S: The life and times of Monty Young - a dog's story
BC: Keepsake Books - www.keepsake-books.weebly.com
FC: The life and times of Monty Young | A dog's story | as told to Marion Finlay
1: I was born in 1999 in Ontario, Canada. Or maybe it was 2000. I have a mental block about most of my life before being adopted by Loretta and George at the age of two or three in 2002. You see my early years were not very happy. I have vague, but disturbing, memories of a hard life on a farm as a hunting dog, and receiving regular abuse from my master. | My early years | Above: Me aged about two having a snooze just after I was adopted. | So I ran away from home. Luckily, I met a nice man while wandering along railway tracks. He took me to a kennel and they offered me up for adoption. When Loretta and George visited the kennel to meet me, it was love at first sight.
2: I’m proud to call myself a hound dog as I’m descended from a long line of noble Beagles with a bit of Basset Hound mixed in. The Beagle is a very old breed that is mentioned in 2000-year old records from Ancient Greece. Beagles are affectionate, curious and good-natured dogs who make a great family companion. We're guided by our nose, and are never happier than when following an interesting scent. Because Beagles were bred for hunting, we tend to wander and, given the slightest opportunity, will set off to explore. We're also stubborn and often naughty, with a tendency to become destructive when bored or left alone. Certainly, I exhibited all the typical Beagle traits. Although I'm told I was more affectionate, curious and good-natured than other Beagles (and also more stubborn and naughtier. Sorry Mummy!). | My ancestry
3: My appearance | I've been described as incredibly cute thanks to my big beagle nose, huge, brown eyes and floppy Bassett Hound ears. Being a modest dog, I couldn’t possibly comment (though when I'd look in the mirror, I had to admit I was a very handsome animal). | Here I am checking out my reflection. I liked mirrors because I could see what Mommy and Papa were doing when they thought I wasn't watching them. Sometimes I could be a very clever puppy.
4: More about me | Above: Field Marshal Monty Young - brave, loyal and a leader amongst dogs. | I was given the name Monty by Mommy as she liked the film "The Full Monty". Personally, I think my character was similar to that of the great British General, Field Marshal (Monty) Montgomery, commander of the Allies during the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa.
5: Family | Here's me with my Papa, George and my Mommy, Loretta. We made a very attractive family, don't you think? The picture was taken in 2011 when I was extremely ill, and it was difficult to take. It's the only picture we have of us as a family, so is very, very special.
6: Mommy | Here I am with Mommy. Not only did she provide me with a home, she taught me how to live in a house. Mommy instinctively knew where I would sleep, where I would be comfortable, and even where I would have an “accident” (in her favourite chair, tee, hee).
7: Papa | It's said that I wasn’t blessed with a lot of smarts but was full of heart. Au contraire! As you can see from the photo above, I’m helping Papa – an excellent school teacher like Mommy - mark his students’ work.
8: Halloween | Mommy describes me as having been very mischievous; that I was led by my nose, which got me into trouble. I also overheard her referring to me as, “Mommy’s little devil.” Maybe that’s why she dressed me in red outfits and put horns on my head. Personally, I thought of myself as quite sweet (except, of course, when I'd pee on Mommy's chair).
9: More from the Halloween album | Halloween was one of the best days of the year. Mommy and I loved dressing up, taking pictures and giving out candy on Halloween night. When children came to the door, they were greeted with a friendly woof and a wagging tail (by me not Mommy). Actually, I greeted everyone like they were long-lost friends as I really liked people. They smelled nice.
10: Christmas | Christmas was even more fun than Halloween. We loved wrapping gifts, decorating the house, opening presents and, of course, Christmas dinner! Above: Me as Santa Monty spreading joy and goodwill throughout the world (okay, it was just throughout our house).
11: Santa Monty and my little helper
12: Car rides | One of my most absolutely favourite things in the whole world was a car ride. Right: As you can see I was quite the cool dog. Do you like my shades? I’m with Uncle David who I loved very much. | Left: A picture of my distant cousin Snoopy, the superstar Beagle and WWI flying ace. Can you see the family resemblance?
13: Food | Another of my absolutely favourite things in the whole world was food. | Below: I could never get enough popcorn. Here’s a picture of me with popcorn stuck to my nose. Made us all laugh. | Below: Just the sight of this piece of pumpkin made me smile. But when Grandma made one of her "gourmet" meals just for me, I'd beam!
14: The outdoor life | As I’ve explained, my early years were unhappy. They were mostly spent outdoors. Until Mommy and Papa adopted me, I had never even seen the inside of a house! I didn’t know how to use the stairs, and was afraid of the noisy box in the corner with the flashing pictures (I found out it’s called a “television”). Despite Mommy and Papa’s best efforts I never really got used to being indoors. So getting out of the house, and playing in the snow or going for walks was bliss.
15: More outdoor life | Being a Beagle, I had to be leashed when going for walks as I had a tendency to run after anything that moved. The exception was when I was at Grandma's house. I was a very good boy, and came when called (the tasty treats she'd give me helped, I must admit).
16: Relaxing | It's so important that a dog gets his beauty sleep. It was one of my top priorities. Here I am curled up on the couch having a nap on Papa's t-shirt. Smelling his clothes was very soothing.
17: Least favourite thing | When Mommy and Papa left the house, they had to put me in jail. This is because I had a tendency to get upset and cause “accidents” when left alone. Humans call it “separation anxiety”, and I had a lot of it.
18: Final thoughts | After nine glorious years with my Mommy and Papa, I developed cancer, and passed away on December 12, 2011. I know that Mommy wrote a letter saying that if she could tell me how she felt, she would hold me in her arms and tell me how much she loved my beautiful spirit. That I was there to remind Mommy and Papa of what was important in life. She also wrote that I was the closest thing to God’s love that she knows or is ever likely to know on this earth. And that my life was too beautiful for me not to have a soul. Mummy said that she knows that my soul is with God, and that I have returned to the love that I came from. I miss my Mommy and Papa very much but I know that, one day, we will be together again, and Mommy and I will sing our favourite song, “Monty Angel” for eternity.