A Dwarf among Giants

Mardi Gras, a blue merle Cardigan Corgi is a real "It-girl". She has it all....! A small, but mighty blue-eyed over-achiever with looks that inspire artists, a social, fun-loving personality, and impressive athletic ability.

Mardi, now 11 years old, is owned by Veni Harlan in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and shares her home with seven Borzois.

"She is my first Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the socialite of the household," Veni says. "Mardi Gras just draws people to her."

Mardi was bred by Rita Hellegers and finished her title in Dallas, Texas
under Mrs. Kimberly Anne Meredith-Cavanna, beautifully presented by Barbara Weiner.
She is now "Am. Ch. Cornerstone's Mardi Gras, HT, CGC"!

When asked what made her choose a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Veni replied: "There was a time when I had just one Borzoi. When I got a job at the university, I felt she was lonely so impulsively, I went to the local pound. There I found a sad pup with big eyes. She was of medium height, very active, and a great companion for the Borzoi. When she died of cancer, the house was quiet again. (Older Borzois are not very active). I remembered seeing a remarkable looking silvery blue Cardigan with blue eyes. It impressed me and I began to research a possible addition and included Cardigans. What I read I liked - hardy, healthy, active. Just what the Borzoi needed - plus, she could be shown by myself and my nephew."

Veni continues: "Mardi is an excellent Borzoi herder/trainer. In fact she raised several Borzoi pups and was just the perfect buddy because she was non-stop play and not too big to cause damage. Her personality is superb so when a pup got rough she disciplined it but was by whole, a benevolent friend and mentor.

Here she is with baby Luna (Ch. Nonsuch Lac du Lune v Far Field CGC).
You can see the Borzoi is interested at taking down the prey.
Mardi is interested in games.

Mardi also has a natural instinct for sheep and enthusiastically gained her Herding Tested (HT) title in one weekend. (Many thanks to our herding instructor Shelly Spotswood).

Fun Run at the Glen Rose trials Jan 2008

Coursing at the 2005 LKC Spring Trials.
Photo by Shot On Site.

And at the coursing field, Mardi has put many a sight hound to shame with her intense drive and follow. And what great entertainment with those little legs flying!

She's also a frequent artist's model.

This pastel artwork by Frankie Gould based on my photograph is one of my favourites
because it captures the dynamic between Mardi and Borzoi
(in this case, Ch. Nonsuch Song Sparrow, CGC, called Singer).

Award-winning painting by Margaret Rice (People's Choice)
at the 18th International Exhibition on Animals in Art
at the School of Veterinary Medicine Louisiana State University
March 19-April 17, 2005

The painting was based on this photo by Jim Zietz.

She loves to take part in parades.

Art work created by Kevin Hersh
for a New Jersey dog parade

Mardi at the Mardi Paws parade in full regalia.

And she is instructing me in Rally Obedience. She is so smart, I feel like a dummy. I joke that Mardi reads and understands the signs better than me who gets nervous ; I'm quite certain Mardi could obtain her rally title, I just never found the time.

Mardi handled by Chuck
First place, Greater Hattiesburg Kennel Club, June 2007
Lambert Photo

Mardi also added "juniors" to her extensive résumé by taking my nephew Chuck into the ring.

And now she helps us promote our dog treat business "Marsh Dog", locally made of nutria meat and regional ingredients. Nutria, an invasive species imported for the fur trade, is the major culprit for the destruction of Louisiana's wetlands. Thousands of acres of critical marsh are destroyed year-round by this semi-aquatic mammal wrecking havoc on an endangered ecosystem."

Photos: courtesy of Veni Harlan