Is That You Santa Claus?

Me, a corgi with people, walking down an avenue in Willow Glen. Enjoying the sidewalks, sniffing the usual wee, from the unknown dogs of the exotic area.

Then I get scooped up and presented to this very frightening character. He wore a false beard, odd clothing and protective gloves. He hid his mouth and true hair. Why did everyone seem to trust him?

This season be very careful. There seem to be quite a few of these guys around.

Yours, Ranger the Corgi

XmasSantaRangerX_ehuffman

 

 

 

Holiday Decorations, on Me!

Yes, it’s time for Holiday Decorations, on me! Tis the season that the humans find all sorts of odd things put on corgis. In these holiday cards (see below) I am springing forth, ready to replace Rudolph at a moments notice, full of Christmas spirit! (Golden jingle bells, and plush antlers purchased at Goodwill for $5 total, such a deal!)

Tah dah! Drum roll and bugle blast please! Holiday cards 2014!
There are three.

The first is best because there’s a Kincaid painting in the background. When you see those cozy cottages it makes a corgi wonder how nice it might be to lie by the fire, drink cocoa, eat desiccated liver, and have a belly rub. There’s cocoa in that cottage for sure!

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Because we do not like to plagiarize other people’s art we did a couple of other versions. Though we like Kincaid’s background art the best. (Note to Kincaid’s estate: we are not selling these and never will. This is for entertainment purposes only and we fully acknowledge the stunning and cheery beauty of Thomas’s art. Ranger the Corgi is a good guy and will always acknowledge the art of others.)

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That version (above) wasn’t so great. But we had a photo of some Christmas lights lying around, so what the hey.

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Then there was this image (above), we used a public domain snow scene. We can work with that, right! Not bad. Two paws up!


To make these holiday cards my human did something she calls “photoshopping.” She transformed the gray sidewalk of reality into a winter wonderland, not once, but three different times for the holiday cards.

Want to see the original photo, from the sidewalk near Companion Animal Hospital? I knew you would. It was a very savory location that all the canines had carefully marked.

0982companion_ehuffman, Ranger in holiday antlers and jingle bells sits outside the vet's office with a unhappy expression. Get these decorations off me!

First I just wasn’t in the holiday spirit. What I endure for my human’s whims!

0973orig_ehuffman, Ranger's expression changes "But then I saw how much attention I was getting from the vet staff, and there was the scent of holiday dog biscuits in the winter air!" He's ready for his photoshoot.

Then I saw how much attention I was getting and there was the scent of holiday dog biscuits in the winter air!

At first I felt kind of “meh” about the photo shoot. The antlers were pinching my head, the bells jingling in my delicate ears. I said “Hey wait a minute! You need to talk to my agent!” But the vet techs, my human, the paparazzi, were all just snapping away. “He’s so cute. He’s so handsome.” Sure, but where are the biscuits! If you haven’t seen this corgi video beautifully illustrating “meh” dogittude about costumes then you really should:

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Ranger gets some loving, and gives some back, at Project Purr.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.


Okay, so all this decorating and fussing about pictures was lots of fun, for the human. However I enjoyed a more reflective and socially responsible moment when I visited Project Purr. (see photo of me reclining, above) They help rescue cats. http://www.projectpurr.org/index.html I’m in favor of that. Rescue them and then chase them, good plan. Here I am doing some corgi therapy at Project Purr, in their Rescued Treasures shop.

I hope that lady liked her corgi therapy as much as I did, “a little to the left and get that spot under my chin, ahh, that’s it!” says Ranger.


I haven’t written in so long that I afraid I’ll wear you guys out trying to show you everything…however, because I’ve been to the vet recently we’ll go from the “Holidays” to the “Paw Maladies.” I had a mass in my foot…not a Christmas Mass, a lump. It was removed by a highly skilled surgeon and staff. It was a big deal, because I am a big deal. When I was at the vet’s office I saw a cork board with lot’s of dog pictures on it.

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Cork board at the vet’s office. Wait a minute? Is that I picture of me? Forget Waldo, where’s Ranger?

Cool, look at all those faces! Now wait a minute! I’m in there. Can you find me? Well see the picture below, there I am! This was taken while I was having fun at the vet. I was smiling a lot to let them know I was a really good friend and that they shouldn’t hurt me or spare any biscuits in pampering me.

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I’m hoping to get to some real snow sometime soon, now that the Sierras actually have snow. My paw is still healing, so my humans might have to buy me some little winter boots, lined with soft fur. Then the Queen and Pappy Snack Pockets can bundle me up in a wool coat and pull me around on a toboggan loaded with dog treats. That would work.

So that’s it, the end of 2014. It was a weird year. High points: 1. Rolling in a very smelly cheesy substance over at Luna’s yard…it made my humans gag. It was that good! 2. Going to the Puppy Breath Boutique and chowing down on desiccated lung! 3. Getting my herding HT title to add to my herding PT title. So now I’m Ranger the Corgi, HT, PT. I’m qualified for sheep herding. Now where are those sheep! No sheep in the suburbs. This is a problem for me…but, I digress. Low points: my horse died so I don’t have one anymore. My paw hurt and had to have surgery. Well, it wasn’t an easy year…but I try to stay “on the good foot” at least until the other one heals. I hold good thoughts and images for 2015. I hope it is filled with happiness, sheep and biscuits for all of you!

As we say in herding “Keep walking! Don’t stop to argue with your dog. Don’t frighten the sheep. Keep walking.”
—Ranger the Corgi

Cleaning Up the Beach

Woof! Not good! Alert! Very messy people left heaps of garbage on our favorite beach. Yesterday we worked with Save Our Shores to help clean up the debris. It was like a treasure hunt for icky things and I did kind of get into it! It was fun (kind of). Of course, it’s more fun NOT to have to clean up the beach. It’s more fun when the beach is already clean. Then you can run on the beach, play, chase other dogs, dig a hole, roll on a dead seagull, maybe pee on drift wood. So it wasn’t the best best fun, but it was fun compared lying under a desk or driving too many miles in the back seat of a car. The humans seemed to get some satisfaction out of it, so that was good, and I was happy with them for making the place look nice again.

No one likes a dirty beach. Even the people who make a dirty beach don’t like a dirty beach. That’s ironic…or is it? Even slobs must be disappointed when they get to the beach and it’s covered with garbage. Hey, this place used to be nice!

Ranger and his pals help with a monthly clean up at Davenport Beach.

Ranger and his pals help with a monthly clean up at Davenport Beach.

Here is a photo of me (the handsome corgi on the lower right) with Jeff and Elise, and a guy and a dog, after the clean up. Wait a minute here’s a news flash from Kait: The “guy” on the left is Haig (a human and Master of Extreme Beach Cleanups. He’s there every weekend!!!) and Oden is the dog with his nose in the garbage. He is the unoffical Extreme Cleanup mascot, so I guess I won’t be. Oden is cool. My hackles didn’t go up at all around him. So, he’s okay with me. Save Our Shores does a weekly Extreme Cleanup of Davenport Main Beach from 9-11 every Sunday through the summer.  Kait says that “If we didn’t do a weekly cleanup, we’d be in some real trouble trying to remove what I can only imagine would be 1000+ pounds of trash..” Yup, I can only carry about a pound of hot dogs, so that means we’ll need more help…more people…and more dogs to get it done.

There were a few other clean up folks but they left before the photo was taken, Sage, Ed…and others. Sending a “woof” out to you all! Of course that’s Jeff hiding behind that beard and Elise hiding behind that hat..

Kait M. took this nice photo. That was after she helped pick up garbage. Then she organized all the trash and recyclables into different bags. Then took a photo. She’s so talented!

These are some of the things we found: beer cans and bottles, old salsa, tuperware, starbucks coffee cups, shredded or clumpy tissue paper, bottles of unfinished alcohol (bad flavors) “Red Hot Cinnamon Whiskey,” and “Blueberry Vodka” (blue). I guess the flavors were so bad that the people who chose them couldn’t even drink them. There was a axe handle and a plastic shovel; a tube of something from Victoria’s Secret called “Sexy Kim” and a homeless person’s blanket. There was a digital music recording for a greeting card (Copacabana? Probably had a dancing hamster on it). There was a mysterious zip lock bag with “Destiny” written on it. It was empty. There was a red rose; a green piece of chewing gum; a broken chair, a package of uneaten cream cheese (dang!); and more cigarette butts than you could shake a stick at (not that anyone tried). There was even a hotdog (I wanted to eat it but the humans snatched it away. They can be very greedy.)

This photo does not show how much work it was to clean up the beach. It doesn’t let you know how it smelled: stinky. All the trash and recycling weighted a total of 268 pounds! Yikes! There were 83 pounds of trash and 187 pounds of recycling. (Wait a minute, someone needs to check the math.) That makes 270 pounds. Don’t look at me. I can’t actually count up to more than “some” or “many.”

Thank you to anyone who ever helped clean up a beach ever in their life. And  Grrrr!!!Grrrr!!! ARfff!” to those who leave the trash. If you ever want to help clean up a beach just do it. Take a garbage bag to the beach and put trash in it. It’s easy. If you want to have company while you do it check out Save Our Shores. You can donate and/or volunteer. You can put that little paper token thing in the slot for them at New Leaf Market or go here and find out more: http://saveourshores.org/

Of course right after this photo was taken it was time to haul that stuff up the hill to the parking lot, to the garbage cans. Our stuff couldn’t even fit in a garbage can…well I’m sure that it was taken away somehow.

So here’s my question: What happens next? Where does that trash go? How do you throw away a garbage can*?

—Ranger the Corgi

On a wind swept Point Reyes beach we free style collected this flotsam.

On a wind swept Point Reyes beach, years ago, we collected this flotsam. Most of the ickier stuff was not photographed but went straight into the dumpster.

*”how do you throw away a trash can”—Steven Wright

Get sheepies!

Or, how I earned my title: Ranger the Corgi, HT!

Ranger and his aherding ribbons

My first ribbon for sheep herding…now I’m Ranger the Corgi, HT!

July 4th, 2013, in extreme heat I earned my AKC “Herding Tested” title. I’m now qualified to herd sheep. Next I’ll get a LinkedIn account and get some professional gigs! If you have sheep, please consider having me. I know how to move ’em!

Click on the link below to enjoy my first action-packed video. Sorry about the dirt on the lens…I licked it, but it didn’t fix the problem.

This video is set, though unedited because as a dog I’m limited in my iMovie skills, to “Stink” a wonderful corgi-endorsed song by John Lurie from the movie, appropriately enough “Get Shorty.” (Yes, that was a run on sentence. I love those!)

Pappy Snack Pockets filmed me, and called the movie:

Ranger Earns His Title

Woo hoo, woof! I have a wonderful sense of accomplishment AND I endured the heat AND kept my focus. What can I say?! I rocked the barnyard! I shook the sheep world! I made my mark! (It’s on the fence post in the middle of the second stretch of the pen. When I made that mark, by the way, Elise yelled “no pee pee! no pee pee!” I stared at her, “you’ve got to be kidding! I have to pee here! It’s the law!” She describes me as defiant. I describe her as clueless!)

The best advise we’ve gotten for herding, by the way, is “KEEP ON WALKING.” If you stop and fuss or, ahem…try to fight your dog (me)…things can go wrong. Best to keep moving and things (sheep) fall into place. Your corgi will help see to that.

Remember, if you want things to go alright, just try not to be so uptight! Keep on walking!

Thank you to Clinton Abbott for being a good trainer. He’s training Elise, I already know what I’m doing.

Still shots from Vacaville CA, at Herding 4 Ewe ranch (get it? “Herding 4 Ewe?” I knew you would!):

I told her, "mom, you can't hypnotize them!" how embarrassing.

I told her, “mom, you can’t hypnotize them!” how embarrassing.

See, we did it!

See, we did it!

Relaxing with Jeff in the shade. LIfe is good!

Relaxing with Jeff in the shade. Life is good!

—Ranger the Corgi, HT

(“HT” for AKC Herding Tested! Baroo baroo, I did it!)

Take Only Memories

Little portrait of me, Ranger the Corgi, and the lupines at Fort Ord.  Photoshop "oil painting" of  handsome me and the lupines.<br />Pappy Snack Pockets, is that a biscuit you've got there?<br />(All photos and digital paintings on Ranger's blog by Elise Huffman.)

Little portrait of me. Photoshop “oil painting” of  handsome me and the lupines.
Pappy Snack Pockets, is that a biscuit you’ve got there?
(All photos and digital paintings on Ranger’s blog by Elise Huffman.)

If you go to Fort Ord National Monument in Monterey/Salinas, California remember to take your dog. He/she can be there. Yay! Remember to take along some water and a camera (with charged batteries) to capture and refresh your memories.

A picnic is also a good idea. Be extravagant. Buy handcrafted bread, boutique peppered jerky, and local wine,  some vegetables, maybe an avocado. Bring iced tea. A cookie. Bring some dog biscuits and some warm, smelly Camembert to share with your dog.

With 86 miles of trails and 7,200 acres this park is huge. But not many trees for shade. As a corgi, forced by nature to wear a black fur coat at all times, this is a consideration. If possible go when there’s some fog to cool things down, or a little breeze, or bring a little stroller with a sun umbrella for the corgi.

Jeff and Ranger under the California Oaks at Fort Ord, some welcome shade.

Under the California Oaks at Fort Ord, some welcome shade.

Attention humans!: 1. Don’t walk too fast. 2. Don’t jerk on the leash. 3. Stop for overheated corgi breaks. This may require waiting while your corgi digs a shallow hole to lie in. Be patient. You need a rest too, especially after that wine you had with your picnic.

“Take only memories, (and photos and of course those dog poo bags)
Leave only footprints. (and wee.)”—Ranger the Corgi.

Lupines on the hillside at Fort Ord National Park.

Lupines on the hillside in the foreground.

There are millions of lupines here. Lupines smell wonderful and sweet. A little too sweet for my liking. Far better sprinkled with a little corgi pee.

Fort Ord hillside with a dusting of lupines.

Dusting of lupines in the distance. Yes, it’s Photoshopped. When the photos aren’t so great and you only have a few, it’s time for Photoshop.

Cattle dogs, mutts, humans, mountain bikes, horses carrying lazy humans, me, and “nature enthusiasts” were on the trails.

When horses pass by stand off to the side. Dogs should sit so they don’t frighten the horses. Humans should not sit or crouch, it frightens the horses. Horses are easily frightened so we have to make accommodations for them. Don’t get too enthusiastic! Woof!

More horses. I forgot to sit down while they passed. But at least I didn't bark at them.

More horses. I forgot to sit while they passed. But at least I didn’t bark at them.

Ranger sits on the side of the trail at Fort Ord while a horse passes by. When horses pass you on a trail sit down and wait. They're nervous creatures and must be accommodated.

When horses pass you on a trail sit down and wait. They’re nervous ninnies.
Photoshop painting by Elise.

The camera’s battery died, about 20 minutes into our hike. Poop. My mom tried to use her crappy cell phone camera, because the real camera was dead. She said “I don’t know why but I’m going to try and use the cell phone camera.” Later she was cursing the thing. “These phone cameras really suck,” she said. Jeff responded with “That’s probably why you said “I’m going to try and use the cell phone, I don’t know why.” “Right,” she said, but continued to try to edit and rotate some little image of me for another ten painful minutes.

Always bring water for your dog. Be patient while he sits in the shade to catch his breath.

Always bring water for your dog. Be patient while he sits in the shade to catch his breath.

We were at the top of a hill (sheep in the distance) and there were four bars on the cell phone! This was supposedly some kind of miracle. Elise called her sister to share “Wow, wish you were here! The cell phone coverage is amazing!”

Hillsides with lupines Fort Ord National Monument.

Hillsides with lupines Fort Ord National Monument. See the lavender color in the distance?

We walked on a narrow trail over grassland hills, lupine, through oak woodlands and chaparral. We saw a snake. We saw a dead star-nosed mole. I sniffed at him and was just about to roll on him when my humans jerked me away. Dang, why are they always doing that!?

We left, after hours of hiking, south on Hwy 68. Near Toro Park nature enthusiasts were snapping photos of a pasture full of purple lupines. They didn’t even have to get out of their cars.  We had no camera, so we could take only memories.

Keep sniffing, keep rolling, keep aiming high.—Ranger the Corgi

“The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly.”Demetri Martin

“I bought a new camera. It’s very advanced. You don’t even need it.”Steven Wright

Ranger the (Scratchboard) Corgi

Woof my friends, woof.Ranger the Corgi as Art (1 of 1)

Well, here I am again. This does sort of “capture me”, though I’m sort of “scratchy” looking. Not itchy, scratchy, as in scratch board. I’m liking this look. It’s a sort of a digital scratch board effect. My mom likes it too.

It’s late and I have to go see how my livestock are doing. I need to “worry” them a bit. It’s my job. Worry them and feed my horse. Sniff around. Say hi to Chloe the Border Collie. Pee on the fence posts. Check the neighboring pasture for cows.

Art’s fun but the work at the barn is my real job. I’m a cowboy.

I’m always short. But, today I’m short on words. My word for the day is “woof,” that’s it. Woof.

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”— Oscar Wilde

Enjoy this nice art of me.
—Ranger the (Photogenic) Corgi