As you may have noticed with posts like this, I really, really love corgis. But unfortunately my current living situation does not allow me to have a dog. While I enjoy scouting for them on runs through the park, the next best thing to having a dog is having a family member get a dog. Though it’s been over a year since we lost Squirt, my parents are still not ready for another dog. Late last year Stephen’s family’s chihuahua Xiao Bei crossed over the rainbow bridge, which gave Stephen and me a new mission: get his family a corgi.
We started by slyly sending them photos of my favorite Instagram corgis, like Super Corgi JOJO. Then we upped the cute factor with puppy photos. They were sold. His cousin began researching breeders and sent us photos of prospects. We vetoed a few before Stephen sent me this photo followed by “Yes?”
He was perfect. I couldn’t wait to meet him, even if he was halfway across the world. The day they brought him home I begged Stephen to ask them for more pictures.
His cuteness was addicting — I couldn’t get enough. I watched him play fetch over Facetime. I saved every photo of him Stephen’s family sent.
“What’s his name?” I asked Stephen.
“He doesn’t have one yet,” he replied. Then he said we could help name him. After he vetoed my Chinese translations of “little butthead” and “short legs,” he said we should pick an English name. We wanted a human name that was stately and English and easy to pronounce.
“Churchill,” I suggested, conjuring the great British statesman and first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States… and also the adorable bulldog from the insurance commercials. (Source of this photo: an article stating that more British children can identify the Churchill Insurance dog than the wartime prime minister)
And just like that the little corgi had a name. Churchill. I watched Churchill eat his dinner over Facetime and promptly pass out in his bed. I treasured every sweet photo.
Stephen said even his uncle, who is not a dog person, was falling for Churchill. How could anyone not? I wanted so badly to go to China to visit Churchill in person. I knew the chances of me being able to cuddle him as a puppy were slim, but I looked forward to meeting him someday.
And then Stephen got off the phone with his cousin and dropped this bomb:
I thought it was an April Fools joke. Apparently so did his cousin, not realizing that April Fools’ Day has been banned in China.
Stephen’s family was so in love with Churchill that they took him on an adventure in the mountains. He likely ate something that was poisonous and died the next day.
I was heartbroken. We were all just getting to know Churchill. I never even got a chance to properly meet him, and now I never will. The little guy was supposed to have his whole life ahead of him. I always knew someday he’d cross the rainbow bridge and frolic with Squirt and Xiao Bei, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.
Goodnight, sweet prince.