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Costumed corgis and families enjoy a day at Clement Park

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By Deborah Swearingen

A love for a particular, short-legged breed of dog was all it took to connect the folks gathered at Clement Park on Sunday morning.

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Corgi enthusiasts from South Jeffco and beyond found each other on Meetup, a website where people can connect with those with common interests. They formed The Littleton Corgi Meetup and began meeting regularly at the dog park. Last weekend, however, they had a particularly festive reason to assemble — the 4th annual corgi costume parade.

Charlie, a 4-year-old corgi, came as Superdog, flashing an impressive cape of the traditional blue, yellow and red, while Wilma, a 10-year-old rescue dog, sported a lifeguard outfit complete with a sun-protecting hat. For owner Judy Defrancesco, the costume was particularly fitting.

“She saved my life. That’s for sure,” Defrancesco said.

Shorty, a puppy, was dressed as a sheriff, decked out in a bandana, black hat and gold badge. Shorty is a new addition to Joe and Laura Rubino’s family. They already have an older corgi named Remy, short for Sir Remington of Ken-Caryl.

The pair said they first saw a corgi nearly two decades ago at a craft show up in Evergreen. They fell in love as soon as they laid eyes on the dog. Since then, they have owned five.

“We just like them,” Laura said.

Barbra and Walter Hochner of South Jeffco have a similar draw to the breed. Seventeen years ago, when they got their first corgi, no one else had one. Now, the breed is much more popular. Corgis are playful, friendly and protective, and their personality is an attractive feature for the Hochners.

Less than a year ago, they traveled to a breeder in Kansas to pick up a new corgi pup. Although, they set out to buy just one, the Hochners came back with two — Milo and Chief, now 9 months old.

The two dogs aren’t siblings, but they came from the same place. It was love at first sight, and Barbra immediately knew they’d be taking two.

“When you get a dog, you should always connect,” she said.

Ed and Erin Levin of Highlands Ranch were always cat owners, but Erin found herself increasingly intrigued by the breed for a number of reasons, including the dog’s tie to Queen Elizabeth of England and the folklore surrounding corgis.

It’s said that Welsh corgis are enchanted dogs used by fairies and elves to pull their coaches or to serve as the steeds for their warriors. In Welsh, gi means dog and cor means dwarf. Thus, dwarf dogs.

With their tiny legs and adorable faces, it’s easy to see why so many love the breed. The Levin family loves Charlie, or “Superdog,” so much they even started Instagram page for him.

“All one has to do is just look at them to see why (we love the breed),” Ed said.