A short-legged, long-tailed dog greeted 12-year-old Jinnie Strickland when she stepped off the school bus.
She had never seen him before, but the little dog wiggled, jumped and acted like she was his long-lost friend. He followed her home and stayed.
“I studied the Book of Dogs and decided that he was a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Eventually we found his owners, but he would not stay home so they gave him to me,” Strickland said. “I had wonderful memories of him all of life.”
As an adult, she wanted a dog that could do dog sports, but that she could keep up with, and thought of her childhood buddy.
“I found my first CWC and I haven’t looked back. Cardigans are a breed that fits my lifestyle.”
The Georgia resident has now owned, bred and shown Cardigan Welsh Corgis for more than 20 years. She is devoted to maintaining the temperament and health of the herding breed that captured her heart as a youth.
When she lost a beloved Cardigan at age 14 to canine cognitive dysfunction, she wanted to do even more.
She volunteered to participate in the Dog Aging Project – a national study to improve longevity in all canines. “When I read about the project, I knew I wanted to help. They were looking for younger Southeastern dogs for the study, so I nominated my youngster, and he was accepted in the program.”
The goal of the Dog Aging Project is to understand how genes, lifestyle and environment influence aging. The study brings together a community of dogs, owners, veterinarians, researchers and volunteers.
“The Dog Aging Project has captured the imagination of dog owners around the world. Not just because the project’s discoveries could lead to more time with our beloved pets, but because what we learn will be directly transferable to human health as well. Ultimately, it will lead to longer healthier lives for both humans and their canine companions,” said Dr. Audrey Ruple DVM, MS, PhD, an associate professor at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech.