Corgi breeder experience

If you don’t personally know me, I am a corgi lover! I’ve wanted a corgi for I don’t know how long, like 10 years. Since I’ve been working part time, I’ve had more time and thought I’d finally pull the trigger. I started reading more about the breed, what to look for, price range, etc. I started looking at breeders and found one about 45 minutes away from my house so my husband and I decide to visit the puppies which were at this point about 6 weeks old. This was back in June 2019.

Some background information:
-Puppies go home around 8-10 weeks
-They need a lot of exercise as they’re herding dogs so they’ll also nip and chew A LOT as puppies. Be prepared for that!
Corgis are prone to some genetic diseases:
–DM (degenerative myelopathy) – where they eventually lose all mobility in their hind legs however they it doesn’t hurt them. There is no treatment for this disorder. The signs and symptoms appear in older corgis, average around 11 years old.
–VWDI (Von Willebrand Disease I) – bleeding disorder where corgis who are affected have less than half of the clotting factors in normal dogs which results in bruising more easily and prolonged bleeding after trauma.
–EIC (Exercise induced collapse) – neuromuscular disorder where after exercising 5-20 minutes, their gait becomes unsteady and they may lose muscle tone. They don’t feel this and may continue to over exercise and further injuring itself. Worst case is it may even result in death!
-AKC registered dogs = American Kennel Club corgis meet a certain criteria to be registered, essentially, they’re pure bred.

Genetics! A little background on how genetics work. If somebody is all clear of the disease, they would be considered to have two genes that are dominant, or for example, “AA.” If somebody is a carrier of the mutation gene, then they’d be “Aa,” which would result in a really rare case to ever express the mutation/disease. If somebody is “aa,” which means they are recessive for the disease, they are at risk of expressing that.

Okay! Now that you’re all caught up, we visited the breeder at their house and were instantly greeted by the dad of the puppies, friendly amd somewhat overweight yet pretty calm. The mom seemed pretty small and sweet. Going into this, the breeder and I had exchanged emails back and forth about the pups. I asked about their genetics and specifically about DM. They said they didn’t test because they got one parent from North Dakota and the other parent from Yakima so their lineages aren’t close at all. If you know anything about genetics, their distance has nothing to do with it. The dad is about 9 years old and they said the disease would have presented itself by now. They also said none of the other dog owners complained about their dogs presenting with this disease, however their dogs are only about 4 years old. The mom is also on the younger side so the disease wouldn’t have presented itself yet.

I was a little skeptical but hopeful it would work out. We ended up putting a deposit down for one of the pups that seemed really low key. The breeder agreed to do a cheek swab that I paid for that would tell us if Otis was at risk for the disease. I’m a first time dog owner and I just wanted a healthy pup not that I wouldn’t care for it if it had the disease. I think personally, I just wanted to prevent any kind of heartache down the road. The breeder had asked us what we’d do if Otis had it and I said we’d likely regretfully pass. :/

A week or so later, I get a text from the breeder and I kid you not, it says:
“Otis came back positive so I will be looking for a new loving home as you said you didn’t want him. Good luck finding one without this potential DM. My research says 70% have it and usually die from something else”

WOW. Is that super passive aggressive or what?! I asked them to call me to clarify if he is a carrier or at risk because they are two different things. They fail to call me and I call them after several hours. I understand they’re upset but I was upfront with them. The conversation was harsh and they said things like “I learned a very valuable lesson from all of this” and “You screwed me over 2 weeks of not being able to sell the dog.” I asked for the results because I paid for them and they said I’m not getting him so it doesn’t matter. I’m interested to know what lesson they learned – not to test their dogs and to not breed dogs at risk? Clearly, they’re just in it for the money and and I’m glad I went through this to find the truth about them. I would not want to support them and I just feel bad for the dogs.

I ended up finding another breeder who tested their dogs prior to breeding and went home with a really sweet pup who loves cold tiles, chewing on everything, and can sit. I couldn’t have asked for a better little guy.

This is Tobi!
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Czesc!

One of the first words I learned in Polish was hello, which is the title. One of my best friends was going to school in Krakow so we thought we’d visit her and some countries in Europe (we actually spent half of our trip exploring with her). We were spoiled with to be able to stay with her and take us around. Surprise! We were greeted with a welcome breakfast plate by her parents.

Ang lives pretty close to some cool sights so she took us on a nice stroll by the Wawel castle and the fire breathing dragon. The dragon randomly has fire lit from its mouth! I thought it was a neat feature.

Walked towards the Jewish Quarter and found some food (of course). First stop was this hip cafe/bar that had a vintage theme and had Singer sewing machines in the front. Got our caffeine fix in, which btw sadly Krakow doesn’t have great coffee. Ang made us try zapiekanka aka open toasted faced sandwiches. The one we got had cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, pickles, sweet ketchup, and onions. There were so many stands to choose from!

Walked around some more and saw some tons of street art. It’s quirky and interesting and really made it fun to just wander around.

After walking around, we got some delicious pierogis! They are essentially filled dumplings with savory and sweet goodies. They can be boiled or pan fried. Ang took us to Pirozki U Vicenta, a really cute Vincent Van Gogh themed restaurant, but also has really good pierogis. We got apples & sour cream and a meat one. The apples with sour cream were really good!

We then walked around the main square of Krakow and it was huge! One of the largest squares in Europe. It has a gorgeous cathedral and at the top of the hour, there is a trumpeter that plays reflects upon the history of how it was used to signal the opening or closing of gates or alarm the city of a fire or enemy. The end of the song is abrupt to mimic of how he was shot through the throat by an archer.

The square has street performers, stalls selling souvenirs and goods, and rows of shops. On our way back, we stopped by to get Ang’s favorite donut – cinnamon glazed jelly filled! We took the street train back to the apartment to rest before our next busy day.

PROS:
I can’t say it enough – how affordable it is!
Easy transportation/walkable
Friendly
Less crowded

CONS:
Language can be a little difficult

I wish we had more time to visit!

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Lisbon continued

We took it easy our second day in Lisbon because it was supposed to rain. We started the day with some coffee from Copenhagen Coffee Lab just a few blocks away. They were so busy they had to stop taking orders! We were in no hurry and caffeined up for the day. By the way – our whole coffee experience throughout Europe wasn’t particularly the best. It was actually kind of hard to find good coffee! Our next stop was for some food at The Mill, which also had a bit of a wait but it was worth it! Their fresh squeezed orange juice was delicious. Got the avocado toast with bacon and two sunny side up eggs. Johnny got butter toast with chorizo/ mushroom/ tomato combo and an egg.

After brunch, we walked around the city some more. Walked up and down hills, checked out some parks. This one had a cool tree support structure. The city is also known for all the orange tiled roofs everywhere.

Of course it was time for a snack after all of the walking. We stopped in for some decadent chocolate cake at Landeau Chocolate, which was rumored to have the best chocolate cake in the world?! Welp it was pretty darn good.

We took in more sights and our fair share of cable cars on our way back to the Airbnb.

And painted tiles… (second pic of our key for our Airbnb which had the cutest little backyard. It had a lemon tree!)

We got some wine nearby ($4 bucks!) to chill in the afternoon. Then Ang and I hit up a wine bar for some sangria and cheese for a little snack. We may look fancy.. but it was actually super cheap. I think it was less than $15 for all of this.

Wandered around a little more then we were off to our last meal in Lisbon. We dined at Petiscaria Ideal and ate some classic Portuguese food. Reservations were required when we came and we didn’t have one.. so I had made one online after talking to them haha.

Pear, goat cheese, honey, endive, pecan salad (probably the highlight of the meal)
Sweet potato chips with mayo/lime aioli
Tenderloin and mushroom sandwich
Polenta with tomatoes and clams

I also have to share this… I love Haribo and had such a great time trying all the different kinds in Europe.

PROS:
Less crowded – although I feel like it’s an up and coming destination
Slightly cheaper than other places
Beautiful art with all of the tiles
Very nice people
Lots of transportation
Laidback

CONS:
Hills (if you do a lot of walking)

I really enjoyed Portugal! It has a lot to offer and I can’t get enough of those egg tarts.

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The San Francisco of Europe

Next stop on the trip was Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and a different type of coastal city than Porto. I noticed the striking similarities quite quickly between San Francisco and Lisbon…
-Hilly
-Street cars
-Rust colored suspension bridge (Lisbon = Ponte 25 de Abril bridge)

We got in late the first night in Lisbon and decided to get some sleep because we were actually going on a day trip to Sintra. Sintra sits on the coast of Portugal and is about an hour away from Lisbon and known for its castles and palaces. We woke up at the break of dawn to get on the train out to Sintra because we knew it was going to be crowded. Missed the 8am so we got on the 9am. We really only planned to the the Pena Palace so we opted for an Uber versus taking the bus that takes you in a loop around all of the palaces. We also opted for the garden ticket, which lets you roam around outside the palace and all around but does not permit you to go inside the palace. We were fine with that because we spent plenty of time outside! Plus the line to get inside wrapped around.

After wandering around for a couple hours, we ubered back to the main area of Sintra, grabbed some quick lunch and made our way back to Lisbon. We walked around the central area and even happened to find this random pink street.

By now we were hungry again and made our way to Time Out Market, which is a large food hall. A pretty fancy food hall too! It had lots to choose from. We opted for some squid ink pasta with seaweed salad, pork belly with green puree (forgot what it actually was), and fries with spicy mayo (not pictured).

Our adventure continues! After full bellies, we made our way on the train to the Belem area and walked along the water. It’s located on the west side of Lisbon, along the water. It’s iconic for the tower of Belem, built as a fort to protect the city. We also saw a huge monument that commemorates maritime explorers – notice all the beautiful tiling on the ground.

No stop is complete in Belem without a visit to Pasteis de Belem! More egg tarts. Yum.

After that, we headed back to our Airbnb. We did lots and were completely pooped for the first night in Lisbon.

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Ola!

I was excited for this next part of the trip because I had never been to Portugal before. Ang and I were split between seeing Porto or Lisbon because they’re both quite so different. We decided to just do it and see both. We first stopped in Porto, a smaller laid back city that’s by the water and known for their port wine and bridges. We got in the morning, checked in at our Airbnb and started off the day with some food. Breakfast sandwiches and a drink were only about 6 bucks! Portugal is a super affordable country compared to its neighbors so we were glad for this break. We decided to also do a tour of Portuguese egg tarts.

One of the attractions we stopped at was this beautiful bookstore called Lello & Irmao that is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter. As you can imagine, the place was packed. There was also a huge line to get in.

Portugal is known for their beautiful tiles and artwork. The Sao Bento Railway Station was gorgeous!

The next day, we got some brunch nearby at Zenith. It was packed and we had to wait a bit but I can see why.. Love me some shashuka! Johnny got the avocado toast with a fried poached egg and a side of bacon.

We took a stroll towards the water and across the Ponte Luis bridge to do some wine tasting. We walked across the bridge on the bottom and on the way back, we went on the top! We went to this family owned winery called Augusto’s. Port wine is a dessert wine and was incredibly sweet and strong, especially the tawny that we had sampled. Great tour to learn about the aging process and they were very knowledgeable! Walked around and got to see some really cool views of Porto.

Last stop in Porto included dinner before our flight out to Lisbon. We asked some locals where to get grub and they directed us to this bar called Taxca. They had hunks of cured meats hanging from the ceiling. My meal with Johnny came out to only 10 euros! (Sparkling wine, pork sammy, salami & cheese sammy, and squid salad).

PROS:
Small city where you can get around everywhere by foot
Friendly people
Cheap food
Gorgeous scenery by the water
Laidback

CONS:
Didn’t know the language at all
Only stayed for one full day, but I feel like we got the gist of it all

Really quaint city/town that’s chill enough but still bustling with people. I’d definitely recommend coming here, even if it’s just for a day! I think it was really worth it.

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