Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One year ago today I brought home my best friend.

My best furry, four-footed friend, that is.

April 9, 2013. Safeway parking lot, Lewiston, ID

Shortly after I’d received my acceptance letter from PSU (the same week, actually) I responded to a Craigslist ad for corgi puppies in Lewiston, Idaho. Graduate school in Oregon (as opposed to Pennsylvania, where I’d also been accepted) would allow me the possibility of owning my dream dog. I’d wanted a corgi for years and knew it had the exact personality I was looking for: loyal, playful, and full of character without being too big or small of a dog.

But I’ll stop there, because I know everyone is tired of all the “when I got my dog” stories. I know I sure am. Instead, I’ll share with you what the first year of owning a corgi has taught me.

  1. They love to eat.  Everything. In one week last summer he chewed up three pairs of sandals and the laces off my dad’s shoes. They like to pick up little things that have fallen on the ground—paperclips, pens, sticky notes—and run off with them, so you have to have sharp eyes and good reflexes.

  2. They’re bossy. Archie tells me every night when it’s time for bed. He makes little clucking sounds every night at 11:30, staring straight into my eyes, until I put him on the bed and join him. Little body, but big attitude.
    Which brings us to...

  3. They’re vocal dogs. I’ve heard them described as “talkative,” and boy, was that person right. They cluck, whine, growl, bark, and make all sorts of other weird sounds to interact with you and everything around them. But mostly they cluck, and it’s pretty adorable.

  4. You’ll never do anything alone ever again. Such as: cooking, going to the bathroom, taking out the trash, doing the dishes. He’s. Always. Right. There.

  5. They’re the biggest chickens. Things Archie is scared of: frying bacon, wind chimes, the alarm clock, people in hats, the fan over the stove. His preferred hiding spot is in the bathroom, huddled against the bathtub. In the dark.

  6. Corgis have an unlimited supply of energy. I can take Archie for a long hike and he’s still not tired when we get back home. But when corgis finally crash, they crash hard and will sleep for hours.

  7. The long fur on a corgi’s butt is called his pants. I’m not kidding, it’s an actual technical term and is used by the American Kennel Club. How funny is that?

  8. Oh and speaking of butts, corgis don’t wag their tails (or “nubs,” as I like to call them). They wiggle their butts like a semi-truck fishtailing.
    And last but certainly not least,

  9. He’s the most loyal companion and I’ll never get tired of coming home to his sweet little face. Having a dog who is always excited to see you when you step in the door—even if you left for only a minute—is arguably one of the best feelings and sights in the world.

One year ago today I brought home my best friend, and even though he can be quite the handful at times, I’ve never once regretted it. People often tell me how they could never handle trying to raise and train a puppy while attending graduate school full time, and that never makes sense to me. When you love something that much, you make the time. You just do. 

Rockaway Beach
Moving to a big city where I didn’t know anyone was pretty scary, but I know that I know I couldn’t have done it without him, as cheesy and cliché as that sounds. I used to laugh at people who told me their dog was their best friend, but I get it now. I totally understand.

So what has your dog taught you? I’m curious. 

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