Yesterday I received an excited text from Scottish Pyrenean Rescue (www.scottishpyreneanrescue.webs.com) – 9 healthy pups born to a rescue Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It was the first time the Rescue had had pups and already some had been booked for new homes! We had known that the great event was going to happen soon, but it was still a surprise when we heard the good news.
Hubby of course was keen. In fact, he had been going on about getting a little pup for ages. However, ever the sensible wife, I told him that it was not possible to train a tiny pup that would soon grow to be a giant when we also had a guest house to run. Besides, I really did not know if I could cope with three hairy beasts – cuddly though they might be. I thought our current two, Maddi and Zack, were plenty.
The text message made me think of our first dog, Monty. He too was a rescued Pyrenean Mountain Dog which we adopted while we were still living in Scotland, and beautiful with it. However, Monty was more than your average dog; he was a human in doggy disguise. Monty got on well with everyone and everyone loved him. He was beautiful, loving and intelligent. He could also be extremely stubborn, and often displayed an ‘I’ll get you back’ prank mentality when he was not pleased.
But Monty’s greatest gift was his gentleness and big heart. He would sit for ages with his paw in Grandpa’s hand and listen to Grandpa talking for hours if need be, looking for all the world like he understood every word. He was funny in his stubbornness even when it was not a very nice joke against us, his family. Frankly, if we did not have a sense of humour and laugh with him, we would cry instead.
Monty craved human company. And he was a gallivanter – he loved going out. He was happier sitting in the boot of a vehicle waiting for us when we went out to church on a Sunday morning, than being left alone at home for a short while. In the end, Monty became a familiar church goer, and attended Alpha meetings with a large marrow bone each time to keep him company. His huge and very loud enjoyment of the bones certainly kept everyone alert and awake! (www.alphafriends.org/about-alpha)
Monty was still new to us when we decided to go to church and leave him at home. We were not going to be gone long, and the church was only a mile away. However, I could tell that Monty was not happy about it. He was looking at us in that ‘longing to go out’ kind of way and, more seriously, he was looking at us with an ‘I’ll get back at you for leaving me here while you go out’ kind of way.
Well, what do you know? When we came back an hour and a half later, Monty had deposited a lovely present that smelt so bad we had to have all the windows open! Monty continued to do this until we cottoned on and took him out with us every time after that. He never made a mess in the vehicle even though it was the same time of day. It was just his plain pig-headedness!
I could probably reminisce about Monty all day. He lived with us eight and a half years out of the ten years of his lifetime and cost us lots in both damage to the house in Scotland where we lived at that time, as well as vet fees when he was wrongly diagnosed with arthritis when it was actually cancer. But Monty was brave to the end. He never gave up, and despite the pain he suffered as the cancer ate into and crumbled the bones of his hind legs which we never knew about thanks to the vet’s incorrect diagnosis, he was always gentle with us, only reacting when I once touched the painful area unwittingly.
I hope that I will have the feistiness and fortitude of Monty, which had suffered much abuse before he came to us, and which later suffered with so much dignity when he became mortally ill. If dogs could speak, I hope that Monty would have said, ‘Thanks for a wonderful life. I love you.’
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