recipe

My Little Fat Corgi

I’m a big fan of corgis.

You know?  Those short dogs. The ones that look like midget dogs?  The ones that the Queen has?

Right!! Those dogs!

Yes, that’s as tall as they are going to get.  Yes, it’s completely normal.

Yes, sometimes they have tails and sometimes they don’t.  The ones with the tails are called Cardigans and the ones without are called Pembroke.  Most of the tail-less ones are born that way, but sometimes they have nubs.  And it doesn’t make any difference to me if they have a tail or not!

I love corgis of all kinds, colors, tail or no tail. I adore anything corgi related.  I tweet “corgi alerts”. I search Target for corgi ornaments.  I own corgi socks, and pillows, and shirts and even an umbrella.  I even have make corgi bumper stickers.

Corgis are a “thing” on the internet these days.

Of course, they should be.

If you haven’t ever known one, I know you are probably saying I’m just being a breed snob or something, but I am really not.

To coin a phrase: “Once you go corgi, you never go back!”  Well.  It’s the truth.  I’m just pointing it out.

It’s so important to me that you know, too, that I was into corgis before they were an “internet sensation”.  I’ve been living with corgis since before the millennium.

So, ya, a long time.

But for those of you that are sort of new to the breed, please don’t call my corgi “fat”!

It’s like openly calling a person’s child fat, which I’m sure you don’t do. Right?

I know some people can’t help themselves.  I know some mean it in a loving way, like my neighbor did.  Some people even prefer their corgis fat.

But it really hurts my feelings when I’m walking my weight-challenged corgi, Odie, and someone points out how HUGE he is.  Or maybe they compare him to my corgi puppy, Ted E. Bear, who is gorgeous and sleek and perfectly shaped. Or they see how he really does waddle like a penguin.

It hurts my feelings, because some people don’t know Odie’s story.

They don’t know how Odie couldn’t even walk up stairs when he first arrived.  Or how hard it has been trying to get him to take a walk with me.

Most don’t know Odie was dropped off here severely overweight for “just a few months”.  But then the few months became 9 months.  Then a year.  Then maybe not until 2016.  So…basically abandoned.

Until I couldn’t watch him struggle anymore and asked my friends from Corgi Nation for help. Together with Faith Bark, Corgi Nation came through for me as they do for hundreds of other corgis.  Through Faith Bark’s “Bandit’s Band-aid” program, many friends of Corgi Nation contributed so I could have Odie get medical attention.

Yes, those are really groups.  Corgi Nation–or CN, for short–is as big and weird and fun and sometimes even a little coarse as the beloved Red Sox Nation.  Dare I say it?  Maybe even stronger?

We corgi lovers are a varied but vast team of people that live across the nation and around the world.

We send hundreds of Christmas cards to each other each year…with our corgis pictures on them, of course!

Yes, Corgi Nation is probably responsible for keeping the USPS afloat these past five years or so.

And, yes, I am being completely serious!

Except for my friends in Corgi Nation and a few select other “real life people” (hate that…having to separate my friends into online or “real life” status) most people don’t know a few other key details.

They don’t know that, only a few months after Odie came to visit, I lost my sweetest friend, Ollie, a corgi (of course).  A rescued corgi, too, with medical issues.  Oliver…my “dandy” with the glamour coat.  The corgi that gave Master Owen his official “Master” status.

Then–only four months later in March of this year–I lost my girl, Beatrice.  Yes, of course, she was a corgi, too.

Bea was also a rescue.  She was so sassy we had to give her the title of “The Queen Bea”, which she embodied until the day she died. Complications from an infection, which she got because she had diabetes.  Diabetes that took her sight and made me give her insulin for several years.

Yes, The Queen Bea was mostly blind in the end and, yes, fat.  But she was so sassy and royal, it hardly bothered me when people would say so.  She wore her fatness like the crown she was born to wear.

Anyway…I digress.

I’m not sure why it hurts so much when folks call Odie “fat”.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had too many losses the past couple of years. Maybe I feel bad for him. Maybe I wonder how anyone would ever abandon a corgi…ever.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been working so hard with him.

You know, he is making progress.  Today he lifted his leg to pee on a hydrant.  Today he walked a little further.

Maybe folks don’t see it.  Maybe they just see a waddling, short dog and think it’s funny.

I don’t.

I see a dog that had the rug pulled out from under him and is still trying to work on his problems anyway.

I see a dog who gets up every day–even if he is sore and super hungry and tired of eating green beans with his quarter cup of kibble–and tries to be better.  Tries not to eat the puppy’s leftovers.  Looks at me with adoring eyes, because he knows I understand.

Maybe, just maybe, I see myself in my little, fat corgi…

.DSC_0543

Autism

“Everything’s Broken”

This morning, as we were waiting for the school bus, Master Owen (MO) was looking sullen.  He does not like school, so this was not an unusual look for him at that hour, but it “felt” different to me.  Flipping through some conversation ideas, I started asking him questions about his upcoming birthday.  He is turning 10–double digits!–next week and I’ve been trying to come up with a plan for celebrating, which has been difficult due to his dislike of typical birthday celebrations (more on that another time).

Head hanging low, he barely replied to my question.  Something, indeed, was bothering him, so I tried to look busy while he figured out what he wanted to say.  I’m glad I did.  Eventually MO said: “I hate my life”.  Instead of negating his feelings, I inquired about why he felt this way.  His response: “Everything’s broken.”

Why–you might ask–would I be happy to hear him say this?  For one, because MO is autistic, he usually has difficulty putting his feelings into words, but not this morning.  In addition, because I am an Aspie, I knew exactly what he was feeling and it is something I have struggled with all my life: change.

Well before I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, I recognized how much I disliked change.  I have always desired sameness in my life and any changes that took place set me back tremendously; some changes–even things that have taken place years ago–I still cannot accept.

Yes, I know, change is life, change is growth.  But there has always been something in my brain that wants to keep everything static.  I secretly desire to live in one of those Twilight Zone episodes, where the main character goes about their life exactly the same way every day.  I want to live in a little miniature train set town.  I want to know everything is where I left it.  I don’t want anyone to die or move away or become something other than the role that they have established in my life–teacher, parent, friend, lover.

If something changes, I perceive it as broken.  I want it to be “fixed” and I simply cannot accept it.  I obsess over the change and remind people of how it “used to be”.  It’s never the same.  Sameness is important to me, which is why I completely understand MO’s thought pattern:  life is full of broken things that we cannot put back together.

The Hilltop Steak House–where I once celebrated my marriage–has been leveled and I will never again see the cement cows grazing on the front lawn.  Drugs and alcohol have forever changed MO’s dad from the father he once perceived him to be.  No matter how hard we wish for it, neither MO or I will ever be able to bring my father or our beautiful, loving dog, the Queen Bea, back to us.  These things are broken and unfixable and, yes, it is depressing.  Seriously…how do “normal” people adjust?

In a tiny way I’m happy, because I now have someone who feels the same as I do. (LOL…feels “the same”!)   Change stinks.  It’s awful.  It creates in us such extreme anxiety for what once was.  Yes, change is going to happen, but I don’t have to accept it.

I’m sure there’s some lesson in all this….I’m just not sure what it is.  Until I find out, I will continue on with my anxiety…only now I have someone who completely understands how I’ve felt my entire life.