Chester Morven, the Nanny Dog; and a memorable mishap

Pulled: Friday October 21, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: None, still available

With Morven, I may be a foster failure. I’ve been trying to talk Scott into making him a permanent member of my support staff. Why? Because Morven is an excellent nanny dog.

We’ve decided that he’s a Sheltidoodle or a Shepadoodle. — a cross between either a Shetland or Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle. I think he’s a Sheltidoodle, since the following description of the Shetland Sheepdog fits him perfectly:

“Very intelligent, lively and trainable, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the smartest breeds. With intelligence comes the need to occupy their minds. They like to be kept busy. The Sheltie is above all an intelligent herder, capable both of commanding large cattle and holding small sheep in check.”

According to the information I’ve read, these particular sheepdogs need a job. If they aren’t given a job herding sheep or cattle, they’ll find their own job. Morven has decided that his job is Jack.

I first noticed this when I put Jack atop our very tall bed to change his diaper. I went to throw away the diaper, at which point Morven started barking, as though scolding me. The next thing I knew, he was up on the bed with Jack, bouncing from left to right, right to left, until he had herded Jack to the middle of the bed, so that he was in no danger of falling off.

Since then, they’ve been inseparable. Jack’s favorite activity is running from room to room while pushing his toy airplane walker.

Morven follows behind him, tail wagging, while carrying one of Jack’s toys or blankets in his mouth. See, below, Morven with Jack’s toy dog:

He also insists on sleeping in Jack’s room at night. He sleeps atop Jack’s chest of drawers, on the changing pad, so that he can literally watch over him.

The shelter director, Allison, told me that Morven was owner-surrendered, because he was “too protective” of the owner’s son. And, indeed, Morven takes his job very seriously. If I pick up Jack to tote him around on my hip, Morven barks. — because Jack should be on the floor with him, where it’s safer.

And Morven and my mother are constantly at odds. Mom thinks Morven should be an outside dog, since he doesn’t have the house-training thing down completely, but when she tried to pick him up and put him out, he bit her hand. I tried to explain to Mom that she was taking him away from his job, and that he can’t be separated from Jack, but to no avail. When Mom babysits, Morven goes outside and spends his day trying to gnaw his way back inside to his charge. So, Mom is Morven’s public enemy #1.

Scott is Morven’s public enemy #2, because he is similarly annoyed by Morven’s urine marking and agrees with Mom about the outside dog thing. Yes, Edisto’s old male wrap is in the washing machine as I type and is about to become Morven’s male wrap.

Poor Morven. — although I’m very sorry about your hand, Mom, and I had a serious talk with Morven. I told him that you’re the alpha Nana, not him. I think he gets it.

I find it interesting that the quality that would cause one mother to relinquish Morven is the very one that makes me want to keep him. I suppose career mothers, or those to whom mothering comes more naturally, would be annoyed by a dog that claims to know more about caring for children than they do. I, on the other hand, appreciate the advice and the help.

Morven: frantic barking

Me: “Oh! Yes, you’re right, Morven. Jack probably shouldn’t be on the kitchen counter.”

See Morven below, calling for assistance. Jack is unable to reach a toy in his toy box, and Morven is sounding the SOS.

And, now, for my favorite memorable mishap featuring Morven:

On Thursday, we were already late for school; then, on our way out the door, Morven slipped by us and starting running through Hamptonwood East. I took off after him, and was quite the sight in my pajama pants, fuzzy socks, rain boots, tank top and fancy corduroy jacket. (I count on remaining in the car and unseen when dropping off A. in the mornings.)

I chased him for ten minutes before realizing that all I have to do is put Jack in the middle of the street. (FYI: we live on a very quiet dead-end street. Trust me. There are kids in the street all the time.)

But, as it turns out, I only had to open the car door. As soon as Morven saw Jack, he jumped right in and took station by his car seat.

Good dog, Morven.

I think it’s appropriate to close with the scene from Peter Pan that introduces Nana, the nursemaid dog. This is perfect on a variety of levels, not the least of which is Mr. Darling as Scott.

Poor Nana.

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3 Responses to “Chester Morven, the Nanny Dog; and a memorable mishap”

  1. trina Says:

    Omg.. Nicole.. mom and I are walking around walmart almost in tears from laughing at this blog… plead Scott from me to keep morven.. mom and I decided u needed to start a comedy column featuring morven the dog nanny! Haha..

  2. Sarah Says:

    hahaha! this is too stinkin cute

  3. Jenni Says:

    I’m falling in love already, can’t wait to meet him. I’m sure he can give lots of laughs.

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