Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Kids and Dogs

Dogs!  They’re just plain cool, and for most kiddos, they’re great companions and playmates.  They provide an opportunity for kids to take responsibility for something living in addition to their other chores.  We had dogs for most of my growing up years, and I’ve had one for most of my adult years.

When our son was born we had a pup in the house.  She had already been with us a few years, loved Paul as a baby, but as he got older and big enough to play with her, she got grumpier.  Almost entirely a jealousy issue.  She was never out of line and never caused him harm, but really didn’t want to participate in his fun and games.  In her later years as an elderly dog, she became plain old grumpy.  It saddened my son that he didn’t have a dog that wanted to play, and our promise to him was to get him a dog that would be his when the sad day came that our old dog moved on.

That day came and we were all heartbroken.  Even Paul was crushed by the passing of the pup even though she really didn’t like him.  The plan was to take some time off, let the wound of the loss heal, then find a pup that would be his.  Among just a few others, his preferences included a Corgi.  Our old dog was a rescue and a mutt, and part Corgi, so that probably fueled some of the desire.  Not to mention Corgis are a crazy cool breed with lots of energy, and a personality two or three times their physical size.

As things sometimes do, we became aware of a litter of Corgis right at the time we lost our old dog.  We were pleasantly surprised that this struck us as a comfort in spite of the recent loss, and we decided to take a look.  A quick visit later and we were hooked.  To make it better, the pup we ended up with was weened and available to come home right around our son’s birthday.  What a present!  And we joined the ranks of the Corgi owners.

As mentioned, I’ve been around dogs my whole life.  They’ve all pretty much been mutts, and most of them I’ve had as an adult were rescues.  Oh man, this Corgi is a different breed!  (Pun intended.)  This critter does things I never saw my other dogs do.  We’re in a social group with other Corgi owners locally, get the little rascal out for periodic gatherings at nearby dog parks where he can run with others of his kind (including many of his family!).  I’ve made these observations and asked these questions of that group too, but I think it’s probably therapeutic for me to put them here was well.  Any who knows, maybe some of you have Corgis and will sympathize and laugh along with me…or at me.

  1. These are 30 pound dogs that think they’re 60 pounds.
  2. They don’t know they have stubs instead of “regular” length legs.
  3. They shed like massively shedding monsters.  I don’t know how a critter can shed more fur than they actually have on their body at any given time.  It may be a miracle.  Or something akin to a freak of nature.
  4. These are mouthy dogs, in two ways.  First, they’re not a drooly breed, but they seem to have very wet mouths and noses.  They like to get your attention and “hold hands” with their soggy mouths.  When our pup plays with a toy, it gets soaked.  Second, they chew on things, a lot:  toys, baseboards, irrigation system emitters, cardboard boxes, just about anything in the bathroom trash can, etc.  Some stuff can’t taste good but it goes in the mouth anyway.  Even some of my son’s modeling putty.  Gads.
  5. They are smart and stubborn.  Really smart, and really stubborn.
  6. Related to #4, I can’t tell if sometimes they genuinely don’t get what you’re telling them or training them to do, or they totally get it and want to be sure you know they’ll listen when they feel like it.
  7. Going along with the stubborn streak, if the dog wants to make a point, it seems peeing on the floor is an approved acceptable method in his mind.  We’ve had this knuckle-head for almost a year now and he’s definitely housebroken.  But if he gets mad or frustrated, he’ll pee on the floor to make his point.  He’s even done this within sight of the door to go outside.  At least once he’s done it right after he came in from the back yard.
  8. Related and finally, it seems typical for this breed to pee when they’re nervous or excited.  I give up and accept peeing is a form of communication (beyond marking territory) for these little dudes.  Have your paper towels and cleaner readily available.  One time, there was this killer balloon—but that’s a story for another post.
All said though, these Corgis are very cool critters!  I never thought I’d like a breed of dog as much as this keeping in mind, most of the previous dogs were mutts and rescues.

Best of all, this little giant dog is definitely our son’s dog, and Paul is the dog’s boy.  They are two peas in a pod.  The pup pouts when Paul’s not around.  They play together and Paul’s bed is the one piece of furniture the dog is allowed on.  (We had to buy a little set of stairs so the pup could get up there though—so funny!)

So the boy is happy, the dog is happy, and therefore the parents are happy!

It’s great to be a dad!