Monday, April 30, 2012

True or False? Corgi Owners Tend to Be Extroverts

Hint: I said "tend" to be extroverts, not "are" extroverts. (smile)

So, if you answered "false," according to a study done by Jo Fearon and Dr. Lance Workman of Bath Spa University, presented earlier this month to the British Psychological Society, you'd be wrong.

Um, yes, we are extrovert magnets.

According to their study, based on a survey of 1,000 dog owners, who answered questions about their own personality traits, one could draw the conclusion that owners of dogs in the Herding/Pastoral group (i.e. Welsh Corgis, German Shepherds) are more extroverted than, say, owners of dogs in the Hound group (who, incidentally, tend to be more "emotionally stable." I do not make this stuff up).

Here are the high-level findings for each dog breed group:

Group                                                 Owner Personality


Herding (Pastoral):                                     Extroverted

Non-Sporting (Utility):                                 Extroverted and Conscientious

Sporting (Gundogs):                                   Agreeable 

Toy                                                           Agreeable and Open

Hound                                                       Emotionally Stable 

Working                                                    Agreeable

Terrier                                                       Open


In presenting his study at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Dr. Workman said: 
"This study indicates that we might be able to make predictions about someone's personality based on the breed of dog that they choose to own. It seems likely that personality types are subconsciously drawn to certain breeds."
*** 

Okay (Elizabeth talking here), so if the above statement is true, does it mean that an introvert (for example) should naturally shy away from herding breeds (like Welsh Corgis)?

And if that's true, then does it mean that certain people (hypothetically speaking) who think they are introverts, but who are coo coo for Cocoa Puffs about Cardigan Welsh Corgis (for example), are really not introverts, after all, but extroverts??????? 


Well, if so, I hope someone sends those people a memo before they mislead any other poor unsuspecting dog blog readers friends and acquaintances!   

(By the way, someone should also tell Dr. Workman that he might not have used the right sample of people. Just sayin'.)


***


So, what say you?

Do the results of this study hold true for you and your dogs?

Friday, April 27, 2012

By Request: Nothin' but Butts!

For: Peggy and Sue K. :)

This post is rated PG (Posteriorly Gratuitous). 

Presented in Lightbox (if you click a photo), starring Jon Farleigh and Dewi...

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Butt-palooza!


















Vintage Butts



Shorn Butt





Have a fanny-tastic weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It Sucks to Be Hungry...or a Baby Mockingbird in My Yard

Warning: Disturbing mental images might occur when reading parts of this post, despite my feeble attempts at humor. Just sayin'.

Why eat one when you can have the whole wheel (of cheese), aka box?

When one is hungry, one can get cranky and decide to eat things that might not be appropriate:

Like too many peanut butter sandwiches (me), WAY too many Cheez-Its (also me)...

Or baby Mockingbirds (not me).

There are a couple reasons why I'm sharing this information with you:

1)  I have been cranky from hunger since Monday, April 9; however, because my summer wardrobe (from 2011) shrank a half size over the winter and I really can't afford to get a new one, instead of soothing my hunger with PB and baked cheddar goodness, I am now soothing with baby carrots, spoon-size shredded wheat and dill pickles.
In other words, I'm still cranky. 

2)  Something hungry ate all the baby Mockingbirds that hatched from the three eggs in the nest in the shrub in my yard. Which, you might recall, I wrote a sweet little blog post about, promising to update you with photos of the babies once they hatched.

R.I.P.

So. [5-second pause]

Instead of posting photos of the half-destroyed bird's nest* (or the hours-old babies that are now over the bird bridge), I have decided to show you some photos of Jon Farleigh and Dewi as puppies.

7 weeks
You're welcome.
10 weeks
Don't mention it. :)

***

See you tomorrow!


*No idea what got the birds, but I found a Cooper's hawk's tail feather near the scene. :(

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Classic Cardigan: We Were Destined for Each Other

Well, turns out our little Sheltie friend, Devon Grey, is here for one more night, so - because I'm too bleary eyed to type anything afresh - I'm going to share with you one of my very first posts.

Could Jon Farleigh and Dewi have been destined for life with me?

Originally published on January 19, 2011:

An Accidental Cardi Fool


Okay, so last night I was flipping through the channels and ran across the 1988 film (based on the 1985 same-titled novel by Anne Tyler) The Accidental Tourist. Since I'm a hopeless Cardigan Welsh Corgi fool, I already knew that one of the main characters in the movie is a tri-color Cardi named Edward. Of course I tuned in - and for any other Cardi fool out there reading this, if you haven't seen this movie, please do yourself a favor and rent it. The action can be slow at times; however, if you can get past that and the depressing score, it's wonderful entertainment. It's the quirky and adorable Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Edward, however, that steals the screen.

That was my two-cent movie review. (I'll be keeping my day job, thanks.)

Now, the reason I had to write this post is not because I want everyone to go rent the movie; it's because into the first 20 minutes or so of watching it, I realized that the seed of my deeply-rooted Cardi fancy (aka foolery) was not planted three years ago - when I accidentally discovered that there was a second, lesser known corgi breed with a tail -  but 22 years ago when I first saw the movie The Accidental Tourist.

I can still remember the day I bought the book in my college bookstore ('86). I chose it from all the other "best-sellers" on the shelf because the cover art was cool, it had good reviews and most importantly, there was a funny dog in the plot summary (I never claimed to be an intellectual). I ended up reading the book several times before I saw the film. Anyway, as I was watching last night, I started to get a vague recollection of being completely thunderstruck in the movie - all those years ago - by the most charming little actor dog I had ever seen. Of course back then - without the modern luxury called Google - I most likely assumed Edward was some sort of Basset/German Shepherd mix; wanted desperately to have one just like him; however, resolved to never find another one in "real life," and not too long after that, forgot all about it.

Last night as all of this started coming back to me, and as I gazed down at my beloved stubby-legged Boys (who were barking loudly at the dog on TV), I sat in amazement at how some things just seem to work out.  Like they were meant to be. Maybe I'm not an accidental Cardi fool after all. :)

***

I'm taking a little breather tomorrow (Wednesday). See you back here on Thursday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's Black and White and Sniffed All Over?

A. Lulabelle

Lulabelle

B. Our guest Sheltie, Devon Grey

Devon Grey (Okay, so maybe he's gray, black and white...and a cutie to boot.)

C. Both A. and B.

The answer is C. And neither A. nor B. appreciate it. :) Poor Jon Farleigh and Dewi.

***

Our doggie guest is here until the morning and I am a little behind (with the blog post today - or is it already tomorrow? oops).

Whatever time it is for you, I hope it's a good one!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dogs Go to Busch Gardens (Again) - An Updated Pet Care Center Review

UPDATE 4/19/13: The Pet Care Center at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (during the off-season) was improved with HVAC, providing heat and air conditioning to the entire facility, as needed. Because of these updates, the daily board fee per pet has increased to $20 ($18 for season pass members). 

****

This is an update to the review I wrote one year ago about the Pet Care Center (dog kennel) at the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA.


In case you've already read the original review (which is posted in its entirety below), let me first say that our experience this season (last Friday, April 13, to be exact) was just as it has always been: Great!

Even though it was a crowded day at the park (Spring break for many), we had no glitches getting the dogs' kennel passes (still $7 each for pass members/$10 all others), which we purchased upon paying to park, and we drove straight to a row of empty parking spaces directly in front of the Pet Care Center (which also - per last year's review - happens to be right beside the park entrance - woo hoo!).

Now, since Jon Farleigh and Dewi are park veterans (and have Mapquest-like travel memories), as soon as we pulled into the park, they both wiggled and whined to get out of the car, practically dragging us straight to the Pet Care Center's gate. (If that wasn't a sign that they like it there, then I don't know what is.)

I need to get out, okaaayyy?

The ladies working in the kennel were cheerful, professional and obviously cared about the animals. As it turns out, there were a few older dogs (and one blind one) already there when we arrived, so I was asked at check-in whether Jon Farleigh and Dewi like to bark. (Um, yes.) So, understandably, they were placed in an area where their "talking" wouldn't upset the seniors too much.  

They wound up across the way from a happy young lab-mix and it was all good.

I have received a couple questions about the size of the kennel in which JF and Dewi are placed (together). Unfortunately, I can't give an exact measurement, but I will guess that it's at least six feet wide and five feet high. A large bloodhound in the same size kennel was able to stand with plenty of room to spare (on all sides).

I can also tell you that the smaller dogs are kept in smaller (but still roomy) kennels toward the front of the building. 

I took this photo from outside at dusk, but you can see there is plenty of room in that
corner kennel for the Dalmatian. The two adjacent kennels each housed two large labs.

So what did I do in the 3.5 hours that the dogs were hanging out in their breezy kennel under the shade trees?

Yes, it's called Prince Elmo's Spire. Yes, THAT Elmo. The only ride I rode.
Because I am a thrill-seeker! ;)
(However, I will remind you that I am FEARLESS when it comes to shoe-grabbing pavement goblins.)

Time to Go Home

The kennel attendant remembered us when we returned to pick up the boys. She said they'd been just fine and that she (and the other attendant) had been back to visit with them quite a bit. (Honestly, I think JF and Dewi's stubby legs made her a little gaga. ;)

So there you have it. Another glowing review for the 2012 season. (What a relief!)

How fast does this thing go? It's dinner time.

Feel free to ask questions!

***

Here is my original review, dated April 21, 2011:

Jon Farleigh & Dewi Do Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA 

Well, at least the Pet Care Center at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA, a spectacular theme park only an hour from my home.

Voted "The World's Most Beautiful Theme Park"

My three kids are out of school this week for Spring Break (explaining my limited blog activity, and if you were here, the piles of rubble amongst the pet hair in all corners of my home). [sigh] So yesterday, wanting to enjoy the balmy mid-eighties outside and to have someone else clean up after them for a day, I loaded the dogs, my three kids (plus one friend) into my car and headed due east on I-64. It was well worth the trip.

Now in case you're wondering, Jon Farleigh and Dewi were not treated to pooch-sized thrill rides and funnel cakes; nope, they, instead, hung out in the Pet Care Center nestled amongst clusters of mature hardwood trees and conveniently located near the park's main entrance.

A view from the front

Since the Pet Care Center is located close to the main entrance, parking is choice (no tram commuting from parking lots afar). (A real bonus on days like yesterday with record park attendance.)

Kennel admission fees are paid at the main gate
 - with parking fees, if any.

Pet owners are not required to provide proof of vaccination; however, Jon Farleigh and Dewi are up-to-date (and just to be safe, I brought their most recent shot records with me). (I'd use strong caution boarding an animal with compromised or immature immunity.)

A side view (Jon Farleigh's and Dewi's kennel was midway
 down this side of the building, behind the hedge.)

The kennel building is not air-conditioned; however, because it's nestled in the trees on a breezy hilltop, the indoor temperature is always comfortable (even for a fluffy corgi on a hot summer's day).

"Hi, mom!"
Note: The floor is not dirty; it had recently been sprayed and cleaned.
Busch Gardens is an immaculate theme park, Pet Care Center included.

So here we are strolling back to the boys' accommodations after one of several potty/exercise breaks. (Kennel staff are not permitted to remove pets from their kennels for any reason other than emergency; therefore, owners must return periodically to walk their pets and/or provide a snack. Staff members do, however, frequently provide all dogs with clean, cool water to drink.)

Each time we have used the facility, the staff has been most pleasant and professional. Truthfully, Busch Gardens employs many local retirees during the park season, and the Pet Care Center must be a popular gig...but, think about it -- having someone's "grandpa" take care of your dog for the day just has to be a win-win situation.

I didn't get a good photo of the size of this kennel, but,
as you can see, it's large enough to comfortably hold
both dogs, with plenty of room to spare.
(My camera flash makes the space look darker than it really is.)

snacks, extra water, poop bags and leashes 

It's okay if you forget the poop bags; they're provided.

checking pee mail
bird watching
park entrance

So off we go to enjoy the park...

The Griffon

200 feet straight down at over 70 miles per hour

I threw up after this ride and we had to leave. (No, not really. I would never ride this -- darned inner ears -- but my kids do.)

Pint anyone?

I threw up after this attraction and we had to leave. (No, not really. I would never throw up in public after drinking irresponsibly in a fake Irish pub at a theme park.)

More...Pet Shenanigans

I did not throw up after attending this show and we did not leave...until much later. This is, in fact, an adorable show where former shelter animals of all sorts (dogs, cats, rats, parrots, ducks, pigs...and growing) perform amazing tricks for their doting trainers. (Seriously people, these animals and their trainers are amazing. Busch Gardens goes to great lengths to promote shelter adoption and wildlife preservation.)

*****

At the end of the day, Jon Farleigh and Dewi were happy to be sprung from the kennel and slept like puppies all the way home. :)

Should you be traveling near Williamsburg, Virginia with your dog(s) and want to explore Busch Gardens, I would absolutely recommend the Pet Care Center. Please contact me (comment or e-mail) if you have any questions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So Long, Picnik, It's Been Fun

...frolicking in the warmth of your Polachrome sun.
In your final hours, know that I'll remember you fondly
Each time I go bananas with your cousin, PicMonkey.

(Picmonkey.com screenshot by Elizabeth)

***

The sun will set for the final time tonight on the popular photo editing site Picnik.com.

But there's good news:

PicMonkey.com, created by the makers of Picnik, is darn near just as awesome (some things are actually better). And I should know; I've tested it.

See?

Straight out of the camera

Basic color editing at PicMonkey.com

And one more...

Straight out of the camera

Basic color editing plus "Urbane" effect at PicMonkey.com

You really should go and try this with your own photos!

Ta-ta!

P.S. Here's a nice, more detailed review about the basic capabilities of PicMonkey.com.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sometimes I Complain about Being a Kid's Taxi Service (But They Don't)






You should see them when I pull into the school parking lot.

Them: Sheer jubilation.

Me: Perspective.

:-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Classic Cardigan: Jon Farleigh Improvises as a Bumblebee

One year ago almost to the day, in honor of spring, I dressed Jon Farleigh and Dewi up as a bumblebee and butterfly, respectively. It was great fun! (For real.)

And because the same exact flowers and creatures are gracing my garden these days, I though it might be fun to rerun the post in which Jon Farleigh has A LOT to say about his particular "bee" predicament.

So without further ado, from April 26, 2011:

With Captions: The Many Faces of 'Bumblebee' Jon Farleigh

#1
Jon Farleigh immediately regretted having gone
with the spicy burrito from Taco Bell.

#2
"Hey, there; wanna see my stinger?" 

#3
"Ackk ackkk ackk...I gotta stop smokin, man."

#4
 "...la la la la la la la la la la la La...
Figaro Figaro Figaro Figaro FIGARO!!..."

#5
"heh heh...Pull my finger."

#6
Jon Farleigh refused to look at the camera until
his person agreed to refer to him as
"The Harry Hornet."

#7
Jon Farleigh just realized he could have saved 15%
by switching to Geico.

#8
"Psst. I see cat krispies under that rose bush.
Let's eat 'em and then give her a kiss."

#9
"Guess what? I peed in your shoes. Oh, my bad, you don't speak dog." 

Bonus: Double Head-tilt

#10
"Say what? Did she just tell us to do the Macarena?"

Toodles!

***

P.S. On a personal note, you all rock for reading, and in some cases, re-reading this and other posts on my blog. I am humbled, as ever, for the time you invest in me, my pets and this crazy chronicle of mine.

That said, and some of you might have noticed, I'm having some struggles keeping up with (replying to and leaving) comments. (More on this another day.) But anyway, please know that I am thankful for every note you've left and that I haven't forgotten about you (and if you have a blog, I haven't stopped visiting you; I do visit LOTS of you)!

I will return (to comment land), but in the meantime, thanks for not calling me mean, cable-TV words...or rolling my blog in T.P. :)

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