All my life I’ve wanted my own dog, the way some women want their own child.
I grew up with dogs – when I was a child my family had an Australian terrier named Syd and a beagle named Josh. But by my early teens they were both gone, and ever since then there’s been a doggie-shaped hole in my heart.
Until a couple of years ago, my lifestyle was too transient to allow me to have a dog. I have lots of canine friends, and I love them. But it’s not the same as having my own dog, one who’s there when I get up every morning and when I come home from work in the evening, who depends on me for food, walks, cuddles and visits to the vet.
John and Sona and I had been discussing adopting a dog for a while. John had even built a fence to make our property secure for a dog. But we had made no definite moves towards getting ourselves a dog until one evening I received a text message from my dog-loving friend Steve, suggesting we get ourselves down to the local pound and take a look at the male west highland terrier there.
And that’s where we found Monty. He looked like this:
He had been horribly neglected and abused. He was filthy, skinny, infested with fleas and worms. But he sat in his cage and quietly wagged his tail whenever anyone went near. He had bright, intelligent eyes and a wet button of a nose. Despite his awful condition I found him irresistible.
After a week, we were allowed to take Monty home with us. We gave him a bath and took him to the vet, who pronounced him to be in good health apart from the obvious. He needed to put on a lot of weight - he was just over half the weight he should have been - but the only real concern the vet had about Monty was a heart murmur.
Monty’s been with us for a month now, and we can barely remember life without him. We’re all besotted with him and he has to put up with being cuddled constantly [fortunately he has a high tolerance for cuddling]. The psychological scars he had from his previous life seem to be wearing off.
He recently had another vet visit; his heart murmur is gone and he’s put on 400g [he needs at least another kilo before he’s approaching a healthy weight].
Looking at him now, you would not believe just a month ago he was a scared, timid, lethargic dog who cringed at any unexpected move or noise. He’s now bouncy, energetic and sweet-natured … he loves to beat up his toy bunny, play with his doggie friends Oscar and Zella and snuggle in bed between John and I. My days always start off with a giggle when he gallops down the hall ahead of me, snorting enthusiastically because he knows it’s nearly breakfast time.
Thank you, Monty, for making me the happiest dog-mama in the world.
And thank you for being such excellent hooping company!!