Harry (aka Ogwen) is our two-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He is pure-bred and of the Blue Merle variety. He counts one blue eye among his many tools of manipulation and treat acquisition. A natural diplomat, this sawed-off semi-Sinatra has an abundance of charm.
Corgis were originally bred as cattle dogs in the most remote regions of Wales.Their diminutive stature not only made them efficient low-cost dogs to feed and maintain (hard to tell from Harry's food-mooching, furniture-destroying example) but also gave them a tactical advantage in ducking under the kicks of the cattle and sheep that they were bred to herd.
There are two distinct varieties of Corgi, the Cardigan and the Pembroke. The two breeds look quite similar, but have a completely different genetic heritage. Dogs of a similar size and shape were bred for a similar purpose by rural people in two separate regions of Wales. While they started with different genetic building blocks, they arrived at surprisingly similar solutions. For some time the two breeds were mistakenly thought to be variations of the same dog and were consequently interbred. As a result the two breeds do share some bloodlines.
The Cardigan is the older of the two breeds, having remained relatively unchanged for nearly a thousand years. Why mess with perfection, Harry asks, briefly putting aside the chunk of cow's femur he's been chewing on with his enormous couch-destroying teeth.
Appearance-wise, the Cardigan, of which Harry is an exceptionally handsome and astonishingly intelligent example, differs from the Pembroke principally in the tail department. Harry and his fellow Cardigans are possessed of a posterior protrusion of jaunty proportions. Pembrokes are forced to get by with only a tiny nubbin of a tail that can best be described as a "bunny butt".
The Cardigan is slightly larger than the Pemboke and comes in a wider variety of colours. Harry is a Blue Merle, but also has tan, dark brown black and white fur, allowing him to noticeably shed on any coloured surface.
Corgis are perhaps best known for their role in befriending Queen Elizabeth II. Corgis are a sympathetic lot, and they probably realized the old bird needed a friend. Times have been tough at the palace lately. The Queen currently has four Pembroke Corgis. They say she had a Corgi riding with her in the carriage on her wedding day. Poor Phillip.
At full extension, Harry is about 46 inches long, from nose tip to tail tip, and about twelve inches high at the shoulder, making him slightly larger than the average Cardigan. In Wales, Corgis were often called the "yard-long dog" because their length roughly equaled the old 40-inch Welsh yard.
Weighing in at 39 pounds, Harry is no lightweight. He's not fat, though, he's just short for his weight.