I hope to write soon in the New Year. I’ve been distracted from my blogging by life and sheep.
Or, how I earned my title: 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:
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!):
—Ranger the Corgi, HT
(“HT” for AKC Herding Tested! Baroo baroo, I did it!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!”
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
Woof my friends, woof.
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
It’s a special bunch of filters and messing around in Photoshop that helped to make this lovely picture of me (directly above. My Pappy Snack Pockets, aka Jeff, took this photo. My mom messed with it.) The other images above are just some play with Photo Booth and Photo filters…but I think my mom might want to try a portrait in pencil. You know, like in the old days, using a real pencil. So, stay tuned for that…um, give her a day or two.
This last weekend we visited the Apple Store in Los Gatos, California.
My humans seem to think this place is so much fun. But I have to give it two paws down.
I guess it just depends on your perspective. I’m here, on the floor, it’s a nice floor…but I’m just not “feeling it.” There’s a lack of quality smell in here. The area is barren and there are no benches or couches. Nothing growing. There are no food scraps and no urine markings!
Dust bunnies, if there are any, are not fun. They’re not real bunnies.
People pat me a little bit here, say “hello, are you a corgi?” and then lose interest in me pretty fast. They wander off to stare into boxes of light.
So, if you go to an Apple Store, and you’re a corgi. Don’t expect much. When you go down the street take a left. There’s a store, just a half a block down, giving away dog biscuits!
Is it weird in here, or is it just me? —Steven Wright
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/stevenwrig164260.html#uuDdQtDD5d10SsF3.99
Keeping it short. Over and out—Ranger the Corgi
The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.
I brought a Border Collie back home to Vancouver from Wales—where some of my ancestors are from—and needed to challenge him in other ways than just being my pet. So I investigated sheep herding and took a few lessons, and decided I was probably learning more than my dog!
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/words/he/herding173021.html#6uhgqy2g3EAQq7bp.99
The sheep will go in the direction that their ears point.
—Ranger the Corgi (Elise please pay attention, this is important information. Woof!)
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” –Margaret Atwood
Yes, exactly. You should smell like dirt, pee, grass, and death. Dirt: from shredding the ground in your mark-ups. Pee: from your brushes with interesting social postings. Grass: just nuances as a reminder of nature. Death: as a reminder of life, just a whisper of death, a desiccated worm found flattened on the trail, or something a coyote digested, though not well. Human’s call this “disgusting” but I don’t know the meaning of that word.
It’s basically spring here already and it’s been here since about February 14, the day I didn’t get chocolate.
I know, we’re on this trail in Carmel, and it’s spring and lovely. But, I must stop for a moment and address an important concern. It came to my attention that Jeff didn’t really like his nick name “Uncle Snack Pockets.” I apologize for my thoughtlessness. I love this guy (alot) I don’t want to hurt his feelings. From now on I’ll be calling “Uncle Snack” the more respectable name of “Pappy Snack Pockets.”
We like to kid around and make up names. Elise is “The Queen.” Jeff is “Pappy Snack Pockets.” I’m called many names: “Mr Begoobecurs,” “Rainboo,” “Stranger,” “Hoover,” and “Whyyoulittlemonkey.” We all have a bunch of little knick names. However, these names should be somewhat respectful. No one ever calls me “Junior Poopy Bum,” for instance, and I appreciate that. Sometimes our nicknames are not nice ones. For instance Jeff is also “Possum Socks” and Elise also goes by “Sheewawipoo,” her “Indian name.”
How did they get these names? Jeff’s socks were once stolen by a possum. Elise often carries my poo bag around for multiple uses, so “She Walks with Poop” became “Sheewawipoo.”
Of course a full psychological work up could be done on the names we’ve made up for each other. Elise says “maybe some passive aggressive thing going on?” I say “huh!?” The main thing is no matter what anyone calls you you must know that your true name is not any of those names.
So, back to my story. A few weeks ago I hit the trail with “Pappy Snack Pockets.” (Try saying that 10 times fast! “Pappy Snack Pockets, Snappy Pap Hockets, Snacky Hot Pockets, Hoppy Pick Pockets”…grrrrr!) Our “Dog Lover’s Companion to California” recommended Mission Trail Park on Rio Road, Carmel, California, with 5 miles of hiking trails for dogs, off leash! It’s right across from the Mission.
I liked this trail immediately, because I was just really happy to get out of the car. I would have been happy to get out of the car pretty much anywhere. Anyplace not moving will do.
I also liked that we had never been to this place before, and it was not too hot, not too cold, not too steep, too urban or too sterile. Lots of dogs had peed there. (Yay!)
You’ll have to visit this place yourself, if you’re ever in the area. The trail winds around. It goes by creeks and ravines, even a view or two. It has a little bit of manicuring to its natural beauty. I give it two paws up!
Remember not to shake off the dirt before you get in the car. Don’t let them wash that stink off of you!—Ranger the Corgi.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one dog says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― modified from a C.S. Lewis quote by Ranger
I thought I was the only one. After hours as the only dog in the house I often lose track of my connection to my true kin. Though I was born to a litter of 6 (or so) I eventually became an only child in the suburbs, weird how that works. I must constantly reconnect with my species.
I’m reliant on my people for this. They control my very destiny. They have the keys to the car and the exit doors. Usually there are dogs to be found, at the duck pond, on the side walk, on the beach or the sheep ranch, it’s a crap shoot as to who you’ll meet, but the careful sniffing of their urine keeps me in touch with those present in spirit, if not in the flesh.
Luckily for me I know many girls, yes, I’m bragging. Here are a few: Hope, Ziva, Valentine, Daisy, Bet, Chloe, Sienna, and Gwinny, Jellybeans (who I haven’t actually met yet) and Beryl (a FB friend who may not be real). I see them for a while and then they’re gone. Just like that they’re pulled away on their leashes and stuffed in cars. I leave extensive notes for them to know my smell. So that they can find me again. I say to them, quietly, next time you smell my note just stay here until I return. If I can’t return then I’m sorry to make you wait. Many girls won’t speak to me anymore, they may have waited too long. With so many distractions and no keys to go places it’s no wonder I can’t faithfully return. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. I know, it’s sounds like some crap, but it’s true.
I have been told that I’m a natural therapy dog. But my Uncle Snack Pockets says maybe I’m really a therapypee dog. Funny Uncle Snack Pockets, he comes up with the best jokes. Here’s a pee pee, theresapeepee…ooops, I digress….
I wrote a song, my first, for my newest girlfriend, the lovely Gwinny.
You’ll have to just imagine my vocalization of this, with coyote chorus backup. I title this Hey, hey Gwinny.
Hey, hey Gwinny Dear, How I wish you were here
I can remember the barn corner we both peed on, like it was just last week.
Because it was just last week.
Hey, hey Gwinny Dear, maybe we could go and have a beer,
then find some sheep and try to herd ‘em, or chase a cow that’s not absurb, um…
Baroooo, baroooo, baroooo!
Let’s dig some holes and find some voles
Let’s romp and run until we’re done
Let’s corgi on and party too, until the sun is done and through
Let’s sing with coyote all through the night,
until the sun is up and bright.
I’ll share my couch and my bed too,
Because, my Gwinny, I’m in love with you.
Baroooo, baroooo, baroooo!
Hey, Hey Gwinny Dear, things you should know about me, they’re here:
I’m from the burbs, I have a pony, I’m real you see, there’s nothing phony.
You see, my Gwinny, I’ve marked this tree with a love note for all to see,
it says, you can sniff it, that you’re my love, sent from the Corgi God above.
Barooo barooo, barooooooo!
xoxo I’ve got to go, Your ahem, sometimes, somewhat faithful, Ranger Boy
I painted these photos of Gwinny in Photoshop.
A joke I ‘d like to share with all my friends:
“Windchimes are for stupid people so they know when there’s a breeze.”—Steven Wright
There are thousands and thousands of dog bloggers. Too many to read, some amusing or thoughtful, some not worth raising your leg on.
At the start of this new year I have been thinking about what I post and how often. more thinking than I usually do. When a dog blogs it’s important that he choose words and pictures carefully or no one will bother with them. They’ll say “He’s just a dog. Let’s not listen to him. Let’s eat hamburgers instead.” If readers, with two legs or four, hands or paws, proper snout or odd flat little button nose, don’t sniff it, what’s the point?
Writing can be a kind of a lonely activity. I thought about this during a little retreat I took from the hustle and bustle of the world, in my private hole at the beach. This hole was already mostly dug by some larger dog, or a pack of human children, so it was easy to fit myself into.
In my hole I pondered these questions: Why did I start this blog? Am I happy with it? Do I want to make any changes to it? Stuff like that. Then I saw some seagulls and forgot everything else but the seagulls.
Yes, must focus, just to share, I started this blog because I’m so handsome that I thought everyone might want to admire me. I still feel that’s true. Let’s face it I’m very handsome, a dog star. Now though I also want to share more than just my beauty. I want to share my perspective on the world, 14″ off the ground… and a fraction of an inch off the ground in “sniff mode.” I hope to amuse my people, and make them smile. I love when they do that! I also hope to make them think, because sometimes they don’t do a very good job of that. And sometimes I want to help them not think, because they do too much of that.
Maybe I need to share more of my activities off the beaten? Or maybe more of those on the beaten path? (Last week I realized what the beaten path is. It’s where all the humans walk and it packs down the earth. It’s their big flat feet, those clown shoes they wear. Deer paths, coyote paths, those are not beaten, they remain fluffy…the fluffy path is harder to walk on. You sink in. Especially if you’re a corgi. But, I digress.)
I hope to post more often in 2013. Why? Because. Is because a reason? I think it might be. I don’t like it when there’s too much pee to analyze on one post, so I hope to keep it brief and to the point. I pledge to visit other dog’s blogs and see what they’re up to. I pledge to keep my word count down. Woof! Woof!
Meanwhile that retreat hole on the beach was cool and comfortable, Ranger’s Retreat I called it. I suggest finding a good hole and spending some time in it to clear your thoughts. Make sure that your human brings you drinking water. Train your human to bring a pocket full of snacks. Make sure to look a little bit sad when you want to go home.
“Retreat: a place and time for you to get reacquainted with you; the ebb in ebb and flow; a solitary sanctuary for renewal; a safe haven; a snug den, a refuge.”—Corrie Woods
“Retreat: a crate, a hole, a snug den, under a chair. A place to go when nothing’s happening or when too much is happening.”
—The Lawn Ranger