“Sure”, I said reluctantly, when my vet called me about a case of an 11-month old German Sheppard who was being scheduled to put down, even though he was clinically healthy, but such a case that his owners did not know what to do with him, no shelter would touch him. Of course, who do you call? The girl on a farm apparently.
“He is very nervous and anxious, especially around people, he knocked down his owner’s wife”, said my vet.
I inevitably said I would take him in because I did not want the animal destroyed over what I thought was ‘not enough a reason' to end a life, but I had no intention on keeping him. I already had two large breed dogs and five cats (all on raw), I did not need another raw mouth to feed! I also realized I said I would take him sight unseen, I really did not know what I was thinking.
I was going to merely ‘fix’ him as best I could to re-home him, but in order to do that I needed to dig a little further.
So, I contacted the owner, asked him a lot of questions, I could tell by his voice over the phone that he seemed sad about it, but I asked and asked away. I asked him why he even picked the dog anyway, he said, "he was the only pup who left his mother and siblings to be with my kids", and right then and there I knew that nothing was wrong with the dog, not neurologically anyway, he was just a product of being in the wrong environment, but even though, I remembered telling him that if this did not work out (I had other 4-legged family members to think about), he was going to have to come right back to him in London. He told me he would hope that would not be the case and that he probably wouldn’t be able to do that.
I let out a big sigh. Looked up at the ceiling, and a thought immediately came to me. I don’t even know his name...
...“What’s his name?”, I asked.
“Monty”, he said.
My eyes immediately welled up and my voice started to shake, “Okay”, I said, "I'll take him".
You see, Monty was the name of my 7-month-old German Shepherd pup I had lost a few years ago due to a tragic car accident, a devastating time that had left me asking why.
I immediately felt a cosmic connection and decided to take him. The plan remained the same though, I was going to take him in to ‘fix’ and re-home him to a house hold where he would be the only pet, the only star of the show, the only one to spoil. He would only get lost in the shuffle in my crazy farm life house-hold!
I was working at a health food store at the time and was in for my shift, knowing Monty was going to be dropped off in the afternoon, I thought about going home with a bottle of Boch flower remedy tincture, supposedly to help animals who are highly stressed. I though this would help him.
So, later on that day I pulled up on my very long driveway to my fenced area where a beautifully bred German Shepherd was barking and growling profusely at me. The minute I laid eyes on him I knew he was special, I just knew, and if a dog can look intelligent, well, that’s how he looked. I went in the house to change before I went out to meet him.
I finally went in to introduce myself, and to slip him some of that remedy. To my surprise, he was taking it very well, straight from the dropper in fact! I thought to myself, ‘Well, this is easy!’, a couple seconds later, Monty went right behind me and nipped me right from the behind! Yep, thank goodness I was wearing sweat pants! Put a hole right in it too!
Of course, my father saw all this unfolding and let me just say, he was not very happy. This dog’s attitude was a product of no boundaries, lack of leadership and lack of direction. The German Shepherd is a breed that needs direct leadership, they crave it in fact, or else, you will make a monster. They don’t necessarily need a ‘mommy’, they need a partner, a leader, any one who has ever had a Shepherd can attest to this.
Monty taught me a lot, a lot about his breed, a lot about myself, and a lot about canine behavior, but most of all, about energy. I never met a dog more in tune with energy, it’s wild. I can write a book just on that!
Three days later and a completely different dog! I still remember how my hands used to shake every time I would try to latch the leash onto his collar!
There were times where it was very hard, let me just say, I used to be a rabbit owner (R.I.P Angel), and times that were very easy, but that is a relationship. Some days it was one-step forward and two-steps back, but Monty taught me a lot, especially about people, as a psychology major, I picked up on a few things that I used to miss before.
I personally believe that animals are here on this earth to help and teach us, if we allow, and to touch us in ways we never thought possible.
Now, you are probably wondering, did I end up keeping him? where is Monty now?
After about a year, Monty stopped acting like the devil himself (more or less) and got more sociable and used to people. My mother mentioned that a friend of ours had been on the property a few times now and absolutely loves Monty and wants to take him home for his family.
She said, “We should consider it, two large breed dogs are more than enough for us and we really should lighten our load, what do you think?”.
Monty continues to reside on ‘his’ farm with his pet guardian Lucy. He has also joined a Schutzhund club and loves it! He was made to excel at the sport. He has found his purpose.
Lucy is an avid pet mom; with dogs, cats, goats and horses to keep her busy! All of her pet 'kids' are fed a species appropriate diet with proper supplementation so she can watch them thrive. Her expertise and experience lie in nutraceutical supplementation and is a health advocate for proper diet and nutrition. Her other passions in life are schutzhund and equestrian riding.