All content on this blog is copyright by Marci Andrews Wahlquist as of its date of publication.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Camera-Shy Corgi

My sister has three dogs in her family. Her dog is a 13-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever and Doberman mix who has been featured here on this blog before. Her daughter has a black Labrador Retriever - Border Collie named Sable who is basically nuts; he is now 5 years old and had been expected to grow out of that stage, but it seems to be permanent. Their third dog ostensibly belongs to my brother-in-law, but Welsh Corgis are so cute and inclusive that he belongs to everybody. He comes to visit us so often that he also includes us in his circle of people whom he likes to herd together. He loves everybody and everybody loves him. He is so cute that we camera-nut types love to photograph him.

But he hates to have his picture taken.

This was quite apparent this week when my niece and I drove her brother back to college and took the dog along. On the way back he was in the back seat, a little sad that one of his herd had been left behind, and very put out every time my niece pointed my camera his way. My niece tells me this is typical. She is getting more and more into photography and would like to use him as one of her principal models, but he refuses to cooperate. He turns his head away, lowers his ears, and looks pathetic the instant he realizes the camera is on him.

His history is that he is a sort-of rescue dog. My sister was the veterinarian in a small town in southern Utah where someone called her a few years ago and asked if she would board this Corgi puppy. She agreed, and at the end of the boarding period, someone came and got the dog. The next day the puppy was back at the front gate, asking frantically to be let in. My sister, unable to reach the original person she had dealt with, found out that the puppy had been left tied to the front door of the house that had been suddenly abandoned by the party that had been renting it, and that a kid in that neighborhood who had been asked to feed and water the puppy for a few days had untied the dog and let him run off. The sheriff told my sister that the supposed owner of the dog was unlikely to return, being wanted for a number of serious reasons. So the puppy had gone to where he felt his home was. My sister kept looking for the owner for a while, but the Corgi puppy grew up in her household and implanted himself in their hearts.

I suspect he is camera shy because he knows he is on the lam.
Sleeping in the sun, suddenly aware of the camera

Oh come on. Give a guy a break from this harassment!

Gotta get out of range of that thing.

You know I value my anonymity!

Unaware he's being watched.

Not again! Have you never heard of the Federal Witness
Protection Program?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


My brother is visiting us this Christmas and will be taking care of our mother here while the rest of us fly away for a much-needed break. I gave my brother the job of setting out the many nativity sets in my mother’s and my collection, and today he got them all in place—different places than where I’ve put them before—I felt I needed change this year.

Our mother started collecting these sets long ago and had over fifty when I started collecting them too. She moved in with me and we weeded out the duplicates and have acquired more over the years.

I went around the house and photographed a good share of them; here they are.

My dad had this one when he was a child. The poor donkey is long gone; I remember my siblings and me fighting over who got to play with him. Of course we were not supposed to be playing with any of the pieces, but we did and that is why the Christ child that originally belonged to this set is missing. It is also why the cow lacks ears or horns and everybody is worn smooth around all the edges.

Perhaps it is fitting that early on we should see the scenes of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to be taxed. That the Savior of the world should be born to poor people struggling to comply with the inconvenient and difficult demands of a foreign government that kept them oppressed and under the thumb of a little tyrant is fitting. We (at least in the USA) cannot complain that much about our modern prosperity and relative freedom when we compare, can we? But we ought to take notice and watch what is happening right now lest the precious gifts we enjoy come under threat of loss.

This set was given us piece by piece over the course of ten nights by some neighbors who decided to be our “Secret Friend” many years ago. Our son was little then, and he was enchanted by the growing scene. The last piece to come, fittingly, was the babe in the manger. We never found out who gave us this gift, and thus we never lost the need to pay it forward. Piece by piece, a small deed at a time, we may make a change for good in this old world.

We bought this piece in Bethlehem ten years ago for my mother. It has been a treasure to her, and it reminds us of the lovely rocky hillside covered with scrub trees and rough desert forage for the herds of sheep that still graze that area. We had gone into a little cave in the side of one of the hills just outside the city, and there a Christian Arab told us about the traditions of the shepherds. We felt some of the wonder and awe that the story has always held for the believer.
This is the last gift from my brother Dan, who passed away almost a year ago. How I miss him!

My sister-in-law gave me this nesting egg set of scenes of the Savior’s life: His birth, baptism, teachings, Atonement, and Resurrection. He lives today. You can know Him. He certainly knows you.

He is our greatest Friend; if only we will love everyone, the easiest and the hardest alike, we can become like Him and all be the friends we were meant to be. Let us shine that Light in the darkness and banish that darkness.

A very merry Christmas to all, and a bright new year.