A Labrador and a Corgi: A Lesson on Resolving Differences

Right before Christmas our Labrador got to meet our friends’ Corgi puppy for the first time.  The differences between these two dogs was glaringly obvious from the start.

One is an energetic puppy and the other a mellowed, fully matured adult.

One has short legs with a rolly-polly belly while the other is tall and lanky.

One is still a lightweight in size while the other is a comparable heavyweight.

One is driven by herding instincts and the other by retrieving instincts

One had only ever known its littermates and mother while the other has interacted with dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.

As to be expected these differences led to some misunderstandings.  After all the “get to know you” sniffs were over, Adi got a rope toy and offered it to Gwenny, the puppy.  The Corgi sniffed the toy then raced around to Adi’s hind end.  She proceeded to make every effort to herd Adi in the direction she wanted.  Adi responded by wheeling around and giving the play bow in hopes of engaging her in a game of Labrador chase.  Gwenny ignored this Labby invitation and raced behind Adi again.  Thinking she wasn’t interested in playing, Adi abandoned Gwenny and came over to hang out with the humans.  With nothing to herd, the Corgi wandered off to explore the yard with her nose. 

Later, the puppy slowly walked up to Adi’s front end. Mistaking this as an overture of play, Adi invited her into a wrestling match by batting her body with a paw.  Poor Gwenny!  The large paw sent her tumbling.  Thinking she had just received a canine reprimand, she retreated behind her human.  Adi in turn walked away and lay down.  Slowly, the Corgi approached Adi again.  This time our Lab congenially lay still while the puppy sniffed her and then began to dance around her like a boxer before racing away and back again. Every so often Gwenny would pause and intently look Adi in the eyes.

Gwenny and Adi have met again several times since that first encounter.  When they’re together, there are certain things that aren’t taking place.  They aren’t “bark-arguing” about which group of dogs is better- the retrievers or the herders.  One is not “growl-ping” that the other is a young “pup-start” while the other “growl-plains” that old dogs can’t learn new tricks.  Rather, they both put forth the effort to understand the other and establish some canine comradery.  Why do these dogs work so hard to resolve their differences?  Because they share two commonalities which far outweigh their many differences.  Both dogs value canine companionship, and both dogs love to play. 

As I reflect on Adi and Gwenny’s interactions, I find this Lab and Corgi have a lesson to teach us on resolving differences.  The year 2020 was a turbulent year filled with divisive issues.  Close relationships between family and friends have been badly fractured by differing opinions on political policies or pandemic precautions (to name a few).  Sadly, these same things are also dividing Christians.

If two dogs can look beyond their differences and find common ground, so can we, especially when both people love Jesus Christ.  In Jesus, we share the common groundwork of truth laid by God’s Word on which to walk through issues together.  Our faith in Him, as our Lord and Savior, also knits us together with the common thread of purpose- love God and love people.  Through Jesus, relationships can be reestablished, healing can take place.

Maybe you are walking through 2021 with a relationship that was fractured by the events of 2020.  If so, I encourage you to look to the Lord for help.  I also offer you this prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are the God who gives endurance and encouragement.  Give us a spirit of unity as we follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify You and our Lord Jesus Christ.   In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen [Based on Romans 15:5-6]

 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with on another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” 

Ephesians 4:2-6   

© 2019-2023, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved.

31 thoughts on “A Labrador and a Corgi: A Lesson on Resolving Differences

  1. Beth, I love all your stories, but this one in particular really spoke to me – as a dog person and as a Christian.

    Too many people don’t have any idea how or why different dog breeds interact (or try to!) the ways they do and how breed-distinct “biases” can color the outcome.

    So very much like people. If only people would work to understand where other people are coming from and find a middle ground where they can “play” harmoniously.

    Then again, I know for a fact that Rhonda recognizes another dachshund, even at a distance, and while wary around some larger dogs, she will race right up to a strange dachshund without hesitation. 🤷‍♀️

    I guess we aren’t all that different. Beautiful story – and that song is a favorite. ❤️🙏🏼❤️ I sung along gratefully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you De! You framed it so well with your words, “If only people would work to understand where other people are coming from and find a middle ground where they can “play” harmoniously.” I find it amazing how dogs are able to recognize others of their own breed so quickly. Adi is the like Ronni. She greets other Labradors with a higher level of enthusiasm and it only takes a few sniffs before they are ready to begin to embark in some Labrador play. There is probably a lesson in that somewhere.


  2. Beth, I’m lost for words on the cuteness of: 1) your Lab, 2) neighbor’s Corgi, 3) their comparison, 4) playfulness (and otherwise). I just realized from your post that adult dogs have wisdom and puppies, like kids, misinterpret cues and signals. You are right, may we Christians be like the two (or too) cute dogs and settle things as CHRIST wants us to be and not to fight over on the secondary and the political. Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. scribelady

    I loved the pictures and the lesson. One thing that stood out for me was that both dogs valued canine companionship so much they were persistent in the relationship until they managed to get to be good friends. People often make so much of the differences that they aren’t willing to be persistent to get along. It’s especially sad when that happens between Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I greatly appreciate that you shared the part that stood out to you. You are absolutely right that we humans make too much of the differences. I truly wish for myself that I’d embrace the challenge of finding common ground first rather than wasting time contemplating the obstacle differences might create. The two dogs got to enjoy some time together earlier this week and they developed a game that was a mix of hide and seek and peek a boo. It took them a few hours to come up with it but once they did they had a marvelous time. Persistence pays off. Happy Easter!


    1. Thank you Sally! My eldest daughter is a budding photographer and captured the majority of the pictures used in this lesson. She did a wonderful job capturing the dogs together. I hope you have a lovely Easter!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, she did a beautiful job capturing the two dogs’ personalities.
        We have had Golden Retrievers over the years, and miss them.
        Your posts are very heartwarming for me.
        Happy Easter to you and your family as well. 🌷🤗

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary! Most my lessons focus on Labs so I thoroughly enjoyed including another breed in this one. Corgis are absolutely delightful dogs. My daughter captured most the pictures used in this lesson, so I will pass your compliment onto her. Happy Easter!


  4. I can imagine the fun had by these two pooches Beth. Our Glen had a companion in his final days, our cat Millie who was just a kitten then. That was an equally interesting relationship as Glen showed great patience with his new fur ball. You are right in your summary Beth, too often we are too quick to see differences rather than looking at common ground. Thank you again for another Adi story and the attached wisdom. God bless you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alan, I thoroughly enjoy when you share stories of Glen. How special it must have been to watch him develop a relationship with a kitten. I can almost picture that story as a children’s picture book. Millie must have missed him terribly when he passed. Watching Gwenny & Adi play is quite comical. Their newest game is hide and seek. It took them a couple hours the other day to land on that game but it was well worth the effort as it wore them both out. Finding common ground certainly takes time but is well worth the effort. I hope you and your family have a lovely Easter together!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You hit the nail on the head here, Beth. If a Lab and a Corgi can get along, so can a liberal and a conservative, or a masker and a non-masker.

    When the bond of love through Christ is included, there’s no good reason we can’t take off our boxing 🥊 🥊 gloves and live like a family.

    My wife and I have experienced the strained relationships you describe during this pandemic.

    Somehow, by God’s grace, may we all be able to set aside our pride and hurt feelings, and restore these friendships.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you David for sharing your story of restored relationships! It breaks my heart seeing relationships fractured and the isolation, loneliness, and anger it causes on both sides of an issue. Jesus is certainly in the restoration and reconciliation business.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.