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Our own "100 Akre Wood "

as told by Benfro's "Vicky" in 1999

We have our own "100 Akre Wood!" It's true!

in the woodWe start out on a new "Expotition" every day in spring, summer and autumn, even in winter if the snow allows it.

We have an owl there, we have a rabbit, and some years back we even had a piglet! Must be a long time ago, I was not even born then.

deerWinnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo don't live there, instead we have Mr. Fox, Mr. Woodpecker, lots of birds, and Mr. Elk is passing daily, and so is Mrs. Deer, so we are quite happy with them. There's plenty of ants as well and mum says that's good, then we can walk without being scared of stepping on an adder.

It's only one poisonous adder in Norway, but never found at the same place where there are ants. I do not know if she says it to comfort us - or believe it herself - because she always carries a box of tablets in her pocket. Just in case, she says.

owlWe rarely see Mr. Owl, but we see traces of his meals. Mum says we have to look at the remaining feathers, then we can see who has eaten what. Mr. Owl picks his pray in a rather special way. - Honestly it wasn't us! - We just sniffed the feathers.

We do love these "expotitions"! We try to drag mum as fast as we can, but she loves it as well, so it's not no problem really.

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She picks wild strawberries in summer, blueberries, raspberries, cowberries and mushrooms in autumn, and in spring we just enjoy the greening, the birds and the flowers. Last time she brought a camera along, took a lot of pictures so soon you can follow our 100 Akre Wood all through the year, starting in June 99.

June 10th -99: Today Mr. Elk had left a lot of "cookies" for us - but mum did not let us eat them. We thought it very impolite Poor Mr. Elk, when he returns he'll see that we did not accept his offer.

Taffy who is my dad by the way, even tried to herd him once, Mr. Elk did not like that either. We don't know if we dare to try that, mr. elkTaffy said he was huuughe, even bigger than the neighbors cows! And that's big, they are hamburger cows! We like hamburgers, but prefer the ones mum brings home from the butcher shop. Poor cows, wonder if they know that they'll end up in our food bowls? We will not tell them. That would be mean.

It's better to be a dog. Well, none of us would have liked to be the same neighbors dogs. They live what the humans call a "Dog Life", but mum says as long as he feeds them and don't mistreat them physical, there's nothing she can do. - But she's just waiting for the right opportunity!

June 24th -99: - Midsummer Day and the first wild strawberries were ripe - mum wild strawberriesnoticed before us, so she was the one with the sweet taste in the mouth. It was only two anyway, but mum says it will be enough for us all in a few days time.

Yum, yum! I ate it last year, but for the others it's new! I like them, but think blueberries are better, wild ones in the wood, and mum thinks we don't know about the bush she has planted in the garden, so we might beat her to that one! Guess who ate the strawberries in the garden?

June 30th -99: The rain has been pouring down for days - it's been boring and yesterday when the rain finally stopped, mum dragged us along to the Vet. That took hours because the Vet put something in our eyes and let us wait for a loooong time. Then she took us into a very dark room and looked in our eyes, one by one, then she said to mum: "Hate to disappoint you, but I can't find anything wrong".

Mum was pretty happy and not disappointed at all, - humans say a lot of funny things when they mean something else. Then Jacko got his rabies shot, so he too can come along to Denmark next time. Wasn't too bad as mum took us to the pet shop for treats afterwards, we could each pick one goody from the baskets, and the lady behind the counter gave us some too. Funny name again - Pet Shop - they don't have any pets, just all the things we pets need.

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in the wood

July 3rd -99: Finally today we set out on a new "expotition". Lots of things have happened in these days. On the way we smelled that the neighbor's cows had been there, he had moved them to a new pasture on the other side of our wood. Then Mr. Fox had been out last night - we followed his track until mum called us back. Mr. Woodpecker had made some new holes in his tree and somebody else had eaten Mr. Elks cookies.

- And even if it had rained, it was strawberries, plenty of them, so all got a good taste - the only one that really like them except for mum, is Jacko. Image and myself will wait for the blueberries. So come on Sun, please shine for us and the blueberries! - And if you don't shine, mum says she'll grow a "fish tail" and we don't think that will look good on her - and worst of all - how could she take us for walks!

July 11th -99: Thank you Sun! It's finally summer, we just did not expect you to make it so hot! Now we go for "expotitions" either very early in the morning or late, late at night instead, and do you know - we are all hooked on wild strawberries.

Image and me pick them ourselves! We are big girls. Jacko, the lazy baby, just waits for mum to put some in his mouth. And we have got a new friend in the red squirrelwood! A red squirrel has moved in with her young ones - you should see the mess they make when they eat! Jacko is nothing compared to them - and don't tell anyone, but I like it when Jacko makes a mess - I'm always the one to finish my meal first, so I then walk over and sit next to him and clean up everything that hits the floor. Oh, yes, mum met Mr. Fox the other day. She returned home pretty late and he was sitting on the road just in front of the car - she did not bring the camera - but she told us that he's a pretty old gentleman with a lovely deep red coat that we just can envy him. Looks a lot like us, she says.

Apart from that, we are not too popular just now. Nothing to do with our "expotitions", but I better tell it anyway. Otherwise mum will say it, and I am quite certain it will sound much more serious then. I blame it on the TV! Mum and dad watches some TV, mainly documentary and one night we watched something called "A Revolution".

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Looked great and everybody was much happier afterwards. That put some very planningbright ideas in our heads - well, they seemed bright just then. So when we returned from our "expotition", we had decided that we would take over the government of "The Doggie World".
Princess and Taffy - my parents, were in the outdoor run, so the moment mum had taken off our collars - we ran across the lawn in a barking attack. Oh Boy, did somebody get angry! Think Jacko shall be pretty glad that Taffy could not get hold of him and Image should be thankful that Princess was locked in as well. - And me, well it was not that serious on my part - they are after all my parents!

Anyway, we were the ones put in prison. Mum was mad as a hatter and crated us at once! "Time Out", she called it. Jacko started to whimper, but Image and myself tried to take our sentence with a lifted head. No more telly either! Well the others don't watch it either now, we are all in the garden all night long - but mum has put out several buckets full of water - I wonder what she plans to do with them? I don't think I want to find out.

July 13th -99: We found out today - and we also found out who rules "The frapping alongDoggie World". It's not us, it's not Taffy, it's mum and Princess! Mum, Princess and Taffy had been for a walk and I think Taffy wanted to teach us a lesson, so this time it was him racing across the lawn barking at us - we barked back of course. Next I remember was that it got awfully wet and we stopped. Taffy did not, so mum tried to put him into the empty bucket - that was what it looked like anyway and Princess grabbed hold of him as well and before we could even say "hooray" - Taffy was flat on his back, Princess on top of him and mum walking away. None of us have tried anything since, so life is back to normal.

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July 23rd -99: Life stinks! Mr. Fox is no gentleman, he left something nasty for us red foxin the wood, something mum calls Sarcoptes scabiei so we scratch, and scratch even more and have been to the Vet. Special appointment we had, when nobody else was there, and we all have got medications, shots, baths and pills.

Mum says it's worse with Mr. Fox, nobody will give him any medication, and his lovely coat will come off and then he will go to the Bridge after a lot of suffering, unless somebody shoots him first. Mum never likes it when she hears gun shots, she hopes all our friends in the wood manage to hide, but now she says a shot might save Mr. Fox for a lot of suffering, she just hopes that none of our other furry friends have got it as well.

September 10th -99: It's been such a long time since I wrote my diary, but it's been a great time too, with too much to do for all of us - and when I finally got vickysome computer time on mum's lap - our modem was killed in a thunderstorm. - And we have been on holiday! Just Image, Jacko, me and mum. We went to the South Coast and shared a house with a cat! It's mum's house, but she lets out one flat for rent and those people had a big Persian cat - he was afraid of dogs - even of us!

It's a big garden down there, even fenced, but that fence is pretty old. Mum said it was put up when she had a German Shepherd - that was of course before there were any Corgis in Norway, otherwise I am sure she would have had a Corgi!

Anyway - we found a way to get out! Mum got us back in again, patched the hole and we found another one! Pretty fun as long as it lasted, but after the third time, she managed to patch up all. Then I got a football! And we learned to pick apples, we could both eat and play with them. - But we missed our lovely wood, so it was good to get back home again.

image and meFirst day back home, we dragged mum on a new "expotition". Our wood was just as before - nearly, somebody is digging a big hole and we wonder who. We have never smelled this before and mum has no idea. She guessed it could be a badger, but we can tell her that Mrs. Badger smells differently, she lives under our barn so we have smelled her many times.

We have picked the last wild strawberries, we have picked wild raspberries - they taste great but are a bit tricky to pick, but there a no blueberries this year! Rotten luck, we really looked forward to them - there's none in the garden either, but that is another reason - they ended up in us.

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Mum can't find any mushrooms either, so now she suddenly complains about the summer being too dry - not long ago she complained about all the rain - humans are funny! But we don't scratch any more, our great Vet has cured us all.

taffyBut mum got bit by the neighbors dog when she was taking Taffy in for his second shot. That dog is a chicken, whenever he sees us all, he just barks and runs away, but this time when mum had only a very sick Taffy on lead, he decided to attack. Mum went between so she was the one bitten. She was mad as a hatter again, so now the neighbors dogs are either indoors or on a leash when we go for our "expotitions". I am not certain what mum said to the neighbor, but if she had spoken to me in that voice, I would have hidden under the coach! Maybe he did too.

September 29th -99: It's been raining again, but mum is happy, so I suppose the autumn rain is different from the rain in the summer. I don't feel it different though - I get vet anyway and I think this rain is a lot colder. Princess will not even go outside if it rains - does not matter what season - mum pushes her through the door. I am not like that, I like it outside no matter what the weather is like, but I don't want to get too wet.

And Image saw Mr. Elk and did not say one single bark to me, lousy! She told me he was so big that she completely forgot anything else - and well, Jacko played with me and so we were quite busy. We just noticed because mum suddenly started to tell Image that she was a good girl not to chase after him. I think I would have tried a good chase, - just slow enough so I did not get too close.

- And we have been to a Show - the judge did not like neither Image nor me, but he liked Jacko so we agree with him on that, he liked Princess too, even if she still has not recovered her former body after having me.

bridgeOnce again we missed our wood, but it was a lot of things going on anyway and we have finally been too the mountains. It was great! We managed to drag dad into a stream - under the bridge on the picture - he got all wet, but we did not mean too, but it was just so exciting! Some animal had been there, we had never, ever smelled such a strange smell before, so we hoped to find out as soon as possible, but we never did.

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Mum said that in that area it could even have been a brown bear, but she's trollwrong there, this animal was small, smaller than us even I think. - And we met a "Troll" - stone dead he was too as he had been out in the sun, otherwise I would not have dared to come this close, even with dad, Image and Jacko. Apart from that - mum is happy, she finally found her mushrooms, that was why she wanted rain I think - she usually prefers the sun too.

 

October 6th -99: I think I will never meet Mr. Elk, I am not sure, but I think he died this morning and I feel sad even if I never knew him properly. He belonged in our wood and we always knew that he used this path every day.

Maybe there's a Rainbow Bridge for Elks too? I hope so. Why I think so - well yesterday we went for our walk a bit later than usual and when the dirt road stops, the fields on the left belong to this farm, the ones to the right to another, and just on the border there's a lot of hay in plastic.

Suddenly Jacko started to bark and I thought that I finally would see Mr. Elk. in the fieldInstead it was a strange man hidden amongst the hay and mum called us all in a funny voice as she remembered that the elk hunting season had started and was afraid that they would mistake us for foxes and shoot us as well. Our barking spoiled any luck for them that day - four of them it was and they were nice to us, petted us and mum told them that some of our distant cousins in Mid Norway today learned blood tracking, so even if we are herders, we can do a lot of other things as well if the humans let us.

(In 2004 my son by Jacko, Gareth , became the very first Norwegian Corgi to be recognized as a professional tracking dog! Does something with a mother's heart that!)

Then they started asking her about Mr. Elk, and she said they would have no luck this late in the afternoon, he is an early riser. Mum is not against people hunting elks and deer, there are too many in our area and from an area that was thick free, they have arrived with the increase of the deer population. - She just thinks they could leave our Mr. Elk alone.

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This morning after our human dad had left for work, our favorite time as we are jackowaiting for our breakfast - one slice of bread to each and every one and a thick layer of liver patè on the top - yum yum! - we heard three sharp shots. Mum did not take us walking today, she said we would find out soon enough anyway. We will, we will use our noses the moment we get back into our wood, and mum will look for his prints on the ground. We know that there are more elks around, so I hope our elk got away this year too! I wish the hunting season was over as mum says it's time to do roadwork instead for a while. In the elk hunting season a lot other than elks are getting shot - everything from cows to Volkswagens, so if we want to exercise, it will be the road for some days. It's getting cold too - we are expecting the first visit from "Jack Frost" tonight and it's not our Jacko.

November 18th -99: Jack Frost arrived and so did the snow, fun, fun, but it went away again too soon. Then so many things happened that I can't really keep track of it all.

jackoAfter the roadwork, we started walking the fields again - mum wearing a big red jacket just to be certain that any late hunters would see us. But Mr. Elk has neither shown himself, nor left any tracks. We miss him. But a new fox has arrived, we think it is Miss Fox this time, she is very young and one day she followed us on our walk - safe distance, suppose she was a bit afraid of us.

Then we went to the South Coast with mum again. Mum was not too well late autumn, had something they called an ulcer and a lot of pain. So for one week, we went for long walks early in the morning - to the beach chasing sea gulls! Was a lot of water there too, tasted strange, but it was fun when the waves tried to catch us and we always won! The rest of the days were lazy, mum only visiting her mum and resting.

usThen it was back home again and mum got some pills and started to feel better - so off to the woods again! Not every day, some days it was too slippery so mum was afraid of falling - poh - she's only got two legs, we've four! and we manage.

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December 6th -99: Today we got a new sister - or Jacko's niece arrived from England. Amber is her name, but she's too young for our long walks yet. We played with her in the garden instead and I was the very first to meet her. We are related too, we have the same grandfather.

jacko, amber and image

We had expected her the day before, mum's birthday present from dad and supposed to arrive the exact right day. Instead British Airways messed it up, so she arrived one day too late. Mum was all nerves when she did not arrive on time, said it was no good for her blood pressure - whatever that might be. - We relaxed, we knew that she was a relation and in our family we are born survivors. Think all Corgis are.

January 10th 2000: Haven't had much spare time, soooo much have happened. We went to the South Coast for Christmas, back home just in time for the millennium celebration. Too much noise if you ask me and not much difference either - except that we had a lot of turkey! Love it - but then we all love our food. None of us are afraid of all the firework either, but the telly was full of stories about dogs that had too be drugged because they were afraid of the noise. Stupid humans! We did not have any, but we could both hear and see a lot.

Imagine all that money spent on fireworks, spent on something useful? Like treats? We could have eaten our way into the next millennium without a problem.

jackoApart from that Jacko is totally hopeless! He and Amber were at a Show, Princess too, but only to keep them company, but he got BOB two days in a row and even placed in the Herding Dog Group both days. Don't tell him, but I am green with envy. Our little baby sister did not do too bad either, she went BOS pup, but so have I, so that's OK!

February 2nd 2000: I AM SO HAPPY! Mr. Elk is alive! We have finally got proof! It's been such a funny winter, suddenly icy cold and no snow, the a bit of snow, but so warm that it just melted away again. Don't you just love the snow? I pretend I am a snow plough and put my nose to the ground and run and run. Makes funny tracks. Mum showed us how to make snow angels - was not very successful though, because she had the lot of us on top of her when she laid down in the snow, so instead of looking like a snow angel - it more or less looked like a mess. Maybe, just maybe, we'll let her show us, but we can't promise anything. We love it when our humans get down on the ground or the floor. It's an open invitation and we use it for full!

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But the lack of snow has made it difficult to keep track of our wild friends, of jackocourse our noses tells us the most, still now we are certain. Look at Jacko how proud he is! He was a bit ahead of the rest of us when he started to bark to me that I had to come, fast, fast! - And there they were - Mr. Elk had left his "cookies" so maybe one day I too will see him. I promise to keep you posted.

But mum has a dark secret, she has an elk roast in the freezer. I know because I was there when it arrived and it did not come from the butcher! I wonder what it tastes like - and if I will get some?

September 2000: OK - I know I promised to take you to our lovely wood all through the year, and I am sorry, honestly! But so much happened both in spring and summer, so I did not have the time. First of all I have got new humans, and they are mine and mine alone! In March we got visitors, nice couple who liked Corgis - well any visitor coming here just have to like Corgis, because we are usually all over them hoping for some extra petting - and being so many, well you can imagine yourself.

We love the once placing themselves in the coach, then there's space for all of us as well. Rannei did and it was me she favored! Erik liked me too, especially after he found out how clever I was with the football! They left again - but then I i do a lot of gardeningstarted to go on week end trips to their place - all alone. On Friday mornings I went to work with dad, and in the afternoon Rannei picked me up and showed me that there is a lot of lovely woods around with funny smells and plenty of space to run and play. They even bought me a new football - or two - or three! Paradise!

Some week ends we stayed at home - see I am calling Spikkestad my home now, we did the spring gardening and I was allowed to help digging! Other week ends we went visiting, even all the way to Rannei's parents. They live not far from where my old mum grew up, and they had a Corgi long, long time ago when Rannei was very young. So they loved me as well.

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All through spring and summer I grew more and more certain that this was the place I wanted to stay for good. I love the attention and being the only one to get it! So mum Rannei took a lot of photos of me, I am after all her "baby" now, and also things altered so much in my old home that it felt good leaving - well I do vickymiss them, but that's not a problem as sometimes we visit and other times they come here.

Think Jacko got green with envy the time he visited me! Liked that I did, because he and Image tricked me! They left me out of all the fun and decided that they were having pups! It should have been me, after all I am one month older than Image. They had great pups though, but Image was so protective that I could not even play with them. So I packed up my things and moved for good. Think Image got very jealous then, so not long after, she packed up her things and left as well. She lives in Oslo now and like me, she has the full attention of her new humans. Suppose she might miss us sometimes too, but then she too has a lap to cuddle in and enjoy all the attention.

Image did not come to the Corgi Fun Day this year, they were on holiday, but fun dayRannei and me were there. Just look at us having fun. - And I brought home a nice mug with Corgis on, won it in the match show I did!

So our happy puppy days are over, only my parents, Amber and Jacko walk in the 100 Akre wood today - pick strawberries like we did and if they are lucky they might meet Mr. Elk. - That's my only regret. I had wanted to see him so much, but luckily mum Rannei understands me, so she has taken me to see some proper deer, another type and much bigger than the ones in our wood, so at least I have something to brag about the times I meet up with the others in the gang.

- And who knows - maybe my pups will walk the 100 Akre wood some day, enjoy life the way I did, but pups or not, that's my own little secret for the moment. So to all of you out there in cyberspace - bye for now. I hope you have enjoyed my story.

VICKY

PS! I took my babies to our lovely wood. They loved it. You should have seen me and gamlynthem frapping around. But none of them stayed on the farm. They all moved out to homes where they are loved and cuddled. -And when time is due, Gwen will go back to the farm and have a litter, just like I did. Also, mum Rannei let my son Gamlyn into her household. So no we are two, even if it is hard to keep him in his place, he has outgrown me both in size and weight - but I am still the boss!

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