Emily Guendelsberger Emily is senior staff writer at Philadelphia City Paper. She enjoys writing about feminism, opera, television, arts ecosystems, music theory, people with weird jobs and pretty much everything involving money. You can also find her writing at the A.V. Club, the Guardian and other fine publications.
Sergeant Buckley has been shooting video all day — from about 6 inches off the ground. The most common thing in the footage so far has been his tongue, hanging in every shot like an errant boom mike. “That, and a lot of corgi butts,” says Buckley’s owner, Jonathan Davis. He and his wife Lisa tested hanging the GoPro from Buckley’s collar at home in anticipation of getting this corgi-eye POV at a party with about 60 other corgis and their owners.
This is nominally the Philly Area Corgi Picnic, though Hibernia Park is about an hour’s drive away and attendees are from all over. The Davises and Buckley drove out from Allentown; others came from Easton, North Carolina, Florida and even Canada. How’d they hear about it? “My wife actually is friends with about 900 corgis on Facebook,” says Davis, “and one of them mentioned it.”
Many people here run Facebook pages for their corgis. “He’s got 380-something friends, I’ve got, like, 40,” laughs Eileen Homa, who came from North Wales with her corgi Martin Matthew. (“He’s my fourth corgi, but my first Pembroke.”) Homa says Martin “has a couple of friends here that we only see once a year, but we talk to on a daily basis.”
One is “Deb from Canada,” aka Deb Reid. (“She’s an important corgi person,” Homa explains.) Reid drove all the way from Toronto with her corgis Rupert and Jemma, chilling in a pen decked out with maple-leaf pennants, and she seems to know absolutely everybody. She went to this year’s Florida picnic (“It’s on a private pet resort that’s all fenced in, and 300 corgis run loose! It’s crazy!”) and plans to go to the Midwest and Indiana corgi picnics.
Are Rupert and Jemma aware that today is more than just a special trip to the dog park? “Absolutely!” says Reid. “Breeds know breeds.” Though a bit jumpy around other breeds after being attacked by a larger dog, her Rupert is very chill when surrounded by other corgis, Reid says.
“They recognize other corgis, definitely,” says Liz Maudlin of Harrisburg, whose luxe royalty costumes for her Lily and Gus won today’s costume contest. When they see other corgis on walks, she says, it’s “almost as if they’re recognizing someone that’s part of the family — a long-lost cousin.”
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