Another Monkey Update

Happiness is a form of courage. ~American proverb

When I lost my beloved Dallas, I told myself I didn’t want a replacement.

That no pup would ever take Dallas’s corner of my heart.

So I looked at breeds other than Sheltie. Considered Shelties that were anything but sable and white. Thought about switching to a female pup.

Then I found Monkey.

To say he isn’t Dallas would be an understatement.

Yet the longer he’s here, the more things I find to love about him.

Topping the list is his cheerfulness.

You’d think a pup that’s been poked with needles, filled with antibiotics, relegated to a bland diet, and held at arm’s length would be resentful.

Angry, even.

Not Monkey. He’s a survivor!

His tail is hardly ever still, and there’s a joy that radiates from his eyes.

I can only hope that, despite the challenges of his early months, he’s getting stronger and healthier by the day.

And he’s trusting me (and New Vet) to keep the progress going.

Sometimes he reminds me of a Golden Retriever, who just grins and seems happy to be along for the ride.

For a long time, I’ve been afraid to let myself love him.

Afraid I wasn’t up to the challenge of tending to a dog with a wacky immune system that made potty training next-to-impossible.

Afraid I was going to have to re-home him … or worse, have him put down because of some unidentified physical issue.

But Monkey kept bouncing back.

Demanding I pay attention to him.

Curling up in my lap, gazing soulfully into my eyes.

Acting like I’m the best thing next to an unstuffed squeaky toy or tennis ball.

Only a hard-hearted person could resist.

Am I still afraid?

You bet.

But I’m weakening.

I’ve ordered a personalized dog ID tag for his collar.

And officially registered him with the American Kennel Club.

So I guess he’s staying.

And why not? He’s obviously comfortable here.

Most days, I catch him sleeping on his back, legs spread to the ceiling, with a smile on his furry face.

Dog experts say that indicates an indoor dog who’s mighty comfy and secure in his surroundings.

Because it’s a vulnerable position, one that’s hard to get up from.

See for yourself:


28 thoughts on “Another Monkey Update

    • I’m sure hoping for a joyful journey, Frank! As with anything, I expect there to be ups and downs; I just pray the ups are many and the downs few. Thanks for dropping by.

  1. Beautifully expressed post, Debbie! It literally brought tears to my eyes.

    Isn’t it something how our pets have a way (without even speaking words) of teaching us things? And particularly when it comes to love? They seem to naturally know what unconditional love is. And they also seem to know how to find the joy within themselves.

    I am soooooooooooo happy to hear that you’ve decided to keep Monkey. He looks so happy in that photograph.

    What a cutie!

    Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend!

    X to you and Mon

    • Sorry for making you shed tears, Ron, but I know what you mean. Our pets really do grow on us. They have a knack for showing us unconditional love and adoration! And this little Monkey really does make me laugh, something my home hasn’t heard enough of in the year since Dallas passed. Don’t you love the way Monkey is smiling in his sleep?!? Hugs to you from what promises to be a damp Sunday in Central Illinois! xo

    • Finally! He’s turning into a good boy, but it’s sure been a long road. I can see why people adopt older dogs — doing the puppy thing isn’t for sissies, and battling the health issues of his early months only made things worse. Hope Katie is getting along well after her surgery!

    • Thanks very much, John. It’s taken longer than I’d have hoped, but we finally seem to be making progress on his health issues. Lesson learned (NOT that I intend to get anything other than an older dog next time!) — NO combo puppy shots, especially when one’s immune system is already compromised from antibiotics!!

  2. So happy to hear that Monkey is managing to worm his way into your heart. 💙 How could anyone resist that adorable furry face? He looks so happy in spite of it all and I imagine one day you will look back and be glad you stuck with him through it all. 🙂

    • I hope you’re right, Barbara — having all this be a memory (even a nightmarish one!) would be a blessing, for sure. I suppose there’s something to be said for perseverance, right?!

  3. Honestly? I suspect Monkey’s smiling because he’s thinking something like this: “Thank goodness I had this wonderful human to help me through all this. Life would have been doggone hard if I’d had to go through it alone!”

    • Aw, wouldn’t it be wonderful if our pups had sweet thoughts like that?? I’ll bet he was thinking of his next meal though … or perhaps his next game of Fetch!

  4. Glad things are going better! They do have a way of worming themselves into your heart, don’t they? And they all become special in the end, however difficult the early days might be…

    • You know, FF, I could have done without those early days of horror! But you’re right — he is special, even if I’m still trying to get him on a workable schedule and fighting his tendency to potty indoors!

  5. I know just what you mean about being afraid to love again. It is hard to set yourself up for having your heart broken all over again. It seems the older I get, the longer the healing process takes. But eventually, we let the ‘new one’ in and their love does the rest. ❤

    • Thanks for your understanding, Eliza. I never was one who could give my heart freely in an instant. And it’s been awfully hard letting go of Dallas. Still, time marches on, and I know it’s best now for me to give Monkey a chance. I have high hopes for us!

  6. I’m sure it is scary to love a dog again after grieving for your old one, especially when your new dog has issues that you weren’t sure you’d be able to resolve. But I’m glad you’re falling in love anyway…. It seems to me that this is meant to be. I once adopted an old dog from a shelter who I knew wouldn’t be with me long, but you know what? I’m still glad I did. He was with us only two years before he passed, but they were a great two years! Sometimes we just have to take things one day at a time.

    • Wise advice, Ann. I looked at older dogs but never found one. Of course, during the Pandemic, it was hard to find much of anything! The scary thing about letting myself love Monkey is the probably unreasonable fear that I won’t have him long, that his health issues will become insurmountable. But he deserves the best I can give him … and I can only hope he will be around for many years to come.

    • Thanks very much for noticing, Angie. He’s only five months old and doesn’t even have his adult coat yet, but I think he’s pretty special, too!

    • Next-to-impossible, Robin! And I confess his cuteness (and the fact that he’s had all these health challenges I didn’t have a thing to do with) let him get away with far too much. I’m probably raising a hooligan!

  7. Really sweet, Debbie. How precious that your heart opened towards him. Sometimes it just takes awhile before we begin to trust and open. ❤

    • Thank you, Kathy. It’s been incredibly hard. I have a new appreciation for people who parent a sick or disabled child. I often wonder why I ever felt the need to pray for patience … because that virtue doesn’t just appear magically!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.