My Start With Corgis
I was not quite four when we got our first Corgi. Sox was a Cardigan Corgi. She had been taken to our local veterinarian to be 'put down' as the elderly woman who owned her felt she could no longer take proper care of her. The dog was about three years old. The vet, not wanting to destroy a healthy, sweet dog asked if he could first try to find her a home. That was agreeable. He called my mother, whom he knew had been looking for a small dog. I couldn't tell you the exact day this dog came into our lives, but I remember this dog with great love and affection. She was my constant companion, my shadow. If I was sick, she was right by my side. We played together and were the best of friends. When I was young, there were no leash laws in the town where we lived; we didn't really need them as people took care of their dogs. We would let Sox out, and when she had done her business, she would come back to the door. When I was seven years old, she was out on one of her sojourns around the yard, when some local boys came into our yard and abused her so badly that she was never able to recover from her injuries and had to be euthanized.
It was another seven years and another town before my mom was able to locate another Corgi. This one was a Pembroke. She was almost 11 months old and available because she and her dam had decided they didn't like each other. Dyce was a black-headed tri and also my constant companion for over 16 years. A few months after Dyce came to us, Dude followed. He came from the same breeder. He had one ear that didn't want to stay up all the way (he held it at a jaunty angle). When Dude came into the house, he went around and found all the cookies that Dyce had secured behind chairs and in cushions. She was not amused. Dude liked to hide ice cubes in a similar fashion. Maybe Dyce found some solace in knowing his ice cubes wouldn't be there when he went back for them. When Dyce died, I was so devastated that I swore I'd not get another Corgi.
Three months later, I was searching. This was pre-internet, so the search was long, especially since I was looking for a dog with similar bloodlines. This wasn't as easy as the line was developed by a woman who had been one of the driving forces behind the breed, and she had died the same year Dyce first came to me. We finally found a breeder in south-central New York who had a 3-month-old pup related to the lines I was looking for. We went to 'look' with a 200 Vari Kennel in the car. Chelsea came bounding into the kitchen when we arrived, and it was love at first sight. She was sable and white, so there was no risk of her looking too much like Dyce (not that I didn't call her 'Dyce' frequently in those first few years). Chelsea was a wonder. She was the first dog I'd ever actually had to train (Dyce, being the 'perfect' dog, came already trained by her breeder ... I learned quickly to appreciate that effort). Chelsea and I worked on formal obedience. She was the first dog I tried to trial. At our first 'official' entry at a show for obedience, we were scheduled to be on at around 8:30 AM or so. Since it was to be a hot August day, that seemed great. By the time we got into the ring, however, it was closer to noon. Chelsea was wonderful on-lead. Off-lead, she sought shade under the steward's table, ran from the ring, and just generally had a great ol' time. Come time for 'downs,' she got up on the long sit, did wild spins around the field after sniffing the rather large dogs on either side of her (she was in no danger ... I, however, wasn't sure about myself with the owners of those dogs standing on either side of me), and then made a perfect sit in front of the woman standing to my left. When we were finished, not being able to hide my head in the sand, I did change clothes before wandering around the show grounds. I noticed two of the women whose dogs had been challenged by mine look at me with the 'Is that her?' look in their eyes. I went another way. Chelsea lived for almost 17 years. She had been born one month to the day after Dyce had died. Chelsea had a daughter that we kept with us. She is now over 14.
While Dyce and Chelsea gave me a good foundation with Pems, Emma, Treetop-Cymry Kindred Spirit, who was 2 years younger than Chelsea, was the actual 'foundation' bitch we'd sought. Emma was a beautiful redheaded tri from Marsha Landon's Treetop Kennels. Unfortunately, Emma hated the show ring. We tried. She just didn't like it. Had I had a bit more experience, maybe I could have worked with her enough to encourage her to like it, but I didn't, so I didn't push her. A daughter of hers was our first Canadian champion. Another daughter was our first American/Canadian champion. This dog, Am/Can Ch. Cymry's Mayflower Madam ('Sydney') was the dam of our first Best In Show dog, MBIS Can. Ch. Cymry's Little Minister. 'Deacon' was awarded his BIS wins by Henry and Joyce Moulton in Kingston, Ontario in 2002. I learned afterward what an honour such a win was under these two judges and especially Joyce Moulton. I was overwhelmed when Henry Moulton gave Deacon his first BIS, but just flabbergasted when he was BIS the next day. That was a pretty nice weekend. We've gone on to win BIS and Best Puppy In Show wins in Canada with a 'Sydney' granddaughter, Paige. Paige (BIS/MBPIS Can Ch. Cymry Autumn Amethyst) is a Gemma (Am/Can Ch. Cymry First Class Traveler) daughter. She won her BIS in Canada when she was 11 months old.
We have multiple champions in Canada and the US and have been listed in the top five Pembrokes in Canada since 2001, including #1 for Deacon. His nephew Rhys (Am/Can Ch. Cymry Peaceful Cwn Brefi) was #2 in 2006 and is unofficially the #2 Pembroke in Canada for 2008* (*Stats are from www.bestdogincanada.com).
We breed to the Standard as set down by the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America (PWCCA). I am a member of the PWCCA as well as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Association of Canada (PWCA(C)).
Health checks are done for vWD, CERF, DM, and OFA.
- Kathryn P. Smith
Top Pembroke Standings in Canada, 7 Years+
The Welshies Connection
I'd first learned of Welshies while still in college from one of my Lit professors. Without the benefit of the internet, it was nearly impossible to find a dog of this breed. When I first started showing dogs, I had yet to see one. I hired someone to show a young dog for me, and when I went to her house, there was a Welshie pup. Imagine my surprise! She put me in touch with the woman where she'd gotten her Welsh, and I was on my way. I'd arranged for a pup, paid my deposit, and then: Nothing. Despite all the efforts of the breeder and the stud dog owner, the bitch didn't conceive. So, deposit back, I kept looking.
I was introduced to the Rolyarts Kennels by the same woman who handled dogs for me. With her introduction (as she'd met them), I sent them an email (by this time, the world had advanced, and we were online) with a short bio as to who I was and my, by then, long background in Pems. After going back and forth via email and talking on the phone, it was decided that I would be kept in mind for a young bitch pup they might have available. Long story short, Hannah (Am/Can Ch. Rolyart Cymry Going Incognito) was my first Welshie. Hannah did well at her first US shows in Springfield, MA, taking the Best Opposite win over a Specials bitch. There were hearty congratulations for the 'Rolyarts' dog and for us. The Welshie world, I learned very quickly, is not only small, as the breed is fairly rare (I did already know that!) but exceedingly friendly. I think the people are like the breed ... as a whole, quite nice. We have since had a few other Welshies, showing in both Canada and the States. We have been very fortunate in the contacts we have made and the quality of the dogs with which we've been entrusted.
I am a member of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club Of America (WSSCA).
Health checks are done for thyroid, OFA (hips, elbows), and CERF.