I spent the last week jotting down some random observations about dogs in general and my dogs in particular. Some traits I think I can generalize about, but some may be breed specific (Pembroke Welsh corgi) or a trait more likely to show up in a herding or working breed than, say a lap dog, or a dog in the sporting group.
I always chuckle when I read an article or book that discusses the time a bowl of food should be left out for a dog before it is picked up. The reference says something like, "If your dog hasn't finished his meal within 10 minutes, pick up the remainder." That is definitely not something I have ever had to worry about with any of my corgis. Currently, Rhiannon cleans her bowl in 20 seconds. Gael takes a bit longer. She gets about twice as much food as Rhiannon, and, she is a bit slower eater, so, she takes a full 45 seconds before she is licking the empty bowl. I'm sure somewhere there may be a corgi who is a picky eater, but I think it's a rarity. My first dog was a St. Bernard-German shepherd cross and, while I never timed her, she definitely finished her food well ahead of the 10-minute mark, too.
I believe that all dogs are taught by their mothers to always find carpeting if they feel the need to throw up. I have seen my corgis stand in the middle of the kitchen, get the funny look on their face that means throwing up, or, even start to make retching sounds, and immediately turn and head for the carpeted living room. I've held folded newspaper under a muzzle and had the dog fight to avoid the paper and throw up on the rug. Beyond that, if there's a choice between a washable mat or rug and wall-to-wall, the dog will select the wall-to-wall every time.
This next observation may be specific to Gael. We have a hedge that divides our yard for reasons known only to the previous owners. We have cut an opening in this hedge to make it easy for both the dogs and the humans to get to the back of the yard. We have worn a path, and there was never much grass there to begin with, so, we have placed two cement tiles there to give us mud-free footing.
Gael refuses to touch either of these blocks. She avoids them every time. When we first placed the blocks, I thought it was just because they were new. I tried tempting her to step on them by putting a treat in the center. Most of the time, she could reach the treat just by stretching her neck. If I held on to the treat and lured her forward, she would step on it, but that was the extent of her contact with the little sidewalk. Left on her own, whether she is chasing a ball, or just moseying around, she walks in the mud on either side of the blocks.
Rhiannon frequently sleeps with us. She's not a huge dog, and most of the time I like having her on the bed with us. I would like it even more if she would sleep in the same direction that we do, parallel to us. Instead, she prefers sleeping across the bed, at right angles to us. If we had a king-sized bed, that would be fine, but we don't. It's just a double bed, which works well for us, but not for us and a corgi sleeping between us the wrong way. You'd think it would be easy to just move her, but it's not. Rhiannon sleeps soundly and is very relaxed when she's asleep. It's like trying to shift a very heavy rag doll. There doesn't seem to be anything to hold on to. Waking her up is not an option because she just doesn't. We deal with it, of course, because ... well, just because. Those of you who share your bed with a pet know what I mean.
As much as I've learned about dogs over the past 35 years, there's still a lot I don't know or understand. What I do know is that I don't really need to understand everything about the dogs. I just know that I love them, and, because I do, I can forgive them for just about anything, including throwing up on the carpet and taking up most of the bed.