Instead of doing ‘The Write Stuff Thursdays’ I thought I would write about something else, to help get me more enthused about my writing. I have never tried to be highly literary on my blog because that is not me. I can lie, sure, the internet is the perfect platform for re-inventing oneself. I could edit my personality out, but that’s too much effort. I’d much prefer to write about my dog, Monty.
In the next five years, my dog Monty, will die. This was brought to my attention when a lecturer told us about an assessment task we have to do, a five-year plan about creative writing.
‘Who knows what will happen in five years?’ Parts of her hair were coiled like snakes, ‘you could have a partner.. Your parents might be dead…’
It’s not that I don’t love my parents, I do, but immediately I thought of my sixteen year old Maltese dog. In five years I will be 27 it is most certain that he won’t be alive. And, if he happened to be alive I imagined a vegetable dog. A somewhat comical image of him, white fluff sitting in a wheelchair connected to machines. I laughed when I told my friends this, but a part of my heart squeezed shut. The thing about being an adult is that things from your childhood can not follow you, they are left behind, things will get older and die.
When my Nan visited our house in Albury she always used to marvel over Monty, his energy running around the house as we chased him, his big lopsided grin.
‘He is the only thing in the house that doesn’t age, I swear!’
Monty is now sixteen years old. He hasn’t got many teeth. He gets injections in his legs for his arthritis and has to eat a special diet otherwise it will upset his bowels. He is getting blind, he is partially deaf, he often sleeps inside with a water bottle because it’s the only way to soothe him when he gets disoriented. Sometimes Monty poos inside, much to my Dad’s disgust (once, barefoot, at 6 am). But Monty has his good days, he will still play, chase birds and I think he’s happy.
I cannot help thinking how when we get older we revert back to our baby ways, we unlearn, we need to be taken care of. Monty needs to be babysat because if he’s alone he gets scared and won’t stop barking. When he was a pup he used to sleep the days away, and we used to poke him wanting him to play. He is now an old man and cannot get enough sleep.
Humans connect with their pets in a way that they cannot connect with each other. Is it because a pet will not judge you? They will listen to you without any criticism? I bawled my eyes out when Marley died in Marley and Me. Many people have told me that they cried in I am Legend when the dog died, but couldn’t care less about the death of the human species.
Monty has been a huge part of my childhood and teenage years. In the family album he can be spotted, many times dressed up in dolls clothes.
I know it’s a cliché, and it’s overused, but I guess it’s a real reminder not to take things for granted. It’s normal to slip back into everyday habits and if I spent every moment thinking ‘we’re all going to die,’ I wouldn’t be a very happy chappy. But now that I don’t get to see my family or dog as often I try to make an effort to hold the moments, make the effort to give Monty that extra pat and listen to my family when they speak.
Five years are a long time, who knows where we’ll be?