Meet my dog, Monster. Monster is an idiot. He’s crazy and happy and his favorite thing in the whole world is FOOD. He is 5 1/2 years old and we’ve had him for 4 of those years, so since he was 1 1/2 year old. A mix of Bernese Mountain Dog (cousin of the St. Bernard) and we think an Australian Sheperd, he weighs in at 55 pounds, including all of the hair.
Monster came to us from the shelter via a rescue group that we volunteered with and was pretty abused before we got him. The rescue group had him treated for heartworms, intestinal worms, hot spots, yeast infections in his ears… you name it, he had it. He was also not well mannered at all. Mildly food aggressive, cat aggressive, dog aggressive and tried to bite me on occasion. (See, he really did earn his name! Though now, we tell kids that he is Cookie Monster’s cousin, tends to make the kiddos giggle. =) With a lot of work, discipline, love and lots of treats, he is now in love with the world and would never hurt anyone! OK, not entirely true. He did try to leave a dental impression in the leg of a would be bugler who ran through our yard in his escape. I’m OK with this – he was doing his job and I don’t think the bogey man will be back to visit any time soon. (I hope!) But, other than that, he has become the most lovable laid back dog ever. He may not be the brightest dog ever born, but he is one of the most loyal and that goes a long ways in my book.
As I live in Texas, hairy dogs who were breed to live in the northern European mountains tend to get a wee bit overheated in the summer time. It’s already spring here and that fur coat of his was making him miserable already! So, every year we have him shaved to help on the heat issue. The picture above was taken on a Friday and the picture below the day after…
OK, so anyone have any idea of how much all of that hair of his weighs? I had the groomer save it all in a small trash bag. I hope to have it spun into yarn by one of my spinner friends… Anyone? One pound 1 1/2 ounces! It’s the size of an office trash can and I plan on having his hair saved after his summer shave, too. Maybe in a few years I’ll have enough hair to make something with!
One of the sad things about my Monster was the other major condition he came from the shelter with. He had a chain IN his neck. The first owners had chained him up as a puppy and never made the chain around his neck any bigger. When animal control rescued him from these people (and I use the term “people” loosely) they had to take him to a vet to have the chain surgically removed. It took 1 1/2 months for the wound to heal, but as you can see below, the scares will always be visible, especially when he is naked.
Fortunately for Monster, this is only visible for a few weeks after a shave, the rest of the time it is hidden by all of his mounds of fur. It does, however, require that I explain his history every time a new vet or groomer takes a look at him. Hay, as lucky as a dog that he is, I know that we are far luckier in having him. He’s a great dog and pal and we’re glad that he’s decided to stay with us!