Sweet Pea, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi ~ Adopted!

Sweet Pea, the Corgi

My friends and family know how much I love corgis. I have one, my mom has one … you get the point. So I wasn’t too surprised to get a call from a friend telling me about an ad by a local man trying to “get rid of his corgi.” Seriously? People with corgis don’t try to “get rid” of them. Sure, they can be somewhat yappy, bossy little brats (depending on how they’ve been “raised”). But they’re also little clowns and therefore provide their owners with a constant source of amusement. I mean, how can you look at a corgi and not laugh?

Needless to say, I decide to find out why this man wants to get rid of his corgi … so I call him. (You knew I would.) Turns out she (the corgi) gave birth to three stillborn puppies several weeks ago. “Is she fixed?” I ask. “No,” he says. “I’ll be there in 30 minutes,” I say. I have visions of this poor corgi falling into the hands of a puppy mill. Don’t believe they exist? Check out your local craigslist.org advertisements and you’ll change your mind. Corgi puppies are adorable and highly marketable, making this little girl a hot commodity to a puppy mill operator.

I arrive at the farm to see Sweet Pea. Not bad. Relatively clean. Fat, shiny horses and cows graze peacefully in the pasture. This is promising. Sweet Pea is kept in a kennel by the barn, I’m told. Okay, not ideal in my world of dogs on couches, but it happens. Certainly doesn’t mean the dog has been neglected or abused. Then I see the corgi. Poor little thing is so tiny and emaciated. Her toenails are so long they’re starting to curl in the opposite direction. As I walk closer I can see the fleas – and they’re all over her face! I speed things up. Vet records? No. Clearly no flea meds have been applied. What about heartworm preventative? Never did that either. Any wormer of any kind? Nope. Uh-oh. We’re in hyper-drive now. Grab dog (oh, God, the fleas!), jump in truck, DRIVE!

As I’m driving, I feel the fleas jumping from the crate in the back seat to my back, neck, and head. Then I count one … two … ugh, three … of them on my arm. I call Holly so she can commiserate. My question is this: How can someone who obviously knows enough about animal husbandry to keep his cows and horses fat and shiny allow a poor dog to become so weak, emaciated, and flea-infested? She doesn’t have the answer. Neither do I.

~ Amy

Monday, May 2, 2011: I’m exhausted this morning and so is Sweet Pea. We were up until nearly midnight trying to rid her thin little frame of fleas. Usually Comfortis takes care of the problem within 30-45 minutes, but not tonight. We’re severely outnumbered. Finally, a dose of Comfortis, three baths in Dawn dish soap, a good dousing with Adams flea spray, and several hours later the majority of the blood suckers are dead. I’ve literally never seen anything like it except on those “Animal Cops” shows on television. At one point, I thought Sweet Pea had wounds on her neck and behind her ears. Turns out the blood was from all the fleas living on that area of her body. At least she has a healthy appetite, even after all that trauma.

Monday, May 2, 2011 (evening): Just a quick note to relay the results of Sweet Pea’s vet visit this afternoon. The bad news is she’s too anemic and emaciated at 17 lbs. to be vaccinated just yet. The good news is both her fecal and her heartworm checks were negative. Hallelujah! Dr. Hendrix prescribes iron supplements to combat the anemia and puppy food to help her gain weight. Throughout this whole ordeal, Sweet Pea has remained kind and trusting. I’m loving this little girl!

Friday, May 6, 2011: We had a bit of a scare earlier this week. Due to the stress of changing her diet, routine, etc., Sweet Pea developed severe diarrhea and couldn’t eat a bite for about 36 hours. After several failed attempts and a somewhat panicky call to Holly, I finally figured out a recipe she liked: a mixture of rice, boiled chicken, and canned tuna. After a few days of this concoction, antibiotics, and tummy meds, Sweet Pea was feeling much better and I switched her back to her twice-daily puppy food regimen.

 
 

 

 

Sweet Pea the Corgi


 

 

Monday, May 9, 2011: Sweet Pea has turned into a picky eater! According to Dr. Hendrix, she should be eating 1 ½ cups of high-quality puppy food two times a day. Sometimes she chooses to eat the morning ration and sometimes she chooses to eat the evening ration, but never both. You name it, I’ve tried it – mixing her dry food with wet food, sprinkling it with boiled chicken and/or canned tuna, dousing it in chicken or beef broth, etc. Ugh! I keep asking Sweet Pea if she’s sure she’s actually a corgi! I suppose I’m just eager for her to gain back the weight she so desperately needs. It’s difficult to tell in the photos, but you can still count her little ribs just by looking at her.

She’s definitely a little princess, and loves to spend time with people. She’s getting along very well with my two guys – Shelby, my 3-year-old male Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Chas, my 3-year-old male Border Collie/Lab mix – as long as they stay away from her crate while she’s eating. If they don’t, she’s quick to warn them they’ve crossed the line by growling at them. This resource guarding may be a result of her starved condition or it may just be her personality; either way, she only does it with other dogs. Not once with people. I’ve taken food and chew toys out from under her nose and she’s never offered to growl or bite. The bottom line: Sweet Pea is very proprietary about her “stuff” when other dogs are around. I’m working on correcting the behavior and she’s getting better, but it’s something potential adopters will want to be aware of. Sweet Pea will certainly do just fine in a multi-dog household, but it needs to be one with strong enough leadership to address the guarding behavior, that’s all.

Sweet Pea the Corgi

Oh, and I just had to mention, she’s getting cuter and cuter every day!

Monday, May 16, 2011: Sweet Pea had her recheck at the vet’s office today. Dr. Hendrix said she looks much, much better — good enough, in fact, that he had no qualms about vaccinating her. Sweet Pea now weighs 19.4 lbs., up 2.4 from the 17 lbs. she weighed on her first vet visit. Dr. Hendrix said he’d like to see her gain another 3 lbs. or so; she’s a petite Corgi, so that would put her in her ideal weight range. Because she was so incredibly anemic due to the flea infestation, Dr. Hendrix suggested postponing Sweet Pea’s spay until she’s gained a bit more weight, approximately a week or so.

Sunday, May 22, 2011: Sweet Pea has undergone a dramatic change in the past week, both physically and personality-wise. She no longer growls and snaps when other dogs approach her toys, treats, or food. She’s also regaining the “Corgi joy” that was missing from her demeanor. Sweet Pea now initiates play with my dogs, whereas before she shied away from them and clung to me. Yesterday, I caught her grooming my Border Collie/Labrador Retriever mix, Chas, and roughhousing with Shelby, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Even her barking at squirrels is music to my ears. (I think she actually believes she has them worried!) Physically, she is changing as well. Her once-concave sides are filling in and her little backbone and ribs are no longer visible. I’ve really been pushing the food at her in the hopes that she’d gain another pound or two before her spay, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd. It’s amazing what basic veterinary care, good food, and kind treatment can do for a dog!

Sweet Pea’s photo album can be viewed on Facebook.

Saturday, May 28, 2011: Sweet Pea was adopted by Mark Freeman and Tairi Perez today. As I type, she’s on her way home to Winter Park where she’s sure to impress everyone she meets on Park Avenue. I’m so happy — Mark and Tairi are the perfect match for this wonderful little girl!

Email us for more information: TheDogLiberator@gmail.com







3 Comments

  1. Lucy

    05.22.2011

    GOD Bless you for taking such fantastic care of Sweet Pea. What an incredible story! She’s a beautiful little girl!

  2. Shannon

    05.22.2011

    Awww she reminds of of my little Bandito (welsh cardigan corgi) he was just like her when I rescued him 2 years ago… corgis are such a joy!! I always loved corgis but only believed in adopting from shelters… I always kept my eye out for a corgi in the shelter, there were very few to come through and most would find a home quickly… but I always knew my day would come and I would adopt one of my very own to love… and it was about 10 years I looked and found my little Bandito

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