Goodbye Wiggle Butt

On the afternoon of Sunday January 1st, 2012 Conney the Pembroke Welsh Corgi came into our lives with the wiggliest wiggle butt ever. 1331 days later on Monday August 24th, 2015 at 2:55 PM she gave us one last wiggle.

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to write. But I feel like I need to do it anyways. I want everyone to know how wonderful Conney was. She was the best dog in the whole world. She meant the world to Casie and I, and I know everyone, human or dog, who ever met her came to love her.

Not long after I moved in with Casie in early 2011 she started to bug me at least once a week about getting a corgi. She had lost her corgi Ginger — who had been with her for 15 years — the year before. It was rough. Ginger was a character, and even though she wasn't my dog it was still hard for me too. I was reluctant. Corgis can be a handful. They're little dogs, but don't tell them that, they're too stubborn to realize it.

Casie sent me dozens of links to very adorable, very adoptable dogs on Petfinder and elsewhere. Every time I just shook my head and reminded her that I didn't want a dog. Sometime towards the end of the year (probably late November or early December) Casie made a list; a list of all of the pros and even some cons of getting a corgi. I wasn't terribly convinced, but she did make lots of valid points. I'm so glad I relented and finally said okay.

It wasn't until the last week of the year when Casie made me look at a very adorable corgi up for adoption from Oak Hill Animal Rescue that my resistance truly broke down. Her name was Conney and she needed a new home. And she was adorable. Casie called up the person who runs Oak Hill, Betty Baker, and asked about adopting Conney. They wanted to make sure she was the right fit for us so we agreed for Betty to bring Conney by our apartment on Sunday in the afternoon.

I'll never forget just how much her butt wiggled when she hopped out of the back of the truck. She was so timid, but so excited. After we got her into our apartment she ran around sniffing everything. And then she flopped on her back and demanded belly rubs. She never ever stopped demanding belly rubs. Betty asked us all sorts of questions and I was honestly a little worried that we wouldn't be allowed to keep her. Finally she asked us what would happen to Conney if something were to happen to us. Casie and I both misinterpreted the question and assumed she meant what would happen if we both died and said she'd probably go to Casie's parents. I think she got a kick out of that. By this time I was already certain Conney was the dog for us. She was just too floppy and too cute to turn away.

We were heartbroken to hear about how she had come into the care of Oak Hill Animal Rescue. Apparently Conney had been rescued by the SPCA from "a family with a large number of children and lots of animals"; some sort of animal hoarding situation. After that she was adopted by a family but was returned after a month because she was "disobedient". Even though we'd only known her for an hour at that point we couldn't believe it. She was so calm, so cute, and so well behaved. Did I mention she was floppy?

Conney on her first walk with her new humans.

It didn't take long for her to make her way into our hearts. Conney's cuteness was infectious. We couldn't take her anywhere without someone making a comment about how cute she is. My response was always "I know." What else can you say when someone states the obvious? Over the last the last three years and eight months the importance of Conney in our lives only grew.

Conney taking one last walk around the block.

She was with us all the time and now that she's not here the house seems so much emptier. It's only been a few hours and the squirrels have already started to take over the yard. I keep expecting Conney to come running down the stairs. Her claws making a soft pitter patter on the wood floor as she heads over to the kitchen to scout for food.

She was wiggle butt, snarf snarf (really more of us imitating the noise she made than something we called her), pokey puppy, floppy dog, little baby, poor puppy, the true ultimate piggy, and most importantly she was our Conney dog.

Casie's Corgi Pro and Con List

If I were making a list of the pros and cons of Conney now the pros would include everything about her, even all of the hair, and the only con would be something my step-mom Nancy said, "They take a piece of your heart with them that you never get back..."

Sleepy Conney Sleepy Casie

For the most part today was a pretty typical lazy Sunday. Casie and Conney both woke up before me. Casie made Conney some scrambled eggs which she didn't seem to interested in. That's a shame since Casie's scrambled eggs are the best.

When lunch time came around I went out and got some more fried chicken. This time from Super Chix. Conney didn't care for the fries this time, but she looooooooved the chicken. She ate nearly a whole chicken tender! One little nibble at a time. I took lots more pictures of Conney again today. Casie said it's like she's got paparazzi following her around.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching football with Conney on the couch. At some point Casie went to the store (see my previous post) to get stuff for dinner. I ended up falling asleep snuggling Conney on the couch (neither of us care about the Patriots or the Saints). Eventually she started to get kicky so I helped her down and took her outside. Casie pulled up in the driveway while we were still out there and Conney got real excited as usual.

Casie made tacos for dinner. Some things never change: Conney ate every bit of cheese that I put within her reach. Snarf snarf snarf. After dinner we went on a walk. It was pretty hot out but Conney managed to do her morning route.

It's getting late. Casie and Conney both fell asleep while watching the Cowboys lose.

Shhhhhh, they don't know I took these.

Conney Keeping Me Company

Casie just left to go to the store. I stayed to keep Conney company. It feels more like it's the other way around.

Conney Returns Home

To say that today was a pretty rough day doesn't really convey what I'm feeling. For me, for Casie, and most definitely for Conney. I'm sitting here in bed now, emotionally drained. Casie is next to me, reading. Conney is in the bathroom on the floor next to the toilet. We think she really enjoys the cold of the tile and of the air vent nearby. I can occasionally hear her shake her body and make the tags on her collar jingle before making a huffing noise.

The selfish part of me wants to move her to the bed so she can be close to us. I tried to pick her up but before I could really touch her she started making a low noise. Not really a growl. She only ever growls at that one neighbor dog when we walk by it's yard. More of a quiet request, as much as she can make one, to be left alone. I know that's probably all she wants after today.

We, I, smothered her with attention. I mean, I do that from time to time, she's adorable after all. But not like today. I'm fairly certain both my constant doting and the walk Casie took her on a 45 minutes ago have worn her out. She'd just had a little accident in the living room. I managed to sort of get to it in time.

Before that I spent the previous two hours hand feeding her tiny bits of chicken nuggets from Chic-fil-a. She hadn't really eaten all day so I was ecstatic when she took a nibble off a waffle fry. After she stopped wanting that I tried a bit of the breading on a chicken nugget. Sometimes it took a few tries, but I managed to get her to eat about 3 nuggets worth. I even managed to sneak in some of her medicine that the vet gave us — Cerenia for nausea and Famotidine for acid reflux — and the diphenhydramine she recommended we give her if we had any. I'm still pretty hungry as a result, but she needs the food way more than me. She hadn't eaten much of anything solid since maybe Thursday. I'd have given her my whole dinner if she would have eaten it.

The drive to pick up the food was miserable. I didn't want to leave her. Casie stayed behind to be with Conney. All I could think about was all of the times we've left Conney alone at home while we go out. To work, to the store, for dinner. It's not just tonight, every time I've had to leave her alone since the day we adopted her I've felt terrible about it. Conney can be very demanding of your attention, but that's part of what makes her so awesome. She always wants more pets.

I told Casie what I've been telling myself for the last few days: that the only reason this hurts so much is because of how much we love Conney. If we didn't this would be easy. But it's hard. I know I'm about to lose the the part of my life that's most important to me, second only to Casie. I can't do anything about it. And that fills me with this sort of dread, a vision of the future where Conney isn't there with her wiggle butt every time I come home.

Between obnoxiously taking photos of her she got plenty of pets and belly rubs this evening. Casie had to pick her up to get her on the couch. Normally she'll hop on and off as she pleases. It is hers after all, we just paid for it.

Before all the belly rubs and neck scratches it took several minutes to coax her into the back yard. The squirrels have been roaming around the last couple of days like they own it. Usually Conney wouldn't be having any of that. Her tag says "Squirrel Patrol" for a reason.

I've moved out to Conney's couch now so I don't disturb Casie while I finish writing this. She went to sleep a while ago now. Conney meanwhile seems to have started her midnight patrol of the downstairs...

As I was writting that last sentence she came out here and started to demand pets in typical Conney fashion. She just gives you this insistant look. You know what she wants. And if you stop for even a second she nudges your hand. This time it wasn't as forceful as it usually is. After I hesitated too long between pet number 137 and pet number 138 she sauntered over to the plate of rice and bowl of water sitting near the kitchen table and made that quiet request noise she's been making.

My guess that she wanted more chicken nuggets turned out to be correct. I pulled the plate with the remains of my/her dinner — another two and a half or so nuggets — on the floor. She revealed her true ultimate piggy side and started to snarf. A few inhaled bites later and she stood up abruptly. I worried that something might be wrong. She no-tailed it over to the bed room and I followed and managed to wake Casie up in the process. I explained that Conney was clearly still hungry. In the dark I thought I saw that she had vomited a little just now so I turned on the light only to find she had carried off a whole chicken nugget. As soon as she was discovered she ate the whole thing, taking several deliberate bites.

Before her brief excursion out back Conney spent her first hour back home lounging about on the kitchen floor. Despite my aversion for floors I spent the better part of that hour down there with her. I'm not so sure she knew what to make of that. The rest of it was spent trying to get her to look at a camera. She was obviously exhausted.

Just the car ride home had taken had drained much of what little energy she had left the clinic with. She was so excited to see us. Not that it's a contest, but I think I was more excited to see her for once. Until she walked out of the back of the office, led out by the nurse, I had been afraid she'd somehow be different even though she'd only spent two nights there. Even with a shaved belly she's still the same silly dog whose love seems unconditional.

The clinic never called, but after eating our sandwhiches and drinking our Phosphate and Egg Cream she called them and asked if it was okay for us to take Conney home. The vet gave us the go ahead but added that we should probably get her some baby food, it was all they had been able to get er to eat. We stopped by Target on the way there and got a few jars. After smelling it this evening I'm not sure how anything, human or dog. could eat that stuff.

Casie and I cried. For hours. I'm not sure for how long, for the rest of the morning it seemed like. Eventually we got showered and ready and went to go get lunch. I was going to drive but Casie suggested we take her car (the Conney car) in case the vet called and we were able to go pick her up.

The call from the vet that woke Casie and I up this morning confirmed our worst fears: Lymphoma. That or something that more or less mimics it. Pretty much every other ailement had been ruled out. As I write this we're still waiting on the results of one last test being done to determine exactly what's wrong, but we both know what it is. Either way Conney needed to stay at the clinic until early afternoon. All we could do was wait.

As I find time over the next few days I plan on importing all of the posts Casie made to tumblr to this site. Casie's post from today explains more of what's going on. I'll be backdating the posts so they will be shown to have been posted at the time Casie originally made the post. I also plan on uploading every single photo of Conney I can find.

This post sort of meandered more than I would have liked. When I started it it was still Saturday the 22nd. I just felt like I needed to get today down on paper (of sorts). I know Conney doesn't have much time left. Every moment I have with her is precious. They always have been since the first, but especially now.

Conney in a Box

Conney was not okay with being put in a box.

Passed Out

Passed Out Conney

Every night before actually going to bed Conney ends up passed out on the couch.

Strut Your Mutt

Conney was up bright and early this morning for the SPCA of Texas Strut Your Mutt walk to raise money for other less fortunate dogs.

Conney Before Strut Your Mutt

Conney didn't seem so sure about walking a whole 3 Km.

Conney at Strut Your Mutt

Conney at Strut Your Mutt

Conney showing off her new red bandanna.

Conney at Strut Your Mutt

Conney looking worried.

Corgi Crew

The Corgi Crew acting like they own Fair Park.

LOL Conney

Conney doesn't like being woken up from her naps.

Brand New Look! Same Great Corgi!

I finally got around to updating Conney's site! Most of the changes can't really be seen on the public facing side of things. But a few of them can. Hopefully the new layout is a little bit nicer on smaller screens.

The pictures section is now much closer to how I want it and it actually properly responds to the browser resizing. It's using the ever so snazzy Isotope. It took me a while to figure out how to make it play nicely with Twitter Bootstrap. Try the shuffle button!

If you're interested in how Conney's site is made you can check out the source on GitHub.

Enough of the boring stuff, here's some pictures of Conney's first snow:

Conney's First Snow!

Conney's First Snow!

Sleepy Conney

Sometimes Conney likes to take naps on the couch. She also likes to wedge herself into an "L" shape in the corner.

L-Shaped Conney Sleping on the Couch

Part 1 of the Corgi Meetup

Corgi Meetup - March 17 Part 1

Corgi Meetup - March 17 Part 1

The first group of photos from the March 17 corgi meet up at Toyota of Lewisville Dog Park. Sean took a lot of pictures with the fisheye lens zoomed in (why a lot of these look weirdly blurry around the edges). Not sure why that happened!

Also, in these photos is Pippa, a brand new 8 week old puppy. I imagine she's kind of what Conney would have looked like as a puppy.