Saturday, April 12, 2008


One lovely April morning Rob left for work and I decided to sit on the porch and read for awhile. About twenty minutes later our car came down the hill. Rob pulled up in front of the house and stuck his head out the window. He told me he had stopped at Walmart to pick up some supplies and had gotten me a present. Great ! I love presents ! He said it was on the floor on the passenger side. I walked around the car, opened the door and there sat a little brown puppy.

Rob said a woman had seven pups in a shopping cart in the parking lot and was trying to give them away. He only stopped to look, but couldn't resist. She said the mom was a Chow Chow and the dad was a Doberman. Not a mix I would recommend. He told me he had asked for a female. I picked up the pup and told him if this was a female, she had a serious growth on her belly. It was definitely a boy and he hadn't checked. I didn't think Bentley would mind having another male in the house, so we took him in.

We named him after a movie we had just seen, The Full Monty. He was a cute little guy, but he didn't like being handled and really didn't like anyone touching his head. We soon found out why. Monty had big welts on his ears and would hide if a man came toward him. If either of us picked up a stick such as a mop, broom etc he would run and try to escape. He was terrified of loud noises. If he caught sight of a belt or leash he would panic. He had obviously been badly beaten. He was only six weeks old.

Within a couple weeks Monty was showing worrisome signs of aggression. He would protect his food by growling and snapping at the other dogs. Working with our Vet we started dealing with the problem right away. I would sit on the floor and feed Monty his food one piece at a time and he had to earn each piece. He learned to sit and lie down immediately on command. I handled his head, ears, feet and tail daily. I opened his mouth and rubbed his teeth. he didn't like it, but if he wanted to eat or go outside or play with his toys, he had to comply. Soon I could touch his head any time I wanted and he would even allow me to take objects out of his mouth. I was still the only one who could.

At three months of age Monty developed a hematoma in one ear. Because of the escalating aggression, we decided to have him neutered at the same time the ear was operated on. He has turned into a wonderful dog who now allows Rob to pet him and even has three non-family women friends who he will let pet him. He guards everything, people, other dogs, toys. Belonging to two breeds that were specifically bred to guard, he takes it very seriously. He seldom lets his guard down to play, the exception is with puppies. Monty loves puppies. He will lie on his back and let them crawl all over him. He even lets them bite his face and ears. He has never been aggressive with a puppy.

Around Thanksgiving of 1999, Pylon became ill. She had been suffering with doggy senility since the move and we had to watch her closely as she would wander off and not know where she was. Now she was having trouble sleeping at night and would wander around the house. Sometimes we would hear her barking at night, she had gotten lost in the house and couldn't find her way back to the bedroom. She had always been an indifferent eater, but now she refused food completely. I would take her onto the porch and hand feed her, but she really didn't want it. She was diagnosed with cancer and we knew we didn't have much time left with her.

On December 2, I was trying to feed her when she put her head in my lap and gave a half sigh-half whimper. I knew what she was telling me. The next day we drove her to the park and sat under a tree with her remembering the fun times we'd had together. We drove to the Vet's office and I held her while he injected her. She was gone. Rob and I had come to terms with her loss in the previous days, but we didn't consider how Bentley would react. It was heartbreaking to see him looking for her in all her favorite places, then curling up in her spot on the sofa. We were back to our limit of three dogs.

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