John Wolff
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John Wolff's Discussions

"Don't look into his eyes..."

Started this discussion. Last reply by Geri & Sidney May 18. 7 Replies

500 corgis invade Califofrnia beach

Started this discussion. Last reply by Aber, Ragnar and Kelso Apr 18. 13 Replies


Snoutbook page for Gwynnie et Al. Corgis with altitude.

Latest Activity

Denis J. replied to John Wolff's discussion "Don't look into his eyes..."
"Apparently, another millions of $$$ similar research by top scientists whom have post poned their work on the world energy crisis, have discovered that cuddling your child infant, having good eye contact and generally be nurturing will increase the…"
May 12
Frances P Moloney replied to John Wolff's discussion "Don't look into his eyes..."
"Does Scientific research also explain the primitive human reflex that reaches for the treat jar, when under the influence of said eyes, even though higher level cerebral thinking knows that achonroplasiac specimen arranged around said eyes should…"
May 5
Linda replied to John Wolff's discussion "Don't look into his eyes..."
"So it took scientific research to figure out that looking into those big brown eyes makes us bond with our dogs?  Wonder how much money they wasted on that."
May 4
John Wolff posted a discussion

"Don't look into his eyes..."

Science 17 April 2015 pp. 274, 280 $ 333"Don't look into his eyes," I often warn passersby of Al.  "That's how they control our minds."It's true.So these idiot scientists have figured out that the mutual eye-gazing behavior between dog & human raises oxytocin (neuropeptide that mediates affiliative behavior) levels in both -- hijacking humans' bonding mechanism -- something anybody with a puppy could've told them 100,000 years ago."Thag, look.  Puppie kyoot.  Oxytocin go up..."Includes an…See More
May 4
Rebecca M. commented on John Wolff's photo

Resistance is futile.

"Where did you get those glasses, and how do you convince your corgis to wear them?"
Apr 27
Carol left a comment for John Wolff
"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…"
Apr 13
John Wolff posted a discussion

500 corgis invade Califofrnia beach

Global warming, drought, terrierism, and now this:  is there no end?500 corgis invade California beachSo far, the toll of dead and missing stands at zero, although this number could go higher (or lower) as search and rescue efforts proceed.See More
Apr 13
John Wolff posted a discussion

Backpackers' bearproof food containers are not corgi-proof.

For years, wilderness backpackers have relied on rigid bear-proof containers to protect their food from bears and to prevent bears from becoming dangerously habituated to human food.  They are typically too large and rounded for even a grizzly bear to get its teeth around, quite heavy (up to 2 lbs.), and can be expensive (one is made of carbon graphite, up to $300).  I usually use a much lighter, cheaper Kevlar bear-proof bag called an Ursack that is becoming widely accepted.They are not…See More
Apr 1
John Wolff posted photos
Mar 23
Gwyneth Newcomb commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Wow! Beautiful photos. How wonderful to have all that beauty in your backyard. Gwynnie is Super Dog. I don't think my one year old could keep up with you guys."
Mar 23
Cheetah & Shippo commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"That looks glorious.  I'm so jealous.  So is Shippo!"
Mar 22
Kathy Losacco commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Good to see Gwynnie still making tracks at 12.  Austin is coming up ten, so I know he still has a couple of good years left. "
Mar 21
Alison Prasavath commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"All I can say is Gwynnie deserves to take a nap after that! Such beautiful pictures and she looks like the sweetest girl as well. I always enjoy reading your hiking stories for not only the scenery but the commentary as well. I do…"
Mar 20
susan commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Wow!  Absolutely awesome that Gwynnie goes with you on your hikes.  It looks like she just trudges along in your tracks.  Six miles, up hill in the snow - and she is 12 years old?  Wow!  Supa Sta!  Beautiful…"
Mar 20
Beth commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Gorgeous as always. So happy to hear she can still hike the trails with you but always sad to see how fast the time goes by. The hardest to deal with was actually my cat, Alice, because I was about 21 when I found her and so we were young…"
Mar 20
Rebecca M. liked John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
Mar 20

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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