John Wolff
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John Wolff's Discussions


Snoutbook page for Gwynnie et Al. Corgis with altitude.

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Terry S. replied to John Wolff's discussion A petition to require xylitol labeling
"Signed and shared!"
Sep 26
Diane liked John Wolff's photo
Sep 26
Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug commented on John Wolff's photo

Just walking the dog.

"It's very good to see photos of Al back out on the trail again.  The legend of Al the Mountain Corgi continues to grow.  John the human is okay too, of course."
Sep 26
Holly replied to John Wolff's discussion A petition to require xylitol labeling
"John, are you suggesting ways to get a petition started. I'm Ina, but not sure how we should proceed. Sounds like a good way to save some doggie lives."
Sep 24
Vicky Hay replied to John Wolff's discussion A petition to require xylitol labeling
"OMG. It's extremely dangerous. It's in toothpaste. Do you keep your toothpaste at work? I learned about this during my German shepherd phase.Some Gersheps are tall enough to lift a tube of toothpaste off the bathroom counter, if it's…"
Sep 23
Holly replied to John Wolff's discussion A petition to require xylitol labeling
"I agree. I am deathly afraid of xylitol. Someone in my housing complex keeps spitting gum on the ground and I worry, aside from all the other gross reasons that Sully might scarf up a glob before I notice. I also worry about cigarette butts which…"
Sep 22
John Wolff posted a discussion

A petition to require xylitol labeling

petition to require xylitol labelingXylitol has its uses -- my dentist recommends xylitol losenges for oral hygeine -- but few people are aware that it can be lethal to dogs at low doses.  I keep mine at work and do not allow it in…See More
Sep 22
Stephanie commented on John Wolff's photo

This is my dog.

"That's good to know.  However, in looking at more of your photos, I can tell you two have done a lot together.  What a wonderful assortment of photos taken on the adventures you both have shared.....  "
Sep 10
Stephanie commented on John Wolff's photo

Blue Lake camp.

"What a wonderful group of photos you have in your profile.  I went through a lot of them.  You definitely have had some interesting travels."
Sep 10
Laura and Tommy Jefferson liked John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
Aug 15
Vicky Hay replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"Unknown to me. However, I believe that dogs do know when a companion has shuffled off this mortal coil, even if they don't see it happen. Anna the German shepherd figured it out real quick when I came home from having Walt the Greyhound…"
Aug 14
Anna Morelli replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"Although this may not be the proper place to fully answer your question "But how could any of us really know?  Could this be anything more than an opinion?" I will say that it is part of a much larger question, that being does…"
Aug 14
Beverly, David and The Boys replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"Thank you for the thought provoking question.  Until now, i have always been a single pet household.  All i know is that when I took Tucker to get neutered and came home without him, Redford was very confused and seemed lost-he kept…"
Aug 14
Holly replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"Regardless of how things end, I do think something from the surviving animal's humans and pet loved ones should be saved and given to the surviving pet, such as a blanket, collar, slipper. I think that would help with closure and adjustment."
Aug 14
Steph Bussema replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"I have 2 corgis, and when one goes to the bridge I will try very hard to allow the remaining one to say goodbye.  There are many stories from the animal kingdom of social animals spending time with the body of their dead loved one.  A…"
Aug 13
Linda replied to John Wolff's discussion What to do when a corgi loses a partner...? A sad topic, but maybe important.
"Good question.  I have 2 senior corgis...13 and 11.  My 13 yo, Max, is healthy other than some weakness in his back end.  I am afraid if it gets worse we will have to make a decision, so far Katie has no health issues.  He…"
Aug 13

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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John Wolff's Blog

Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 12:30am 12 Comments

The Washington Cascades didn't have a winter in 2014-2015 (warmest Dec. and Feb. on record).  This was February 2015, conditions more like June (no exaggeration).  It's about 6 miles to the little peak at left in this photo, with 4600' of gain.  The first mile was bare trail (usually it would be many feet of snow, and I wouldn't even be able to drive to the trailhead). We'll snowshoe to that little snowy notch (Surprise Gap), then walk left up the ridge crest:…


Backcountry hiking with corgis -- some things I've learned.

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 1:43pm 3 Comments

We once quickly returned 2 lost pointers because the owner's cell phone# was on the collars.  Test your microchip when you visit the vet -- Gwynnie's gave no signal!

chillybuddy cooling vest    keep in plastic bag, so you can add water to wet it (crtitical; much of the cooling is evaporative).  They wilt in sun above treeline and this thing really does help.  Size Medium with a Small girth strap.



Al's turn to make Buzzfeed

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 4:30pm 5 Comments

Al makes Buzzfeed

There are others of us in there, too.  Al is there twice; he is also #18.  Snickmom's #15.

Sitting majestically on the top of snowy mountains

Happy Birthday Gwynnie, 10 y.o. 4/8/13

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 12:30am 18 Comments

She has climbed 7 mountains this year, and we failed on an 8th.  She gets to go more often lately because Al is recuperating from last September's injury.  She's maybe a bit slower than she used to be, but I don't have to wait for her unless it's icy or really steep.  She gets the occasional "corgi toss"…


We stole another song

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 12:30pm 6 Comments

with apologies to one of my musical heroes, John Prine  

Still touring don't miss him.  6/23/13 at Woodland Park Zoo Seattle.

John Prine, "Dear Abbey"

Dear Abby, Dear Abby, please answer my mail,

My ears are too big,…


Comment Wall (160 comments)

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At 6:17pm on April 13, 2015, Carol said…

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.

At 9:06am on April 1, 2015, Carol said…

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  :)

At 7:09pm on March 30, 2015, Carol said…

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

At 1:47am on March 5, 2015, Rebecca M. said…

Hi John,

Thanks for the corgi-hiking advice.  Since I don't know anyone else who hikes and climbs with corgis, I hope it's okay if I occassionally ask you for advice.  I saw Gwynnie and Al's Chillybuddy vest, and I plan on getting Timber one as soon as I'm sure he's done growing.  He's six months old now.  I have noticed that his black fur gets hot on sunny days (even when it's 30 degrees out), but I had never heard of the Chillybuddy vest until I saw your photos. Timber will be the coolest dog in Anchorage once he gets one!

Our normal walk is a 3-mile loop on the cross-country ski trails in town.  (Alaska's winter has been so pathetic this year, that they haven't even bothered grooming all the trails in town.)  The loop is hilly, but generally wide and even.  Timber loves it, and has no problem with the distance.  I've started trialing longer hikes, but sticking strictly to minimal elevation gain hikes.  I'm not planning on starting him on mountains until his second summer, when he'll be 1.5-2 years old.  Does this sound like a reasonable plan?  I would hate myself if I caused him any injuries now that would impair his ability to hike long distances and climb mountains as an adult.  I'd love to hear more about how you started Gwynnie and Al into being such pioneering spirits for their breed!

At 2:14pm on August 12, 2014, Lucy & Ricky-Rafa (Wendy/Jack ) said…

PS John. I got a kick learning that you have a 3 mo old tri named Butters. That was RR's name when we rescued him. He was hardly a Butters, or Rafa, it seems. He never answered to Rafa, so Ricky's it is, now. Tho' occasionally I call him Rafa for old times sake. He never even looks up. BTW, Rafa Nadal doesn't like dogs. Much as I love him, I don't understand people that don't like dogs, unless they had an unfortunate incident with a dog at a young age.


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