Hello from the heart of fly-over country! We are Jeff, Heidi and Dan, the Noonan-Days from Iowa. The history of our life with Corgis is a rich and beautiful tapestry woven of dogs, people, horses, humor and love. Plenty of love.
The Corgi story for Jeff and I began with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Vern. We made his acquaintance at a horse show, where he sat in the aisle and stared at us. Jeff offered him a Cheeto, which Vern took with great delicacy before spitting it out. Naturally, we were enchanted!
The first Corgi we called our own was Frances. Born of a horse show family, she loved horse shows. Mostly for the food. One frightening day she wandered off while we were packing up. A frantic search led us to the food stand, where we found her selling the famous Corgi charm in exchange for French fries, bites of hot dog, or a Skittle.
At another horse show, with our now four year-old son Dan in tow, I stumbled upon a pen of tri-color Pembrokes with a “For Sale” sign. In my opinion, this is totally unfair: how are you supposed to walk by a pen of Corgi puppies? Within fifteen minutes, I had Claire tucked under one arm, and was writing a check with the other. Jeff knew better than to say a word.
Time passed. Claire and Frances traveled with us (including our son Dan) to many horse shows. Those were fun years! After Frances died at age 12, I broke my back in a career-ending horse riding injury. All the horses had to be sold, along with 35 years of accumulated stuff. Those were some dark days. I credit my family and Claire with pulling me through. Day after day, while I lay there in a body cast, Claire took up her voluntary post, laying pressed against me, facing the opposite direction so she could stare directly into my eyes.
When I struggled to fill horseless hours, Claire volunteered as an agility dog, helping with my physical rehabilitation as well.
Bella was our breakthrough dog, but we decided the show circuit wasn’t the life for her and she became a homebody.
So we bought Charlie, who DID work out. With big brother Dan.
He went traveling the East Coast with a handler without us. Three weeks in, we met the handler on the road, and forever stopped the breed showing. Comparing dog shows to horse shows is like comparing a pool of pirranahas to Disneyland. In our opinion, Corgis belong at home with their people. So now here we sit …
Bright-eyed as Corgis with something to say …
Claire is now 12 and arthritic, unable to go for the walkies she loves. I bought her a scooter, which she adores.
We will never be without a Corgi. When my body pushes me into my own mobility scooter, a CERTAIN in my future, please allow me to misquote the “When I Am Old” poem of the Red Hat Society: “When I am old, I shall buy a purple scooter, and I shall have a red sidecar, which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me. In my red sidecar shall sit a Corgi.” Maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when suddenly I am old and start to ride my purple scooter.
With a Corgi in the sidecar.
This post first appeared on The Daily Corgi on 8/2/2013.