street names: Big Train, King Moonraiser
At age 11 Mic is the senior statesman of the Cain pack. He has become a little curmudgeonly in his old age but is still the ambassador for both our pack and the breed. He is mellow, yet playful. Capable of mischief but preferring to take long naps. He will happily do tricks for treats but there had better be something in it for him. He still loves to get a snuggle on the living room floor but only for a few minutes, then wants his space.
One of my favorite stories about Mic is how we came to have him at all. When we finally bought our house and were ready to start our dog family, a family friend of the Cains’ put us in touch with a breeder who had a litter of corgi pups. After a few phone calls and some paperwork, we were to become the parents of a corgi puppy. When the pups were about a month old, we were invited up to meet them. We drove about two and a half hours to rural north Idaho and were rewarded with play time with 4 one month old pups and 4 or 5 adult corgis. We played with the pups and then went walking with the breeder, Jill, and the big dogs. Among the big dogs was a 10 month old male red and white named Mic. Yes, you guessed it – our Mic.
I thought Mic was quite obnoxious. He chased the girls – his mama and grandma – barking right in their ears. Even Jill commented that one of these days, the girls were going to put him in his place. Mike only saw his huge personality and ears. By the end of the walk, Mike was totally besotted with this obnoxious teenager. Jill then let slip that Mic was not going to be able to be a show dog because of an undescended testicle and she was looking for a home for him. My normally measured husband did not even take a breath before saying “we’ll take him!” Instant corgi family.
We waited until it was time to bring Moli home to bring Mic home as well. In hindsight, I think I would do that differently and would have brought him home first. If only to allow him to establish himself before bringing home a bossy female. We love Moli but Pembroke corgi boys are the best.
We picked them up in mid May 2004. Mike will never forget the look of worry on Mic’s face when Jill brought out his stuffed chicken and put it in our car. He knew this could not bode well. When we got him to our house, he was not quite shut down, but close. The wood floors were slippery under his feet and this was just not his home. And he had a very nasty little female to contend with. I remember so clearly thinking “we’ve ruined this dog” by taking him away from his home. But we vowed to be his family, however long that took. It took 6 weeks. At that 6 week mark, a switch flipped and he knew this is now home and all of his amazing personality started to emerge.
He is not overtly affectionate on first meeting. In fact, he will largely ignore new acquaintances until they have been in his sphere for a suitable period of time. When he does feel cuddly, he likes to lie down next to us and does not necessarily want a lot of petting, just closeness. A kiss from Mic is a treasure. He will sit and gaze into your eyes and you can be sure he sees your soul.
Like Moli, he likes stuffed toys. Quite unlike Moli, however, he likes to shred them. Just this week he go ahold of my microwave bean bag and ate that. Several unusual poops later, he is no worse for wear.
He is showing his age in that he has some spinal arthritis. We won’t let him do the stairs on his own – he hates that. And we make the tempo of our walks match his needs. He is the light of our lives. We will do whatever it takes to make sure he has max enjoyment and minimal pain. And hope we still have years of love with him.