Today’s entry is a guest post by Willow’s adoptive Mom Kathy Strawn, who — along with her husband Steve — has worked wonders with a spirited little firecracker of a female Pem. Turns out this rescue is a winner in more ways than one!
“Willow’s story is a familiar one to rescue. This puppy just has too much energy. Willow was only six months old when her owners came to the realization that she wasn’t a good fit for their lifestyle. They reached out to Vicki C. of Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue, who came to the rescue of a stunning black headed tri-colored female Pembroke Welsh Corgi.”
“It was obvious that Willow had run riot in her old home. She had developed separation anxiety and could scream for hours in her crate. Her barking could go on incessantly outside. Willow is extremely quick and high energy and soon developed a great game of keep away. If she didn’t want to be caught, you couldn’t catch her. Her door dashing abilities were second to none and she could quickly disappear down the street. Once she was located, her keep away skills could have you chasing for a long time.”
“Willow spent the first few weeks in rescue wearing a long line, so she could be caught if she made it out the door. She was a whirlwind of activity who needed a performance home to focus all that energy.”
“Steve and I knew Willow’s rescuer Vicki from agility trials with our Corgi Grizzly and flyball with our Rat Terrier Sadie. Grizzly is our fourth Corgi. As experienced Corgi parents involved in dog sport, we agreed that ours was just the performance home Willow needed.”
“We weren’t looking for another dog. We already had Grizzly and Sadie, along with Ozzie the Bernese Mountain Dog, Tonka the Pomeranian, and Zoey the Border Collie mix. All it took was one photo of Willow to melt our hearts. We had always wanted a black headed tri-colored female Corgi, but it hadn’t yet worked out. What was one more dog?”
“Willow is an AKC registered Pembroke Welsh Corgi with the name Sunnyside Angalina Pride, so she arrived in rescue with the name Angee. Steve and I decided that Angee was her bad dog name and it needed changing to bring a fresh start for this out of control pup. It took a few days, but we finally settled on the name Willow. While learning her new name, she got a lot of positive reinforcement, as in “oh, what a good girl, Willow”, and “C’mon, Willow” with treats and such. But we still occasionally reverted to Angee, as in “Angee, will you shut up”, and “ANGEE, NO!”
“We began Willow on a rigorous exercise program and enrolled her in flyball and agility training. Flyball encompassed everything she loves; barking, balls and running. In less than a year of training, Willow hit the flyball racing lanes and in 16 months has earned her Flyball Master (FM 5,000 pts) title.”
“Willow is currently ranked #41 Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the North American Flyball Association’s (NAFA) breed rankings and is in the top 20 of actively racing Corgis.”
“Willow’s agility career has started a little more slowly, but we expect to hit the Dogs on Course in North America (DOCNA) and AKC trials hard this fall and winter.”
“When Willow isn’t performing, she’s a total Daddy’s girl but will snuggle with anyone. She is friendly with most dogs, made a great babysitter for a foster puppy, and is always up for a wrestling match.”
“We recently adopted Ava, another Corgi from Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue, bringing our family total to seven dogs. Ava is a red headed tri-color Corgi who keeps Willow on her toes.”
“Our Willow races with the Blazin’ K9’s out of Chandler, Arizona and has gained the nickname “Wonder Willow” from her teammates. When Willow is performing she is a crowd favorite and always gets her own cheering section. She has even been declared the “cutest thing ever” by one of the NAFA judges.”
“Vicki approached us earlier this year to ask whether we would enter Willow in the Purina Pro Plan Rally to Rescue “Tales of Greatness” contest. We agreed, and I got to work on the required a 250 word entrance essay. To Vicki’s delight — and ours — Willow became a finalist!”
“Purina Pro Plan’s film crew spent a day with us, filming Willow performing flyball and agility and interviewing Vicki and myself. They focused on her flyball abilities and got some really fun footage of her performing.” (Ed. note — watch the video directly below — it’s genuinely PAWsome!)
“The winner of the contest wins $5000.00 worth of Purina Pro Plan and 4-day, 3-night trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend the 2012 Kennel Club of Philadelphia and National Dog Show (Grand Prize Trip).” Please support Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue and vote for Willow HERE!