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Missing Monty

Missing Monty
I grew up in a large family in the early 50ís made larger by pets; we had cats, birds and dogs. Someone put it this way cats have staff, dogs have owners. I remember most Lady a curly black Cocker Spaniel she was special, it was Lady that made me decide someday when the time is right I am going to get my own Cocker Spaniel.
Fast forward to 1985 the time came to find a dog as we were settled into a home with jobs and a fenced back yard. Now mind you I had to convince my wife that a dog was a very good thing for our little four year old boy. I said a dog will teach him responsibility, compassion and keep him company. Took some talking but we found Mike which was what our son wanted to call him. Mike was a solid color buff AKC registered male Cocker Spaniel. Well it didnít take long for my wife to come around, because Mike sensed that she needed winning over and he took to it. Our son took care of Mike but he soon became my wifeís shadow. I worked long hours on second shift in trucking so Mike was a constant companion and protector to anyone who came near our house, he went for long walks and protected. Well boys grow up graduate and leave home so Mike was my wifeís constant companion on my long days of work. Mike was fearless he stood down a full grown German Shepherd that came towards her on a walk. Mike slept at the foot of our bed in his own bed for 14 + years. We were both heartbroken when his time came, for weeks all she did was say I want Mike back.
I began to look for reputable breeders again and found one in Adrian, Michigan that had one male left from a liter of champion line AKC Cockers. So took my wife for a drive one Saturday and when we pulled in the drive she promptly said I donít want another dog I want Mike. I convinced her to get out of the car and go inside where upon the lady place a little black and white fur ball with curls in her lap. Well she picked him up and he began to lick her chin and it was love at first sight. I told her Happy Birthday now you can get out the check book or put him down and weíll go home, home we went with Montgomery Burns, Monty for short.
He whimpered at night so she put him just above her pillow to sleep to my objections His favorite thing was a rubber ball with a jingle bell inside at first he was afraid of it then he mastered pushing it around the house and soon he could pick it up and retrieve it. He never lost sight of jingle ball or her. He soon grew too large to sleep at her head so she moved him to the foot of the bed. He was the most beautiful contrasting colors of pure black with bright white and he knew he was a pretty boy. Not at all brave like Mike, Monty just garnered compliments every where she walked him. Again he became her shadow and although we did not forget Mike the empty spot was filled. Monty was smart you would tell him which toy to get and he would bring the right one and he had a lot of toys.
Born 7-7-00 then in 2007 I retired, but my wife wanted to keep working so things changed. I was now the stay at home and he began to shadow me everywhere I went. She still took him for his walks but he began to come to me when fireworks frightened, or when he didnít feel well. Monty used to climb up on my lap in my recliner and pin me down for hours at a time, he liked to be held. I papa sit grand kids 5 days a week while she still works and Monty shadowed me where ever I went, until Sue got home then rolls changed. She would go to bed early as she had to get up at 5am so Monty would go to bed for a while then come back out of the bedroom to stay with me until I got tired about 11:30 PM. As he aged he had health problems tumors, lumps, thyroid condition and a couple of surgeries until he became so anxiety laden that for 18 months someone had to be with him, if not he would hurt himself and destroy woodwork trying to get out of the house. We tried doggy Zannex but didnít help so we could never go anywhere together as one of us had to be here with Monty because he now hated rides in the car. I felt like a prisoner in my own home and now that we were both older than dirt I would trip over him several times a day as he would not let me out of his sight. After 18 months this became frustrating. He was 15 years and two weeks old when symptoms that he had been experiencing for about a month got suddenly much worse. He would shake like there were fireworks going off and pant and pace not able to rest. Baby aspirin and zannex worked at first then it took pain meds from the vet then the next night was much worse even with pain meds baby aspirin and zannex he panted paced and shook until 2am. We talked it over and knew that this we getting progressively worse and another night of that kind of pain was not the humane thing to do. So at 15 years and 18 days which is well beyond the life span for a cocker we had the vet end the pain. I donít think I cried that much when my Mother passed but then she had been comatose for days. My heart ached and I found myself tearing up at any thought of Monty well into the third day before I could contain myself. Can you tell me how 31 pounds of black and white fur can so get under your skin and into your heart? I am going to miss Monty for a very long time.

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