We are delighted to have the following review from Deborah Harper, author of The New Complete Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Review of Everything Corgi: Wit and Wisdom for Lovers of Cardis and Pems
Reviewed by Debbie Harper
I volunteered to write a review of this book because, basically, it is terrific! It's as simple as that. For starters, Everthing Corgi evolved as a group effort and was conceived as a way to raise funds for CorgiAid, a non-profit organization that helps with "extraordinary expenses and medical treatment for corgi and corgi-mix rescues". Most of the many contributors met on the Internet's Corgi-L list where they share their ideas, knowledge and anecdotes about these two charming breeds. The articles in the book are by noted authorities, trainers, breeders and vets, and also by people who primarily are owned by Corgis. Delightful line drawings appear throughout as well as photographs of the dogs, people and activities described. The general thrust is unmistakably How To Enjoy Life with Your Cardigan or Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
The book is well-named. After an introduction to the most worthwhile organization CorgiAid, major categories include Finding Your Corgi, Taking Care of Your Corgi, What Corgis Do, and as final icing on the cake, Corgi Fun, Myth and Magic. Interspersed between sections are amusing vignettes of special dogs and their Corgi antics.
Established breeder, Millie Williams (Kallista), starts off with a comprehensive range of questions and answers a prospective Corgi owner should consider prior to bringing home a dog. This is universally good advice. Another article, annotated with heartwarming case histories, covers the various aspects of Rescue Corgis. A playful comparison of the two breeds lightens the mood.
The centerpiece in the Taking Care of Your Corgi section is a splendid guide to commercial dog food by Florence Scarinci. This very complex subject is meticulously supported by various tables and lists of ingredients and products plus references. Even the most experienced dog owner can learn herein to navigate the bewildering morass of the pet food industry. As an alternative way of feeding, the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet is discussed by Joan Adams, who has found it very satisfactory for her dogs. For leavening, there follows a veritable cookbook of yummy, doggy-treat recipes.
The Care section, of course, has an article on basic grooming for the average homebody. More specific preparations for the show ring are not attempted. Then, general first aid and a list of toxic plants and substances forewarn the conscientious Corgi owner. (I do take exception to the somewhat inaccurate/misleading but often-published plant list. For instance, the poisonous "Hemlock" is not the common evergreen tree Tsuga canadensis, but rather a flowering plant Cicuta maculata in the parsley family.) Nonetheless, any knowledge in this direction is helpful, and it is dandy to have the phone numbers of the Poison Control centers on hand.
Rounding out this section is general information on starting puppies with essential, first level manners and obedience training. There is a pitch for the happy life of a city dog, even one bred for country pursuits. And lastly, a sensitive article deals with the final years of a beloved senior.
We all know Corgis are clever. They were bred to be all-purpose little farm dogs. What better way to begin a chapter on What Corgis Do than have Lynda McKee, owner/trainer of the first Pembroke to earn a Versatile Corgi Excellent (VCX) title, explain what is out there to challenge these dogs' multiple talents? The worlds of Conformation, Obedience, Tracking, Herding, Agility, Flyball, Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs are showcased. For the most part these subjects are covered amply by "about" rather than "how to" articles. However, once interest has been whetted, the reader is directed to a wealth of resource material - books, websites, governing organizations, etc. Thanks! Certainly, "Everything" is an appropriate description of these performance options.
In the final section, Corgi Fun, Myth and Magic, inventiveness, imagination and whimsy come to fore. It is amazing how many hilarious games have been devised for a picnic of frolicking Corgis and their friends. One giggles at the entries in A Dictionary for Corgis. And there is a wonderful list and description of all sorts of books, videos and movies featuring Cardis or Pems, plus, helpfully, where to find them. A poem, a piece about The Rainbow Bridge, and a story of how the Pembroke Corgi got its fairy saddle delight the reader. Several other fictional pieces add to the mystique of our furry companions. The book fittingly concludes with JoAnn Schmidt's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas -Corgi Version".
Well, I suppose not exactly "Everything" about Corgis is found in this book. If you are a serious student of history, bloodlines, genetics, structure/movement or whelping, you will have to look elsewhere. Such an all inclusive book would be intimidating and too heavy to lift! However, if you want to get the best out of your life with one of the world's most endearing creatures, Everything Corgi is definitely the book for you. Enjoy it! Congratulations to Editor Cindy Read and her roster of talented writers and artists.
©2003 Deborah Harper To be published in the Spring 2003 issue of The Corgi Cryer from the Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club. Reprinted with permission.