This is a dog post

Getting a neck rub.

I have corgis. Wait, let me restart. When I was growing up on the cattle ranch, we had a lot of dogs, including a bunch of corgis. They are cattle dogs–did you know that? They nip cows in the heels and the cows kick right over their heads. The reason cow dogs have no tails, is that cows chase dogs with tails because they perceive them to be predators–coyotes and wolves.


One time when my (then boyfriend) husband were out on endurance ride in mountains above Georgetown in California, we were about one mile in when here come these two fat puppies down a logging road. There was a drought and the dirt was a good four inches deep and they barely had their heads above it. There were four of us in the lead of this ride. I was on an arab I was testing out to see if I was interested in buying him, and my husband was riding a horse my folks were thinking of buying. Mine was squirrely.

Neither was willing to let me getting into my seat. They told me to sit in the back.

The four of us were talking over what to do when this fox trotter stepped on one of the puppies. The puppy put his paw over his head and whimpered and that was the end of that. We picked him up and he rode in the saddle in front of my husband, and the other rode with another woman. We had twelve miles to go to get to the vet check, where we figured we could leave the puppies until the race was over and hopefully they’d check them over for us.

So that’s what we did. The pups enjoyed the entire ride. It was totally fun. At the end of the race, we talked about what we should do. My husband and I ended up taking home the puppy who’d been stepped on (he was fine. In fact, as soon as he got picked up, he quieted down and loved horseback riding. We took him home and he was an amazing dog. Half lab, half malamute and incredibly smart and pushy and sweet. A few years later we adopted a malamute to keep him company when we weren’t home.

My son put him in the box. He didn’t have the energy to get out.

They both lived fifteen years plus, and then we didn’t have dogs for awhile. I wanted corgis again. Dogs that were small enough to ride in the car and enjoy the air conditioning, and who could stay in hotels easier. January in Montana at the grocery store and we run into a woman with corgi puppies in her cart. They were for sale. We couldn’t resist. Decided to get one. Then a few weeks later, the owner contacted us and said she needed to get rid of the rest of the puppies quick and would we take one. We did and that’s how Voodoo and Viggo came to be our dogs. Or rather, we came to be their persons, because really, they are in charge.

The boys are so cute and sweet. Over the years, Voodoo has staked a nightly claim on the bed with us, something my husband said would never happen. We are total suckers. I can’t tell you how much medical money we’ve spent on them. Viggo had both his hips removed, and Voodoo tore the equivalent of his ACL, and then there’s some other stuff. Both are peppy and happy now.

Move the computer. MOVE THE COMPUTER!

I’ve always loved dogs, but never had one that was mine. As in, I was the chosen one. The boys have chosen me. It may have something to do with the fact that I work from home, I generally walk them, and I let them sit on my lap and I pet them and talk to them and generally spoil them rotten. I’m a total sucker and they know it. They will lay on my computer, they will try to push it closed, they will talk to me and sometimes herd me around (including nipping me). I may take more pictures of them than my family.

It’s funny, when I was a kid, it was so taboo to let dogs on the couch or in the bedroom or in the bed or in the car. Ours get the run of all those places. I will change my life to accommodate my dogs.

Tell me I’m not the only one. Please?




About Diana Pharaoh Francis

A recovering academic, Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. She's owned by two corgis, spends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. Check out samples of just about everything on her website:


This is a dog post — 11 Comments

  1. You are not alone! All ours are rescues. My daughter will see a shivering, skinny, miserable dog and that’s that. All ours live for at least fifteen years–all except for the adoptee whose owner had died: a tiny four pound chihuahua eleven years old with a heart murmur. “She won’t live long,” we were told. “But we didn’t want to put her down.” She made it ten years with us until one day she fell asleep in the sun, and didn’t waken. All my space upstairs is dog heaven.

  2. Definitely not the only one. It is an aphorism in my family that, when we die, we want to come back as dogs who belong with this family. Dogs *are* family (and so are the cats we accumulate).

  3. I SOOOOoooooo want a dog. Any dog. But hubby doesn’t like dogs and doesn’t like cleaning up after them. And hates when they bark. So I am content with one pushy, arrogant, super smart Siamese cat. Until….

    No it’s not worth bumping both of them off just to get a dog.

  4. My whole house is designed around the Cavaliers! A low bed so they can jump on it. Greenhouse windows not for plants but so they have room to jump up and look out. Dog beds everywhere, even though usually they choose to sleep on the couch. The slicker brush and thinning sheers just stay out on the coffee table in easy reach.

    And yes, I vacuum twice a day.

  5. For grooming, I draw your attention to the Furminator. It is a handled comb with a blade in it, somewhat spendy but worth it. They come in cat, dog and horse sizes, and they are fantabulous. With my cat-sized Furminator I have groomed enough fur off of my cat to upholster an entire separate feline. The soft fluffy fur blows across the yard (always do this outside!!) in drifts, and birds gather it up to line nests.