As a pet owner you have most likely read the book or seen the film “Marley and Me”, the story about an ordinary family and the world’s worst dog. We have all laughed and cried at the lovely moments captured in this story. But I believe that there once was a dog from Cork (Ireland) that could give John Grogan’s Marley a run for his money. This dog was Gizmo, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was the loveliest, craziest and most mischievous dog known to man.
Those who met Gizmo will say he was a unique character. I have never met (and don’t think I ever will) a dog like him. He touched a lot of hearts and I would like to share his story with you all. Once a brazen pup that caused destruction everywhere he went, who unfortunately struggled with a rare illness for a couple of years before finally crossing Rainbow Bridge in April 2013.
In May 2003, we received a call from a friend whose work colleague was looking to rehome her dog due to a change in circumstances. A month earlier, we had said goodbye to our darling Shih Tzu Snuffles who had passed away. Unsure if we were ready to replace Snuffles, we went to visit a 9 month old Cavalier King Charles called Rossa.
Unsurprisingly, we left the visit with Rossa in tow ready to offer him his new forever home. The whole car journey home, this lunatic of a dog jumped from back to front, climbed on my lap/head, licked me, nibbled me, scratched me. At 14 years of age I was so excited to have a new puppy, but I quickly realised the name Rossa did not suit his character, this dog definitely needed a more playful name. I looked at him while I called out a number of different names, “Buster”….”Rover”….”Lucky”….”Gizmo”…then the dog stopped and looked at me. I repeated “Gizmo” and I just knew that this was the perfect name for our new little Gremlin.
When we got home Gizmo literally ran around in circles and marked his territory (all over the house) for a few hours. I think mum was wondering what sort of alien was this, is he even a dog? But it was hard not to fall in love with him, he had the biggest brown eyes and floppy ears almost the size of his body.
It took Gizmo all of 5 minutes to settle into his new home. I was studying for my Junior Cert and every day when I came home from school he insisted on helping me with the study and homework. He was a great help, that is if you consider stealing my pens and chewing my books as being productive. Believe me, the dog ate my homework was a genuine excuse in my house! But this became a tradition, all the way through school and up until I finished college, Gizmo sat with me on the couch while I did my homework and assignments. If the door was ever closed he would cry until he was allowed join me, he was my study buddy and my lucky charm for exams.
One day, when he was still less than a year old we heard some crying from upstairs, we then realised it was Gizmo…somehow, and we still do not know how, the dog manage to get up on the windowsill in one of the bedrooms. Not only that, he had stole one of my slippers en route and managed to carry it up there with him. Of course we saved our little puppy, but not before taking a photograph to remember the funny event .
Gizmo and I fought a custody battle for a number of years. I had bought myself a Stitch teddy (from Lilo & Sitch) in the Disney store. Every day when I was out, he would come up to my bedroom, take the teddy and bring it to his bed. A few years later we eventually resolved the conflict as I purchased him his own Stitch teddy…
Teddy’s were not the only things Gizmo would steal; he was very fond of ladies underwear (particularly Bras). You would frequently find an ensemble of items in “Gizmo’s Den” (next to the tumble dryer). Every morning, Gizmo had my poor mother running around while he cleared the coffee table in the living room. He collected lighters, cigarettes, and pens and brought them to his den. He also was fond of chewing gum…Gizmo learned that if he opened the zip on a handbag it was very likely he would find some chewing gum (how the dog was not poisoned I do not know).
Then there was his passion for bins. From the bedroom bins he would steal items such as cotton buds; I don’t think I have enough fingers to count the number of times I had to put my hand down his throat to remove these so he wouldn’t choke. Being “clever humans” we purchased pedal bins, surely these would be dog friendly, but sadly not. Gizmo figured out that by copying the humans and standing on the kitchen bin pedal it would open, now he had an all you can eat buffet of rubbish and food scraps.
Gizmo also enjoyed a spot of gardening, he assisted my parents one day by eating half a bag of compost fertiliser….thankfully it was chemical free and passed through his system (although the clean-up following this ordeal was not fun….)
There are a lot more stories to come about Cork’s worst dog… check back soon for the next instalment of the Gizmo Chronicles.
We would love to hear stories from our readers about their dogs getting up to mischief. Has your pet eaten some object they shouldn’t have? Does your pet have a fetish with ladies underwear? Post a comment below and share your stories, we would love to hear them!
The Pet Greets Team