Dogs cooling off in creek near Mammoth Lakes, California (2004)



Hot dogs on outflow Bishop Tuff, overlooking Adobe Valley, California (2004)


Gail’s Dogs

I have three dogs, but you’re likely to see me with just two of them, Flint and Pic, at Stanford. The senior dog, Maddy, generally supervises my husband’s government work at the U.S. Geologic Survey in Menlo Park.


Flint is a handsome example of a male Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Flint in a field of buttercups at the age of about 4 years


Flint on his first day at Stanford, at the age of 14 weeks


    Maddy, with the longer coat, is what is referred to as a “fluffy”, an undesirable characteristic for the show ring that, to my eye, makes her look especially feminine and pretty.

Maddy at age two years, on the trail toward Telescope Peak in Death Valley, a few months after we got her in 1994

People who see me out walking these little fox-faced dogs often ask for more information about them. Visit the site for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America for information on this breed. They are wonderful all-around dogs, containing the personality of a big dog in a small package.

Maddy recovering from ACL surgery. She and Jerry Rice had the same surgery at about the same time; her's worked.


Pic looks like the quintessential mutt in a Disney movie, but, in fact, is a purebred Pyrenean Shepherd. His full name is LaBrise Pic de Marmure, derived from a local name for one of the tallest peaks in the Pyrenees, which consists, appropriately enough for his guardian, of Hercynian granite.

Pic as a puppy a few months old

    The Pyrenean Shepherd is an ancient breed that was used in transhumance, the annual moving of flocks of sheep from the lowlands of France to the alpine meadows of the Pyrenees for the summer and back again. These lively little dogs worked together with the Great Pyrenees, who served as flock guardians against bears, wolves, lynxes, and foxes. For more information, see this link, where Pic illustrates the smooth-faced variety of pyr shep, or the website of the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America.  

Pic "electrique" with a lovely expression at a few years old.

Beware: These dogs are very cute-looking and a perfect size, but they aren’t beginner dogs or for the faint of heart; living with a pyr shep is like living with a border collie on caffeine. I got Pic because the breed has been very successful in dog agility competitions in Europe. I wouldn’t recommend a pyr shep as a family dog unless you have older children, lots of space, and the time to socialize the dog extensively to overcome its naturally wary nature.

Dog Agility

I have trained all my dogs in the sport of dog agility. The sport involves directing your dog through a course of jumps, tunnels, teeter-totter, a doggy balance beam, and other obstacles. Like in horse show jumping, the fastest dog with a clean round wins. Here is a movie of Gail and her corgi Flint competing on a simple course.

Click here for a movie of the dog's abilities!

For more information on the sport of agility and pictures of my dogs and me competing, see Gail’s Dog Agility Page.


Other Dog Activities

All three of my dogs are herding-instinct certified. Pic and Flint are both quite talented at herding sheep and ducks, but I haven’t pursued it because it’s a time-consuming activity that leaves one dirty and smelly—not the sort of thing one can dash out and do between meetings or lectures.

Flint has been certified as a Delta Therapy Dog, and has worked on the wards of the Stanford Hospital, where he was especially appreciated because he is small enough to lie on the bed next to a patient.


Recipe for Gail’s Savory Dog Biscuits