Around with Edward -
by Kevin Egan
The Daily Exercise - out in all weathers...
It seems an age ago now back in February since our first 2 inch snowdrift of the year up in north London! Edward has always been quite happy in the ice and snow - and indeed, on the day in question, as soon as we opened the front door for the morning walk, he was bulldozing little snow heaps with his nose along the garden path.
Another part of his start of day wintertime repertoire is rolling around on his back in the frost that forms on the road and footpath surfaces. It's a curious display which combines rigorous stretches, twists and twitches (like Harry Houdini trying to get out of a locked and sealed sack) with a selection of grunts, snorts, gasps and various other little squeaks that probably only corgis know how to do! At the conclusion of the floor show he then stops to look around and performs the full body dog shake. I'm sure you've all seen that one - first the head and ears in a rapid left to right motion, going all the way down the body until it's completed with the tail waggle finale!
There's something about Edward's behavioural changes though when there are high winds. He can hear them whilst inside in the house and makes it perfectly clear that he wants the door opened so he can go out and inspect it all. High spirits in high winds you might say. A neighbour suggested that it wasn't that unusual because her horses start to exhibit friskiness when there's a drop in air pressure and the wind stiffens. Edward adopts a curious stance with his head poised upward and his nose uppermost with nostrils twitching - he seems quite invigorated with it all.
And after a good long walk, he then saunters off into the kitchen when we get home, stopping briefly to turn his head sideways at me and I - his obedient servant - get his meal ready. I even call him 'sir' or Lord Pembroke, as if I'm his butler. I probably am!
Food... well obviously!
Once in a while, we treat ourselves to a Saturday night takeaway meal and order from home. Edward now knows how the routine works and so prepares himself accordingly for; Phase 1: The search for the kitchen drawer full of takeaway menus. Naturally enough, if either of us get up and walks towards the kitchen, he will be in close pursuit; although pursuit might not be the correct description - rather almost surgically attached to one of your legs as you open the drawer. Realising that this part of the exercise will not result in a treat reward, he then still follows you closely back into the living room for the next stage which is; Phase 2: The telephone call to the takeaway restaurant. [We are now convinced that after so many such phone conversations, he actually can tell whether we've asked for a chicken curry or a chicken chow mein!] There now follows a short intermission. And so now, with the first two phases of 'Operation Nosebag' complete - of which he clearly believes he is part - we then sit and wait for; Phase 3: Let's hope the bloke delivering our meal isn't scared of corgis!...
During this third stage, Edward becomes quite restless. He will start with a staring contest at both of us in turn, then waddle off down the hallway and take up his command position by the front door. Although he doesn't have a clear line of sight [because of the strengthened frosted glass window at the side of the door] he peers through it nevertheless, his senses highly tuned to the slightest sound, smell or motion that he can even vaguely detect.
We know well in advance when the food is about to arrive because of the explosive vocal corgi alarm that announces its arrival! The barking is loud with barely a gasp between each burst; he repeatedly bounces off the front door with both front paws and the acrobatic bit is when he leaps up to hit the letter box flap with his nose [our theory here is that he might just think that's a potential route through which the food is going to be delivered and he doesn't want to miss a trick!]
When we opened the door on one occasion, there was a bemused looking delivery men standing there, although the 'regulars' have long since got used to it. As he looked down at Edward being held by me round his collar he said ... "is that the ONLY dog you've got in the house? ... it sounded like you had a pack of them from outside!"...
And of course, the inevitable dog versus postman contests...
The daily postal delivery challenge has been one that our local postman Ray has been more than equal to over the past few years. By challenge, we mean the efforts that Edward goes to in order to prevent the mail from being delivered intact at all and this is in effect a battle of wills between corgi and a bloke from the Post Office. It's probably all my own fault because when he was a puppy and charged the front door when post arrived; I gave him a massive hug and made him feel good about vanquishing those devilish envelopes and junk mail!
We're now convinced that he can hear Ray from at least three doors away [or is that three streets?!] so if I am to save the morning postal delivery, I need to get there first -pretty sharpish! If I don't [and it happens more often than not] then Edward treats the mail to a savage shredding, leaving those characteristic bite marks which Ray reckons look surprisingly like the sort of wound you might receive from a Great White Shark! The 'postie' and I have now come to an arrangement.
He pre-selects our mail into different categories. First there's 'white' mail which is correspondence in white envelopes that look important and probably contain things like payslips and tickets for a Test Match at Lords - maybe if I'm lucky! Next there are periodicals and packages. Finally it's junk mail. When he has a fairly full wad of items to deliver, he very kindly knocks on the door. This sets Edward off into a frenzy and so I quickly restrain him with his lead and open the door - very carefully. Our resident corgi then raises his regular guard dog vocal range from about mid-baritone up to a high 'F' tenor and by now he is seething!
Although not a pet owner, our Ray copies my 'sit' commands until Edward starts to settle down. He [the postman] hands me the important items and then [he's told me that this is his favourite bit] he casually lets the junk mail fall onto the doormat. In an instant, Edward is on it and mauling the collection of leaflets, adverts and general old tat into a pulp. He seems particularly fond of killing anything from Virgin Media and stamps it down with his paw whilst chewing large chunks from around the edges. Sadly, Ray retires soon, so we'll have to see how his replacement copes - and how much corgi training he might need! In those famous last words of Captain Titus Oates ..."it may be sometime!"
Around with Edward - First story!
Reproduced from Our Corgi World Summer 2015 with kind permission