John Wolff


Seattle, WA

United States

Profile Information:

Duluth, MN. Seattle since 1976.
About Me:
I'm an over-the-hill mountain climber. I take the dogs on long hard hikes and backpacking trips in Washington's Cascade mountains (West Pembrokeshire), including peaks above 8000', but mostly we maraud about the neighborhood, striking terror into the hearts of evildoers, amusing children, and playing soccer. Mostly, they're couch potatoes.
We lost Sirius, our first corgi, after 7 years, a choking accident.
Check out our song! See below.
Trying to be the person my dogs think I am.
Welsh Corgi Breeder?
About My Corgi(s):
Gwynnie is the best dog in the world. Al is even better.
Al is Gwynnie's nephew, from Haley pwc of Bellevue WA (Carrie Hale). Wonderful temperaments, quiet, playful, strong, great with kids, no health problems so far. Their poop don't even stink (YMMV), although Al is, technically, an SOB.

Al would be a good obedience dog; he's always watching you to see if he's doing OK. Independent-minded Gwynnie would flunk (our fault, not hers). Al is an unabashed love-sponge extrovert who'll fall asleep in your arms.
They greet me at the door like I'm some kind of god. It's bad for my ego problem.

Vacuuming is a contact sport, akin to hockey but more violent. They LOVE herding their soccer ball on the paved playfield. Al kicks it hard with the tip of his snout (OUCH?), has poked the ball airborne 8 times in a row, and can aim it unerringly back to me. Their ball-control is done by the committee method, so they seldom score. They never tire of this. Al is an incorrigible ball-hog: I feed Gwynnie softball passes, but Al gets them anyway. This is a great way to exercise a corgi.
A soccer ball turns Al into an ANIMAL.

Pneumatic Sphere Consultants' Technical Report:
Best: 7-8" dia. Nike Jr. child's basketball, toothproof.
Excellent: soccer ball, fastest, carry farthest, durable. Padded balls invite teeth, but is soon removed.
Very good: a volleyball (light, lively, toothproof).
Good alternate: a water polo ball.
Yard sales or secondhand stores, $1-2.

When children fawn excessively over them ("Ew! They're so KEWT! Are they FRIENDLY? Can I PET them?") I introduce them as "Killer" and "Fang".

You can't outwalk a fit corgi*. The Pembroke Welsh marmots can hike all day, 20+ miles with much elevation gain, and the only terrain they can't handle is coarse boulder fields and deep snow. The only time I have to wait for them is above timberline in hot sun; when they start seeking shade, I feed them scraped snow or make a pupsicle out of them (see photos, and the Chillybuddy cooling vest). They're amazingly sure-footed and can handle steep, rugged and brushy terrain; I no longer worry about them falling on rock. I do worry about dog-induced rockfall. They don't bother wildlife, and are so quiet they scare me -- hiking in my blind spot, I often look about and call for my missing dog in growing panic, only to find it at my heels. We've spent nights as high as 9,000' in good weather.
I learned how to sleep with Al entirely inside my wet mummy bag. 1 corgi counts for 3 on a Three-Dog Night, like an electric blanket.
I carry a chest harness and stout leash for safety belay mostly on scary river log crossings; be careful [see my post], a corgi can slip neatly out of a chest harness in a vertical hang!
I've tried to post some useful hiking tips. Their coats resist weather, dirt, and insects.

Peace is a corgi snoring softly in your ear at night. Uh, SOFTLY, Gwynnie, softly...

*UPDATE 9/12/12 Al lamed-up on day 6 of a backpacking trip, so I carried him out in an improvised sling. Cause unknown, likely a knee problem, but don't know for sure and don't know if it's totally healed. He seems fine in the city, X-ray inconclusive. Guardedly optimistic 4/10/13, he seems fine.
I have:

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  • Carol

    Hi John,

    Jane said your dogs wear goggles.  My vet just suggested after her last eye injury.  I had looked at some online but not sure what size-sm or med. She's a Pembroke.  And do they wear them-keep them on.?  They're out of the colors I'd choose, so have a week or 2 to get some feedback.

    Your photos are awesome!!

    Thanks much, Carol

  • Carol

    Thank you for the info.  I talked to Baxterboo, who carries them and first they said medium and then small, then suggested to order both and return whichever doesn't fit.  Even if she doesn't like them, using them rather than a cone, which she doesn't seem to mind although she can't pick her ball up. I did have to raise her dishes.

    I have had such different opinions on the causes and crazy as it sounds, I think my vet was correct and the optomologist was wrong. She has seen both vets in her regular office, the ER vet and their optomogist!

    Her RX eye drops are the Neosporin-like drops(Tobramycin Ophtalmic) and the second time she was put on Rimadyl which is an anti inflammatory the 3rd time she was pretty miserable so added Tramadol, which is more of a pain med and makes her tired.

    My springer that I recently lost, had an eye issue, don't remember now what it was but there was an ointment that I had to put in her eye-which was harder than drops.  She'd also get an irritation next to her eye and the vet had told me to use Neosporin on that, the small amount that might get into her eye wouldn't hurt.

    A lot of times my vet will recommend human OTC in the appropriate dose-with my previous dogs-I haven't had her that long and this has been my only medical issue-but he has prescribed people meds for diarrhea, upset tummy, allergies and I had one who would get car sick, so motion sickness med, also plain old aspirin.

    Anyway-the doggles I wanted was the chrome, which are black and tan and have smoked lenses.  We also walk early in the morning so walking east-I don't know if that bothers her or not.  I myself hate wearing sunglasses-probably will regret one of these days.

    Anyway, I was wondering whether they'd keep them on, of course they said yes, but also said if she wouldn't I could return them.

    Anyway-thank you for the info  :)

  • Carol

    just received her Doggles today-after the PO misplaced the tracked mail.  So far she seems to like them, only been a couple hrs, maybe because she is now off leash.  She has figured out to roll over and can push them off that way.  We'll see how they work out, they can be returned if she refuses to wear them.  I got the medium and had to adjust them smaller, there's quite a bit of room to do that.  However the bridge part seems too large for her nose, her only smallish feature.  She has a recheck @ vet tomorrow, so she can show them off-he's originally suggested them.