Wales is a fairy tale country, with castles around every corner and elves or fairies behind every standing stone. It stands to reason, then,
that Wales would have fairy tale dogs. Here, then, is the tale of how the Corgi came to be.
Queen Mab clapped her hands. "I am bored," she cried. "Let us take our steeds and go for a ride."
Instantly before the fairy queen appeared a small red-and-white dog wearing a gold collar and bell. On his back was a tiny saddle made
of the finest leather and chased in silver. Similar dogs appeared to the other members of the fairy court. They each mounted their
enchanted dogs, and led by Queen Mab and her huntsman, Dark Edric, they rode out of the hollow hills. By the light of the moon, they
flew through the forests of Wales.
Suddenly, one of the fairies gave a cry. His steed had brushed against a trap set by poachers. Made of iron, its touch was deadly to fairy
folk, and both the courtier and his little dog were laid low by its power. The other fairies gathered round, yet keeping their distance lest
they too be struck down by the cold bite of iron. "What shall we do?" said Queen Mab. "We cannot leave them here to die."
A small, hesitant voice broke the silence that followed her question. A human boy peered from behind a tree, his frightened sister at his
side. "If you please, your majesty, I can move the trap away so that it won't be touching them anymore," he said. "And my sister knows
herbs. She may be able to ease their pain."
"What are you doing out at this time of night, boy?" the queen demanded. "Do you not know that the night holds many dangers for
"My father is a shepherd," the boy replied. "Our best ewe is lost, and without her we shall surely starve."
"Heal my friends," the queen said, "and I shall repay you many times over."
The boy and his sister tugged at the heavy trap until it was far enough away to do no harm. Then the girl gathered white oak bark and
blackberry leaves. Wetting them in the stream, she made a soothing compress. With their rapid healing powers, the fairy and his dog
steed were soon well again.
"I promised you a reward, boy," Queen Mab said. Twice she rang the golden bell that hung around her dog's neck. Two red-and-white
puppies appeared. They were low-set, strong and sturdy, with dark eyes that gleamed with intelligence. "These are fairy dogs," Queen
Mab said. "They are swift and clever and true, and they can herd cattle, as well as sheep. Treat them well, and you shall never lose your
livestock again." Then she clapped her hands and the entire fairy court disappeared, leaving behind only the two pups.
The shepherd's family prospered, and the fairy dogs gave birth to puppies. The Corgis as they became known-from the Welsh words
cor meaning "dwarf" and gi meaning "dog"--were highly prized throughout the land for their herding ability. As a mark of their fairy steed
origin, they all bore saddle or harness marks behind their shoulders. And on Midsummer's Day, if the dogs were a little tired for once—
as they so rarely were—the shepherds simply nodded their heads wisely. They knew that every Midsummer's Eve, the fairies returned to
ride the Corgis so they would never forget where they came from.
- Kim Campbell Thornton
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, like its cousin the Cardigan; is loyal, fun loving, agile, energetic and intelligent. The younger of the two breeds, the Pembroke is
known to be the favorite of England's Royal Family. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is believed to have been developed almost a thousand years ago in the Welsh
county of Pembrokeshire. It is uncertain as to how they came into being, however; it is believed that the Vikings brought their dogs, ancestors of the Swedish
Vallhund and Norwegian Lundehund; to Wales where they bred with the local herding dogs.
Small in stature, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are not only perfect for herding livestock, but make excellent Tracking and Search and Rescue dogs, not to mention
Pet Therapy Dogs. It is not uncommon to find these little dynamos in speed competitions such as Agility and Fly ball. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi also
seems be a favorite companion to those who love horses. Go to any ranch and it would not be a surprise to find a Pembroke Welsh Corgi out in the pasture
with the horses or following close behind a rider.
Recognised by the AKC in 1934 as a registrable breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi comes in a variety of colors: Red, Sable, Fawn (all with or without white
marking), Black and Tan and Tricolor. Easily trained, these wonderful dogs make perfect family pets; loyal and loving to a fault!