Friday, January 30, 2009

Paper Shredder

I heard this odd sound, and made my way to the source of the noise, only to find all 3 engaged in shredding the financial news section. Apparently the Corgis 3 didn't think much of the financial news. Now I just have to figure out how they got the paper off the kitchen table.

Of course, only Russ remained when I returned with the camera. Doesn't he have a look of "Yeah I did it. What's the Problem? I don't get it."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mixed Results

Shaker Baby update.

I have been working with Shaker on Look at That--in our case right now it is a clothes pin because I can pin it any where. He is picking it up quickly but it isn't a strong as "Watch Me" but I felt it was strong enough (75%) to roll out tonight at class.

So we headed into class, and an exuberant Boxer puppy came bounding out and he skidded toward Shaker. It was actually a funny scene except it scared Shaker Baby. And when scared he reacted--barking, growling, and generally acting possessed. So I redirected him away from the scene of the crime, and headed toward the fish. I got him calmed down and then tried a "Look" which he gave me, and we headed toward class again.

Once again I was the last one to arrive even though I was initially 20 mins. early, so I picked up Shaker and headed to our seat. I pinned the clothes pin on my sleeve and and he attended. So far so good right? Well it was good until the Doberman walked by an locked eyes on my baby. Once again he went nuts. I gave him a deep tissue puppy massage and he once again settled.

We went through the exercises and he actually made friends with a cute little lab mix named Sam. All in all, I would say we made some progress but we are far from the target.

At the end of the night, he is the most responsive puppy I have ever had. He picks things up quickly. He offers me great behaviors, and when we get through the reactivity--he will be my go to performance puppy! It will happen!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Play Ball

It's still really too cold to play outside so I approved some ball playing in the hallway. Now a few things to remember about my boys-- 1) They are nuts for playing ball; 2) They are herding dogs; and 3) They are NUTS for playing ball. So given this combination...

Some background: Nick throws the ball down the hall, and the Cardis run for it with great frenzy. Sometimes they bring it back but most times Nick has to go and get the ball.

Either way, Shaker is having some difficulty with the rules of the game--namely the "no biting" rule. You see, Shaker's herding instinct has turned on with a vengeance, and he figured out very early on that biting, initially me, in the seat of the pants got a reaction. So I put some very firm rules around his activities when we are playing, and I haven't had any problems in a month or so. But Nick has some trouble with consistency so today I was helping him with body language, follow through, etc.

Now when I was shooting this video I knew that I shouldn't laugh but I couldn't help myself and I busted out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Is Normal Again

Ah life is great.

The boys are frapping again instead of trying to kill one another. I have dished out praise all day which replaced my repetitive bellow of "knock it off."

Everyone ate a normal breakfast of Natural Balance kibble with a little warm water and a small bit of Natural Balance canned food. (Well Russ got quite a bit because I have to fatten him up.) Gone was the effervescent aroma of frying hamburger, cheese and eggs--for the dog!

Music doesn't like the puppy again, and prefers the company of Russ. I smiled when I heard him licking her face and she snapped at him. Ah the wonderful normal sounds of life are ringing at the Gibson Ranch.

We worked on stationary exercises and some heeling and I had eyes on me. I dare say it was a wonderful time.

Ah yes life is good.

Monday, January 26, 2009


The great search for something that Shaker won't (yes won't) eat has begun. We all know that Russ won't eat hardly anything unless it is served on a silver platter trimmed in gold and it best be warm. But Shaker, well let's just say he's more of he "hey it's food isn't it" variety.

On day my vet and were discussing feeding regimens and I was telling her that I fill Shaker up with canned pumpkin. Her response, "he eats it?" "Yep" I said. "Amazing" was her reply. Then she went on to say that she has tried to get client dogs to eat pumpkin and has never had one that would touch the stuff.

So one day I was out of pumpkin so I put green beans in his bowl as the filler. Those got picked out. Okay that is the only thing so far that he has refused to eat. Which brings me to today's experiment.

Shaker has "a bit of the runs," shall we say, probably from the bounty of pigs ears that his partner in crime Nick has been slipping him. (We had a discussion about 1, yes 1 pig's ear a week--no more!) Anyway I wanted Shaker to have some Pepto to quiet his tummy. So I put it on top of his food tonight.

Kathy said, "he won't eat it." I said, "I'll bet he does!" Who won? Me. He left it until the very last bites but he ate it just the same.

So to date, he has only refused green beans.

P. S. My only other dog that was such a voracious eater was Sara who only refused 3 things in her lifetime--Pretzels from New York, raw mushrooms (she would eat them sauteed in olive oil), and celery. (Editor's note: I just spoke to my sister and she reminded me that it wasn't celery but carrots. She right--it was carrots that Sara wouldn't eat!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Too Skinny

He's skinny...
He's not....

All because of her!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Underground Fencing

Warning: Not my usual post.

I have been waiting until I had something constructive to say before I posted about underground fencing systems. Well I'm still mad but I think I am calm enough to write.

We recently moved into a lovely neighborhood and we and our Cardis 3 were welcomed with open arms. We were told everyone has dogs and that it was a very dog friendly place to live. Great right? Unfortunately no! This neighborhood prides itself on no fences.

Fortunately for us only .10 of our 3.10 acres is technically in the subdivision, so a traditional fence will be installed in the spring. But I digress....

So here's the scene... The Cardis 3 and I are out for a nice fall walk when out of no where these 2 St. Bernard's come charging at us barking and growling. I was pretty sure they had an underground fence but I wasn't sure it would contain them. It contained one but not the other. I gave a pretty clear stay and back command to the over sized evil St. and turned my 3 around and headed for home. Shaker was pretty upset, Russ was okay and Music walked so close to me that I ended up on her leash several times. So at this point I am thinking--we'll get home and I'll settle everyone.

When I see this yellow lab heading right for us. What the heck? Now I have St. Bernard's behind me and a yellow lab in front of me. So we just stopped and waited. By this time Shaker is pretty nuts. Fortunately for me the neighbor came home and got control of the lab. So at this point, I am thinking this is NUTS, we just need to get home.

We are almost home when the crazy Airedale comes bounding across my yard. That's it I'm done. Underground Electric fences are the reason I am spending countless hours trying to rehabilitate my baby puppy who before this fateful day was fun loving, social and generally wonderful.

So here is the constructive part. Sarah of left a comment about using "Look at That" rather than "Watch me". She referenced a book called Control Unleashed.

So I decided to do a little research and ultimately purchased:

Control Unleashed - Creating a Focused and Confident Dog - MLA, CDBC, CPDT Leslie McDevitt,

Scaredy Dog! Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog - Ali Brown,

On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals Turid Rugaas.

Here's the deal each was highly acclaimed to have tips, tactics and strategies to assist with the reactive dog. I'll keep you up to date but paint me quite hopeful tonight!


Okay it's embarrassing but I have to admit Shaker and I started our 3rd round of puppy socialization class. Kathy pointed out last night that Russ had completed intermediate and was working on advanced at the same age. But as you already know, Shaker got the wits scared out of him by a couple of devil dog St. Bernards, an aggressive yellow lab (whoever heard those words strung together) and a terrorist Airedale all in the same day on the same walk. Oh and I should mention that it happened during a fear period. One of these days I am going to write a rant about electric fences but today I'll write about puppy class and progress.

I have been working with Shaker Baby on watch me and focus. There are tons of reasons for this but on the reactivity front if he is watching me he is not barking and growling at other dogs. So last night at puppy class, I was the last to enter the "class room", and the only spot available involved navigating through 3 puppies whose owners weren't paying much attention to leashes. I picked Shaker up and walked to my spot--he didn't bark or growl. Now that's progress.

I put him on the floor and immediately asked him to watch me. He did, and he got fed liver treats as long as his beautiful brown eyes were attached to mine. No barking or growling. Now that's progress. He actually laid down next to my feet and looked out into the class. Now that's progress!

Our only hitch during class was when a terrier came up to the fence and starred at him. He barked and growled, but when I put my hand over his eyes he stopped. He is figuring out that if he wants to watch he can't growl. We'll get there.

Then it was time to go. I waited until everyone left the ring and then proceeded out, but I didn't predict that one of the puppy owners would turn around to ask one last question. This freaked him out so we stopped and backed up until he settled. He was quite on edge at this point so we left PetsMart slowly. If he barked, I stopped and asked for a "watch me" and when he did he got a "cookie."

So in the end I would say we are getting there. I just have to remember to be patient. The patience thing is hard with him because he is an eager dog to learn and please. I mean seriously yesterday I taught him the 3 step back up in 2 mins. Oh yeah patience with him is hard....I want to move ahead!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obedience Class

Russ and I are taking a class offered by Misty-Morn Obedience. It is a great class, and I really appreciate her brand of reward, have fun and still have expectations.

Anyway, last night was not a banner night for anyone. Russ was acting all studly dog from his earlier activities. He was watching girls mostly and sometimes me. Sharon (Misty-Morn) had some really great liver treats that got his attention, but well it was short lived. (I really need to find out her source.)

So we were trying some stationary exercises when all bedlam breaks out in the agility class one fence over. This Boxer is running around like a hooligan with a toy in his mouth. Everyone remained calm while they tried to cut him off at the pass and bring some control back to the class. Sharon had us move away from the fence and down our dogs so that we didn't add to the chaos.

While the Boxer is running around in the style only Boxers are capable of a dog fight broke out in the agility class. An English Sheep Dog and a German Shepherd are raising holy *&^%, and the little itty biddy owner of the English throws her body between the fight. Gutsy but seriously what was she thinking. (As I was recounting this to Kathy last night, she said that I would do the same thing if Russ were involved. She may have a point so I won't judge.) But I digress... The tension in the building ratcheted up to the stratosphere.

But Sharon was extremely calm and gave the handlers a simple command--Breathe! We did. Then she shifted the class on the fly, and moved us again. Her calm manner and excellent read of handlers and dogs kept absolute control.

It was reassuring to say the least and one of the many reasons I will remain an active student of Misty Morn Obedience. Thanks, Sharon!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Helped Save Mom

Russ here.

Mom got some new exercise equipment for Christmas--something called a Power Plate. Anyway she has it all set up in the exercise room in the basement. She was down there yesterday afternoon going to town, and no one is supposed to bother her--even me. Yesh!

Anyway she finishes up and tries to open the door and the door handle was jammed. She wiggled and tried to get out, but no go. She didn't have her cell phone and my other Mom had taken the land line phone to use in the family room. So anyway she is trapped. Oh did I mention that this is the only room in the house without any windows?

So Mom waited until she heard footsteps upstairs and then started banging on the door. When I heard Mom banging on the door, I started barking and didn't stop until Mom Kathy discovered where the banging and yelling was coming from.

Well as the humans tell it--they slid a screwdriver under the door and took apart the door handle and then jimmied the mechanism loose to free Mom. Yeah! I was very happy when Mom came upstairs and started cooking dinner.

Russ out!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh Shaker Baby

Music learned how to shut her crate so that she can avoid the boys. But you know 'da boys always looking for an angle. Today Shaker tried out his best "come out and play, Music" move. He bellied up and then wiggled his whole self, but alas Music would not come out of her crate.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Music's Report

Well not much to say except the boys are driving me crazy. But at least I have my snugly new crate blanket from Aunt Cindy. Thanks! I love it.

Well think of me all toasty warm with my new crate blanket.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Year Ago

I seldom post about dog show results or anything related to dog shows, but it seemed appropriate to post this. Mostly because it shows what a newbie I am.

One year ago, was Russ' first dog show, and my first dog show. I was completely overwhelmed by the whole thing. I had read Dog Show for Dummies, and a couple of other newbie books in an attempt to understand a little bit. But everything I read turned to mush the instant I walked into the IA State Fairgrounds.

Russ was very shy and I didn't know if he would like the whole dog show thing. I also knew that Cindy would not push him if he didn't like to show. I was willing to try because I knew that Cindy put the dog ahead of everything. This was and is very important to me and one of the many reasons that I respect her and have come to love her and her whole darn family! Well the first day came and he picked up a best puppy and a puppy group 2. He appeared to be enjoying himself so I thought, "okay we will go back for the second day." What Cindy doesn't know was that if he didn't like the dog show thing that I was going to head home with my pet puppy! Well he liked it and we went back to the hotel room to take a nap. This was only supposed to be a short nap so that we could meet other Corgi people at a chili supper. Well I slept through the whole darn thing.

The next day, Russ saw that we were back at the Fairgrounds, and strutted into the building like he was King Tut. I spotted Cindy who took one look at Russ and said, " I think we have created a monster." Yes we did. Russ loves the show ring and has a blast showing in "Russ style." He barks when he feels like it, pees when he feels like it, and well you get the picture.

Anyway, back to my one year ago report. The second day, an Ibizan Hound breeder, Alisa, took pity on my poor poor pitiful self and helped me out ring side. She explained the classes, and gave me a blow by blow account of what was happening. Here's a bit of what it sounded like-- "Russ is going in for the puppy dog class 6-9 months. Okay. He won his puppy dog class so now he will go back in for winners dog. Okay. They have finished the classes so now all the dogs who won their classes will go back in for winners dog. Okay. Then I ask if this is where points are awarded." (see a real newbie) Then Alisa says, he just won winners dog. I said, "what?" She explains without any sarcasm. And says now the specials will go in and best of winners and breed will be chosen. Specials? What are specials? She explains again very sweetly. Then she hoots, "he just took best of winners and BREED!" I asked, "WHAT?" Her reply, "it means he is a really special little puppy, and it would be appropriate to cry!" I did!

Well here it is one year later, and I have 3 Cardigans. Sherilyn was right they are just like potato chips--"you just can't have one!"

Music is in Season

Music came into season 10 days ago. The boys are driving me crazy. I think the photos Kathy captured speak to why.

P.S. See that jump of Russ'--now you understand how his hard Cardigan head gave me a fat lip!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fat Lip

We were playing Trivial Pursuit this evening by the fire, and Russ wanted up on the couch. I bent over to pick him up and he jumped. He jumped alright...his hard Cardigan head into my lip. Game delay while ice and something to mop up blood were found.

So I am sitting on the couch with ice on my face and I am thinking, "what idiot taught that dog to jump into my arms?" Oh yeah, that would be me!

Yep I am the idiot who thought it would be easier to lift him onto things--tables, couches, beds if we had some momentum. Well in all honesty, it is easier I just need to remember to keep my head up or I am going to be looking like the walking wounded for quite some time.

Three Dog Night

Indeed it was a 3 Dog Night. We missed breaking the all time record by 1 degree. But we broke the record for this day in history (-25). Makes me glad I had 3 dogs with which to sleep.

Music is the princess on the pillow. Russ is the smart one cuddled in the middle. And Shaker is the giant puppy airing himself out!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Cold Is It?

It is so cold that Russ "marked" the bathroom heater as his!
He had better hope that he didn't short it out!

Drop It

Gross Alert!

Shaker has developed a disgusting habit. A habit that has sent me to the spice aisle to buy M.S. G. for the first time in my life. Getting the picture?

Yep he eats poop.

But to make matters worse the *&^% dog has started bringing it back inside with him. So I meet him at the door with a firm "Drop It" every time. But does this daunt him? NO! He keeps doing it.

Today I thought well he has learned not to bring it in the house because he pranced up to the door looking me squarely in the eye as if to say, "see Mom I don't have anything." But I figured just to be safe, I had better say "Drop It." Sure enough out dropped his poopsicle. Yeah he thought he had me because he grabbed a poopsicle that was small enough to fit completely in his mouth. So HA! That's one more for me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Music Enjoys the Fire

It is really cold. No I mean really really cold, and Music's delicate constitution show the signs of cold very quickly. But she found a way to get warmed up quickly. She booted Russ out of his crate because it sits facing the fire. So there you have it Music has found a way to warm herself by the fire while sleeping on a soft crate mat.

Meredith and Russ Puppy

I almost completely forgot about this until Cindy's comment on my Kramer and Jody post!

OK we are in Minneapolis, and Cindy (Russ and Shaker's breeder, good friend and all around great gal) starts talking about Meredith (Cindy's daughter, great kid) dressing Russ up in doll clothes. Of course I start to giggle about the thought of my shy little puppy dressed up in doll clothes, when Cindy goes on to say that Meredith also put a cape on him and called him super puppy.

At this point, I am about peeing my pants, and it occurs to me....yep, now I know why my Ruff Ruff is a little tipped. Anyway, can you just see the scene, Russ bounding through the house with a cape tied around his neck with Cindy bellowing "take the clothes off the puppy!"

Now the only crime here is that apparently, Cindy didn't take any pictures! Can you believe it? I guess I'll have to dig one out myself of when he was a wee little baby..

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Oh I was watching my screen saver slide show today and saw Shaker when he was itty bitty (8/12/08). It seems like it was just yesterday. Oh yeah it was just yesterday.

I love the following video because Russ shows how gentle he can be with the baby. Just wish I could convince Russ that Shaker is still a baby!

Kramer and Jody

Yesterday, I couldn't find 'da boys, which usually means that they have found something they shouldn't be doing and are hiding it from me. So there I am calling for them when Russ pops out of the master bath, skids sideways to a stop and looks at me as if to say "I'm Here." I busted out laughing because he looked like the canine version of Kramer.

So then I wonder, what was he doing in the bathroom and why didn't he come right away? Mind you the bath is all tile, so they really don't "hang out" in there. And I still haven't found the baby. As soon as my feet hit the tile, I see why my boys weren't responding with their normal recall speed--the closet door is open! The closet is carpeted and there is Shaker on his back legs pointed to the ceiling sound asleep on the forbidden carpet. I walked up to him and he still didn't move. I asked him if he was comfy? Then his eyes opened to the size of saucers and he cocked his head. I just melted because there it was...the canine version of Jody from Family Affair.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shaker Misses his Friends

While we were in Minneapolis, Shaker stayed home and really missed his playmates. So he made his own fun. Good thing we weren't gone any longer!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Clean Sheet Night

Everyone loves clean sheet night but for different reasons. We love the crispness of the sheets, and the Cardis well..... Here's how it played out--I stripped beds and tossed laundry into the hallway and then proceeded to vacuum and mop the wood floors.

When I headed out to change the laundry in the machine, I found that my resourceful Cardis had split the take and were hanging out in the dirty laundry! So there you have it apparently they are very happy nestled in anything that smells like us.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rally Novice

You know the post you dread writing but just know you have to? Well this one is that post for me.

Russ is my boy--darn dog wove his way into my heart very early on. I was convinced that it was not possible for me to have another heart dog so soon after loosing "the best dog that ever walked the face of the earth--Tippy." But along came Russ with all his silliness, nutty capers, and devotion to me that before I knew it he was in my heart and soul.

So having said all that, 'ya know how your own children can frustrate the begebbers out of you even while you are loving them to death. Well let me tell you a little story about my Ruff Ruff and his first trip into the Rally Novice ring.

We had a tight time schedule between the conformation ring and rally, so I notified the obedience steward of the conflict and she pushed me to the end of the class. I raced from the conformation ring, stuffed Russ in a crate while I changed my clothes. Then charged back, changed his lead and collar and off we went to the Rally ring. We got there just in the nick of time. I took a deep breath and told Russ to watch me.

The judge welcomed the Corgi, and asked me if I was ready. Yes. She said forward and we began with a weave. Russ was watching me and actually eager to work. I should probably tell you that Russ loves to compete. He'll blow me off every chance he gets except when something is on the line. We moved through the stations and he was preforming like a trouper.

We finished the last station and headed out of the ring, but we didn't quite clear the FINISH cone. I wasn't watching him at the end but when I heard the crowd groan I knew what he had done--lifted his leg on the cone! The judge says, "that would be wrong." And I said, "yes."

I was so mad at Russ that I didn't say a word to him for the very long walk in heel position back to grooming.

He knew he was in some serious doo doo so he made a point of making up by being a perfect angel with hordes of children the rest of the day. He let children wrench on his neck, ruffle his ears, waggle his tail and feed him tons of treats. So we didn't get a leg on the Rally title but he was a good ambassador for temperament if not obedience!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


You know those last few boxes that seem to take forever to unpack, well today I had a 20 something with energy to burn helping and we tackled those last boxes. And I found my flash drive with some pictures of Russ when he was a wee baby.

I worked with context clues and determined that he was about 4 months in the picture with my son. This is one of my son's senior pictures and it is decidedly one of my favorites! Then we move on to one of Russ with my niece on the couch when he was about 5 months, and of course I just love the of little Russ and my old dog Sara who has since crossed over the rainbow bridge on the couch of our RV at 6 months.

Well thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me and my heart dog who is now 18 months old!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pictures From the Foggy Bottom Visit

Okay, I just couldn't resist posting the rest of the pictures from the Foggy Bottom Christmas visit.

I have to admit that my favorite is of Moose giving the puppies the "evil eye." Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention that baby Merlot left quite a stash behind my reading chair. Yes indeedy the stash included--pine tree branch, stuffed star, teething rattle, Russ' favorite football, Shaker's favorite squeaky tennis ball, and a teddy bear. Pretty busy little puppy!

Forbidden Stairs

The Foggy Bottom crew came for a Christmas visit on 12/26. (Yeah I know I am late in posting) The primary house rule is no dogs on the carpet. Now before anyone thinks we are being too restrictive, the house is mostly wood floors and we only have carpet on the stairs and in the downstairs family room. The carpet rule also gives our cats a space to retreat too.

So the Foggy Bottom crew was introduced to carpet rule and everything was going along great until the humans went downstairs to finish the house tour. Wham zam, the next thing I knew a Collie goosed me! Oh well, at least she didn't chase the cats.

Tour complete, we headed back to the living room, and the puppies are missing. Hmmmmm, where could they be? We start to look and what do our wondering eyes behold, but two errant puppies at the top of the carpeted stairs. Yep, Merlot and Frankie climbed a full flight of stairs. Only problem was they were too scared to climb down!

One Minor Casualty

Off we go to the a show in Minneapolis. Seriously what were we thinking to go north in January, but it was a total blast. So we are more than half way there when Alec says, "what are you chewing on?" Now of all the sentences this one has to be the most dreaded when you are traveling with puppies in a seriously stuffed Tahoe.

There is no way we are going to get to said puppies (aka Frankie baby and Miss Musey) without doing some serious unpacking, so the hunt is on to find something to distract the baby. And the fates offered us a Petco. Can you spell SWEET? Cindy nabs some bully sticks and the puppy is happy as is Music because she got a free treat for just breathing and being in the same crate.

Now we are thinking that we caught the situation in plenty of time, well that was until we got to the room and unpacked. I had put all my toiletry items in a HyVee bag (classy 'huh?) and let's say---well check the picture out...

But seriously, we did catch it in time, as the baby did not ingest anything! Finally one for us!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Musey Girl

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Musey girl...

May your days be blessed with wonderful runs, and fraps from your Cardi brothers, and lots of love, hugs, and snuggles from the loving humans in your life.

Love you baby girl,

Mom Kim

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gone to the show in Minneapolis

Kim, Russ and Music are at the big show in Minneapolis. So I am holding down the fort, and she is the traveler now.

Look who has taken over her chair by the fire. Stinky the cat. She is also sleeping on her pillow.