Anita Nordlunde grew up in Switzerland in the company of dogs. Her mother had German Shepherds, then Borzois and eventually Collies. So perhaps it was inevitable that as an adult, Anita would want her own dogs.
Years later, as a wife and mother to a ten year-old boy, she could no longer ignore the longing for a dog. “I knew it wasn’t going to be a large dog or hunting dog” she recalls. “Not a terrier or a toy dog, either. I narrowed the choices down to a Sheltie or a Corgi. My husband wanted to know exactly how big a Corgi — a medium-sized dog on short legs — would be.” (How to describe that, much less a Corgi’s idea of how big a Corgi is?)
“I learned there were two breeds of Corgi. Preferring a dog with a tail, I set my sights on a Cardigan.”
“This was back in 1979, after we had moved to Denmark. There were no Cardigan puppies available there, but my mother found out about a rare litter of Cardigans in Switzerland. On a drive there for our holidays, we met the breeder and bought Aladin (Aladin vom Findlingsbrunnen). Our first Cardigan puppy — a fluffy!”
“Aladin was a great character and a wonderful playmate for our son. In 1991, he went to the bridge after 12.5 years with us.”
“Aladin made me more interested in the breed. Eventually, I wanted a Cardigan Welsh Corgi I could show and contacted some breeders in England about acquiring a show quality puppy. In early 1981, a visit to Crufts in London permitted me to meet breeders and visit some kennels. Gwen Roberts told me that her Ch. Robgwen Gregson had sired a litter. She had the pick of the litter but couldn’t have two males. I was welcome to buy the male who she believed looked quite promising.”
“That was how I came to own Dandy, alias Greg’s Boy of Robgwen, who kept his promise and fulfilled all my hopes. He had a fantastic show career and became Danish, International, Swiss and Dutch champion, World Winner 1986 in Vienna and 1989 in Copenhagen, with numerous BOB’s and even some group placings.”
“The WDS in 1986 took place only a fortnight after the nuclear plant disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine. When we arrived in Germany by ferry from Denmark, our car was subject to a Geiger counter control to measure any nuclear radiation. The same procedure awaited us at the Austrian border. It was a bit weird. Several exhibitors from Eastern European countries were denied access to Austria.”
“Dandy went to the bridge in 1995, at 14.5 years. I still miss him. He was such a good boy.”
“In 1983, I bought another dog from Gwen Roberts: Georgie, alias Robgwen Welsh Diamond. He too became Danish Champion, and he and Dandy used to compete for BOB.”
“Georgie was a rather nervous and reserved dog. Unfortunately, he and Dandy competed not just in the show ring but also at home. They could not be in the same room with us without growling at each other or starting a fight.”
“In 1990, when Georgie was 8 years old, he developed acute pancreatitis. I rushed him to the vet where he recovered, only to relapse and succumb to heart failure a weeks later. Very sad, and it happened while we were on holiday in the Swiss mountains. I had him cremated and brought his ashes back to Denmark, where he was buried in our garden.”
“I was devastated when I lost him, the youngest of my three dogs. It wasn’t long before Indy, alias Maximilian de Meon of Willowglen, joined us from England.”
“He was fine at home with Dandy, but quite a terror with other dogs on walks in the nearby park. I’m guessing other dog owners were glad to see the last of him when we moved to Switzerland at the end of 1997.”
“After Dandy went to the bridge we searched for a female companion for Indy and welcomed lovely sable bitch Emmy, alias Kincroft Early Morning, to our home.”
“She was a very lively, happy and outgoing girl — more like a Pem than a Cardi — and took no notice of grumpy Indy. Unfortunately, Emmy had a rather strong hunting instinct, so she could rarely run off leash.”
“With Dandy, Georgie, Indy and Emmy I ran agility, purely for fun. Emmy was OK as long as it was outside, but as soon as we used an indoor riding area for winter training, she became more interested in horse droppings than running. We gave that up.”
“Just after New Years in 2005, I had to admit it was time to release Indy to the bridge. Cancer was catching up with him. Later that year, shortly before Christmas, when Emmy refused to eat and wasn’t her usual bouncy self, the vet suggested she we should see a specialist. He checked her breath and told me it was her kidneys, saying he’d see what he could do. We left Emmy at the vet’s for further examinations. He later he phoned, saying things didn’t look good. Her abdomen was full of blood. Despite intensive care for two days and a blood transfusion, there was nothing more the vet could do as several of her organs failed. Sadly, we had to let Emmy go at only 10 years old. Writing this, almost 8 years later, still makes me cry. Emmy was such a charming girl, and like Dandy, one of my heart dogs.”
“Bryn suddenly found himself alone. He became listless. We decided he should have a companion once more. As he had fathered a litter born in late 2005, we chose the only tricolor among 6 boys and 2 girls.”
“We picked up the new pup when he was 12 weeks old. He was registered as Dynamite du Trésor des Vikings, but we call him Dylan.”
“He was well received by his dad and they still get along nicely. Bryn is a Swiss and International Champion and Dylan is a Swiss Champion.”
“My involvement in the world of Corgis included a term as secretary of the Danish Welsh Corgi Club (’82-’88) and editor of the Club newsletter (’82-’90).”
“Upon our return to Switzerland in 1997, I served as editor of the Swish Welsh Corgi Club’s newsletter (’99-2010). In 2000, I launched the Swiss Welsh Corgi Club’s homepage. In early 2010, I resigned as editor and webmaster and created my own website Welsh Corgi News.”
“Since 2002 I have also been part of the international group behind Cardigan Commentary International, an educational and informational site for judges, breeders and fanciers of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.”
Editor’s note: Ms. Nordlunde’s Early History of the Cardiganshire Welsh Corgi and Separation of the Breeds at Cardigan Commentary International are well worth reading for those interested in the origins of the breed.
“In 2005, I reached out to Billie Stahl of Corgihouse for permission to reprint one of her stories for the Swiss Corgi Club’s newsletter. We’ve been corresponding ever since. Some of her delightful illustrations and cartoons are featured on my website, and I sometimes help her with English translations.”
“Although I have Cardigans, I’m also interested in the history of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and take great pleasure in finding and translating features and stories from all around the world of interest to Corgi lovers. As my website is registered in Switzerland, I originally intended to upload articles and stories in German and French only. As most of the news items I find are in English, however, I decided to upload the original versions too. I’m very grateful to the various authors for giving me their permission. My friend Margo takes care of the French translations. The advantage of running a website like mine is the absence of deadlines. I can upload articles and stories whenever I have something ready.”
This post first appeared on The Daily Corgi October 18, 2013.
I'm very happy, to see my both favorite web sites now are in one… 😉
TheDailyCorgi is my smile for the day, but welshcorgi-news.ch is my "Corgipedia". Thank you, both of you, for your great work!
Greetings from the Corgihouse!
Laurie Eno / The Daily Corgi says
Billie, I can hardly wait to blog about YOUR site! 🙂
Susan M. says
What a magnificent story and what glorious pictures! A joy to see.
What a lovely story!
Thank you Daily Corgi for all your wonderful stories!
I was so happy to see this post I got a little teary eyed! Much love and very, very best wishes to my dear friend Anita, and to my corgi heroes Laurie and Billie!