Ron Baxley Jr. tries not to miss too many events tied to the Augusta Georgia Corgis’ group despite the distance he has to drive.
“He enjoys being able to run in the wide open spaces,” said the Barnwell, S.C. man of his 10-year-old corgi Ziggy who Baxley brought to socialize with others of the same breed on Jan. 28 at Evans’ Riverside Park. “I don’t have a fenced-in yard. I take him on walks, but he’s on a leash.”
About 14 corgis and their owners took part in the “Corgi Pawty to Kickoff 2023” at the park.
Baxley has been part of the corgi owners group for about three years.
On Saturday, the park’s small dog side was filled with lots of barking, and corgis chasing balls, frisbees and each other. Most of the dogs at Saturday’s event were the Pembroke Welsh variety of corgis as characterized by their tailless hindquarters. The short-legged animals are known for their herding tendencies, so it wasn’t unusual for them to try and herd each other.
Unlike Baxley, Lea Thoele had never been to one of the local events until Saturday. The Virginia transplant moved to the area about a month ago. Her corgi, Benji, gave her a good excuse to get out and meet some people in her new city.
Despite it being her first visit, Thoele is already an ambassador for the group.
“I learned about it from Lea. We met at a dog park and bonded over corgis,” said Alex St. Louis, another first-timer who brought her one-year-old corgi Clove to the gathering.
Corgis have seen a rise in popularity over the past few years, according to both the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom. Their claim to fame has been their distinction as the favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth II.
Baxley didn’t get his corgi because of this, but he’s been fascinated by the breed since adopting Ziggy from a shelter in Newberry, S.C. The author has even written a graphic novel called Ziggy Zig Zags the Light Fantastic Vol. 1 with his dog as a superhero.
St. Louis said she got Clove because she fell in love with the breed after adopting a senior corgi when it was 7. The dog lived to one week shy of its 14th birthday. Clove, however, is much different than a senior dog.
“She’s just a ball of energy,” she said.
The corgi group meets at different area dog parks, but most of the recent events have been at the park in Evans. Members typically meet for about two hours at a time. They’ve had other events such as the Corgi Olympics and holiday themed activities.
Baxley said that while he brings Ziggy for the chance to get some exercise and meet other corgis, he finds the events beneficial for himself as well.
“It helps me socialize. I have a very busy schedule,” he said.
And he finds a special type of camaraderie with owners of the breed.
“I think we can be as quirky as our corgis,” he said. “I like the unique personalities in the group.”
Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to the newsletter here.