Around with Edward
By Kevin Egan
Kevin Egan is the new editor of Our Corgi World, the Welsh Corgi League's Newsletter, assisted by his Pembroke Corgi Edward. The following story is from their first issue, Summer 2014, and is reproduced with kind permission by the author.
Edward is a 3½ year old red and white Welsh Pembroke dog. Most importantly, he is our dog at home - or rather, it is his residence now, we are his people and he makes sure that we walk him and feed him on time - them's the rules!
Our day starts at 07.30 for the walk up to the local park in Finchley. He has some playmates that he enjoys to run with and his favourite is a white retriever called Charmer. When they meet they adopt stances similar to a couple of gunslingers about ten yards apart in a cowboy western. The retriever stands motionless trying to look nonchalant; whilst Edward crouches slightly in the way that lions do whilst hunting for prey on those wildlife documentaries. They both eye each other up for a few seconds until the retriever usually makes the first move by rushing past Edward - who then bursts into action like a small rapid ginger torpedo in pursuit of his quarry, sometimes catching him with a head butt to the ribs, but mostly missing by a fraction. They love it!
In March we travelled up to central London on the Underground and he is now an accomplished user. He's still fascinated by the carriage doors opening and closing and quite happy and comfortable for me to carry him on the escalator. That's when the admiring glances and slowly opening mouths of passengers coming towards us really make me smile. His star turn that day was when we walked past the London Eye. A school party of teenagers were posing for a group photo in front of the Eye with their teacher trying to get them all in shot. One by one, the kids started looking, giggling and pointing at Edward, so much so that the teacher gave up. I asked them all if they wanted Edward to sit with them at the front of their photo instead ... there was then a stampede in a split second for the best position next to him!
Teacher was then amazed how suddenly photogenic and orderly her little devils had become, just to be in the new picture arrangement. All manner of smart phones with cameras appeared from amongst the pupils - plus a load more from the other tourists passing by who were actually forming a queue to have a look. After the mass photo-shoot and complete congestion and mayhem along the Thameside footpath, the entire school party cheered excitedly and waved as Edward and I departed across Westminster Bridge.
Maybe I should get him an Equity Card for street performances?
The intelligence of the Welsh Pembroke Corgi is well known by all those privileged to own one because they're not just bright, they're clever. In fact, if I had my time over, I would rather Edward to have been a work mate instead of some of the daft human clots I ended up having to spend eight hours a day with! On one recent walk, I paused to greet another dog walker for a circuit of the local park. Without turning round to look, I instructed Edward with ..."this way"... and continued along the familiar route, discussing England's chances of avoiding yet another complete cricketing catastrophe in the Test Match against Australia - like you do! In this particular park, the round trip is about five or six minutes. When we arrived back at our original meeting point, the other chap said cheerio and added ..."neat bit of obedience training there you know, your lad stayed put the whole way round"...
What the other bloke didn't know was that Edward has developed his own terms and conditions for walking engagements. This means he occasionally sits it out for a bit, particularly if it starts to rain, whilst I carry on talking to myself like a halfwit some way ahead of him. Well, at least all the other people in the park seem to have got used to it by now!...