December 31, 2008

Last 2008 'Acts of Dog'

by winecountrydog

As my last paw-writin' act of the year 2008, I'm gonna give you a little corgi pun as well as endless dog photo fun.

I'm hereby introducin' you to my pick of flickr: 'Acts of Dog.' Below is a sample from the photostream to whet your appetite: what an arfully cute cardie!

Cardigan Welsh Corgi photograph copyright flickr Acts of Dog
Acts of Dog is the most awesome collection of photos of Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis and other dogs you'll ever see online.

These goshdog great pix come to us from a human who lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The fellow's a gifted and prolific photographer!

Paw-leeze, pawse and enjoy Acts of Dog on flickr. See all the doggies fur yourselves by clicking this link to the cardie photo.

A very Yappy New Year to you. Woof!

Paw-note: Headin' into 2009, let's not furget all the corgis and other dogs who still need furever homes. Woof kudos to rescue organizations like PAWS, based in Sydney, NSW, Australia, a small group of self-funded rescuers, volunteer foster carers, and walkers who help lost or abandoned animals in NSW.

December 30, 2008

"Nothing's better than beer."

by pawlitico

Here we go again. The argument about dogs drinkin' beer.

If you know my buddy Tilin "winecountrydog" Corgi, you know that he occasionally needs some kind of sedative and relaxant. Tilin has episodes of arful back muscle spasms. Other times he gets the hypers 'cuz of a nervous disorder.

The hypers make Tilin get more and more wound up. Now, we'd love to see Tilin run around like a puppy if it weren't scary. He could re-injure his back. Or he could go into a seizure. Howl, you'd never know how serious this is by lookin' at Tilin, but his history includes life-threatening spinal problems and idiopathic epilepsy.

light and dark aleWe're fortunate to know a veterinarian with uncommonly good sense. She told Tilin to drink 1/4 cup of quality beer to help sedate him. Such a marvelous solution! How much easier this is on Tilin's system than heavy-duty sedatives! And so effective that dog-ma can usually avoid giving him meds like narcotics.

Tilin says, "Fur some of my episodes, nothing's better than beer for calming me without knockin' me out."

Now, for dog health safety, you dogs shouldn't drink to drunkenness. And you shouldn't depend on this remedy for any length of time. We're talking here about a brief, conservative consumption regimen. A serving of just 1/4 cup of beer or ale is fine. (We corgis weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.) It's best to open the bottle ahead of time and let the beer go kinda flat, but the carbonation in 1/4 cup doesn't bother Tilin or lead to bloat. And the sugary malts and stuff don't bother Tilin 'cuz he's not diabetic.

Tilin gets his dog mug refilled up to every few hours. After a few days of this regimen, he goes back on the wagon. It's not difficult for him; he's a happy, busy dog who easily returns to his normal routines once he feels calm again.

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAThis time, dog-ma gave Tilin doses of Union Jack India pale ale (IPA) for the hypers. Dog-ma let me taste Union Jack. After all, my birth name is Jack.

This IPA is doggedly aggressive but smooth. Comes from micro-brewery Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, California. Here's what the brew dogs say:

Citrus, pineapple, and a full chewy malt profile finish clean on your palate. . . . A beer true to its origins; deeply hopped and bolstered for a long voyage. . . . At the 2008 European Beer Star Award competition in Germany [in November '08] . . . Union Jack IPA took top honors in the extremely competitive India Pale Ale category with a gold medal.

The Firestone Union was inspired by the old Burton Union system, once a staple of British beermaking. The Burton Union was developed around 1840 as English tastes shifted from London porters to pale ales crafted in Burton-Upon-Trent. The Burton beers were bright and clear with a firm, satisfying bite: a taste unique in its time-and still unique today. We are the only brewery in the United States to currently employ the union brewing method. . . . Our patented Firestone Union uniquely incorporates 60-gallon oak barrels into the brewing process.
60-gallon oak barrels of aleI'm glad dog-ma's buddy Joey at the store picked this India pale ale as one his faves. We want to suppawt small regional businesses like this microbrewery, which crafts great ale and delivers it fresh.

When Tilin Corgi woke up this morning, he was back to normal! No longer all hyped up. Dog-ma's ale therapy worked in a day.

So I have to pawlitely disagree with Louise Murray, DVM, Director of Medicine, ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, who has been quoted as saying that humans should never give beer to dogs. What humans should do is to check with their dogs' veterinarians! May you find a veterinarian like ours, who offers a different pawspective on practical remedies fur what ails you.

We dogs are individuals, and we need healthcare and homecare to be carefully tail-ored to us as individuals. Woof.

December 29, 2008

Calendar of the year '09: Corgis on Wheels

by pawlitico

While humans are bizzy choosing their top picks fur 2008, I'm doggone far into faves fur 2009. After all, I'm a herder. I always want to git goin' on what's next.Wheelcorgis 2009 wall calendarI'm asking you to paw-leeze pawse and check out my calendar choice fur 2009: the Wheelcorgis Wall Calendar.

Wheelcorgis 2009 wall calendar - June
You can see this calendar at the wheelcorgis store on It has the most amazing dog photos you've ever seen in your goshdog lives!

And this super-cool calendar contains an educational page on degenerative myelopathy (DM), a condition that some Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, German Shepherds, and 40-plus other dog breeds develop.

The Wheelcorgis group and the CorgiAid Cart Program provide wonderful help and advice fur corgis who need DM testing and carting.

We learned a lot about corgi carts after Tilin Corgi's back trauma. First we had to worry that Tilin might not make it at all. It wasn't DM, but other acute problems. Then, luckily for Tilin, his lifesaving surgery enabled him to function again and eventually to get around on his own.

We're always reassured to know that corgi cart humans would help if one of us lost our mobility. Paw-leeze pass on the word about these talented wheel corgis and their dedicated humans!

Paw-note: CorgiAid supports the rescue and rehab of abandoned corgis and corgi mixes across the U.S.

December 24, 2008

A dog's Christmas in wine country

by winecountrydog

One Christmas was so much like another in those years around the near-sea-towns of wine country, out of all sound except the distant speaking of voices and rattling of wine glasses I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it rained for six days and six nights when I was six or whether it rained for twelve days and twelve nights when I was two.

Me, Tilin Corgi, on a soggy hillside
All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my paws in the sand and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my paw into that wool-grey bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Sonoma County photos on a Christmas eve. . . .

Christmas eve afternoon, we wandered around on Cherry Ridge, northwest of Sebastopol, in the Russian River Valley.

Vineyard on Cherry Ridge above Sebastopol
After dark, we walked down Snowman Lane in east Santa Rosa.

Snowman Lane
Mouse, rabbit, and cat were caroling. . . .

Mouse, rabbit, and cat caroling
Wine country dog friends were stringing lights. . . .

Dogs stringing Christmas lights
And Snoopy, whose doghouse is nearby, came by to put Mr. Snowman's hat on his head.

Snoopy putting the snowman's hat on his head.
All's well that end's well.

Paw-note: Much thanks to dog-ma fur readin' to us the original story A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

December 22, 2008

Double your pleasure: a coat that's a harness!

by winecountrydog

Some goshdog good things come in two's.

It was a twosies kind of day, this nippy number-two day of winter, when the two of us, Jack Corgi and I, went out to do walkies.

Toward us pranced two irrepressible Italian Greyhounds. Five-year-old siblings. Two arfully nice furriends to encounter. Beautiful, happy dogs. And what were the duo wearin' to keep the cold at bay but fashionable yet sturdy "horse-blanket" coats. Same style, different colors. Very attractive. Very warm.

Beyond good looks is something more important, howlever: These coats double as walking harnesses! Double your pleasure. Woof!

Jack and I always walk on harness. We've never experienced the sensation of being tugged about by our necks. We wear collars to attach ID tags to 'em, not leashes.

Canine Styles reflective horse-blanket coat
I've dog-googled the brand name of the coat (pictured above) so I could tell you about them. Here you go.
The Canine Styles Horse-Blanket Reflective Coat is the ultimate cold weather protection. Available in water and snow-proof nylon, Madison Plaid wax cloth, or cozy Canine Styles signature cotton plaid — all with warm faux-shearling lining. Fully adjustable straps that criss-cross around the body (forming an "X" underneath) and adjustable fastener-and-buckle neck openings let you customize the fit. The leash can attach to a sewn-in D-ring, thus letting the coat act as a safe and comfortable harness. Machine washable.
Now, there's one possible drawback — and that's a pun, as you'll see in a second. If you're a big, strong dog who pulls back a lot on your leash, you shouldn't really depend on the coat as a harness.

detail of horse-blanket coat, showing D-ring
Can you picture the consequences of straining too hard? You'd pull yourself right out of the coat, or pop it open like Dr. Bruce Banner's alter ego. In Banner's case, I can't say that good things come in two's. The Hulk's a bit scary.

two sweet Italian Greyhounds
Paw-note: There are beautiful Italian Greyhounds at IGCA Rescue and CIG Rescue who need furever homes. Paw-leeze take two!

December 15, 2008

The Cat House on the Kings

by winecountrydog

We were given an impawtant vlog link by our furriend Daisy, a beautiful black and white fur person who lives in Sacramento.

This is a vlog about The Cat House on the Kings, a no-cage, no-kill lifetime sanctuary and adoption center in Parlier, California. This unusual 12-acre cat house, founded by an exceptional cat lover named Lynea Lattanzio, is located in the central part of the state, on the Kings River.

All the happy cats are roaming free and hangin' out at one of the 10 or so feeding and bedding facilities on the property.

If this isn't one of the most amazing things you've ever seen, I'll refund your money in full. . . . Just kiddin'. You know I paw-write for the kicks, not the pawket change.

I heard Ms. Lattanzio tell youtube viewers, "I've always felt that, if they don't have a home, at least they have a life." I thought to myself that I don't know many cats who have a better home or a better life than those at The Cat House!

The Cat House rescues cats from local animal shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized, and from individuals and rescue groups who surrender unadoptable or otherwise unwanted cats.

An average of 700 adult cats reside at the sanctuary at any given time. Dogs live there in harmony with the cats. The number of kittens varies according to the season. Of course, all of the cats are welcome in the 4,200 square-foot house.

And where do 700 cats sleep? . . . Anywhere they want!

If you're drivin' up Highway 99 out of Los Angeles, go ahead, call The Cat House on the Kings (559-638-8696) and make an appointment to swing by and say hi.

Paw-note: You can see other Jack Perez youtubes if you look up the whospuss channel.

December 13, 2008

Corgi Winner in Dogster Coolest Dog & Cat Show

by pawlitico

Tilin Corgi and I want you to know that we love all dog breeds. This having been said, we admit that we find certain Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis arfully cute.

Take Lola the Pembroke, fur example. She has the 2008 winning "sleeper" photo in the Dogster & Catster 4th Annual World’s Coolest Dog & Cat Show.

Lola CGC is a World's Coolest Winner! at!

Photos don't get any cuter than this one of Lola asleep in her dog bowl. I guess Lola gets tired from doin' a lot of exercise with her human.

A lot of dogs don't get as much exercise as Lola. But they still eat an arful lot of food — pawbably lots of commercial kibble and other stuff that makes 'em obese.

I've grown up to be a dog who speaks my mind. I mean, when I have somethin' to howl about, I find it hard to hold back. So I'm gonna growl now:

Wassup with all the obese dogs!? I've seen so many of them lately: overweight dogs gobblin' down junky treats at howliday parties, super-obese dogs who can't jump up onto Santa's lap to get their photos taken, and so many obese Corgis and Basset Hounds — two breeds who are prone to back problems and injuries. We should never ever be allowed to carry extra weight.

C'mon, humans, do you love us dogs, or what!? If you love dogs, pawleeze quit overfeeding 'em!

Tilin Corgi and I stay slim. We learned to paw attention to proper weight 'cuz Tilin was prone to back problems. You know that Tilin's being trim and strong saved his life! . . . Need I howl more?

Paw-note: See all the super-cute photos of Lola CGC, including her runnin' around agilely, on her page. I hope I wasn't too howly and growly about the subject of overweight dogs. . . .

December 2, 2008

Over my head

by winecountrydog

I've been putting my nose in the air a lot lately to check out what's going on over my head. Outside, that is. I started hearing honking on Thanksgiving. Lots of different honking. This has been going on at different times of the day and evening.

Finally I saw them: birds who honk as they fly! I ran right back inside to dog-google this phenonomen.

flock of Canadian Geese flying in formation
It turns out that my doghaus is right under the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south route of travel for migratory birds. The honkers I hear are Canadian geese making their way from the nearby Laguna de Santa Rosa to points south!

Methinks this is arfully interesting. The Canadian goose species is called Branta canadensis. Baby geese are called goslings. See the cute gosling in photo below.

Baby gosling
Bird lovers say that migratory birds travel some or all of the same route every year, at around the same time. (Howl do they know? I wonder.)

The geese like to stop at Laguna de Santa Rosa because it's an impawtant food source.

The Laguna is a 14-milelong (22.5 kilometer) wetlands area in Sonoma County, California, and the largest tributary of Mark West Creek. The Laguna's main tributary streams rise on southern slopes of the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains.

The Laguna has different habitat types, including freshwater riparian forest and freshwater seasonal wetlands and vernal pools, and a tule marsh. Some rare and endangered species, like the California freshwater shrimp, are found there. . . . Or maybe I should say, are rarely found there. Still, the Laguna de Santa Rosa is the area's most abundant and biologically diverse wildlife habitat. Humans call it an ecological "national treasure."

More than 200 species of birds besides my honking furriends either reside in the Laguna or stop to feed and rest there when they're migrating.

Now, my story gets more interesting: There's a question in my dogmind and ear about what the honkers are really up to this time of year. Are they flying south, or are they circling back to the Laguna?

According to ornithologists, bird migration routes have changed in some areas due to changes in habitat and food sources. In mild climates, such as in my area and up into parts of the Pacific Northwest, it is known that some of the bird populations have become non-migratory because they don't have to deal with former predators. Methinks my local honkers might have joined the non-migrators' club.

I can't yet prove that my flying furriends are faking migration. Right now, it's all over my head. I'm just a clueless corgi who watches the sky and wonders.