Friday, February 15, 2008

Higgins




Now for a little about Higgins. What a character. :) Higgins was the second of the corgis to join the gang. We had decided that we didn't want a pup, maybe a 2-3 year old dog would be a great age. We applied with Cardigan National rescue to get on the waiting list. Luckily, there aren't many Cardis in rescue, unlike Pems. We heard there was a blue merle pup that had came into rescue. mmmm....blue merle? Now, blue merle isn't rare, it's just not as common. So we talked to our contact and they thought the puppy would fit in fine. We still weren't sure, but had the name Higgins picked out before we even saw pictures of him. ;) We think it fits, don't you?

We were supposed to be able to get him around Valentine's weekend of 2003, but snowstorm after snowstorm prevented that. He was being fostering in Indiana and the problem was getting him from there to St. Louis so that we pick him up. Luckily our contact's vet had to attend a conference in Indiana, so she brought him back the first week of March and we headed to St. Louis that day she was coming back.

Poor Higgins, his ears have been unique ever since we first saw him. They were taped, but it didn't help. We found out that he was very sick when they pulled him from the shelter and his foster mom stayed up 3 nights with him trying to get him to eat and drink. The only thing he would take was wheat toast sprayed with water. So, I am sure the poor nutrition in the early part of his life has to do with his ears some. And his teeth are not the greatest and that can be caused by illness in puppyhood when the permanent teeth are in the developement stage.

He was (is) such a good boy about housetraining and not chewing on inappropriate items. It was our first foray into crate training and we were quite impressed with the way it works! Above is the funniest picture of him when he was a puppy eating at home for the first time. He looks so happy and content!

Fannie took to him quite well, better than we expected, considering she was almost 9 when he came along.

We soon realized after a time that Higgins needed some obedience work (especially after Ella came along 5 months later!). So we enrolled in a Parks dept. obedience class, but that wasn't the right setting for him and it really didn't help. So we found Joan Guertin and enrolled in her Levels program with both Higgins and Ella. They loved it and we were all sad when Joan left. Higgins and Ella both passed the CGC and TDI test before Joan left.

We had talked about agility, but hadn't really looked around. Then we found Valeri at Paws Express and started classes. Higgins LOVED it. He looked so darn cute. Althought cocky was a term thrown around about him also! I will post a video of his beginning classes at the bottom of this. He has ran in two different NADAC trials. No Q's, but he was having fun. This past fall he did complete an entire Chances run, but did not touch the contact correctly. (I swear he touched the yellow, but NADAC has to be more than a glancing blow!) He was the fastest though and it was a great run, considering we had some trouble on him focusing on what we wanted, not what he did.

His confidence has blossomed, which is good and bad! :) He thinks he is the "motion" police at times, but we work on it constantly and work on focus. He does get bored easily, but it's because he is a high drive dog. Repetition he HATES, but most corgis are like that and we work thru it.

He is a Pet Therapy of the Ozarks therapy dog and just started doing regular visits at a nursing home. He has also helped in the PTO evaluations as the station "walking passed a strange dog" He has come a long way and made us love the "other" Corgi breed. He still needs to know he is safe and special, but has came so far from where we started.

Here is a video of one of his beginning classes and I will try to get another of how far he has come once classes start again.

video

1 comment:

Nicki said...

Baby Higgins is so cute! Bummer bout the ice storm. We have been lucky here both this year and last year-no loss of power!

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