In a field of more than 200 purebred dogs (and cats) at NYC's Javits Center, Pembroke Welsh Corgis stole hearts and strutted their short stuff at AKC's Meet The Breeds 2013. The event, now in its fifth year, brings purebreds to the public for meeting, greeting and up-close Q & A with owners and breeders.
Breed ambassador Wally
Carol Wyatt, secretary and rescue coordinator at the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of the Garden State, organized the popular breed booth. "Meet the Breeds welcomed an estimated 35,000-40,000 breed fanciers over the weekend" Wyatt says. "It was a wonderful venue for people to visit and learn about every AKC-recognized breed. Cats of all sorts were present too, thanks to the International Cat Association. Of course, I'm not partial -- but Corgis were a huge overall favorite!"
"The timing of this year's event (September 28-29) was a bit challenging for our Corgi club. Because the dates coincided with the National Specialty, many of our members weren't able to be with us. We reached out to some of our puppy and rescue folks for assist, with fantastic results! I was surrounded for two days by fun, friendly Corgi lovers who proudly showed off their babies, eager to educate the public about Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Their enthusiasm was infectious."
"Our booth exhibit was a replica of an English castle, complete with "the Queen" herself! Perched regally on her throne with Corgis at her side, she sat graciously for royal photos with hundreds of admirers."
Breed ambassador "Princess" Eppy
One is not amused.
Among the lucky people staffing the Pembroke Welsh Corgi booth was owner and enthusiast Lynne Portsmore, pictured below with Ginger, ten years old and a retired show girl, and "Hairy" Harry, a three year-old fluffy-coat. Though not permitted in the show ring, "fluffies" enjoy an ardent fan base in the pet Corgi community.
"Meet the Breeds is a relaxed, unsurpassed opportunity to acquire tremendous education in the traits and personalities of dogs you admire and think might be good family members" explains Lynne. "Dog lovers, prospective owners and the simply curious came to pet, photograph, dispense belly rubs, and speak firsthand with owners of the breed."
Breed ambassador "Hairy" Harry
Breed ambassador Ellie
Ellie knows: it isn't easy being this beautiful.
Breed ambassador Sam in his black tie best.
Breed ambassador Rex
Cynthia and Marc Dalangin of New Jersey worked the exhibit on Sunday, with their five year-old Pembroke Wally packing major star power. This photogenic boy is well known to many in "Corgi Nation" from his facebook page and hugely appealing "Daily Dose of Wally" photos on flickr.
"The whole event is such a blast" reports Marc, "but being at the Corgi booth was something else. It was an awesome experience being there with Wally. Our breed attracts people from all walks of life. Many knew Corgis from seeing them on Buzzfeed or some other social media. Others knew someone who has one. We met several Corgi owners and a whole lot of people who are simply huge fans. It was nearly non-stop busy."
"From those those unfamiliar with the breed, we got asked why the dogs don't have a tail and why they're so low to the ground. We talked about temperament and the types of environments Pembroke Welsh Corgis are suited to. Many visitors mentioned their affection for big Corgi ears, sparkling smiles, and comically short, stubby legs. As for Wally, he absolutely adored all the attention. He gravitates more toward people than other dogs, so we're sure he enjoyed being petted just about the entire day. He didn't even want to stay in his crate when we gave him a break to rest!"
Harry and Wally
"We're already looking forward to next year's Meet The Breeds. Hopefully we'll be at the booth again. We're just delighted to be around Corgis and people who love them."
Wally hanging with Cardigans!