It's corgi cuteness overload at Iowa City park

Monthly meetups let owners socialize and learn about the breed

Kathleen Locher (right) and her daughter Claire of Iowa City, Iowa, pet Ruthie as other Corgis gather during the monthly
Kathleen Locher (right) and her daughter Claire of Iowa City, Iowa, pet Ruthie as other Corgis gather during the monthly gathering of the Corridor Corgis Facebook group at Hunters Run Park, 924 Duck Creek Dr., in Iowa City Iowa, on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — It was a perfect morning for British royalty.

Welsh corgis — Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dog breed — and their part-corgi brethren romped Sunday through the damp grass of Hunter’s Run park as their owners, bundled for the first chilly weekend of the fall, stood in clusters and talked about their dogs.

“He always runs sideways with his butt shaking,” Anna Mascardo, 10, of Iowa City, said of her corgi, Perry.

Mascardo and Penny Podhajsky, 49, of Iowa City, started the Corridor Corgis club in 2018 with a gathering that included their corgis, Perry and Winston, and a third dog.

Now, aided by a Facebook page with 129 likes and Winston’s Instagram page, @winstonthecorgidaily, the monthly playdates have grown to between 12 and 20 dogs.

It was a noisy party Sunday with off-leash corgis that barked when their friends arrived, barked at strange dogs and barked in what appeared to be general expressions of happiness.

Corgis, known for their short legs, long torsos and tall ears, are herding dogs, but it was hard to tell who was herding whom.

When asked why she wanted a corgi, Betsy Wilson, 26, of Coralville replied: “Have you seen them?”

“I’ve always loved dogs with short little legs and big bellies,” she said, looking at her 6-month-old corgi, Boone.

Corgis have a lot to love, added Bruno Prickett, 26, of Coralville.

“They’re low maintenance, little and like to cuddle,” he said. “He doesn’t need a lot of room to be happy.”

Chloe Gerard, 22, and Ryan Becker, 19, both of Iowa City, started bringing their dog, Gus, to the Corridor Corgi meetups more than a year ago after discovering the Facebook page. The outings are a good way for Gus to get exercise and for Gerard and Becker to learn more about the breed.

“Gus had some problems with licking his feet,” Gerard said. “I posted about that.”

She also wondered why he was sneezing so much and other owners suggested wiping his nose and feet after walks to reduce allergens. “They are so low to the ground, they pick up everything.”

Podhajsky grew up with corgis — her first one was abandoned at her family farm when she was 6 — and she spreads the corgi love by wearing corgi-adorned clothing and handing out Corridor Corgi business cards.

“Folks!” Podhajsky shouted to the group. “It’s time for the group photo. Grab your dogs.”

After some wrangling, the dogs and their crouching owners smiled for the cameras. And speaking of cheese, there were two corgis at the meetup named Cheddar, after the Pembroke Welsh corgi featured in the TV comedy show Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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