It's not uncommon for restaurants and cafes to have a theme, it can sort of pull the whole place together into one nifty package of excellence. What is a little more unusual, however, is when the theme includes related live animals. But trust me, that's not a complaint.
Unusual does not equal bad in the case of one cafe, based in Bangkok, Thailand and you'll find it im-paws-ible to argue that fact when you learn just how freaking adorable this cafe is!
It’s called Corgi In The Garden and it was really quite a delightful accident. Tanchanok Kanawaong, the cafe owner, is a die-hard Corgi lover, because as she says, they are "lovable and funny." Her journey through dog-life has been fascinating to say the least and the star on top is that today you can visit her cafe and have 12 adorable corgis rush to greet you!
In an interview with Bored Panda, Kanawaong described how she came to have such a fondness for the Corgi breed:
I love big dogs and used to have up to 10 Siberian Huskies and Golden Retrievers at the same time. When they grew old and passed away, I looked for dogs with similar characteristics, only smaller in size […] and decided to get a baby boy Corgi.
It wasn't too terribly long after that Kanawaong got another Corgi... and then another one! At that point it was no surprise when she ended up with five Corgis. Naturally, it wasn't too long before the animals did what animals do best... they had some babies. Can you imagine anything cuter than Corgi puppies? Few things in life are cuter. By the end of her Corgi collecting journey, Kanawaong had 12 Corgis!
Kanawaong wasn't planning on running a Corgi cafe but when she had a surprise litter of Corgi puppies she realized she could share her love and delight in the breed with her customers:
[It was] at that time when the idea of seeing them running around and sharing their energy came to me.
If you're saying that you wouldn't be totally obsessed with visiting a Corgi cafe, well, I don't believe you. Corgi in the Garden has been wildly popular, and customers light up as they meet the professionally trained pups. Customers are eager to give the dogs treats in exchange for simple tricks... as simple as a handshake:
The Corgis are trained by a professional dog trainer who uses only positive methods.
Porkchop, Pumpkin, Salmon, Bean, Babycorn, and the other pups are not complaining about the treats or the attention, that's for sure.
The cafe is open, with Corgis and all, six days per week from Noon until 6pm on Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10am until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. And their schedule is a fine-tuned machine! Each day, the cafe organizes one-hour sessions for 50 customers (22 tables) to meet with the doggos and it costs around $11 per person.
It would seem like a never-ending supply of treats would be a recipe for obesity but Kanawaong is not to keen to let that happen. She keeps her Corgi crowd healthy and active, having them run wild, Corgi style, exercising in the garden of the cafe at least three times a day!
Between the cuddle and play sessions and the ever-so-important exercise routine, Kanawaong always makes sure that her precious pups aren't prone to exhaustion and being over-worked. She makes room for nap time in between events:
The 1-hour gaps between the sessions allow them to rest. Every morning they’ll be running in the backyard, and come back for grooming to get ready for the sessions.
Happy, healthy, well-trained, endless treats, and plenty of exercise? What more could 12 Corgis ask for??
Corgis are a fascinating breed, and there are two of them in case you didn't know. There is the Pembroke breed and the Cardigan breed. Corgis are considered a small breed and they originated in Wales as herding dogs! That probably explains their intelligence, herding takes some serious skills. Corgi in the Garden's Corgis are of the Pembroke variety, which happen to be the more "popular" of the options. Did you know even Queen Elizabeth II adores Pembroke Corgis? It's true!
"Feels like a dream come true." - zonmarie
For their popularity in pop-culture, there is a little mystery involved in the Pembroke Corgi breed... According to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, it is believed that Pembroke corgis’ ancestry dates back to at least the 10th century. However, it is not known with certainty "whether they descended from the Swedish Vallhunds that were possibly brought to Pembrokeshire by the Vikings or from the ancestors of the present-day Schipperkes and Pomeranians brought to Wales by Flemish weavers."
Also per the PWCCA, this delightful tidbit about Corgi Legend:
Legend has it that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an "enchanted" dog, and certainly this must be true! 'Tis said he was used by the fairies and elves of Wales to pull fairy coaches, work fairy cattle, and serve as a steed for the fairy warriors. Even today those people with keen eyes and understanding hearts may see the marks of the "fairy saddle" in the coat over the shoulders.
While most people adore the idea of a Corgi cafe with Corgis on staff, some people might find themselves concerned about the Corgis, despite Kanawaong's best efforts to explain their routine includes rest and exercise. So she finds it important for people to also know:
I would also like to add […] that the well-being of the Corgis has always been our priority, so we’ve set up some playing rules. Because we have limited seating, we can’t accept reservations and provide first come, first served service to walk-in customers only. More details can be found on our official Facebook page.
Well, I know that my future goals include visiting Thailand, now... perhaps specifically to visit a certain Corgi cafe...