Friday, October 31, 2014

My Life With Monk

I got Monk a little over 3 years ago from Dogs Unlimited Rescue.
He had just been taken in by one of their fosters.
The previous owner had just brought Monk into one of their adoption events and turned him over saying their daughter was allergic.
They had had him since a puppy and he was 7 years old.
If you know anything about St Bernards, they are very devoted to their families.
He was in bad shape needing numerous washings apparently had been kept outside.
He was also heart worm positive!
I told them I wanted to meet him and fell in love immediately.
(Never thinking about being in my late 60's at the time and Monk out weighed me by 30 lbs!!)
He was so depressed when I got him, he didn't want to even eat.  Also the antibiotic they were giving him was making him nauseated.
I cooked for him for 2 weeks.
The tummy diet:
Chicken, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and a leek, boiled.
It worked.
Here is a picture of the day I met Monk.
I took Rocky to meet him and they got along fine.
So that was it.  I think I fostered him for a month, then adopted him.
I didn't think anyone would adopt him because he was heart worm positive and it's very expensive to put a 164lb dog through the treatment!
He did fine though.
Keeping him quiet through the treatment was no problem because they aren't exactly the most active dogs especially at his age of 7 . . . a real senior for a Saint.
His other problem was that he had terrible skin allergies.  They would flare up in the spring and fall so I had him tested.  He had both inside and outside allergies.  
They made up his own special allergen concoction and I game him two injections every 10 days the whole time he was with me.  Winter, of course was his best time.
This last year his arthritis caught up with him and he developed a lot of weakness and pain in his hind quarters.  He was on meds for that also.
Unfortunately it started affecting the nerves and he was losing the use of his back legs and some other bodily functions.
He was the gentlest and kindest dog I have ever had.
He was very stoic and brave.  Never did he so much as utter a growl.
He was such a good boy.
He'd "woof" at the cats but they didn't pay much attention to him as he couldn't move fast.
He loved children and everyone else he met.
The last 6 months, the thing he loved the most was this rubs he got in the evening.  He wouldn't let me forget.  He'd sit up and look at me and if that didn't do it he'd make a little whimper till I sat down next to him on the floor and gave him his massage.
I'm sure it helped him to sleep.
Here are a few pictures during the 3 years he was in my care.
I'm going to miss him so much.

 Yes, while he could, he preferred the couch!

 Snow!!  His favorite time!

 They're the nanny dog, you know.

Run free big guy.
The house seems so empty tonight.



  1. Your heart is even bigger than Monk was. What a lucky guy to have been with you during the most difficult part of his Earth life. Good job, Shirley. Good job.

  2. Oh Shirley I am so sorry. I have always loved reading your posts about Monk or just seeing his beautiful face. I have had a St. Bernard and your boy always brought back such nice memories, even the giant spitballs hanging from the ceiling memories.
    How lucky for dear sweet Monk to have you love him. You changed his life and he changed yours. Big hugs my friend to you and your precious Monk.

    1. Thank you Lori. He was truly a gentle giant; my big guy.

  3. I am so sorry to hear that Monk is gone. I loved your photos and stories about him. How lucky he was to have you as his caretaker. My heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is to lose a special pet.

  4. I got this today from the head of the rescue where Monk came from:
    Hi Shirley,

    My heart sunk when I read your email and blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious boy Monk! There are no words that can sincerely express my sympathy and sadness. Thank you for opening your heart and home to foster Monk and eventually provide him with an amazing loving forever home to call his own!!!

    I tried to respond and post something on your blog but for some reason it keeps disappearing. Feel free to post this on your blog if you would like to

    When Monk came into Dogs Unlimited Rescue he was in terrible condition both physically and mentally. His spirit and soul were broken. I remember when his owners dropped him off at our adoption event. He was crammed in the back of a small car and they dragged him out of the car and handed him over to us. The neglect that Monk suffered prior coming into our care was horrible. Despite the neglect and lack of respect for this beautiful and amazing creature, he was still as sweet as can be! His eyes told so many stories!,,,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving that sweet angel unconditionally!!!
    Thank you for providing Monk such an amazing loving home and the best medical care available.

    Our fur babies are so amazing.....that forever would not be long enough to have them with us!!

    Monk ~ You Will forever be in our hearts!

    Gina & The Dogs Unlimited Rescue Team

    Gina Lutes - Finley
    Founder and Executive Director
    Dogs Unlimited Rescue
    Fax (480) 393-4352

    1. Thank you Gina for your heart felt letter. Everyone that met Monk loved him. It is so hard to deal with this part of loving animals so much.

  5. Monk was a good guy, a true gentle giant. I know mom will miss you. God Speed buddy. See you up there.

  6. Shirley,
    I just want to say thank you for giving him such a good life! No matter how long he was with you, you took excellent care of him and I am 100% sure he loved you very much. When they first leave us the emptiness int eh house is unbearable, I am glad there is another fur baby with you....he will be with you always Shirley...even though you cannot see him....


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