Memphis, My Wonderful Welsh Corgi

Memphis was a wonderful Corgi. When he was a puppy, his ears needed to be taped to train them to stand up. But Memphis was always shaking his head, so I removed the tape – thus, I had a Corgi with one ear up and one ear down. I didn’t care!  It gave him personality, and he wasn’t ever going to be a show dog. He was tri-colored, with big paws and a broad chest. Memphis had such a coat that even when he was shedding, he still had more coat than most Corgis.  He was the best pet and companion – and I treasured the almost 15 years I had him.

Memphis was a delight as a puppy, but never learned to fetch or play tug-of-war. He simply wasn’t interested. I’d throw a toy or a ball, and he’d watch me do it. Then he’d look at me through all my encouragement to “Go fetch!” as if to say, “You threw it; you go get it!”  He loved to cuddle best of all, and often would leap into the laps of guests. He particularly was fond of my friend Letty. He also loved my goddaughters.

Memphis loved to walk in new places, but once the walk was routine he quickly lost interest. He’d simply plant his feet and refuse to go forward. Sometimes, he’d actually lie down in protest. But he was a “meet and greet” dog. He enjoyed making new friends, and he wanted to say hello to dogs of all sizes.  When I was out walking and the kids would be walking to the corner for the school bus or walking home, Memphis was happy to let them pet him and make a fuss.

But if he heard a murmur of thunder, Memphis would turn around and head for the house, practically dragging me behind him. That dog never moved so fast as when he heard thunder. He hated storms. Thunder drove him behind the couch to hide. His favorite place was the small bathroom off the front hallway. Memphis would disappear into the bathroom and wedge himself between the wall and the back of the toilet.  He gained some weight as he got older, and I was afraid he was going to actually get stuck back there.

Riding in the car was one of his favorite things to do. He preferred the front passenger seat. I believe he actually would have preferred to drive if that was possible.  One night we left Carol Braunstein’s home with Rhonda, a three-year old Corgi that was going to keep Memphis company while Carol took Merri to dog shows.  It was dark, and I rode in the back seat of the Rav. The other half was lowered so the crate could fit facing forward. Memphis climbed on the console and peered into the crate as Ralph was driving. He looked, cocked his head, looked again. Then he looked at me with a rather frantic look, and then he stared at Ralph, my husband, who was driving the car.  He leaned forward to look into the crate again. Rhonda was silent. Then he looked at me again. I could read his mind. “You are bringing home the WRONG dog!  You left Merri behind!”

Memphis never really warmed up to Rhonda who became our third dog. But the girls respected him. Memphis was king. They allowed him to lie in their dog beds whenever he chose to occupy them, but they would never sleep in his bed. Merri especially was fond of him. When Memphis became sick and died at the vet’s, Merri moped around the house. That night she crawled inside his bed, closed her eyes, and went to sleep. It brought tears to my eyes. She knew he wasn’t coming back, and she missed him, too.