I mentioned many moons ago that Theo experienced a big change in routine when I got laid off from my job. Unfortunately, my job hunt has been wildly unsuccessful, so Theo is still hanging at home with me. I feel terrible about this, and even though I walk him twice a day, I still do my best to get him out and around dogs. I figure he was neurotic enough before he stopped hanging with other dogs regularly. I don't want him to become totally incapable of interaction.
I figured out pretty early on that the dog park just wasn't going to work. Or at least, regular trips to the dog park. Sure, he goes bananas when we pull into the parking lot. He can't wait to get inside the park and bark his brains out. But after about 5 minutes he's done. He's said hello to the other people, presented his bum to the dogs for sniffage, and he's peed in all the spot he's interested in. Not exactly the mental or physical stimulating exercise I'm going for. You know what does keep his interest? Corgis! Of course!
I've become much more active with our local Corgi community! I used to attend a few of the meetups every once in a while. When I was working I would get so busy on the weekends that I missed them a lot of times. Not anymore! I make it a point to get some Corgi time in for Theo at least once a week. Sometimes more! There's a group that meets Friday mornings for hikes and walks in different spots around the area. I could never go before because I was working, but now I'm there every week, Theo in tow!
Theo's grown to love our weekly Corgi walks so much, in fact, that he knows when it's Friday! He waits on baited breath all morning for me to get ready, and when I finally emerge and begin gathering our things, he goes wild! He yelps, he yips, he whines, he paces! He makes noises I've never heard him make before. And if I ask him if he's ready to go, the barking begins and doesn't stop until we're in the car, pulling out of the driveway! Seriously! It's kind of hilarious, if not a little deafening. Husband didn't believe it until he finally witnessed it. It took a couple extra minutes to get to the car that day because we were too busy rolling on the floor laughing. I've been meaning to get a video of the scene, but I always forget! It's comedy once you know that he's not, in fact, dying a slow, painful death.
Um, I'm sure it has nothing to do with that fact that there are often treats involved. Naw....
There have also been two extra special Corgi outings in the last 2 months. A farm! There's a small farm about 25 miles away that hosts a very limited Corgi meetup once a month. The owner has two Corgis, and she invites the first 12 people who RSVP to come and romp around the farm with them. Since I have nothing better to do than check the meetup website everyday, I've been one of the lucky few twice!
One of them was just last weekend, and Theo had the time of his life! Unfortunately, these pictures are from the time before that, which was merely an awesome time. So you'll just have to use your imagination.
Or I could tell you about it.
He ran! With the other dogs! Up a hill! I've never seen him go so ballistic over new sights and smells. Since everything was fully fenced, we were allowed to let our pups romp around off leash. When Theo is off leash he always sticks pretty close by me, or at least he's always obviously aware of my presence. If he wanders away from me at the dog park, he always peeks back to make sure I haven't moved from where he left me. Not at the farm! If a dog could say "See ya, Mom!", he would have! That dog would have made Toucan Sam proud with all the following of his nose he was doing. And he peed on everything he could find! Theo's not generally much of a marker, but that place was screaming (wafting?) "Theo" when we left. Maybe that was his way of saying he never wanted to leave?
And since it was a farm, there were animals! Chickens, a horse, and ducks! All safely tucked away and out of a herding dog's reach. Except one unfortunate, lone duck. During last weekend's meetup Theo happened across a duck they weren't able to catch and put away before the dogs arrived, and Theo made sure to teach it a lesson for it's obstinacy. But this is Theo! My chicken! The dog that wouldn't herd sheep because he was afraid of getting stepped on. Well apparently he put on his big boy diapers that day because when he saw that duck, he launched after it! I totally lost sight of the chase, but Husband said Theo caught up to the duck and pounced on the poor thing! Not sure what he was trying to accomplish by squashing it. Maybe he was just trying to jump on its head? But thankfully no harm was done. Husband said one of the farm workers gave him a very dirty look. What did he expect?! Put your dang duck away next time! But it's a good thing to note. Theo is not scared of ducks. Perhaps we'll give duck herding a go sometime! Then again, perhaps it's just a singular duck he feels tough around. A whole herd might bring him back to his senses.
It was really a special experience to wander around such a beautiful place with a dozen happy Corgis running under your feet. And after we were done walking, we just sat on a grassy and let the dogs play. Sufficed to say, Theo was completely pooped after both outings. And I say a pooped Corgi is a happy Corgi!
Last weekend we lucked out on the weather, a cool 68! But I think any future farm visits will have to wait until things cool down again. I've had to switch Theo's after lunch walks to after breakfast or it gets too hot. I almost got a sunburn at 8:30 this morning! The house is sweltering and I can't afford to run the AC. Poor guy.
And that's only the tip of the iceberg! Ok, it's more like the entire underwater portion and there's that little tip that sticks out above the water line. I'm talking about blog material, of course. Theo and I have been getting up to some other shenanigans, but that'll have to wait for another post. Which I am fully committed to posting soon!