Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Strong Willed Corgis

I've mentioned before that my corgis have very different personalities. In fact, when I talk to other corgi owners, I sometimes think that mine must be on opposite ends of the personality continuum. Princess is 'off the charts' independent, bossy, opinionated and strong willed.

Dee Dee is usually very compliant and easy going .... but now and then she exerts her will, and when she does, it's usually pretty funny. When getting ready for a trip, I can count on Princess to attach herself to my heel as soon as she sees the suitcase come upstairs, the camping equipment go in the trunk or the cooler in the kitchen. She is going to make darn sure that she doesn't get left behind. Dee Dee is more complex, because, while she doesn't want me to go off and leave her, she really would rather that we all stay home.
We had decent weather on our vacation overall, but the first few days were cold and stormy. The first night in the tent went well, as we had just a light rain that is actually a very soothing sound on the tent. The second night out, we weren't so lucky. Thunder, lightning and eventually hail pounded the tent. The hail was just pea-size (if that) but it sounded like baseballs on the tent. Dee Dee could not get out of the tent fast enough. I waited until there was a bit of a lull in the storm, and then I took her to the car and sat there with her until the worst of the storm subsided. (Princess was in the tent alone ... sleeping soundly.) After that, Dee Dee steadfastly refused to go back in the tent. In some ways this was nice. She slept in the car, and Princess enjoyed having me all to herself in the tent. But I felt bad for her, all alone in the car. Still, if she felt safe there ... then that was a good thing. So all was well until the second to the last night of our trip, which was a few days before July 4. Some kids in the campground decided to get a jump start on the holiday and were shooting off fireworks.
There is nothing that freaks Dee Dee out more than fireworks. I tried to cover the noise by putting the radio on in the car, but it didn't help her much. After that, she just couldn't find anywhere that she felt totally safe, and she became downright ornery. Both of the girls (and me, too, for that matter!) were getting pretty tired by that time and were ready to go home, but Dee Dee's logic played a trick on her. She wanted to go home; that was very clear. But she was tired of the car ... of riding in it, and of sleeping in it. With limited understanding of how a car 'works', she knew enough to realize that if she sat ON the driver's side floor, we weren't able to go anywhere.

And so each time I left them in the car to go into a store, bathroom or to snap a picture, I came back to find Dee Dee sitting right on top of the gas pedal. I told her to 'come'. She looked at me like I was crazy. I tried to grab her collar, and she dug down and arched her back. Dee Dee is strong when she needs to be. (Just ask the groomer who cuts her nails.) It was funny and frustrating at the same time. The first few times it happened, I was able to coax her out of the car with a piece of turkey, then pick her up and put her in the back seat. But she got wise to that, too, after a while. She really can be a character! By the time we crossed the Red River into Minnesota, we were all worn out, and happy to be home.


Laurie Eno said...


I run a blog called The Daily Corgi ( and would LOVE to feature your dogs on it.

Please visit the site and let me know what you think. It would be a real pleasure to share them with readers.


Laurie Eno

Anonymous said...

Laurie, Princess and Dee Dee would be honored to be featured on your website. My brother's corgi, Elvis, is also worthy of mention ... just google 'corgi, Elvis, calculus' and you'll get 100+ articles about him. (There is also a link to the CNN story about him on YouTube.) Thanks!