Snoutbook page for Gwynnie et Al. Corgis with altitude.

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Tess and Penny liked John Wolff's discussion Food bags KILL!
Anna Morelli replied to John Wolff's discussion Should I take Gwynnie to the vet?
"This "crying wolf"  may be where the family name came from ?!?!"
Apr 6
Linda replied to John Wolff's discussion Should I take Gwynnie to the vet?
"I have a 10 and almost 12 year old and they are slower to rip things apart.  In fact they haven't murderated any Bobos in quite some time.  And the must kill the squeaker drive doesn't happen at all unless it's from over-use."
Apr 6
John Wolff posted a discussion

Should I take Gwynnie to the vet?

Gwynnie is almost 11 years old.  She has had this Zaney toy for 5 days.  The squeaky is still inside it, and she's only ripped one arm off.  Usually, the squeaky only survives for 10 minutes, and there'd be nothing but a head left by now.  I'm not really worried.  I guess we're growing old together.See More
Apr 6
Jane Christensen commented on John Wolff's photo

Chase, Bightham, &Howell

"Just curious...So what alcohol content does dog beer have???????"
Apr 4
John Wolff posted a photo
Apr 3
Jane Christensen liked John Wolff's discussion Something is wrong with my dogs.
Apr 2
John Wolff posted a discussion

Something is wrong with my dogs.

Is something wrong with my dogs?  I mean, I'm not exactly complaining, but my dogs' poop don't stink.  Isn't normal, healthy dog poop s'pozed to be just a little, y'know, noisome?   Am I not feeding them right or something?  Could there be some long-term, chronic problem with their digestive tracts?  Why would this affect both of them?They don't even have dogbreath; their mouths smell puppy-fresh.  Their coats smell as fresh as morning air in springtime.  Isn't a normal dog home expected to…See More
Apr 1
Milo liked John Wolff's discussion SWAT corgi
Mar 30
Bogart the Cardigan liked John Wolff's discussion Chase, Bight & Howell
Mar 30
John Wolff posted discussions
Mar 27
John Wolff posted a discussion

Degenerative Myelopathy research: you can participate even if your dog does NOT have DM.

3/19/14   I just emailed Dr. Joan Coates at U. of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, whose lab published the main DM paper.  They are still collecting posthumous tissue samples from older corgis who were not diagnosed with DM.  "Control" samples are vital, and owners of unaffected dogs may be less interested/motivated to help than owners of stricken dogs, so your dog's contribution could be important.This requires non-trivial effort on your part and some advance planning -- it is not…See More
Mar 21
John Wolff posted a discussion

Dogs in science

“It’s absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking research,” says Pascal Belin, a neuroscientist at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, who was part of the team that identified the voice areas in the human brain in 2000. “They’ve made the first comparative study using nonhuman primates* of the cerebral processing of voices, and they’ve done it with a noninvasive technique by training dogs to lie in a scanner.”      [*I think that's an error; dogs are not primates.]OK, we don't need an…See More
Mar 11
Marla K. liked John Wolff's photo
Jan 17
Rebecca Marie O'Bryan replied to John Wolff's discussion Food bags KILL!
"yes learn from my mistake. this happened to my first corgi teddy 2years ago to this accident.:( now i live in an apartment and we have a huge row of cabinets and i took out the shelves and put the trash can in there so theres no way baden can get…"
Dec 20, 2013
Kim replied to John Wolff's discussion Food bags KILL!
"I had this jar holding dental floss and other random items (like bobby pins) up on an unreachable shelf.  Morty knocked over the trash can and used it as a stool to jump up and grab it.  This is the result.  Fortunately, we got it off…"
Dec 20, 2013

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

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,…


Merry Christmas everybody

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 6:00pm 4 Comments

Especially at this festive time of year, want is keenly felt, and abundance rejoices.  So we wish continued prosperity to our comfortable friends, and patience while the wheel of fortune turns for those in difficulty.  Health to all of our smaller friends who reliably remind us to watch the doughnut, not the…


Comment Wall (153 comments)

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

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

At 2:16pm on January 26, 2014, Lucy & Ricky-Rafa (Wendy/Jack ) said…

I don't know who Ricky's rooting for as he's slept through the Australian. I don't want to do any spoiler here in case you care who won the finals today.

I'm glad Al is doing ok. We had to bring Ricky Rafa back to the veterinary hospital this week, but not for his ACL. This time for eating the carcasses of dead rodents. Apparently he found my old cat's stash of remains. He was quite sick, vomiting in volumes I had never before seen. But, he's fine now. No obstructions and xrays showed no remaining rodent bones. He's got 9 lives.

At 9:17pm on November 11, 2013, Amber Nelson said…

John, I posted a few more pics of Rusty the heeler corgi in an album for you. I have to upload them from my phone, but I took some this morning of his corgi butt on top of long legs.

At 10:39pm on September 20, 2013, Jolly Wahlstrom said…

Interesting about the short legs. I was wondering if the male carries the leg length gene. I have been asking people who have corgi mixes and it seems that if the male was the corgi, the dogs have short legs but if it was the female they don't have very short legs though they may be a bit shorter than normal. 

Little Sister hurt her back a few days ago so I don't think I'll be taking her on walks on the beach anymore. She slipped on some rocks and then started limping a little bit. We walked the 10 blocks home slowly and she was acting like a really well trained dog which is unusual for her. After a couple of hours of lying down she wouldn't walk and yelped when someone knocked on the door. She seems fine now but she is on meds, muscle relaxants and such. We need to take it easy for a few weeks and I learned to pick her up correctly and I have made a ramp so she doesn't jump up or down into the truck. I am giving her gentle exercise since it used to be the only thing that worked for me when I used to have a bad back (for years). 

I figured you would have tested a number of harness' for the corgis. It is sad when they get too old to do what they used to do. My border collie, Boomer, used to run with me mountain biking (it was the only way I had a chance to occasionally catch up with him). After 6 hours of full run, he figured we were warmed up and ready for a few hours of ball throwing. He died of heart disease at 15. Luckily, I had moved to Port Townsend when he got old and  I could walk for long walks on the beach and trails and I would go out and come back the same route. Boomer would go as far as he felt he could that walk and then start back and he would be almost back by the time I returned. He knew how long it would take me. 

I would love to have a Border Corgi, seems like a perfect combination. 

At 10:30am on September 15, 2013, Jolly Wahlstrom said…

Hey, John, when I saw your photos of your hikes, I remembered that Carl Elliott said that you had Corgis. I just got one, I had a Corsky but she died about a year and a half ago. I still bring her two brothers up to my house every night. They don't get enough exercise if I don't. 

I was wondering where you go hiking with a dog. Do you only go to Forest Service land? I didn't think they allowed dogs in National Parks. Since I am in Port Townsend, the Olympics are right near me but are mostly National Park lands. 

Another is about harness'. I am going to train Little Sister to ride on my Xtracycle and run with me off leash if I can train her at 9 years old to not chase everything. My Border Collie and my Corsky were well trained and ran with the bike everywhere. I could ride in the bike lane and they would run on the sidewalk but mostly we did trails. So have you tried Ruffwear harnesses or know of them? I would like to be able to lift Little Sister into the holder on the bike and off again when appropriate. They look like I could lift her but with long Corgi bodies I am not sure. Thanks, Jolly


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