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Corgis at War

Monday, January 28, 2013

Corgi with a muzzle on

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Bandit doesn't like wearing a muzzle, but it's the only way to ensure he can't cause damage.

I love Corgis; they are my favorite dog, hands down. But they have a couple of shortfalls. They shed like mad, and they can be aggressive with other dogs.

My Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Nigel, has always been rather benevolent for a Corgi. He never showed any aggression toward other dogs until he was 4 years old, when he was attacked by another dog while we were out on a walk. After that, his “aggression button” was turned on, and he suddenly refused to take even the slightest bit of crap from other dogs. But he never started fights — he just finished them..

Then, a little more than a year ago, my friend Michelle moved in with me, bringing her Pembroke, Bandit. Bandit is the sweetest, cutest Corgi in the world. But he has a big problem with other dogs.

At first, he and Nigel were friends. They hung out in the backyard together, barking at passersby and taking sunbaths. But one day, while they were in the house, Nigel growled at Bandit for some reason. After that, nothing was the same..

Tension began to grow between the two of them, and one day, Bandit attacked Nigel with the fury of the Spartans. It was a horrific fight, and it took two of us to break it up. Ever since then, Bandit wants to kill Nigel whenever he sees him..

Knowing the relationship between the two dogs can never be repaired, we have taken to keeping them separated. When Nigel is loose in the house or the backyard, Bandit is in Michelle’s room. When Bandit has free reign of the backyard, Nigel is in the living room or in my bedroom. We work hard to make sure the two are never in the same place at the same time..

But sometimes, mistakes happen..

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Spanish Mustangs in the Wind

Monday, January 21, 2013

plastic bag on horse

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Rio meets a floating plastic bag on the trail.

Southern California is famous for the hot, dry winds that blow here at various times of the year, drying everything out and fanning brush fires in the hills. For the past week, these Santa Ana winds have been relentless. Last weekend, we had record low temperatures. Today, in the middle of January, it was nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to drying out my hair and aggravating the chest cold I managed to catch while freezing last weekend, the winds are making things interesting around the farm.

First, there was the incident on the trail. Lisa, who is training my young Spanish Mustang Rio to become a “real” horse, was riding Milagro, my other Spanish Mustang, and leading Rio alongside, on the trail. Unlike most horses, mine don’t seem to mind the wind. They take it stride. But that day on the trail was particularly challenging when a white, plastic shopping bag came floating toward them.

Lisa is used to riding Warmblood horses, which are typically a lot more high-strung than Spanish Mustangs, and she prepared for a spook. Instead, the horses stopped and watched the floating ba as it approached and then hovered right in front of Rio. He looked at it with great interest. Good thing I had introduced him to helium balloons last year after I got some for my birthday!

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Birthday Boys

Monday, January 11, 2013

two Spanish Mustangs running

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Happy birthday, boys!

January is a special month down on the farm. It’s when we celebrate the birthdays of my two Spanish Mustangs, Rio and Milagro.

Rio and Milagro were born seven years apart, but their birthdays are only a week away from each other. Rio was born in East Texas, while Milagro in Southern California. They had very different beginnings.

Rio was born at Dryad Hill Farm, the product of a breeding program designed to create spotted Spanish Mustangs. His breeder intended to keep him as a stallion and use him in her breeding program until she became a mom herself and realized she had to cut back on her horse business..

So, Rio went up for sale at about 1 year old. His ad was on the Internet for many months, and I had drooled over his picture many times. He was the spotted Spanish Mustang I had long been dreaming of. But an additional horse didn’t seem to be in the picture for me. Then, nearly a year later, I came into a little bit of money and decided to go for it. Rio was still available, and I bought him sight unseen and had him shipped out to me three weeks before Christmas, 2009..

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About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia Blogger

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters by herself while working full-time. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

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