Ranger the Corgi, as Art (3 of 3)

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Ranger with wacky rainbow filter on photo. “Is this art yet?” he asks. “Maybe not…maybe just try drawing with a pencil?”

Corgi face, Ranger the Corgi face altered by "mirror filter" in iPad Photo Booth.

Ranger tests out an iPad Photo Booth feature “mirror” filter. It was “oil painted” in Photoshop later…Ranger says “I think you’ve captured my scary wild (fearsomely symmetrical) wolf-like face.”

Ranger as Art 1

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.

Two Paws Down

Ranger the Corgi at the Apple Store.

Ranger visits the Apple Store. He’s under impressed and under the table.

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

Corgi Quotes

Ranger the Corgi and three sheep, his "mom" is tying to learn herding.

Ranger and his sheeps…and one of his peeps.
Cell phone snap shot by Martha Deihl.

The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.
—Elvis Presley

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!
—Jane Siberry
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!)

Walking the Trail with Pappy Snack Pockets

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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.

Acacia blossoms dotted the Carmel trail. They’re a very yellow, sneezy flower.

Acacia blossoms dotted the Carmel trail. They’re a very yellow, sneezy flower.

For corgis most of the best smells are conveniently located at nose level and right along the trail, often in the tall grass…

For corgis most of the best smells are conveniently located at nose level and right along the trail, often in the tall grass…

Umm, nice. Corgi sniffs along the spring trail's tall grass.

Umm, nice. The world has gotten green and luxurious for me.

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.

Ranger running on trail, big smile

Can you tell that I’m happy? Woo hoo….running off leash…

Wooo hooo, off leash!

…and running back again!

Ah ha! I know you're up there Nutty McNutkins! I mean Mr. Gray Squirrel.

Ah ha! I know you’re up there Chirpy McNutkins! Ahem, I mean Mr. Gray Squirrel.

It's wonderful me on a wonderful trail.

It’s wonderful me on a wonderful trail.

Here’s a guy I met I’ll call “Random White Guy,” I could also call him “Little Guy Like Me”
I said “I’ll be with you in just a second. I’ve got to figure out this scent.” When I looked up he’d been dragged away by his humans. Hey, wasn’t this an “Off Leash Trail”?

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!

Here I am with my most excellent human, Jeff, aka “Pappy Snack Pockets.” Make sure when you hit the trail that you have a human along with deep snack pockets! But find your own, this Snack Pocket is mine.

Here I am with my most excellent human, Jeff, aka “Pappy Snack Pockets.” Make sure when you hit the trail that you have a human along with deep snack pockets! But find your own, this Snack Pocket is mine.

Here we are again, back at the car. Carmel Mission Trail on the right...park on side of road.

Here we are again, back at the car. We’d walked a big circle. Carmel Mission Trail on the right…park on side of road.

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.

Your’e Like Me, I Like You

“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

The beautiful Gwinny

The Beautiful Gwinny, a digital painting by Ranger the Corgi Esq.
(zoom in to see the corgi paw work)

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.

Ranger and Gwin the corgis, on their first date. Marking time and the barn corner at Oak Hills Ranch. Good times!

Ranger and Gwin the corgis, on their first date. Marking time and the barn corner at Oak Hills Ranch. Good times! (zoom in, by clicking, to see the corgi paw painting strokes)

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….

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Place your postings here. I’ll check later and leave you a message. We’ll stay in touch.
No, well I didn’t call you, I lost your number. I can’t drive. I can’t visit. All I can do is leave you some messages. I love you, Ranger.

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

The lovely Gwinny, Ranger's corgi girlfriend, herding sheep.

Gwinny and I have a shared passion. This is a good thing in a relationship.

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

Near Oak Hills where Ranger herds sheep, a landscape painting by me, Ranger

Near Oak Hills where I herd sheep, a landscape painting, zoom in to see the fine corgi paw brushing details. There are no sheep here, they’re all across the road, in their pens.

Ranger’s Retreat

Ranger the Corgi hides in a hole at the beach. He calls it "Ranger's Retreat"

Ranger’s Retreat, or Where’s Ranger? (click on the picture to see better)

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.

Closer to Ranger's Retreat, you can see Ranger the Corgi's head sticking out of a hole at the beach

Can you see me now?

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!

Ranger says "Hi, welcome to Ranger's Retreat! Wait, no, it's a retreat. Go away. Come back in about 15 minutes with biscuits."

Hi, welcome to Ranger’s Retreat! Wait, no, it’s a retreat. Go away. Come back in about 15 minutes with biscuits.

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

Searching and Finding

Topaz Ranger’s Search for his Birth Mother

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I couldn’t believe it, but why not? Stranger things have happened, I was reunited with my original family! That’s my old friend Jim on the left and Elise in the middle. I’m the cute one on the right.

It took a while to find out where I came from. Elise had gotten me in a sort of round-about way from a cowboy at the horse barn. She had seen another corgi puppy that guy brought out to the stables and wanted him, but he went to another girl. Cowboy Mark said “There’s another corgi out in Salinas. He’s more of a man dog.” Elise really didn’t know what that meant. A dog for a man? or a dog like a man? or a dog-like man?  She still doesn’t know, except that it turned out to be me. Then she learned that I was 1.5 years old and that I had been bought for breeding purposes and that I supposedly hadn’t been interested in “the ladies.” I don’t really know how to explain about that, except to say that maybe those ladies just weren’t my type. Mark placed the make-shift collar/leash, a blue hay-bailing string, in Elise’s hand and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Elise called and talked to the, somewhat illusive, breeder woman in Salinas, a friend of the cowboy. Elise asked “please, I really want his papers and vet records,” and “what can you tell me about him?” and “where did you get him?” She asked lots of questions about me. She learned that I was originally from Antelope Valley in Nevada, near Lake Topaz. The lady said that her original owner was sad when she took me from her ranch. I was sad too. She shared her stories: that I always stayed close to the house (right on the doorstep) and also that I liked one of her Rat Terriers, but none of her corgi girls. She said once the dogs, me included, “got into it” with some wild boar. She said that I was called “Ranger” or “Batman” and that she liked to name dogs after cars so she named me Ranger. Her other dogs were Shelby, Porche, Chevy, Cooper,…Beemer? Edsel? Aspire?

So, Elise slowly got all my papers together, my puppy diary, AKC registration papers, birth certificate, health records. Mark said “I think he even has a pilot’s license in there” as he handed her the big envelope.

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It’s the place I knew so well, Antelope Valley, Nevada

My rabies tag was still missing. So Elise called my original breeder, finding Helen’s name in the paperwork, to see if she had one of the tags. Helen was so nice and shared lots of stories about how we used to go swim in the creek, how I used to chase the sheep and horses in the pasture. She told Elise that I liked to go vole hunting too. And she said that we could visit someday and meet my parents. She said I was named “Topaz Ranger” because I was born near Lake Topaz and I liked to wander off all over the property. Sometimes they didn’t know where I was, but whenever they called I’d be there right away.

Here’s a little collage of me that Jim and Helen made when I was a baby.

Here’s a little collage of me that Helen shared with Elise, so she could see what I looked like when I was a puppy.

So, this summer we went to Antelope Valley near Lake Topaz. First we went camping at Blue Lakes, and canoeing. I enjoyed running like a nut on the shores of the lake. I liked the hiking. I liked sleeping in the tent. On the third morning by the lake we made our way to Nevada through Woodfords, on the east side of the Sierras. It’s a tiny town Elise and Jeff like. My Aunt Linda once said “that’s not a town. That’s just a place on the side of the road.” Well, it turns out that it’s a place with 144 people in it…is that a town? You guys can figure that out. I’ll get back to my story.

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Here I am swimming at Blue Lakes. Later I was freed from my leash and ran around in the muddy shore….good times!

There was a lot of  boring driving, hot and boring driving, to get to Antelope Valley. But when we got there I can say that it smelled familiar. It took a long time to get there because of bad map reading by the humans (we ended up in an Washoe Indian reservation) and road construction delays. But then we arrived miraculously back at my first home. Valentine, my sister, met us at the gate. She seemed pretty nice and let me into the yard. I’d never met her, nor her me, so we did the usual “hello sniffing.”

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Valentine, my actual sister!

There was a lot of commotion, other people were visiting at the same time we were. They were looking at puppies! I didn’t have too much interest in them. I wanted to see my mom, and my old friends the McFarlands (who were somehow more than friends) and that Golden Retriever, What’s His Name. I think it was  “Sam” or “Fred.” I knew him as “my buddy,” and I used to hang out with him.

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That’s may dad amongst the human’s legs. That’s the puppy that looked so much like me (front, right.)

There was a pen with a couple of my very cute relatives, cousins or brothers, not sure which. One looked exactly like me when I was little, and like me he was cool, shy, handsome and smart (super-smart probably). He rolled on his back for the humans to give him a tummy rub. The other was outgoing, handsome, energetic, and full of himself. He climbed up on the fencing. Two very different dogs, both loaded with good qualities! It’s hard to find a dog as special as I am, but these puppies had already tied little love ropes around the hearts of their visitors. They already had new homes.

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The two puppies waiting for their new homes. One of them was named “Moose,” but which one? I’m not very good with names.

I sniffed and sniffed all the good smells of that yard I once knew so well. Memories flashed through my head of hot, sweet smelling summers, snow cold winters, horse ankles, pastures and creeks, and the adventures I’d had with my family there. I made a special memory postcard in my brain of all the smells, sights, and the life of that day. I marked my territory (with little yellow PostIt notes) and scraped at the ground with my back paws to let everyone know I was there. Then I stood next to Helen and sniffed her hand and she scratched the back of my neck.  She said “Ranger, you’re so very handsome.”

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Helen, I can’t believe I’m here.

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My dad, the proud and very friendly and popular “Cadfael”

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My mom, the beautiful Victoria

Then, the came the best part of all: I saw my mom! Her name is “Victoria.” She is so beautiful. The most beautiful dog you’ll ever see. All I had of her was a little “dog-earred” picture, not the best quality, that I kept in my crate, along with a picture of my dad, my baby pics, and an old blanket that finally smells just like me. (Elise, if you’re reading this, please don’t wash my blanket.)

My mom was in her pen, because she was in heat. She smelled super good, and I recognized her “Mom! Mom! It’s me, your most handsome son! Your Prodigal Son!” She said  “hmmm, well, I don’t know. You look a little bit familiar.” “No, really, it’s me, your most wonderful son!” She said “well, it’s nice to see you handsome corgi, whoever you are.” We looked at each other and I showed her how I could shred the ground with my back paws, puff out my chest, and pee on things.

Mom, It’s me!

Mom, It’s me!

I think I impressed her even if she hadn’t remembered me. My mom is THE most BEAUTIFUL corgi on the planet. That might be one reason I’m not interested in other girls. I have extremely high standards. If I can’t find a girl as wonderful as my mom then just forget it!

Before I left I had a chance to visit with the old Golden Retriever, What’s His Name, really “what’s his name?” I enjoyed sniffing him, as I always have. My sister, Valentine, decided that it was time for me to go and barked at me “scoot!” and “get out of here” and “smell you later!”

Elise and Jeff put me in the car.  My dad, the famous “Cadfael” came out into the yard to meet them. He’s super friendly and went around to all the people, all the guests and smelled them and said “hi, welcome to my home.” He had a lot of presence and obviously was loved a lot by Helen and Jim. Then he smelled where I had marked. He saw where I had shredded the ground. “Hey, wait a minute!” he said, “Who’s this I smell?!” It was me of course. My dad started running around looking for the guy who marked up the yard, me. Then he went to his girl, Victoria. He smiled to see that she was there and I wasn’t.

Victoria and Cadfael, my parents.

Victoria and Cadfael, my parents.

Then he went to the front gate looking for me. “I smell you little boy corgi,” he said, “and I better not smell you around here again.” He wanted to kick my butt. But, I was in the car. (My dad and I have a complicated and competitive relationship. However there are a few things we have in common: an appreciation for a really good, comfortable bed, a jovial attitude about the humans, and of course, we both love my mom.)

We drove away from that beautiful valley of my youth. I said “thank you good humans, for letting me visit those nice people and my mom!” I smiled as much as I could so they’d know how happy I was. So very, very happy!

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I hope we can go back some day. It’s good to have a connection with your roots. Maybe next time we go there’ll be a corgi that will come home with us…you never know!

I’ve found that when I smile the world smiles with me. I hope you enjoy my happiness in these photos. I’m smiling, hope you are too!—Ranger the Corgi

p.s. remember you can click on the pictures and they’ll get bigger.