I have been pretty terrible at updating my blog for the past three or four years. I know I say this often, but I’m going to rectify that with a little life update post right now.
Pretty much everyone that reading this already knows about Lily, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi that Sam and I picked up on June 7, 2013. She was born on March 17th, 2013, which is the day St. Patrick’s Day fell on that year. Her breeders called her “Patty” because of this (yes, I know it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day).
She was 8.2 lbs when we got her (most of it ears, probably). We picked her up when she was 11 weeks old, which means she was a little bigger than most puppies are when people usually pick them up (~8 weeks). We would’ve gotten her earlier if it were possible, but it wasn’t, and it certainly didn’t deter us.
When we first started looking into getting a corgi, I didn’t know that there were two breeds: Pembrokes and Cardigans. Lily (as I mentioned) is the former of the two, which is the most popular breed. Apparently there are around 20 Pembrokes to every Cardigan. We picked getting a Pembroke I think mostly based on their popularity and that they’d be easier to find.
I wanted a tri-color at first (white/black/tan, etc), but I wasn’t really super picky about that. The more I looked at pictures of puppy and adult corgis, the more I liked the tan and white color combination and changed my mind as to what I would prefer. I don’t remember if Sam had any preferences regarding whether the puppy was a boy or girl, but she also wasn’t particularly concerned about the color. So though I had my preferences, color wasn’t strict, but the sex of the puppy was (the men in my family swear that girl dogs are easier to train and are more well-behaved in general, and they’ve had plenty of dogs).
Sam happened to find a breeder that had one girl left in tan and white, which was exactly what we wanted, if we’d been given the choice. I’m certain Lily could’ve been any color and we’d have still wanted her, but that’s just the way it happened to work out! The breeder was trying to figure out if she was going to make “Patty” a show dog, and I think she probably would’ve had she not been “mis-marked”. Show dogs have to be marked a certain way or they’re not eligible to show, and puppies’ markings are a bit hard to discern when they’re young. It turned out that Lily’s face is half tan, half white, and definitely not symmetrical, so she was considered mis-marked.
That means that breeder had one extra unclaimed puppy right at the time that Sam reached out to her, which in the corgi world, is very unlikely. You typically have to put your name on a waiting list and be willing to wait half a year or more to get an AKC, purebred corgi puppy not from a puppy mill.
Lily is now a full grown, 23.5 lb spoiled brat dog. She’s a little small for an adult female corgi (I think they’re usually 25-28 lbs), but she’s very majestic when she’s not sleeping. She listens halfway-decently to commands in the house, but at the dog park or around strange people or situations, she generally doesn’t care what we have to say to her. She loves other dogs, and these days, she’s well-behaved enough to be left in the house for a while without worrying about her. Lily has a very sweet, playful personality, and like most corgis, she’s very loyal and constantly wants to be around us (or at least in the same room as us).
Interesting tidbit about Lily – most Pembrokes have their tails docked soon after they are born as part of a tradition that doesn’t really mean anything anymore (corgis are herders and originally their tails were docked so livestock wouldn’t step on and injure their tails; these days I think it’s only still done as tradition of the breed). However, I think Lily is a natural bobtail, as there is absolutely no trace of a tail anywhere on her butt, whereas with most dogs who’ve had their tail docked, there’s a little nub.
After we had Lily for a while, we knew we wanted another corgi. This time, however, I was pretty adamant: I wanted a merle blue Cardigan girl. Sam, luckily for me, is just not picky about that kind of stuff, so she was all for it. This is, without a doubt, the most sought-after Cardigan combination, so out of the already hard to find Cardigans, a blue girl would be even harder. We put our names on a breeder’s waiting list back in May of this year, expecting to get a puppy around January if the breeder had a mis-marked blue girl (as popular as blue girls are as show dogs, there’s not a large chance the breeder would give one up unless it was mis-marked or they were lucky enough to have two in the same litter).
Sam reached out to this breeder again a couple of months ago to check and see if anything had changed, and everything was still on track for him to have puppies available in January. However, just a week or two later, he reached out to us with news that one of his breeder friends had a blue girl available the very next weekend because someone had to back out due to some very unfortunate circumstances involving a family member. Sam reached out to that breeder, she sent us pictures and info, and we immediately knew we wanted her.
The breeder called her “Star,” and she was incredibly mis-marked in probably the best way possible. About three-quarters of her face is white, with a black ring around her right eye and a patch of brown and merled blue going back to her ear on the same side. Her left eye is brown and her right eye is three-quarters blue and a quarter brown. It’s super cool, and I absolutely love heterochromia in dogs (and in general it’s pretty interesting). Of course, most of her body is merle blue and white, but she has a splotch of brown on her back feet and a band of it around one of her front legs.
We named her Mochi (yes, like the Japanese pounded rice snack). The day we picked her up, October 3rd, she turned 9 weeks old (her birthday is August 3rd) and weighed 7.1 lbs. Her front paws are about as big as Lily’s, and so are her ears, even though she’s so little. I think this is due to the breed difference, as Pembrokes and Cardigans do vary just a little in physical appearance since they are technically separate (yet very closely related) breeds.
Cardigans supposedly are slightly less friendly to strangers than Pembrokes, and (again, supposedly) have a few other personality differences from Pembrokes, but I have yet to be able to tell the difference. Perhaps it’s because Mochi is so young and we’ve only had her for a little over three weeks, but the way that she interacts with us and the people that have met her seems incredibly familiar to how Lily acted. Although, I must admit that neither Sam nor I can remember if Lily squirmed quite as much when being held at Mochi’s age, and Mochi definitely barks a bit more than I remember Lily barking when we leave her alone in her crate.
Because Lily likes and gets along so well with other dogs, I never really had any doubt that Lily would have issues with another dog in the house. She was at first very suspicious, and spent most of the first day doing various things that apparently “asserted her dominance,” according to the Interwebs. By the second day, though, a lot of that had already faded, and they started playing and doing all of the fun things that dogs do together. Lily is a very kind big sister to Mochi, or at least I like to think. Sometimes she bites Mochi’s tail when they’re playfighting, which is kind of funny since Mochi can’t do that back.
One of the benefits of having a young adult dog while having a new puppy is that Lily is a good babysitter for Mochi. With Lily, we had to constantly pay attention to her because we were all she had to play with. Anyone that’s ever had a puppy probably knows how exhausting that is. As cute as they are, they’re a handful, and though I’ll miss Mochi being tiny, I do look forward to the day where she stops biting everything and peeing in the house. It’s nice to be able to leave Lily out when we go to the movies or whatever and not have to worry about her destroying anything or feel bad about having to keep her in a crate.
Anyway, so now we have two dogs, and it’s pretty great, because dogs are the best.