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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is described by the American Kennel Club as “low-set, strong, sturdily built and active, giving an impression of substance and stamina in a small space.”
Their height is between 10 and 12 inches and they don’t have much of a tail.
The AKC goes on to say their outlook is bold but kindly, the expression is intelligent and interested and the Corgi is never shy or vicious.
Translation, these short little guys are friendly and love to be the center of attention. A definition that perfectly describes Duke the Corgi.
I’ve never met a dog so small who thinks he’s so big.
Corgis from Pembrokeshire, Wales, date back to the 1100s. They were officially registered by the AKC in 1934.
They are considered a cattle driving animal or farm dog. Although Duke does try to herd his housemate Boo the Labrador, his temperament seems to have arrived from a more royal usage of the dog.
He must have found out Corgis are fond of pampering because he is often known to demand it. Queen Elizabeth currently has four Corgis, Linnet, Monty, Willow and Holly as well as three Dorgis, a cross between a Dachshund and Corgi.
The queen first met Corgis when her father, King George VI, bought one named Dookie.
Although they have similar names Dookie is no relation to Duke. I was told by Duke’s previous owners he was named after “The Duke’s of Hazard.” Duke, however, refuses to believe his name arrived from the Duke boys and acts as if his name has more regal origins, as if he is the Grand Duke of Rineyville.
The fact that the queen of England has this breed explains a few things about Duke and his desire for pampering. He doesn’t really think he can sit on the floor without cushioning and thinks the best place to sleep at night is on a pillow.
He also demands attention, often barking at guests until they look down at him. As soon as he gets their attention he immediately rolls over for them to scratch his belly.
Duke also has a sixth sense for knowing when something else is getting attention. If I’m petting Boo, Duke somehow knows it from three rooms away and I hear the quickened pace of tinny little legs scurrying over to become the center of attention.
Why, you may ask, am I giving a brief history of the Welsh Corgi and Duke’s goal to be treated as well as the queen’s pets?
Sunday is Duke’s birthday. That’s right, his majesty turns 7.
While Boo and I will try our best to give him adequate attention on his birthday, I’m sure it will not live up to his expectations.
He will remind us that Hillary Swank, Jennifer Aniston and Steven King also own Corgis and he will guess they are pampered far more than he is.
While the Labrador always tops the AKC list for most popular dog, Duke is always quick to remind Boo that Corgis are more regal —after he’s used his air-ninja move on Boo to try to get him to chase him.
Yes, Duke is quite popular and, in a weird sort of way, quite the little celebrity. He’s appeared in the paper after a trip to Dinosaur World and he auditioned for the role of Toto in “The Wizard of Oz.” And yes, he will expect to be treated as a celebrity on Sunday. Actually, he expects to be treated like a celebrity every day.
If you don’t believe me, check out his fan page on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Boo-and-Duke/109510752432562.
In the end, Boo and I usually tolerate this attention ham of a dog because, after all, he is kind of cute.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.