Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Noodle!

New Year's Eve posts are probably supposed to be a little introspective, right? I mean, what I should be doing is writing this page on how many things have changed this year. They have, they've changed a lot...

Especially this one. :) (Beware! Long post, and photo heavy, haha!)

Many of you know what the story with Caleb was - and some of you likely don't. So for the short short version, I hadn't planned on getting a second Cardi to show. We'd gotten Simon the year before, and I was just getting back into the swing of dog showing when Gabriel passed away. I'm in contact with Simon's breeders regularly, and had written both of them to let them know what was going on. Simon was as crushed as I was; he hero-worshipped Gabe, where there was a Gabe, there was a Simon, tagging right along.

Well... on the close of one of our many emails back and forth, Sharon gently said, "You know, when you're ready, you should think about getting another puppy at one point."

I laughed, sending the email back, "I think the only way that I'm getting another puppy is if you have a nice flashy red brindle, haha! Matt likes brindles."

About ten minutes later I pick up my phone at work, with the message attached to this picture.

"Eat your heart out."

I couldn't help it. I just laughed for the first time in the two weeks since Gabe passed away. Melisa (my manager and good friend) was there in the office with me and I showed her the phone and shook my head. She eyes the picture, eyes me, and puts her hands on her hips and gives me 'the look.' Then she says, "You need that dog."

I say, "I don't want another dog. I really don't. I- I think I'm done with dogs for a while."

She says, "Oh no you're not. That's your dog. It's meant to be. Seriously. Ask her or I'm calling her and asking her for you."

I reply, "I think that's a show pup she's holding back..."

So I email back. Mind you, I had no idea that she even had this litter, much less a red-brindle. I will say that what she emailed me back with was one of the nicest things someone's ever done for me. I'm floored. I call Matt and email him the picture. Now... Matt didn't want any more dogs. The running joke between us is "Yeah, someday we're getting down to one dog and two cats."

The email back is, "Tell her yes."

I guess everyone thought I needed a puppy. When the stars and planets align just so, you better go with it. Or get struck by lightning or something. Small, chompy, brindle lightning.

So, suddenly I find myself within a week at the airport, waiting for a plane. Where Simon was quiet and gentle and kind, snuggling into Matt's arms the minute we got him, happy as could be, I'm standing there at the baggage claim and I hear... "WOOOOOOOOOO. WOOO. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!" The guy hands me the crate, I look inside, and open the door, and this brindle firecracker whips past with this huge grin, gleefully dodging to go explore the baggage claim and goose a little girl on the way in. Gah! Catch puppy, pick up puppy, puppy grins at me.

"Oh hi there, whoa, did you see that thing, with the luggage and the people and hi people? WOOOOO! Hi world, hi strange lady trying to hold me back, hi baggage claim guy! Wait, the baggage claim's still there! WOOO!"

The trainer in me says, "I'm in trouble, aren't I?"

I think Caleb's reply was, "Yes. Now let's go explore the baggage claim together!"

So, it began. Simon was an easy dog. A sweet dog. Super sensitive, gentle, kind dog. Oh no, we don't potty on the floor. Oh no, we don't chew things, that's wrong!

Caleb was a little hellion wrapped in tiger stripes. Yeah, housebreaking? Break this. Chewing stuff up is awesome. Let me take care of those cords for you, mwahahahhaha! Listening is for good dogs, and I ain't one! I'll test you up and down!

But he did have a cute face...

Simon had been so lonely, and took to him instantly.

They're total opposites in personality but they're best friends, day in and day out.

Gonna get you, bro!

Someday, he too was going to herd the chickens.

Then we had ears!

... and a big chunk of Simon's hair. (We call the little one Bitey.)

He knew he was all that and a bag of chips from the get go.

Out in public at Seattle Center, he took it in stride. Even if he found Dad boring. ;)

The bath after the fishpond dunk? Not so much. I still can't keep him out of it. When did Cardigans become water dogs?

"You do understand, I'm just going out to get dirty again, mom. Take that!"

Sometimes he's thoughtful.

Sometimes he's tricky!

Mostly, he's a momma's boy, and he's not shy about admitting it in public.

He became a pog. (Part puppy, part dog!)

Oh wait, no, the puppy's still there. It immediately ran off and ignored me after this shot was taken. Simon and I both yelled at him about it, ha! Double teamed!

He still adores his big brother, and wants to do everything like him. (Except come when called. That's still against his religion or something.)

His first show... with Cardi friends I adore handling him. Aw.

To the rescue!

I learned a lot of things this year. He's been teaching me patience, teaching me handling... and he's also taught me (the no dogs ever in the bed person) that dogs do belong in the bed. Right next to their person.

(You can also wake up your person by some sort of Cardigan Mind Meld. Stare at them long enough without moving and if they crack open an eye, lick them right on the lips. It's a talent.)

Don't say rude things to the cat. He likes you, but not enough to let you get away with it.

Nope, don't say them to the Pembrokes either.

A whistle means - come here. Got it! (Finally. I thought he never would!)

Where I go, he goes. He's my dog, through and through. He sits on my feet, he keeps the front seat of the car warm when I go in, he sleeps behind the counter at work on my jacket. From the first day he was here, he decided he was my dog, period. Either that or he was reading email. I wouldn't put it past him to do that. I also won't let him near my credit card.

Which leads us to today, a day of going to the barn together. I let him run up and down the driveway there for a while, until he was absolutely filthy and smiling and waiting for me to get done with the horses.

So, off we go! Next year's just one more adventure, right? I did need this dog. Like he lets me know on a daily basis, there's a lot of baggage claims out there in the world, better explore them! ;)

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a year old Cardigan!

Happy new year, guys! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As the Toe Owchies...

So, recently I blogged about how Simon was limping badly, and we weren't sure if he hurt his leg or his back..

So, off the X-rays went to the specialist since my vet was unsure what it could be.

I was sitting with Si that night and sort of checking him all over again, and found that he had a rear hind outside toe that felt odd and swollen to me (and kind of clicky, eep!) Joanna of Ruffly Speaking had suggested it might very well be a toe break, as did Y. Now, you wouldn't think a toe would cause all those symptoms, but...

Darn Cardis are stoic! Oh man, are they stoic. Not a yelp, a yip, a grumble, a growl, nothing. In fact, touching his toe and having it make crunchy, awful sounds only meant that he could leap up afterward and go find a toy to make me throw it. Sheesh. Or lick anyone he could reach - my vet adores him, he's just a happy, friendly boy.

Well, the specialist couldn't find anything else on the X-rays. (Except that he did say, nice hips, and holy moly, that dog's muscled up. There's this big bulky shoulder muscle in the shot, haha. Simon's been working out with da Wubba!)

Of course the one place we didn't shoot was his hind feet. Now, after talking to the vet there's not a whole lot you can do for a broken toe in dogs. He figured that since he had stopped limping that it was likely either a dislocation or a fracture.

So, no running or playing much last week (yeah, good luck with that, Simon says heck no, playplayplaygogogo!) Today he came back to check up on him and yup, the toe was clicky. We decided to go ahead and take film to see for sure.

Both of us were like "Oh geeze!" when the film came out of the developer. It's a bad break on the P2; a lengthwise break with bone displacement right over the joint. Poor Simon! So then come the options -- ugh, pinning apparently isn't a great one. Casting him isn't either, in that he's an incredibly active (as those of you who have met him will agree) and our area is sopping wet right now. The vet feels it might do more harm than good.

So, we're trying to the old athlete's trick of taping two toes together for the next month or more, and hopefully it will heal up fine. He was concerned he might chew it off - nope! He looked at it, and then once he realized it was stable and not bothering him, off he went, skipping along and immediately tackled Caleb in delight.

I still don't know how he broke it; the vote is for flinging himself off the deck. Matt's vote, being the football guy he is is that Simon has Turf-Toe. We have decided to call it Wubba-Toe. Extreme sports, woo!

So, his $650.00 gosh-we've-X-ray'd-the-whole-Simon toe is taped up and he's as running and chirpy as ever. At least I have a great set of X-rays of his hips and shoulders and back for my records. Apparently he just flopped on the table happily and let them take all the shots they needed. Good guy!

I'm so buying him some cool colored vet tape; if I have to tape his toe for four weeks, we're going for fancy! ;)

(Ps: He says he feels just fine, no worries! Now let's play ball! Ball, ball, ball! He's got 15 other toes! Bring it on, baby! And thank you all for all the well wishes, aww.)

(PPS: Dad is totally coddling him, and don't think for a moment he's not taking advantage of it. Hey, this little new Canon Sure Shot is neat! Quick snapshot!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Joy

For the first time in years we had the step-kids with us. Usually we have a very quiet Christmas morning, but wow, this year was pretty busy. Retail was grand -- we had a good season so far, and I'm very happy about it. Made up a bit on the debacle that was last year, ugh. A White Christmas is a beautiful thing, but as a retailer, we wince if it's before Christmas. It just packs a punch on sales.

However, I was ahead of the game this year. I wrapped everything before Christmas Eve! Go me. Of course... I had help. Lots of help. There's a lot of pet hair in my tape, argh.

All Simon really wanted for Christmas was new toys, and for me to allow him to run around outside. I've not been allowing him much run time all week, and because work was so busy, he couldn't go with me. So he was bored, bored, bored. Bored. Really bored. Sigh.

However, Christmas morning came, and oh boy... can you say mess? I did. ;) It was a fun mess though! The corgis and the cats got all their toys out and were happily playing while we were still unwrapping.

Caleb: "Mom? Mom? Are you still there? Help, I can't find my way out of the maze!"

Once it was all cleaned up though... outside we went! To try out the new cameras! ;)

Caleb and Riley, playing under the deck. It's always so funny how big Cardi muzzles look up against Pem muzzles.

Poor Caleb. He just got a Christmas morning bum-kicking. Ah well, that's usually what happens to the youngest, right? I got a Nerf bow and arrow one year as a kid for Christmas and spent the morning target practicing on my sister. Ahh, good memories.

However... Simon got exactly what he wanted for Christmas. He got to go outside, and run and play with all his toys. He was so, so happy, he couldn't stop doing that horrible shriek-bark of his while debating what toy he was going to play with at any given moment. We didn't stay out too long because I'm still worried about him, but we were out enough to burn off a bit of Christmas Crazies.

Hope everyone had a grand holiday! :D I am so looking forward to getting the year over so I can get a chance to draw again! Haven't forgotten about anyone, just man, retail eats you up after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy "Holidogs"

The boys send their wishes to everyone. :) Have a good Christmas!

(Also, to all the other folks who are retailers or work in retail, hang in there. Just a few more days to go, heh.)

(PS: For those wondering, Miss Piper doesn't get to go sit with Santa since the 'incident' a few years ago. Ahem.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Owie, poor Simon...

Well, Simon hurt himself on Friday. We can't figure out how he did it -- and what's worse, we can't figure out what it is. Then again, the way he is, he could have hurt himself running around the yard, throwing his ball for himself.

Friday night he was having a hard time getting up - no yelping, nothing was sore or noticeable to the touch, but it looked like it was in both hind legs. I gave him some asprin and sent him to bed.

Saturday morning, it was even worse, and he was very stiff and favoring his left hind leg something awful, but also looked like he was going down in back. A call to the mobile vet, who was here within a half an hour.

A bunch of X-rays later and some doggie painkillers, he was feeling better Sunday, and today, he's back to bopping around with Caleb. (Hey, he gets the good stuff, Simon does.) However, the call from my vet tonight was frustrating, and he was frustrated too.

Now, he can't tell if he has a minorly calcified disk (or nothing at all it's so, so, so slight) a hip issue (which doesn't make much sense, considering he pre-limned fine) or if he's blown his cruciate... (argh, if he did, he probably did it running around with Caleb the week the ground was icy and hard as a rock.)

Or if he broke his toe - which is now my theory. His toe's all swollen up and he's holding it oddly. Which would be the best case out of all of these things. My vet's exact words were....

"I have no idea, but man, Corgis are weirdly shaped with those little dense bones. It doesn't help with diagnosis that they're very stoic and tough."

I'm wondering if that could cause all of his issues, if he crunched his toe pushing off the deck playing with his ball, or bent his leg under himself. :/ So, off the X-rays go to the specialist, and then we'll go from there. On a high note, he's putting weight on the leg and seems cheery as heck again.

Argh, dogs.

However, here, have a happy photo to finish off this post! :D

Throw it! Woo! Throw it! :D

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Simon manages the best smiles. I love the fact that he's got goofy smile wrinkles. He's the Cardi "Have a nice day" button, haha! ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Caleb's doin' it wrong...


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Been a good day -- a little photography, a little hot cocoa, put together my new bed (which is gorgeous, absolutely wonderful.)

Matt fixed the washer (hooray, oh man, I did NOT want to buy another front loader in two years.) Plus, I wrapped all my presents finally with Caleb's help. Playing catchup as I always do this time of year with retail; anyone who's ever owned a retail business understands. On a high note, I'm very happy to see how the season's gone so far. I admit, I'm still on pins and needles after last year, where the snow during the last week push hurt so many businesses in my area, but... I feel better and a bit more confident, if tired. ;)

However, Caleb looks impressive, and I laughed. Apparently, it's a RAR face sort of week. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So much frost on the grass, it cracks, and even the dogs don't want to be out for long. My horses basically are shuffling from sunbeam to sunbeam in their big heavy blankets.

Caleb had a few moments in the sun, though. He also attempted to drink out of an iced over fishpond. We nearly had a Christmas Story moment here, haha.

But the light was pretty this evening, and I got one good shot before I had to go inside. My hands were instantly numb, yikes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And what to my wondering eyes should appear---!!!

Eee, my friendly Cardi Claus visited our house today! So stealthly in fact that the dogs slept through the postman's arrival and I didn't know the package was there. Ninja delivery, apparently! ;)

Of course, I open up the card -- and it's from Taryn!! How cool is that? Apparently Jimmy and Wilson chipped in too!

I have to show this off because it is so awesome it deserves sharing! I am a huge carousel collecting nut, and apparently Taryn read my mind, hahah! Look at this, this is the most wonderful thing ever - a totally fantastic drawing of a carousel Cardi! <3 I love, love, love art, and pencils are my favorite. Add that to carousels and Cardis --- wow, wow, wow. It's now in the living room on the bookcase - thank you so much!!!! :D

And now there's all the other really wonderful little ornaments too! A little dry erase blue Cardi - - how cool! It's my first Cardi tree ornament ever, and it's blue! My favorite color. (Don't tell Caleb, though.) A gorgeous little Santa, and Jimmy and Wilson modeling a set of photo ornaments, awwwww. <3 These are so, so neat!

... of course, the crew was like... hmm, what's that? Is it delicious? Is it crunchy? So as I'm unwrapping... they're plotting.

"Hmm, she's distracted. I shall just sneak this out..."

"Hey, wait a minute! Share it with me!"

Needless to say there was this huge wrestling match as the poor sock was grabbed and run off with in fifteen different directions. ;) But in the end...

"Sharing? Caring? I'm Caleb, and the Ghost of Christmas Future can go suck a lemon. It's mine."

(Thank you, thank you, Taryn!)

Break in the rain.

Here it means I get to boot the heathens out so they stop romping through the house like maniacs. Whoo, there was way too much energy to burn, let me tell you. They've been cooped up in here or at the shop for days - my yard simply won't dry out right now, and there's a good six inches of muddy slop under the deck, thanks to Piper-I-Dig-Holes-And-Smile.


Riley is like, "Go away, annoying puppy."

Caleb doesn't, and thus gets a fluffy-butt kicking.

So, then him and Simon go tearing around the yard -- it's like the Tron motorbikes. Complete with horrible collision and subsequent rolling in the mud. ;)

Yeah, come on out of there...

This rar-face-I'm-tough shot looks totally impressive unless you were there to shoot it. There's no one even around or paying attention to his RAR face as he explodes from the bushes. He was rather disappointed about it and then ran off to find his Wubba, doofus.

And... we wind down and wait on the deck to go in. Amazing how quiet the house is now, hahah.

Went to the Post Office too and sent out my Cardi Claus package yesterday! Hahha, aw, that was fun to put together! :D