Long about 1998 I was looking for a dog for myself. I'm a guy so I wanted a big, manly dog. >harrumph, spit<.
I went to a dog agility meet because I thought it would be a good place to see a variety of breeds and be able to interact with their owners. During the course of the day I saw a short legged, stocky dog going like gangbusters around the agility course and having the time of his life. On the A-frame he didn't even stop at the top but FLEW over the peak never touching it. A quick inquiry revealed that the spunky little dog was a Corgi. Hmm...not a big manly dog but amazingly cool. I needed to know more.
So I began reading up on Corgis and in time met long time Corgi breeder Jean York. Jean had a Corgi puppy, 12 weeks old, that she had decided not to show. After some conversation and e-mail trading and a visit to Jean's home in Southern AZ, Watson came home with us. He was quite a puppy and quite a dog. Three years later I found that Watson's litter mate, Tinsel, needed a new home and I was most fortunate to be able to bring her home too. Brother and sister reunited!
We had a fine time, the three of us. Life had some ups, downs, and adventures. Watson was my Corgi pal, while the demure, happy Tinsel became my "Heart dog". Never in my life have I had a dog so steal my heart. People who didn't even care for dogs found themselves drawn to Tinsel and happily petted her, something she greatly enjoyed.
Watson and Tinsel both left us last year, it made for a heartbreaking year in so many ways. My worst fear, that I'd lose them close together, came true. But the memories and happy Corgi smiles and "arroooos" were worth the sadness.
We'd thought we might wait several months, even a year before we got another Corgi, but the house was too empty, too lacking in Corginess. Our wonderful little mini-wiener dog, Holly, is always fun but I confess
to being hopelessly addicted to Corgis. I contacted Watson & Tinsel's breeder, Jean York, about getting on the list for another puppy. After Christmas 2009 good fortune allowed us to bring Gromit home with us from California.
When I was going through the assorted paperwork Jean York had given me with Gromit I found Gromit's pedigree. Normally I don't get excited about such things as pedigrees because I don't show dogs and have no plans to do so. But there in Gromit's pedigree was his great-grandfather, Am/Can Ch Sandyshire's The Phantom, ROMX. AKA "Tommy." So? Nice dog, extremely successful, but what's the big deal? Lots of Corgis have fine champions in their pedigree. Well, Tommy was Watson & Tinsel's sire and therefore my beloved Corgi pals Watson & Tinsel are Gromit's great uncle and great aunt. That doesn't change the world or anything but I just thought it was nice that without trying we'd kept a family legacy going here in our little house.
Below: Gromit sits on the bed with a painting of Great Uncle Watson and Great Aunt Tinsel in the background.