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It was during the great thunderstorm that George decided to become a dog
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It was on the night of the great thunderstorm that George
finally decided to become a dog. He was used to sharing the
marital bed with Topsy the poodle and Flopsy the Clumber spaniel;
but when, frightened by the thunder, Mopsy the old English sheepdog
joined them as well it all became too much of a crowd and George was
summarily ejected onto the bedroom floor. 'That's it,' George
thought as he curled up in Mopsy's basket. "I've had enough.
I'll make an appointment first thing in the morning.'
The doctor, when George eventually got to see him. was
"It's a major procedure, a species-change operation.
Have you discussed this with your wife?"
"Of couse," lied George, suppressing a smile. The thought
of discussing anything like that with Beryl was out of the
question. No, it would be a nice surprise for her. He hoped she
would like him better as a dog. Certainly she did not have much
use for him as a man.
"I'll get you an appointment with the specialist," said the
doctor, "but it might take a while. Then I believe the waiting
list in this area is about two years."
George stared in horror. Two years!
"Though of course," went on the doctor, "if you were to
have it done privately . . . "
It was really more than George could afford, but he thought
it well worth the money. A few weeks later Beryl's dog-walking
friends in the park were able to admire the new addition to the
"Yes, that's George," said Beryl, gazing fondly. "I've
never really taken to small dogs, but I have to admit, he's a
perky little fellow."
George settled easily into his new life. He was slightly
disappointed by his breed - he had fancied something like a
Doberman or German Shepherd, but the specialist had explained
that his new form had to reflect his former personality and
physique, and being a Jack Russell was not too bad. His small
size meant that the double bed was now big enough for all of
them, and George felt welcome there for the first time in years.
The food was good - gourmet dog-food was a distinct improvement on
Beryl's cooking. She still expected instant obedience, so there was
nothing new there, but at least now he got a pat on the head and
a murmured "Good boy!".
Of course, life wasn't all walkies and doggichox. The other
dogs did not really take to his new incarnation. They had always
despised him, and now they were all so much bigger than he was;
but he was used to female domination. They were not the real
problem. No, what lay at the root of his trouble was sex.
He had been warned that there might be some increase in
libido, but had not paid much attention. He had never been
terribly interested before, but now he was a Jack Russell he
seemed to think of little else. Topsy, Flopsy and Mopsy were
no use to him at all in that department. They had all had the
operation. As for getting out to search for more accommodating
bitches, Beryl was even more strict about that sort of thing
than when he had been a man. She would not even let him off the
lead in the park, after the unfortunate incident with the Great
This continual sexual frustration led to a serious
deterioration in his temper. He became irritable and snappy,
aggressive towards strangers, especially visitors to the house.
No postman dared approach the door. There were outbreaks of
mindless vandalism directed against Beryl's clothes and soft
furnishings. However his anger was never aimed at Beryl
herself. Her, he adored. Totally.
He had never appreciated the true meaning of the phrase
'dog-like devotion' until he became a dog. He had always admired
masterful women, that was what had drawn him to Beryl in the first
place, but now he worshipped her. Praise from her set his tail
wagging in ecstacies of delight, while a harsh word reduced him to
abject misery. To share her with others became a torment to him.
He was her knight, her protector, keeping the world at bay. He
could not see, in his blind infatuation, that it was the very
excess of his devotion that was alienating her. After all, he
was only a dog.
So at last the day came when Beryl went to the park
accompanied as usual by Flopsy, Mopsy and Topsy - but no George.
"It all got too much for me," she replied to the enquiries
of her friends. "You know how fond I was of the little chap. But
he became impossible, so jealous, always picking fights. It was
starting to affect the others. I couldn't have that. We used to
be such a happy little family. And he was so destructive. I tried
taking him to a canine psychiatrist, but there was nothing to be done.
He was too old to change, he could only get worse.
"Found him a new home? Oh no, that would have been really
cruel. He was strictly a one-woman dog. He would have pined away.
"No, it was a hard decision, but in the end I really had no
choice. It was the kindest thing to do, for George as well as me."
Beryl wiped away a tear. "And I still have him, in a way.
I just couldn't bear to part with him completely, so afterwards I
took him to that place off the High Street, and they did a
marvellous job. He does look sweet on the back shelf of the car.
"Yes, that's right. I've had him stuffed."
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"An astute insight into dogs and our relationships to them. Well written and funny. I enjoyed reading this one. Thanks" -- Sooz, Dalton, Cumbria, England.
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© 1998 Moya Green
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