This post was in my draft box as I was waiting to get a video of Monster’s Welcome Brigade. Monster passed away in December when I was overseas. The neighbours videoed the funeral service but I have not been able to look at it as I still feel sad when I think of him.
I also feel I have let him down by not telling his story and have been saddened by my omission. Although it still hurts when I think about him, I feel he deserves to be introduced even though he is not with us.
This post is thus in the present tense as originally written.
Rest in peace Mon … I love you so ~♥~
” Yesterday for the first time I thought I had given you a wrong name. You are so loyal, faithful and loving … how can I keep calling you Monster?
True, it is shortened to ‘Mon’ most of the time … and Monster is only a name of love … but still it is not an endearment of love. So what shall I call you from now on for I do love you so.
And I realised how much you love me too yesterday. You came running to me from your wanderings on the road the minute you heard my car start up. You followed me from Romy’s home to my home, waited outside whilst I did some work, and then started to follow me back again. When I called to you that I had forgotten something and turned back, you turned back too – and waited patiently. Then you saw me safely into Romany’s home and went back to your wanderings on the road. Oh Monster … can anyone have a ‘road dog’ who is so loving and concerned, so loyal and faithful, so protective of me !! You are the best, the very very best. And I want all the world to know about you so here is your story.
Monster’s mother was a road dog. When she littered near my garage, I fed the little family food but a monitor lizard devoured all but one little pup … so I took Mother and son into my garage for safety. When the pup was big, he joined his mother on the road.
They looked after the neighbourhood and everybody fed them. I would get the mobile vet for regular vaccines or when they got sick. Mother dog was so easy to manage – meek and patient. The little one … he was terrified and gave us such a terrible time with howls and yelps that I think that was perhaps when I started calling him ‘Monster’.
The mother was run over one day and Monster was on his own so I started paying him more attention, talking to him whenever I saw him. He had an incredible attachment to me and the minute he heard my gate click, he would come running from wherever he was and follow me. If I went to my sisters a few doors away, he’d follow me there. If I went to a neighbours, Monster would come there too.
If I went to church at the end of the road, he’d come there and join the congregation.
This was OK whilst the church was being built and we had no formal arrangement downstairs. But when we completed our beautiful chapel upstairs, Monster would still join the congregation and sit under my pew. We could never get him to leave as long as I was there. I decided tough measures were called for when he came right into the sanctuary on day and sat there right next to me whilst I was making an announcement!! Nobody was listening to me, all eyes were him!! Our priest at that time took it in good spirits saying he was the only Catholic dog he has seen. But after that, I would try to inveigle Monster into the house and lock him in before we left for Church.
Not an easy task – and still achieved only 50% of the time for Monster knows without a doubt when Sunday evening draws near. Nothing we can do will persuade him to enter the house.
He knows all our tricks now. If by chance he does get taken in, he hangs by the door and pushes past us when we leave. There is high drama each Sunday for he has to go to church. There are people there who love him, talk to him and even buy him food. The only good thing now is that he does not come inside (the next priest did not allow him) so he mixes with everyone after Mass.
Monster still leads us a dance when we have to get the vet. He is not well now. He has got injured in a fight and has got a touch of mange. I look at him and say “Mon will you let me get the vet?” But unless we have a couple of pairs of strong hands and prepare ourselves for days, it is going to be really difficult. He hates the vet or even mention of the name. We have to resort to code language like “Canine caretaker” or speak in Sinhalese (the local language which he does not understand !) for on countless occasions, the vet has turned up, after we have secured Monster indoors, but has not been able to treat him. Somehow, Monster manages to escape. Once we had the whole neighbourhood looking for him because the Vet had drawn the injection. We ended up paying for treatment not administered.
Now, we have to give him sleeping tablets before the Vet arrives. It is not good for him, that’s why I hesitate and delay. The first time we gave him one tablet, he woke up when the vet touched him and ran away. The next time, tablet plus muzzle. He still jumped up and ran away. The third time, tablet, plus muzzle plus both legs secured when he was drowsy. I hated such drastic treatment but felt the end justified the means. He needed medical treatment. He still struggled and was traumatised so vet gave him an injection which acts faster than tablets. He took so long to come out I was terrified it had gone wrong.
But Monster is a strong dog.
I think with wonder and undiluted thanks of the day that I ran over him. Yes, I who loved him so, ran over him.
He had run out in front of the car to form his usual ‘advance party’ but suddenly decided to roll over and scratch his body. Fortunately I was just inching the car forward when I heard a yelp and froze wondering which way to move. Monster dragged himself out from under the tire where I had run over his lower belly. He was grumbling and whining and would not allow me to touch him. I cried profusely, Monster I am sorry but he was in too much pain to heed my tears and only grumbled at me – you had to hear it to believe! Honest. That dog could almost speak. He allowed my mum to hep him and this was only time we had no difficulty with the Vet for Monster knew he needed help. Later, he allowed me to take care of him till he became right as rain.
I am still very nervous when Monster is on the road as he expects vehicles to move out of his way!
I am most nervous when driving home as Monster then takes over the whole road and forms a welcome brigade for me, prancing from side to side, till I reach my house. Many times, I just stop and wait for other vehicles to pass by, or wait till the road is clear before proceeding again.
Monster… thank you for all the happiness you have brought me, us, and all who love you: your road friends (the walkers) your church friends and your many admirers (including the baker who brings a bun for you each day). Thank you for being so faithful and loyal and watching over me wherever I go.
I thank God for you and pray that I can keep you healthy and safe into your old age.
I love you Mon. ”
Sadly it was not to be. But Monster taught me how to love unconditionally, faithfully and without expectation of anything in return.
“Love me for a reason and let the reason be love.”