorry I meant Rainbow, busted down the Husky sized gate, and let the rest of hooligans into the living room. CRAP!! I spent the next two hours, with NO's, Leave It's and Drop It's. The body damage was great but not as bad as last year--only 5 ornaments crossed over to recycling!
By 10:30 I was ready to take the tree, the village and everything else down. Kathy keeps assuring me they will grow up. To which my reply is..."If they live that long!"
Reporting for Duty. I am a very special Cardigan and I have been inducted into the Special Secretive Cardigan Covert Corp. Today my mission was to furtively make my way to the basement and return with "the package."
I made it through the banister without notice, stalked the confines of the basement and secured the covert package. I then made my way up the stairs, but the darn package jingled. I was busted.
Mom took "the package" and returned it to the basement. She then redoubled her banister blocking, so it may not be until tomorrow that I can try to recover "the package!"
Special Operative Rainbow over and out.
P. S. Mom doesn't realize that the package isn't just a cat toy, so please don't tell her any different.
Okay the first thing I tell people who ask me about Cardigans is...(drum roll please)... You have to keep them engaged or they will find something to engage themselves. Yeah well guess who forgot the first rule of Cardidom? Yeah me. Here's the backdrop...
Russ loves Christmas. Oh he really loves Christmas. Let me review a few of the incidents:
He found all the wrapped presents and in a matter of 3 minutes unwrapped and untied no less than 15 presents. (He was so sticky he had to have a bath!)
Removed and ate the entire bottom 1/3 of the ornaments on the tree
Brought untold damage to the Santa collection--one was demolished to toothpicks!
Made a pile of straw out of my Swedish Christmas goat.
Embarked on a invasion of the Christmas village and left a swath of destruction that rivaled Sherman's march on the south.
Okay I think I have made my point. So this year, Kathy and I thought we were going to outfox the Cardigans (especially Ruff Ruff.) So we did Christmas heavy in the living room and dining room and Christmas lite (or should I say decorations above Corgi height) everywhere else. After accomplishing this goal, I was feeling very smug, and assured of the safety of my decorations.
Now on a usual night of the year, we spend our evenings in the sitting area of our bedroom. But with all the lights, wreaths, village and such in the living room, we decided to spend our evenings up front. Remember my earlier warning about engaging Cardigans or they will find ways to engage themselves?
First they decided to use the hallway for unspeakable acts of defecation. But when this trick failed to amuse them anymore, they joined forces and convinced the baby puppy Rainbow to slide through the banister and push the stair gate back. Once the gate was moved the basement and cat chasing became fair game! Rube Goldberg would be pleased at the contraption we developed to keep Rainbow from going through the banister. (How much longer until she is too big to fit through the banister?)
So with this operation a failure, Ella decided to show everyone how to leap over the living room gate! Yep I caught her red mouthed with one of the ornaments Nick made in the second grade. Well let's just say it didn't survive!
So here I sit in the bedroom sitting area wondering if I give in and let them come into the living room in the evening? Or if I just accept defeat early and spend December in front of the bedroom fireplace? Decisions, decisions...
The aisle at Petsmart was littered with great toys and treats.
Ella's job was to heel through this mess without going shopping. She did it without any problem.
Then her job was to sit/stay at one end and recall to me at the other end again without picking up the toys or eating the treats. She does this 4 or so times without any difficulty at all. Then our instructor, Diane says, "okay last time," and I casually mentioned that I was down to crumbs. She sits/stays and I trot to the other end of the aisle, turn and call her. Well this is what happened...
Ella moved out very slowly and methodically picked up every single dog treat! I couldn't believe my eyes. She hadn't even glanced at the treats until she knew it was the last time. Yesh!
Ella has this silly habit of rearranging the covers and then sliding under them. Problem is that sometimes she can't find her way out. When this happens she starts barking something like, "help, help, I've burrowed and I can't get out."
Okay, we are having 16 people to dinner tonight. Sixteen people and 5 Cardigans...stay tuned I'll report on the mayhem...oh I really mean fun later!
Update: First let me say that all of our guests were dog lovers. Thank goodness! It made the general chaos much easier on the nerves.
From the start we made some calculated decisions, like while receiving guests we would only have the girls out and rambunctious boys would stay in the bedroom until everyone was settled. Of course, starter foods were set out on the kitchen table rather than on low lying things like coffee tables. I also deliberately choose finger foods that I thought the Cardis wouldn't like. (Turns out I was wrong about that...Ella liked mild peppers, marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts!)
So as the guests arrived the girls were reasonably good. No one ran out the door, or jumped on our guests but we did have requisite barking. (Apparently even the girls are of the school that Corgis should be seen and heard!)
Once everyone settled, wine poured, I let 'da boys out. Ruff Ruff made a run for the living room with his food alert on full power and landed right smack dab in the middle of the Mike's plate! Well the only saving grace was Mike was quick, he is a vet, and he laughed and exclaimed now this is the way life should be lived. (Thanks Mike!) So with Ruff Ruff being, well Ruff Ruff, Ella decided that is was perfectly acceptable to jump up in the window seat and cruise the guests. Not sure what all she came up with but she was smiling all evening. Rainbow puppy won the reward for best dog, but I think it had more to do with her being overwhelmed.
Once we moved on to dinner, the Corgis knew the best seat in the house was under the table, but it turns out that all the food everyone brought to share was much too good to share with Cardis. A very disappointed crew made their way to the kitchen for clean up. Apparently, Kathy wasn't feeling the need to hand out left overs because Ella came back to the table. Only this time she landed in my lap! Again it was Mike who exclaimed, "now that is a content dog." But what she really was cruising for unfettered access to the remaining plates. Foiled she sulked off.
Once the food was cleared and only table talk remained my little darlings decided talk was boring so they put on a "Frap Show." One dinner guest asked if they ever really settled down. My reply, "only when I put them on the bed."
So at the end of the night, we called it a success. It turns out Cardis and large dinner parties are compatible.
Ella is very agile, in fact of all my clowns she is the most agile. So when Shaker is bugging her, which truth be told, is very often, she floats her little self right onto the bed.
Okay this bugs Shaker to no end. He barks and whines and generally carries on until even Ella can't take it anymore. At which point she jumps down and the bugfest continues.
But today, Shaker really had his thinking cap on. When Ella made her floaty leap to the bed, he grabbed the bedspread and started pulling. Ella and the bedspread came right off! I seriously wish that I could have captured the surprised look on Ella's face. It was priceless!
Yes it is a Rottweiler. A really cool Rottie named Madison.
We were at a friends playing this came of Corn Toss--yeah I know only in the Mid West. By the time we started playing the Corn Toss thing, I had been talked into drinking wine, and my aim was terrible. (Yeah I know it doesn't take much to talk me into drinking wine, but seriously I intended to be a very good girl and I had brought diet Pepsi with great intentions. But my wine drinking friend, also owned and operated by the above mentioned Madison, lured me to the wine side with Shiraz. Now, come on, how could I resist?) Any way with my aim being what it was, I had a lot of time to watch the dog.
As it turns out Madison, does this run out on the pool cover and hang out in the "water" until it the water completely freezes. I swear I have never seen anything like it! Every time she bounded across the yard and sailed in to pool I laughed myself silly!
P.S. For those of you looking for a Rainbow pupdate--she slept through the night! Yes it was probably me you heard doing a happy dance!
Russ is the best Daddy and I couldn't be happier. He is gentle and tolerant. The series of pictures shows his good nature off. He drug that old cat bed into his crate and he just loves sleeping all stretched out and upside down. But Rainbow had other ideas so he moved to the back of the crate to give her some room. But by the end of the evening Rainbow wanted the whole bed to he moved to the side! ( Oh that toy in front is one of his favorites and he even lets her play with it!)
Accidents happen. Accidents happen in a split second. Sometimes, including today, the difference between life and death, is instant reaction to your commands. Today Ella and Shaker are alive because of that. So what happened?
The dogs and I were out playing in the back yard. This happens every day many times a day, but today was just a little bit different. When it was time to go in the house, I opened the door and Ella and Shaker bounded up the stairs. Nothing new there, except today I saw the garage door was opened and I heard a car running.
I quickly commanded the other 3 (although the puppy just went along ) to "get back." They did immediately and I closed the door and was up the stairs pronto. One might even suggest that I made the top of the stairs faster than I had since I was an in shape teenager! I yelled STOP, but the car kept moving backwards. I SCREAMED STOP as I made the back of the car. Ella's head was about 8"from the tire. She was trying to figure out what I wanted from her. She astutely figured out I wanted her to get away from the car, and she bolted up the driveway. (Oh Shaker had already made the crest of the driveway and was headed for the bright lights of New York!)
Okay the dogs were clear of the car. So then I went into puppy fun mode. I joyfully sang out Ella Bella, Shakey Bakey Come! Ella turned on a dime and ran at me like a missile driven bullet. The joy of watching my dog heading toward me at rocket speed was unmeasurable. But I still had Shaker on the loose. Well it was 10 seconds into Ella running toward me that Shaker decided that the bright lights of New York wouldn't be much fun without his cohort in crime and he too came bounding down the driveway.
The entire incident was over in less than 2 mins, but the fear, adrenaline and joy will live in my muscles for at least a week!
This part of the post is purely for Ella. For all my complaining about her slow recall today when it really mattered she had rocket recall. I am sorry for ever doubting her. Now Shaker on the other hand, I have long bragged about his beautiful recall. Turns out when the chips were down, he easily could have had other plans. So tomorrow, Shaker is in recall Boot Camp!
Rainbow is her Daddy's puppy to be sure! When Russ was little he loved nothing better than finding a smelly fish on the shore of the great Mississippi River and roll in it until I physically picked him up and moved him along.
We don't spend as much time right on the shores of the river right now so Rainbow had to find her own smelly yucky stuff to cavort in. For dear little Rainbow it is dead rotting voles. I swear that dog can put her nose to the ground and come up with a dead animal in seconds.
First she dug one out of the pond. I saw her running with something in her mouth that didn't look much like one of the famed toys we have purchased for her Cardigan pleasure. And as Kathy is going to train this puppy I hadn't worked on "leave it" and "drop it"! Fortunately for me, Russ was quite willing to take it from her, and he has a rock solid "drop it".
Once I had the disgusting vermin isolated from the Cardis I found myself in another pickle. I was in the middle of the yard and an implement with which to dispose of the thing was in the shed. With not a chance of maintaining control if I left to get the shovel, I rooted around in the leaves and found a passable stick.
While the thing was flying over the fence, I thought, "there that is taken care of." Only problem was the puppy had a second one... And yes, we essentially repeated the entire performance, only this time I had a stick ready to go.
We have an old cat bed that I bought at a cat show over 20 years ago. It is quite durable, survived many washings. Russ used it when he was a puppy. Rainbow tried it out and liked it. Probably because it is near a food dish.
After Rainbow tried it out, Russ had to see if it still fit. Pretty snug.
When everyone is cleaning and putting away Halloween decorations, what should the little ones do? Why, socialize, of course! The two littlest creatures of the house spent most of the day just hanging out and being way to cute!
Remember playing "Hide and Seek" in the back yard with a gaggle of kids? Remember the rush of making to "Home Free Zone" before being spotted?
Well it turns out my Cardis have a similar game and Home Free spot. They have a raging game of chase lead by whom ever gets a wild hair. As soon as one of them starts to run the others (even little Rainbow though she can't possibly keep up) engage the chase.
Now this game has been going on and developing its life for some time now. The Home Free Zone is quite new. It seems that if the dog in the lead position can either jump in the dog pool or get under the Boxwood bush they are saved from the rolling maul that ensues if the "leader" is caught.
I swear Ella smiled today when she made the Boxwood without being touched!
There is a very good reason that I don't live in Seattle...Rain! (Well and John Deere isn't headquartered there.)
The dogs are absolutely stir crazy from all the rain. Let's see...
Russ broke into the bathroom and stole all manner of clothing items. And what is that dogs deal with towels?
Ella tore up the instructions for fire screen assembly. (Yes I had to piece it back together and read through the dog drool to assemble the darn thing.)
Shaker found an old half chewed hoof, and taunted the others. He would run around until he found a victim..oops I really meant one of his Cardi chums...then he would drop it. As soon as one of his hmmmm chums tried to get it, he snatched it up and off he would run. Needless to say he doesn't have many friends right now.
Music decided to amp up her bossiness which personally I didn't think was possible. (Turns out I was wrong!) Her latest was to lay in wait until someone (particularly Russ) wanted some kibble. Then she bounded out of the crate snarled and chased her victim...hmmmm chum...off. Then she would eat 4-5 pieces and return to the crate to wait for the next "chum".
So I finally just gave up and let them run with abandon in the yard. Muddy paws and one muddy nose later they were content. Well at least they were for a couple of hours.
Ella has been invited to attend a Halloween pet parade for the children at Gilda's Club (Noogieland). Now one can not go to a Halloween parade in just anything so I decided to break out my sewing machine which has not seen my hands since Russ was a puppy. (We needed a crate cover for the show sites, but I digress...)
Anyway I did a bit of searching about and decided that Ella Bella would make a particularly good bumble bee. I ended up making two because the first was too small. The second overall fits much better but she can get the hood off without any trouble, so Ella will be wearing her hood with antennae as a neck scarf.
Now the story behind the picture is pretty interesting and a bit scary too. I tried getting a shot of her on the floor but the boys wouldn't leave her alone, so I put her on the table. Apparently two short barks and a howl mean JUMP, so just as I snapped the picture she prepared herself to JUMP off the kitchen table. I howled STAY! Thank goodness she did, or broken bones would have not permitted any Halloween parade!