John Wolff
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  • Seattle, WA
  • United States

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John Wolff's Discussions

What are corgis for?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Avyon Mar 3. 11 Replies

Corgis don't do fear...

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bev Levy Feb 7. 3 Replies


Snoutbook page for Gwynnie et Al. Corgis with altitude.

Latest Activity

Lois B. Allen commented on John Wolff's photo
Lois B. Allen commented on John Wolff's photo

Al admires the scenery*

"Al is looking good.  I hope he is doing well."
Jane Christensen liked John Wolff's photo
Mar 24
John Wolff posted photos
Mar 23
Holly commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Nice neighborhood! Great dog."
Mar 23
Gwyneth Newcomb commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"BTW Love her name!"
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
Gwyneth Newcomb liked John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
Mar 23
Geri & Sidney commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Good to see another post from you John. Gorgeous photos as always, and I am in awe of Gwynnie!"
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
Diane commented on John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
"Great pics & beautiful scenery.. Love seeing corgis in the snow!"
Mar 20
Diane liked John Wolff's blog post Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.
Mar 20
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Mar 20
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

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 (157 comments)

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At 1:47am on March 5, 2015, Rebecca Melesciuc 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.

At 2:11pm on August 12, 2014, Lucy & Ricky-Rafa (Wendy/Jack ) said…

Good to hear from you, John & that Al's doing ok, even if not climbing the mountains with you and Gwynnie. RR would love to chase down Rafa Nadal's tennis balls, but you know he wouldn't bring them back! Have you tried that supplement I recommended for MicroLactin. It is great for knees. It's helped my friends 13 yr old GSD tremendously, and Jack and I feel that it's helping us, too. It's possible to see a marked improvement w/in a week. Let me know if you try it and what you think. Happy summer J,A,G

At 12:29am on May 19, 2014, Natalie, Lance &Tucker said…

thanks for the kind words john, I appreciate it. 

At 6:26pm on January 27, 2014, Kristin Lewis said…

Monty misses you all back and now we have another corgi (a cardigan)


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