Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Alas, Poor Morse

Pay heed, I have a cautionary tale to tell, ignore it at your peril.

Naturally, it was all hubby's fault.

Well, it's not as though I hadn't done my research, is it? I bought the books, surfed the net, even spoke to the local vet before committing to any final decision.

We bought the full kit; bowls, lead, basket, all the chewy toys, etc. weeks before he was due to arrive, but that was fine, it heightened the sense of expectation and excitement, especially since the youngest was so obliging as to double up for a practise puppy.

Eventually, the days finally fell by and the time to bring him home arrived. Being as how the kennels were a four hundred mile round trip away, we elected it made best sense for Hubby to do the collecting, so he and our eldest were entrusted to go to make the final decision as to which pup we would actually end up with (yes dear reader, I seek to minimise my involvement here). 

I stress, the babes and I stayed at home eagerly counting down the hours, as off they sped on their mission of joy.

You have to make allowances, don't you? After all, the poor little darling had not only just been wrenched away from his mummy, he'd also endured a terrifying two-hundred mile car ride before reaching us. Little wonder he arrived all wrapped up in his own shit and vomit, but even then, I have to confess his copious drooling did, just slightly, give me rise for a wee tad of concern.

I was also surprised to find he'd changed colour. "I thought the breeder lady said he was brown?"

Hubby sagely nodded, "Yeah, it's unusual for Cocker Spaniels to be black and white, isn't it?"

I tried to put a bright face on it, "So what was it that made you pick this one, then?"

"The stink."


"I couldn't set one foot across that door for the stench, the place was disgusting..I waited outside 'til she fetched him out for us."

My hubby, the genius.

"So, er, you didn't actually see the litter then?"

"There were puppies tripping everywhere, hard to say."

Morse, as we duly christened him, brushed up well. True, he was incredibly stupid, took months to house-train, left his signature tooth mark on every stick of furniture (including on those of our friends and neighbours) and never quite managed to settle for more than a few minutes without attacking some unfortunate leg or another, but nevertheless since he was ours, we still loved him. 

Puppy training classes failed to make much of an impact, Morse rarely came when called. He particularly excelled himself on one occasion. Bolting out of our front door, he landed up scarpering half way across Putney bridge before a successful rugby tackle from hubby brought him down. Shame it broke his elbow (hubby's, not the dog). Come to think of it, I'm not sure - do dog's actually have elbows?

Curiously though, Morse was sure shaping up to be big for a little Cocker Spaniel. The vet explained this was probably due to the fact that he was a Springer Spaniel. (Darn, all those months the man on the common had been right. I made a mental note to apologise when next I saw him.)

Unlike Cocker Spaniels (which make ideal house-pets) Springer Spaniels are renowned for being stark raving loopy. It appears, in his initial rush to escape, hubby completely forgot to demand pedigree papers in exchange for our cash. Course, it was too late now, Morse had become family, cuckoo or not, we were well and truly saddled.

We bit on it and doggedly (sorry) ploughed on, hoping to somehow manage to temper his enthusiasms as we went along.

Alarmingly, puberty turned our already rampant hound into nothing less than a full-blown, raging out of control hump-aholic. He soon took to raping every dog on the common (of either sex), and tried to mount the youngest on many an occasion (she was at that handy crawling stage at the time). Enough was enough, even I realised something had be done.

Despite the Vet's misgivings, I opted to have his nuts removed. He was only nine months old, but he had developed the libido of a seventeen year old on an overdose of Viagra. Yes, of course I felt guilty, but there was little else for it. The lad would simply have to be "done".

The following Monday, en route to taking the girls to nursery, I checked him in to the local surgery. Happily scenting a new clutch of victims to molest, he cheerfully trotted off to meet his fate with hardly a backward glance. Relieved, I hastily marched the girls back to the car, draped their matching green smocks over them, and set off for school.

Now this is where it gets scary.

Perhaps I was distracted, or maybe it's because I'm a crap driver?  Possibly the latter.  When I was waved through to turn right at the junction, I just naturally assumed the car that had stopped to let me through, had done so after first checking the second lane (blind to me) was also clear. Sadly, this wasn't so.

Talk about a dramatic crash. Most of my bonnet, what was left of the bumper and the last jagged remains of a broken headlamp or two were jettisoned half way across the Upper Richmond Road, as we shunted over the kerb and yards along the pavement.

Miraculously, no one was injured.

Now,I may not be any good at driving, but I am as it happens, surprisingly good in a crisis (so much practise does pay off). Well of course the police had to come, tow-trucks were called, witnesses stepped up, and a fine time was had by all. Finally, still somewhat shaken, I scooped a girl up on each arm, and numbly headed for home. I think I probably looked far worse than I realised, for an acquaintance whom I barely knew drew up alongside me and wound her window down to ask if I was alright. I gratefully accepted her offer of a ride home, thanked her profusely and entered the hallway. Barely two steps through the door, I was met by the phone almost ringing off the hook. 

I answered to find the vet on the line.

"I'm ever so sorry Mrs. Shrinky, but I'm afraid your dog is dead."



They claimed he must have had a weak heart.  Pul-eeze - they obviously never knew him very well, no-one who could keep up that level of shagging could possibly be accused of having a dodgy heart!  Mind, they did waive their fees, and (kinda' hastily, if you ask me) cremate him for free.  Real nice.

I reckon the young locum vet mistakenly overdosed him on the anesthetic.    But, well that's when I got to thinking..

What goes around, comes around.

This was karma. 

Every action has a consequence. By checking Morse in to the vet, I had inadvertently killed him. Morse died exactly at the same time my car got trashed.  Not even cold from the table, he'd risen up, found my car, and zapped me for my sins. 

He always did have the last word. 

(Nb.  This all happened well over a decade ago, we've mourned and  moved on.  It took many years before we opened our hearts and home to another puppy.  Second time around, we made sure to select a reputable breeder.  Jake, our now 8yr old Golden Retriever, is firmly my fifth, and most easily favoured child!)


Jazz said...

Poor Morse. But it was a blessing in disguise. Maybe his death was actually a reward for having been in that accident.

Akelamalu said...

All I can say is never send a man to do a woman's job - men can't choose dogs! LOL

TechnoBabe said...

5th and most favored child. Ha. That was quite a lot to have happen in one day. I like your attitude and how you keep moving forward.

SJ said...

Was it karma or dog-ma? :)

Ami said...

You just can't make stuff like this up!

I'm a dog person, too. But my hubby picks out really good dogs.

Our last one came from the pound. We've had her 14 years.

Pat Tillett said...

Oh my!
That was a great and hilarious story (aside from the doggy death and car wreck)...
I laughed out loud a couple of times!
Nice one...

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh Sam! The wonderful, gorgeous Sam! Awwwwww! Off to look at me pics of him! Bless!


Jon remembers him too! (tee hee heehehehehehehehe)

Shrinky said...

Jazz, my guilt multiplied at the relief of him being gone..

Ake, I made sure to be there in person the next time around!

Hmn, as if we ever are given any other choice, eh, TechnoBabe?

Ooooooh, SJ - wish I had thought of that pun (grin)

Aw ami, sounds like a happy ending all round (smile).

Hi Pat, can't stop blethering on here with you, I've got this ridiculous movie (with a fecking unreasonable deadline) I need to pull my finger out on..

Denise love, you been on the sloe-gin? I never mentioned sam ONCE in this post.. (shaking my head)

Portia said...

Our "puppy" is now 50 lbs and still a ball of energy! He keeps us laughing!

Pat Tillett said...

I came back over to find a link to a certain post you referenced at my place. I said I was going to come over and dig for it. Alas, you have no label for it....

G-Man said...

Great Story Shrinky...
Great memories

Leslie: said...

I had a cocker spaniel like that! He was always escaping, barking, and nipping even after going to lessons with an expert! After biting me viciously - twice - I had to have him put down. But I do think the bigger the dog, the gentler they are. I loved my boxers and am thinking now of a yellow lab.


dogs are thieves..they steal your heart.

Parabolic Muse said...

'Doggedly'?! HA!

Are you using a different vet?!? What the hell?!? Poor Morse!

What I mean is: I'm certainly happy you got through your accident well!!

My little Scout girl loves to hump things. She does it because she's small and insecure.

I'm pretty sure that's why she does it.

Mushy said...

That ain't right! Something is amiss with that scenario!

However, I'd probably keel over to if someone tried takin' my boys!

So very sorry.

I hate hearing about innocent animals this police dog that died this year of heat stroke chasing a felon in Knoxville. So very senseless.

Bossy Betty said...

OH! My! Morse was some kind of dog! What an experience you went through and yet I was laughing too!

Fen said...

hah Morse! What a cracker!

Brian Miller said...

love that last line...gave me smiles...our first dog ate our kitchen was my fault...

Mickle in NZ said...

Poor, dear Morse - at least he had a happy, frenetic time with you.

In 1987 I shared a house in London for a few months with Landlords that had an oversized springer, Harry - he was huge with very long legs for his breed and not a lot of brain power! But Harry knew how to love his Mum and Dad. He once sat on my lap with his head towering above mine, being absolutely pathetic coz they were out. RIP Harry and Morse.

Shrinky said...

Ha, Portia, sounds as though your hound is around the same shape as mine! Gone are those days when we could simply pick him up for a cuddle, he almost breaks my toe if he steps on it!

Pat, you really made my day coming over to look for it (see my big, cheesy grin?) I'll send it on, but in the meantime, here it is:

Yeah G-Man, some memories you just CAN'T forget (wink).

I think you have a point there, Leslie - so sad about your spaniel, but sometimes you just have to intervene if you know someone may be badly injured. Golden Lab's are renowned for their gentle nature, they are a lovely breed of dog.

Oh Jackie, I wish I had thought of that one-liner, it sums it up perfectly, doesn't it?

Hi Chrissy, haha, she humps because she is small and insecure? I know a few neighbourhood kids around here that could apply to, too (giggle)..

I know Mushy, it was sheer negligence, no weak heart, that killed poor Morse off. Dog's don't ask for much, and they give so much more back - it's a crying shame about that police-dog - was anyone held accountable for that?

Hi Betty, oh, he was certainly a one off, was our Morse!

Fen I think I aged ten years over the span of his nine months with us..

Haha, Brian, he ate your kitchen table? Well, of course, yes, it must have been your fault! Actually, Morse ate our coffee table - wouldn't have been so bad, but my late father had hand made it (cringe).

Aww, Michelle, Harry sounds to have been a true honey!

Sabi Sunshine said...

Women is the smartest one hehehe. Never ever trust man to do sumthing .. sry i was late but was lately busy. Have yourself a great day and week!


mythopolis said...

Yikes!!! What a tale! Here, people drive out from the city with their over-grown pups they don't seem able to control...or maybe, they were just in love with the puppy version of what became a big dog. Anyway, they drop them off out here in the middle of nowhere. It is quite a pitiful thing to see these dogs lost and wandering the highway until they are eventually flattened by a passing motorist...

Just sent you some mail re your recent comment on my site. Best wishes, see ya' soon!

Suldog said...

If anything, I'll bet Morse's spirit was hovering around and SAVED you from more serious injury. Whatever else you did for him - or planned on having done TO him - you saved him from that stench-filled puppy farm, right? And he got to run around a bit, hump a few innocent bystanders, and otherwise enjoy his time.

~Babs said...

This story is hysterical the way you've told it..other than, of course the early demise of poor Morse.
What a character he is,,,,,as are you.
Write on Shrink!

Kate said...

Next time save yourself the drama and heartache. Just get a wiener dog. I hear they can double as lovely handbags as well.
Brilliantly crafted tale! Deserves much more than reposting on Facebook, but that's what I'll be doing.

Toemailer said...

Love the picture, :P

chewy said...

I'm a cat person. (nose in air)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Poor Morse, the hump-aholic (Ha!)

I love the way you tell a story-- ANd your husband's account of the pup pick-up is too funny.

Glad you have a lover of a dog now.

I'm taking a 3 week blog vacation to catch up on summer. I'll be back September 1st. Until then , have a great one. xo jj

Velvet Over Steel said...

Wow... what a day! Sorry, but so proud of you for the great attitude in the end.

Poor Morse though....

Take care & Big Hug,

Skunkfeathers said...

In reading that, I would say that you should have no reMORSE over what happened *ducking boos and throwd-off bonnets*

Margaret Benbow said...

Hilarious! My parents too had a Springer Spaniel, who was stark bonkers. He would constantly fall into sculpturally beautiful, perfect "points"--except that he would be pointing at Frisbees and pots of tea.

I am glad you all escaped the car accident in good shape. Karma was kind.

Middle Child said...

At least the Karma was instant - poor doggie - there are some silly dogs just as there are some silly people...not saying your husband was silly taking the first that came along because of the smell but...maybe like was attracted to like

Anna said...

Shrinky, I can sit all night and read your stories .... :)

This was good one, and what a coincidence. This reminded me two things, I was once humped by the dog, and this is when I didn't know what humping was, happy and innocent I said to my friend 'look your dog likes me', 'no Anna my dog is humping you', she replied, and explained what it was, lol.

And second, I had an accident once, when years later I found out that my friend had one too only hours apart, different places, and unfortunately she died (day after her wedding). Then the scary part was that I got new car, the licence plate was reading 713, july 13th the day she died (at that time I didn't know that). In three months the car was gone to another accident. Until this day, I don't know what to think about it, coincidence or don't even know what.

Shrinky you keep coming those stores. The bloggers stories are always better than any other book out there, as they are true.

Have a good night!

Anna :)