A very special blog today – this is written by my mum. She is a brilliant writer and puts me to shame – enjoy!
It is always a major event in our house when Mortimer comes to visit; I take my role as grand-parent to the grand-dog very seriously indeed! In the first instance I feel privileged to know that I am trusted (one of very few I might add) by Emily and Dan to take care of him; when a visit extends to more than one night I am subjected to ‘the serious chat’ about doors being left ajar so that Mort can escape and disappear forever (why would he when I have a cupboard full of doggy treats?) and how I plan to protect him from any marauding, vicious dogs intent on maiming him (we all know she actually means our psychotic spaniel, Paige!)
The impending arrival is heralded with a Supermarket Sweep-style removal of all things dangerous, poisonous or chewable before he makes his grand entrance which currently involves him executing a superdog leap of Olympic proportions across our new porch which he is terrified of; goodness knows what horrors the umbrella stand and mik bottle container hold for him but apparently they do.
The usual pattern of Mort’s arrival is that he ignores me completely (unless I happen to be clutching a roasted chicken) in favour of Jenny, our black labrador who he is besotted with and then goes on the hunt for his auntie Abi who is equally favoured (she lets him drink the left-over milk from her cereal bowl which I appreciate sounds disgusting but such favours guarantee Mort’s life-long adoration!)
He then pretends he is distraught when mummy and daddy disappear before settling down for a day of fuss, food and an embarrassing number of his favourite ‘neck kisses’ whilst hogging grandad’s hugely expensive leather chair which no-one else is allowed anywhere near.
The next difficult decision of the day is what to have for breakfast; Jumbones, milky biscuits and bonios are a given but how to decide which tin of Cesar to have is something else. But we do have a solution; which involves placing the tins in a line on the kitchen floor and allowing Mort to ‘choose’ which one he fancies. Today it was Tuscan Stew (I kid you not) which saw him practically licking the enamel off his special Cath Kidston feeding bowl (doesn’t every grand-dog have one?)
The rest of the day generally involves an awful lot of sleeping; as I write this he is curled up, Cumberland sausage-style in a tiny patch of sunlight on the carpet, when his snoring wakes him he is most disgruntled to discover the sun has dared to move and he finds himself sun-less. In a little while we are going to meet auntie Abi from work and take Mort on a nice little w-a-l-k, I have been instructed not to actually say the word unless I want my ears to be assailed with hysterical barking.
Which brings me onto the subject of Mort’s favoured means of communication. For a little dog he has one hell of a loud bark; today he has managed to out-bark next door’s dog, which is a great achievement in itself, terrorise the postman and startle the poor church magazine lady to within an inch of her life. But Mort’s exuberant voice is just part of his personality; he barks when he is nervous, he barks when he is pleased to see you and barks even more when he is most definitely not pleased to see you. At least we all know where we stand with him! We are very grateful that we were accepted into Mort’s ‘circle of trust’ at a very early stage in his development.
Mort is coming to stay for a longer holiday soon while his mummy and daddy jet off to sunny climes for a well deserved holiday. Now, the longer holiday involves all sorts of night-time rituals involving blankets, duvets, treats and one almighty fight for the best bit of the mattress but we won’t go into that right now or I will sound like a complete head-case.
I love my Mort-days, he gets me out of all sorts of boring jobs; housework awaits but it would be such a shame to wake him when he looks so cute chasing cats in his sleep! Mort-days are out of bounds for my friends to visit because he doesn’t like them and the carpet doesn’t get cleaned because he is scared of the vacuum cleaner but I honestly don’t spoil him……I have just ordered an adorable sticker for my car though which reads “I heart my grand-dog” – very classy!