I think we’re finally getting happy with each other. Laddie seems to see me primarily as his source of food, cookies, cushiony surfaces, perimeter security, absence of thunder and access to walkies, while his essential function is to promote an orderly environment in which these activities and services can best take place. I’m mostly cool with that, so we get along.
With a database of one, I’m not prepared to offer opinions on the truth of the Corgi Stereotypes. I can say that Torso Boy does not fit them all. Corgis are supposed to be obnoxiously high-energy: Having met Dharma I know obnoxiously high-energy, and he is not like that. His idea of a perfect day is one in which he mostly sleeps, rousing himself only to go outside to pee and patrol his perimeter, then come inside and have a biscuit and a nap. I do believe, though, that in a safely fenced yard he would willingly take more exercise than he does now because he does want to chase every moving thing he sees. In particular he has developed the notion that cottontail rabbits are an existential threat which should be destroyed to the last scrap of fur.
Neither is he obnoxiously loud, though he does bark to draw my attention to dangerous intrusions such as birds in the eaves. And while he could certainly be described as “food-motivated,” oddly he doesn’t really seem to eat all that much. People told me that he was raised on a diet of dry kibble, but the truth is that he doesn’t seem to like dry kibble at all – unless it is threatened by an outside menace like Dharma, at which point he suddenly becomes extremely defensive of it, and his idea of defense is to eat every bit of it right there without coming up for air. So he’s aware that kibble is food, he just doesn’t seem to approve of it most of the time. But he’s a terrible beggar, and appears convinced that dog biscuits are essential to life. So yes on “food-motivated.”
Friendly with other dogs? Nope and noper. He finds Dharma fascinating for some reason possibly having to do with her gender, since he was never properly taught that gender is a mere social construct – but he does not want her in his house. And he can’t stand being near any other dog he’s met so far including Maya the Shih Tzu. In fact yesterday he humiliated me by marking territory in her house.
Pushy and opinionated? Oh god yes. When things are not proceeding according to his orderly framework he is prepared to work unsparingly to set me right. Servants are such fallible creatures.
Happy/goofy? Never. He awards my correct guesses as to his immediate wants with a hopping little dance, and that’s as close to play as I have ever seen him bend so far. Possibly due to his upbringing this is just not a playful dog. I never see that famous uninhibited Corgi grin. He’s very watchful.
And that’s the place where we’ve made progress with each other – at first, understandably, he accepted me as the new person but he didn’t trust me at all and it really showed. He was – and to a point remains – easily alarmed. He’s happy with his own bed during the day but had trouble getting through nights at first and needed a lot of reassurance. When I changed the rule about sleeping on the bed we suddenly made a lot more progress on that front: He purely loves bedtime now and thinks it should begin as soon as the sun goes down. I have learned never to turn down my covers until I’m ready to use the bed because from that moment I’ll get no peace until we’re both in it. I think he mostly just enjoys feeling warm and safe.
When I volunteered in mid-summer to be his Plan B I did it because it seemed like the right thing to do but I didn’t expect anything to come of it. And when it did happen I wasn’t really all that thrilled. I wasn’t ready for another dog so soon after Little Bear died, and I didn’t want an older dog of a breed that couldn’t be expected to defend itself in the desert. I’ve always heard nice things about Corgis but never expected to have one move in, if only because they’re expensive. And I was kind of worried about the “high energy” thing. But that proved mostly a non-issue, and we’re getting along pretty well all told.