Sure could use . . .

. . . a little good news today.

Have I mentioned lately how difficult and how emotionally gut-wrenching breeding can be?  There are times that I am afraid to open my e-mail. In the midst of it all, I heard from one of the “grandkids”, 9-year-old Toby.

C-Myste Nighttime Magic

Toby was one of our Elmo/Kacy puppies, from Kacy’s only litter.  Like Leidy, she was older for her first and only litter.  Primary uterine inertia led to a birth by c-section.

Toby as a baby

For those who don’t know Cardigan lines or call-names, Elmo was Ch Spectrum Harlem Shuffle, sire also of Huxley’s dad Carbon and of Inca’s mom Quizzy.

Baby Toby with Hedgie

The litter was 9 puppies, and we saved them all.  But as Murphy would have it, there were 5 fluffs, a half-mask, and a bad bite (Stormy) and of course the half-mask and the bad bite were on two different normal-coated puppies.  Alvin (Ch C-Myste Harlem Nights) was the only one in the litter to finish his championship.

But that’s ok, because like their mom Kacy they have been wonderful pets and have made many people very happy.

Toby’s owner Amanda writes:

Hi Carolyn, I follow your blog intermittently and couldn’t help but notice that this past week was quite a sad one. I’ve been meaning to send an update on Toby (aka Drake of the Kacy x Elmo litter) for awhile and I figured after this past week it might be welcome. Toby is doing well. He gave us a bit of a scare earlier this summer when he suddenly stopped lifting his tail and cried when it was lifted. After several x-rays it was determined he has some calcification between two vertebrae in his lower back very near his the base of his tail. The vet and orthopedic specialist believe that he likely injured himself while running around and caused a small piece of the calcified material to break off. After a couple weeks of muscle relaxants, I’m very happy to report the “corgi flag” is flying once again. He is; however, on a permanent low-dose regimen of arthritis medication that has worked wonders. The veterinarian believes he will be just fine, though his days of jumping on or off anything higher than 6 inches are over (the vet did also note he has some arthritis in his knees, but less than she would expect of a dog his age). Other than that slight scare, he is healthy and happy.

On a more personal note, I just wanted to personally express my gratitude to you for providing our family with such a wonderfully loving companion for the past 9.5 years. Toby very much became “my” dog. Every time I came home from school for the past 6 years I was always greeted with a powerful pounce to the chest and more sloppy kisses than I could count. As I’ve been job-searching following the completion of my graduate degree, I can’t convey how comforting his presence has been to me through the very emotional ups and downs of job applications. I feel like every person has one very special dog that comes into their life and Toby has certainly been mine. For this, I cannot thank you enough.

On a lighter note, I seem to vaguely remember that Toby’s mother Kacy had a habit of keeping one paw lifted in the air at times. This trait seems to be genetic, as Toby cannot stand on all fours without having the obligatory paw lifted just barely above the floor. I hope that one of these days he’ll finally let me take a picture. His other quirk that we most definitely have to thank you for is his willingness to be kept on his back. Even at 9.5 years old Toby will let us hold him on his back just like a human baby. It’s not uncommon for his to fall asleep and remain that way for an hour or more- certainly welcome during the winter when curling up with something warm and furry is a must. 🙂 I’ve attached several photos for you. I’m not sure if the two puppy pictures ever got to you, so I’m sending them just in case. The others are a mixture of quintessential Toby- whether it be his willingness to endure just about any form of loving harassment we send his way or his ability to sleep just about anywhere. The photo of him on the trundle bed fits him to a T- I’ve never met a dog with his level of determination in making sure he has a pillow to put his head on while he sleeps. The photo in the snow was his first experience with the mysterious white stuff; he liked it right until he realized it was deeper than his legs are long.

My only other comment is actually a question. Toby frequently has issues with his anal sacs as he’s gotten older. Regular expression is now necessary despite the fact we supplement his diet. Have you had any corgis that have also encountered this problem, and if so, did you have any luck with remedies? Our vet agrees that regular expression at this point is best, as he’s had no problems with infection or impaction, so we’d like to spare him from the trauma of surgery on those sacs. Any tips on strategies to lengthen the time between expression would be very welcome though. (He’s currently on a Blue Buffalo kibble diet supplemented with 1/4 cup of pumpkin or squash). Hope all is well with you! Best, Amanda Glinzak Master of Public Affairs Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Thank you so much, Amanda. This really meant a lot to me. I wrote back to Amanda privately, too. Interestingly, as far as I know we have only had a single other “puppy” with anal sack issues, and that is Toby’s litter sister Stormy. I had thought that it was an environmental issue: that once they are expressed they will always need it, or related to diet. But perhaps there is some genetic predisposition after all. I would be interested to hear what others have found, especially those with closely related dogs.

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