Empty nest syndrome. It happened to my wife and I in 2013. That sense of being two people alone in a very large house. No more telling our daughter to grab the clothes from the dryer. No more reruns of “Lizzie McGuire”, “Even Stevens” and “Crocodile Hunter”. No more hearing her read “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” to me in the car on our way to school each morning until I realized I enjoyed it.

She was gone from our daily lives.

Then a few years later, we met Leo.

For corgis, squirrels are just tennis balls thrown by God.


Our daughter and son-in-law had brought into their lives a bundle of joy and energy in the form of a Corgi puppy. He was an amazing pup and we fell in love immediately. We were fortunate to be able to dog sit sometimes on weekends and marveled at the breed’s intelligence and sense of fun.

Leo, 2016

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

Mark Twain

A year or so later, something crossed my mind, and I said it out loud after a weekend with Leo by our side. “We should do it”. She looked at me with an interesting look on her face. “Get a Corgi I mean.”

With our daughter’s help getting on “the list”, we were able to visit the breeder several times in the next few months. The first time, the pups were very sleepy and relaxed. On our second visit, the puppies were bouncing off the walls. I couldn’t literally walk around a corgi pup that wasn’t working hard to eat my shoelaces.

I don’t bark, but when I do, it’s at nothing.


After that last burst of energy, the pups were mostly flopping down totally exhausted in hammocks or on each other. There was one puppy that kept coming up to the edge of the pen, fighting his drooping eyes and need to sleep, wanting to grab our attention and our hearts. That was moment we knew which pup was meant for us.

Between visits, we’d get videos showing us the puppies’ progress…with the last one showing the group outside running everywhere with blue tape on their ears to assist the cartilage hardening in their ears, providing that classic Corgi look.

Mid-October rolled around, and it was time to bring the newest member of our family home. Although he has an AKC registered name that would fit a Kentucky Derby contender, we informally have always called him “Scamp”. If you knew him, you’d agree that name fits him perfectly.

Scamp Coming Home (10 weeks), 2016

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves itself.

Josh Billings

Looking back, if we’d only known, we’d have bought a puppy shortly before it was just the two of us at home on our own. To say that little guy filled a void is a true understatement. His soft but insistent “humphs” in the morning when he simply wants us to wake up but doesn’t want to disturb us, his supernatural hearing that can detect when I whisper “squirrel” from two flights away and come running like the house is on fire, his winningly sweet bouts of manipulation to get extra treats or food from our plates, and genuine love has made our lives so much richer.

Thank you, Scampy-corg, and Happy 6th birthday you precious pupper!


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