Thursday, 27 March 2014

Mollie Gets Her Duck

RIGHT. Hello again,  I believe it’s time to kick start this blog into motion again as I have too much material to leave it be, so let’s not waste time and get straight in with a belter from this last summer. I mean, a REAL belter. You’re not gonna wanna miss this one, trust me. Skip to the fourth paragraph if you just want to get straight to the action, because I HOWLED when I heard this one.

"Not right now, there's a blog post to be read!"

Okay, so I’ll start with a little background for those of you who want it. Last summer, I was preparing to decamp from Canada to the UK, where Mollie is currently with my parents. Right now, I’m in Dublin, but my life and all the travels involved is a whole different blog entirely (I’m British, American partner, you get the picture, we’re both 25, lots of moving around). My parents, being the Very British couple they are, love to experience to gems of the nation in all its glory by… going to the same place every year. I mean every. Single. Year. Now, don’t get me wrong, the New Forest is a lovely part of England (so I hear), it’s got woodland, history, water. Basically everything a springer could EVER want. Minus the history, unless your springer is the scholarly type.

Professor Bingo: Head lecturer of Scavenging 101 and Drooling Everywhere class

 So every year, they load up the car, Mollie hops in and off they go to spend a week or two in the utter bliss they consider the New Forest to be. Unfortunately, Bingo doesn’t get to go as my dad apparently needs a holiday from his constant pulling on the lead, but never fear! Bingo gets to stay in a very plush kennel, complete with the option of skyping your pet for a nominal fee. He never seems to be too distraught when he goes in, compared to Mollie who SULKED for the whole TWO DAYS when she was put in when my parents actually ventured a bit further (to Scotland, for my wedding. I considered having Mollie as my ringbearer. Then I heard this story). Anyhoo.

She can also be a nightmare at weddings if there's an open bar.

 So basically, they just chill out on these holidays and do very middle-aged parent-y type things, like visit cathedrals and go for woodland walks and stuff. High-octane stuff. One day, they visited a wonderfully named old boat yard called Buckler's Hard (weird name, I know). Mainly for the history, seeing as my dad loves all that stuff, but also to let Mollie stretch her sea legs a little.
Now, my parents know the deal with Mollie and the water. They experienced the entry “Mollie and the Lake” first hand, so this was not their first rodeo when it comes to Mollie and the waves. They let Mollie off the lead to splash around, and stroll around while taking in the sights. Perfection, right? SURE!
My mother, at this point, stops to talk to a “very posh little girl” who is admiring Mollie from afar, and why not? Mollie’s a good looking dog, and she knows it. My mum lives for this kind of stuff, so she eats it up, not paying too much attention to the ducks that are casually and very stupid swimming in Mollie’s direction.

This, as it happens, turns out to be a very, very catastrophic error.

The grass is water and the blue ball is a duck. Now you get the picture.

Suddenly, Just as everything was turning out to be the Perfect British Holiday, Mollie reaches her head out, and with surprising, surprising ease (read: surprising stupidity of the duck) simply opens her mouth and manages to close it on a duck.


My mum promptly freaks out and screeches at Mollie from dry land to let it go, to drop it. She might as well be calling for Mollie to recite the Pirates of Penzance in its entirety in Latin, that is how much success is predicted with her efforts.
At this point, there’s a crowd gathering, pointing and muttering about what this insane dog is doing. The duck is now limp in Mollie’s maw, horrifyingly. This escalates my mother’s freakout, who then appeals to my dad to DO SOMETHING!

Because Mollie is indeed known for giving up easily.

 So my dad actually WADES INTO the lake to retrieve Mollie and proceeds to wrestle to creature out of Mollie’s jaws, probably muttering expletives as he did so. The struggle continues, and the panic peaks, with my mother covering her face and shouting “I CAN’T LOOK, I CAN’T LOOK!!” Meanwhile, Mollie has gathered quite the crowd, with people asking my parents, “Oh goodness, that isn’t YOUR dog, is it?”
The duck is eventually plucked from her mouth, and actually perks up immediately (I guess it was playing dead? Or in shock?)  and swims away, apparently unharmed, if only a bit shocked. My dad emerges from the lake, looking like the creature from the black lagoon by the expression on his face alone, leading along a very triumphant looking springer spaniel who knows that she has achieved much this day.

A bit like this, just imagining that ball to be a bit more feathery.

Mollie is a creature of instinct. She simply did what any dog with hunting tendencies would do, and the fact that she didn’t harm the duck probably is due to the fact that she had no idea what she would *actually* do if she ever caught one, rather than any forgiving, merciful tendencies. Despite this, my parents still let her into lakes and waters, because they either don’t learn, or know that a dog is a dog and that sometimes mischievous behaviour is part of the package. I believe however, this entire experience boils down to how the “posh little girl” reacted to the incident as it was happening.

“I’ve never seen a dog do that before!”

Classic Mollie.

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