The Corgi Dog Story

Under the present circumstances, it is clear that I now have to tell my one Welsh Corgi story. This is about a corgi named Dillon.

Dillon was Irv and Nancy DeVore's Corgi. (Irv was my advisor in graduate school.) They had two corgi's, Dillon and another one with a similarly Welsh name that I can't recall at the moment. One or both of them came from amateur breeders whom I happen for entirely unrelated reasons to know, who in turn get their corgis directly from the Queen of England. Or the Queen of England gets her corgi's from them. I can never remember.

Anyway, you all know what a corgi looks like (see the video linked above if you don't) and the major feature of these dogs is their short legs.

Now, around the corner from Irv's house was a restaurant called Nicks. Or Charlies. Depends on when you may have gone there (the name changed, but nothing else about the place did). If you've ever seen the movie The Paper Chase, then you've seen this restaurant. It's the place the law students go and hang out. If you've read this post you've experienced this hamburger joint vicariously. But all you really need to know about Nicks for this story are two things:

1) In the evening, it is increasingly full of increasingly drunk Harvard Law students, Anthropology and Science graduate students, and older undergrads; and

2) The front door of Nicks is hard to open and when it does open there is an explosive exchange of air between the inside and outside so a lot of strange things can happen. This occurs because of the big fire inside the restaurant where they cook all the hamburgers (... and lamb chop platters).

So every evening Irv would walk Dillon around the neighborhood where he would defecate in designated spots behind bushes and in various nooks. (Dillon, not Irv. Defecating.) Very commonly, Irv would take a swing around to Mass Avenue, and part of his walk would bring him south from Linnaean Street, and thus, past Nicks.

So one evening, a bit late, Irv and Dillon were heading south on Linnaean Street, and just about to cross in front of Nicks. Suddenly, the door of the restaurant burst open. A vast amount of air was instantly sucked into the restaurant to replace the O2 that had been burned out of the atmosphere. The responding recoil shock wave caught the young man who was about to stagger out of the restaurant off guard, and as he stepped out onto the side walk, he lost his balance and fell to his knees, his baseball cap flying in one direction and his eyeglasses in the other direction.

Irv instantly stopped in is tracks and reigned in the corgi, who stood waiting and at the ready, as well trained dogs do.

The young man started to get his wits about him, and still on all fours looked around and found himself face to face with Dillon.

Dillon stared at the student. The student stared at Dillon.

And after a moment of contemplation, the stunned young man vociferated a startled lament:

"Lassie!" he yelled. "What have they done to your legs!?!?!?"

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That's funny.

I've been told that corgis are cattle-herding dogs. They herd by nipping at the cows' heels. So they have been selectively bred for short legs so that when the cows kick at them, their hooves go harmlessly over the dogs' heads.

They do have a tendency to nip. I've read that the Queen's dogs have a tendency to bite people's legs at dinner, but if you kick at them they set up a fuss and she doesn't like that.

All hearsay, of course.

from Philip Norman's Awful Moments:

Queen Mary was terrified of dogs, and lived in fear of the ferocious little Welsh corgis favoured by her granddaughter, the future Elizabeth II. At a Buckingham Palace garden party, Princess Elizabeth handed her a dog biscuit to give to the most ill-tempered of the corgis. Queen Mary in panic handed it on to her nearest neighbour, the Archbishop of Canterbury who, mistaking it for a teatime titbit, gratefully popped it into his mouth.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 10 May 2009 #permalink

Pembrokes are more nippy than Cardigans, at least with people's hands. Both breeds can produce good varmint hunters.

Corgis are great dogs! Fun, sturdy and great w kids. Most of them anyway. Great dogs if uhave a small yard like mine.
And fun to watch running like the wind on those stubby legs.

By Corgi owner (not verified) on 09 Nov 2010 #permalink