Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Beloved Bed Hog Boy

Almost every night, I have to sleep like pretzel girl. My legs are normally tucked closed to my chest because our bed is full. Usually four "beings" sleep in our bed, me, my husband, pregnant Kitty and Monty (aka Bed Hog) Monty has to sleep on my side and has to have the ability to touch me. My husband spreads his legs wide like a pair of scissors so he has plenty of leg room. I'm left with a small square of bed area. Monty went outside at 2am this morning, I thought I could trick him. I closed our bedroom door so he'd be forced to sleep on the couch. I should know better, Monty doesn't give up that easily. He laid outside the bedroom door and whined, sighed and snorted every 10 seconds. You would think we hadn't fed him for a week or something. I couldn't get any sleep because of his crying, so I opened the door and gave up half my bed again.

Monty didn't always have the privilege of sharing our bed. For the first two years of his life, Monty was crate trained. Monty has always been a great dog to train. He was easy to potty train, he was "teacher's pet" in puppy class, he earned obedience titles and we even did some agility.

The only thing Monty cannot do is swim. I try to tell him, it's because he's too muscular. I took Monty to a lake once and he looked like a chain-saw slicing through the water. He only paddles with his front legs, his ass sinks. He looked so traumatized after this swim experience I never made him do it again. Hey, nobody is perfect.

He does act perfect in other ways. He's always had this air of superiority. He doesn't like other dirty dogs to touch him. I used to foster rescue Dobermans and Monty wanted no part of them. He acted like they were dirty, homeless, lice ridden creatures. God forbid if one of the foster dogs went potty inside. He wouldn't stand to be in the same room. He'd treat the dog like it was a disgusting idiot. We had a few that liked to eat crap. Monty would avoid those dogs like the plague. If they got near him, he'd run away like they had cooties.

He also hates to step in chicken, goose, duck or peacock shit. You should see him miss the piles of crap of the driveway. It's like he's tip toeing through landmines. When he steps on a pile of shit, he acts like his leg is broken. He'll hold it up in the air and refuse to walk. I have to go inside, get a clean paper towel with soap and wipe his paw off.

Monty has never killed or injured any of the farm animals. He is their protector. When he trees raccoons and opossums, he's very proud of himself and likes when Daddy shoots them out of the tree. Monty eats raw food. Chicken necks, backs, turkey necks and offal. One day, I got this bright idea that I would cull some of our own roosters for dog food. It took me over two hours to kill, pluck and dress three roosters. I wash off my killing for the day, chop it up and put it in Monty's bowl. He looks at me like I've lost my mind. He will not touch it. I get mad and put it in his mouth and close it. He starts gagging. He knew it was our roosters and refused to eat them, he acted like I was Hannibal. His favorite food is pizza and chocolate. Before you start yelling about dogs and chocolate, Monty weighs over 100 pounds. A dozen M&Ms won't kill him.

I trained Monty to be a therapy dog when he was two. He had to pass a test that consisted of walking nice on the leash, heel, sit, stay, lie down, come, leaving things alone on the floor like dropped medication. He passed with flying colors. He got his ID card and we were ready to go to nursing homes. The staff at nursing homes weren't too friendly though. They were scared of Monty even though he was a canine good citizen. We ignored them and tried to bring some joy to the older folks anyway. Monty didn't really enjoy going. I think he felt others' sadness and pain too much. He also has the OCD cleanliness problem, it smells bad in the homes. Once, a lady with a dirty diaper wanted to pet him and Monty kept trying to scoot away. When Monty would see a door that lead outside, he would walk over and touch it. The time a man grabbed my arm and wouldn't let go scared me too. A nurse had to come and pry his fingers off me. Monty was real good about it and obeyed his sit-stay command. The days after nursing home rounds, Monty would come home and sleep for the rest of the day. It took a lot out of him.

My "Monter" is getting old and it makes me sad. He's only seven but male Dobermans don't live very long. Most of them drop dead around this age of cardiomyopathy. I guess it's better than a long time of suffering. I see signs of Monty slowing down. He doesn't tolerate the heat as well, he sleeps more, he's looking "gutty". I know I don't have a lot more time with him and I don't know what I'll do when he's gone, I'm afraid. We have our daily routine. Wake up, I drink my coffee while he lays in the sun. He follows me out to milk goats and waits outside the pasture for his goat milk breakfast. He takes a mid morning nap while I train. He always meets me at the door and wants my empty water bottles to carry around.

My life will be so empty when he's not at the door waiting for the water bottle hand off. I have been so blessed with a wonderful companion for many years. When I am crying and sad, he knows and will come and snuggle with pretzel girl. He's the best shoulder I have ever had to cry on and probably ever will. I love you my Monter!


At 4:14 PM, Blogger Cagey said...

Thanks for telling us about Monty. I just love dogs...can't get enough of them. Unfortunately, my German Shepard passed away about 18 months ago and it makes it difficult to get another.

Anyway, Monty is a beautiful dog and he is also a better swimmer than I am.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger TriSaraTops said...

He is adorable!

Dogs aren't ever allowed to die. I just got my first one a year ago and he'd better live forever. :)

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Isn't it amazing how we spoil our animals. They get away with almost anything, but then tolerate so much from us.

What a wonderful doggy!

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Flo said...

Your post made me cry. I just lost one of my dogs on Sunday. I know exactly how you feel. We love them soo much and they bring us such love and joy, it's sad when they get older. Monty a good looking boy. You are both lucky to have each other. Please, give him a hug and a kiss from me. Thanks.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Tell old Monty I said hello ... :)

At 7:48 AM, Blogger DaisyDuc said...

Awww he is so cute!!!! Monty sounds like one really good dog, even if he is a bed hog!

I love my lil doggie...and can not imagine losing him.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger Mallie said...

Touching and wonderful post. My dog is like my child. I can't imagine waking up in the morning and not seeing his big old, I'm still a puppy inside, smile. You'll always have the memories and those fantastic pics. Love the one in the party hat.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

awwe what a sweet dog! So glad you left his ears floppy, they look so much sweeter that way. I don't know what I'll do when we lose Milford and Monte. Hopefully I won't have to worry about that for a long time.

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