Wow is all I can say. I had the most amazing life on earth ever. Seriously, EVER!
My life started in September 2001. Yup, that scary September. My first mom had TEN puppies. When I was two weeks old, this lady and a man came to visit us. They held each of us and ooh’d and ahhhh’d at us. I saw love in their eyes. I SO hoped I would be able to go home with them.
A few weeks later, the lady came back to visit again. My breeder told me that the lady was going to be my humom! I was SO excited!! She was lovely – she told me we were going to have the most amazing life together. I couldn’t WAIT to go home with her. They told me my name was Griffin which, being a WELSH corgi, I knew was a Welsh name.
To be honest, there was a reason I was chosen for my humom and hudad – they were getting another puppy, a Belgian Malinois, and that kind of dog is very high strung. My breeder observed all of us pups and chose the most laid back one. I was it! My huparents were very happy in the coming years that I was so laid back.
I went home with my huparents right before Thanksgiving in 2001. It was a Sunday. I was SO excited to go home with them, but I got scared. That first night, my humom stayed with me near my crate and said soothing words. All I remember is, “Griffie boy, I’m gonna love you forever and ever.” Can you imagine? My heart grew so big that night. I was already in love with this lady! I was also falling in love with my hudad and with my sister, Malinois Zoe. BTW, Zoe was WILD! I was the well-behaved puppy. Seriously!
A few days after I went home with my huparents, my humom put my crate with me in it in the car. We went to where she works, which was at a private school. There were other dogs there! In fact, my cousin Nikki went with her humom to work too! I was just a baby those first weeks – while my humom worked, I lay on her shoulder and slept. We went outside a lot and saw lots of kids. As I got older, I started running with the kids to chase their soccer ball and I flopped on my back to get tummy scratches from the kids. It was SO much fun going to work!
Then one day, we stopped going to work. I was confused. My huparents were very preoccupied with something. They went away for a week (they told me later they went to Russia) and came home with a BABY! A HUMAN BABY! Her name was Elena and she was a precious eight month old baby! Zoe and I absolutely and completely loved her. When she would cry, we would go sit by her crate – oops! I mean crib – and bark for humom or hudad to come and get her. We were gentle with her and licked her face, especially if she had food on it. If she was holding food in her hand, we lovingly took it from her so that her hands would be free to play. We helped humom by licking up any food Elena dropped or threw on the floor. I gained some weight when my husisters were little. I missed going to work at school, but I had my work cut out for me with this baby.
Then two years later, they left again and came home with another human baby named Nina. Zoe and I were very good babysitters.
So life went on. We went on walks, we ate treats, we played fetch with tennis balls and soccer balls. We traveled to relatives’ houses for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Eventually, Elena and Nina went to school. We got to walk to the bus stop twice a day! We were happy with these simple things in life. Zoe and I loved our family so much!
My sister Zoe was my comrade in paws. She was wild, but I loved her anyway. When she was nine, she got very, very sick. My huparents found out she had a probable case of lung cancer and there was nothing they could do to help her live longer. We sadly said goodbye to her in April of 2011.
Me and Pebbles, the new kid on the block.
Six months later, another corgi came to join our family. Her name is Pebbles and she was FEISTY! She wasn’t a puppy when she arrived, so I wasn’t irritated by puppy craziness. By 2011, I had become pretty set in my ways. My humom wanted another corgi, but she didn’t want me to be bothered by a puppy, so she searched for an older corgi. Pebbles was feisty, but respectful of me. I was alpha and that was NOT going to change. She understood.
When I was 11, a German Shepherd puppy named Willow joined our pack. I had been around lots of young dogs, so Willow and Pebbles played wildly while I watched from the sidelines. Willow respected me as the alpha and gave me a daily face bath daily, until I had my fill of her licking. Then she would back off and go looking for Pebbles.
Our huparents loved traveling, and Zoe and I (and later Pebbles) were so lucky – they liked taking us along!
The most amazing trip I went on was a trip to Alaska. Zoe and I flew up with our husisters and humom to Alaska to stay with some good friends. Oh My Dog! I LOVED the cool summer weather SO much better than hot, humid Maryland weather!
We took walks where moose and bears traveled. I lay in the cool grass and enjoyed the Alaskan sun and mountains. We went camping with 2 other dogs and 8 people near Denali National Park. Zoe and I LOVED being a part of that big family adventure that lasted an entire summer.
You know, I loved everypawdy I met, but to be honest, I really had a thing for older people. We used to go visit my hugrandmom in her nursing home. One day, hugrandmom was in physical therapy.
One of the physical therapists asked humom to put me up on a tray in front of a lady who was having trouble opening her hand. When I was up there on that tray, the lady was able to open her hand for the first time in months. The PT asked me how long I had been a therapy dog. Humom said, “He’s not!” They said I had the right demeanor (what the heck is a demeanor?) to be a therapy dog.
Had I been younger, humom would have put me through the training. As it was, my own physical problems were starting to become apparent.
Two years ago during my annual physical with my beloved Dr. Lisa, they discovered that my kidneys weren’t working like they should. I was already taking NSAids for arthritis in my hips and knees, and because of the kidney disease, I had to come off of the medicine that kept the inflammation down. I was on other medication, but it didn’t work nearly as well.
I was lucky enough to have a K-9 Cart, and with the help of my humom’s corgi friends, we got me in it and tried it out. I was a star! I could actually walk in the cart!! With the encouragement of folks on Facebook, I started my career as a dog in a cart! Sadly, about two weeks ago, my other foot started knuckling and soon became useless. I could not stand up at all on my own. Amazingly, I was still happy to be with my humom, my hudad and my sisters, both human and canine. Although I was never formally diagnosed, it was the thought of the K-9 Cart-maker (a retired vet,) that I had DM, short for Degenerative Myelopathy, similar to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in humans.
May 4, 2015 was the day I went to the Bridge. I knew something was going on because my humom wouldn’t stop hugging and kissing me. She tried not to let me see that she was crying, but I saw. At the vet, my humom’s good friend (and the person who often took care of me when humom went away) came to the vet’s office with chicken jerky. I hadn’t been too keen on dog food for 2 weeks, but chicken jerky? That’s my favorite! My humom let me eat SEVEN pieces! SEVEN!!!! She only ever before let me have a half of one piece. Right after I swallowed the seventh one, Dr. Lisa came in a hugged me and put me on humom’s lap. She kissed me and told me she’d still love me forever. Then I peacefully went to sleep.
I woke up gradually and I realized that there was something on my shoulder blades. I realized quickly that I was flying and that the things on my shoulder blades were actually where my wings attached to my body. WINGS? Where was I and why was I flying? In the distance I saw the most beautiful place ever! I thought it was Alaska, but it was even better than Alaska! There were meadows and ponds and flowers and trees and snow-capped mountains in the distance. It was so peaceful. I also saw a bridge there and on the other side of the bridge, it was even more beautiful and peaceful. As I approached the meadows, I realized that there were all kinds of dogs and cats and rabbits and horses and guinea pigs and just all kinds of pets!
I was about to land on this lovely meadow when I saw four corgis bounding toward me. They were four of the friendliest corgis I have ever seen. I was so confused – these did not look like any of my corgi friends, but they looked like I SHOULD know them. As they approached, the lead one said, “Hi Griffin! We heard you were on your way. I am Dodger and you know and love my humom Susan Mooring. We’re here to welcome you.” The next one came up to me and nudged me sweetly. She said, “Hi Griff. We’re here to help you become accustomed to the Rainbow Bridge. You may be here for a while. I’m Bella and Amy Carmona is my humom.” The next one was a big boy like me. He said, “Hi Griffin, I’m Fred. My mom is Liz Maudlin and I’m here to help you exercise your wings and to play with you here in the meadow.”
Finally, the last one came up to me. He had a bag of treats in his paws. I knew who he was! I asked, “Are you Noble?” He said, “How did you know?” I said, “You are just like your humom! She is the official treat-giver!” Yes, Denise Ripley’s boy Noble is the official corgi treat-giver up at the bridge. Just then, Noble opened the bag of treats and hundreds, maybe thousands of corgis, came running from all over the meadow! They all lined up politely for their treats.
I know it’s not just a dream. I’ve already seen some other dogs (even a cat!) reunite with their people. It’s hard to describe, Mom. It’s like the best day we ever all had together times a bonezillion. Remember that, when you think of me. I miss you too, but I’m happy up here, and when you’ve lived your long life too, I will be the first to see you. Promise.
Get ready to be knocked over and loved on, that’s all I’m sayin’.