Before we had a human baby, we had a canine baby. Who am I kidding, we still have a canine baby!
I've always professed to be a cat person. I was never really familiar with dogs growing up, even though we had a couple. One we had when I was quite young who died an unfortunate death early on and the other we had in my teens and early twenties who was more of my parents' dog. It's not that I didn't like dogs, it's just that I wasn't exposed to them as much as cats.
|The beast's first photo ever on the day he was found.|
|Amazing that I could ever pick him up!|
The night that we got back into town, our friend brought over the pup. We agreed to keep him a night or two to see how things went and to see if we thought it was the right fit. The vet that saw him estimated him to be about four months old and days from death. He was absolutely covered with fleas and hundreds of ticks. He was incredibly skinny and we weren't even sure he'd make it a week with us. When he would sleep that first week, his breathing was shallow and labored. He needed to build his blood back up which required us to give him special treats those first few weeks. It only took us that first night to know that he'd found his home with us.
It took us a while to come up with a name. We threw so many back and forth but the second that Mondo was mentioned, we knew that was our guy. Just like his feline sisters, he needed a middle and last name so we went with Luis for his middle name since we were in Louisville when we got the call and Shepley for his last name which is a combination of our last names. Mondo Luis Shepley, he's a swell guy.
We certainly went through those puppy stages with him (chewed up comforter, anyone?) but all in all, he was a fairly good puppy. He trained ridiculously fast and does everything but speak and roll over. He even gives hugs and dances :) He never batted an eye at the cats and now he and Pimmy are certifiable best friends.
I can't even begin to express the love I have for this guy. He makes me feel safe, loved when I feel unlovable and brings a smile to my face when I need it most. When I was recently beginning labor at home, he was right next to me when I went through more intense contractions. He knows. One time at the flea market, an elderly woman collapsed and, I kid you not, he would not leave her side until medics arrived. When we first brought Rio home from the hospital, he was so concerned when she cried. Now she is the only person that he gives licks to. She doesn't seem to mind too much.
He's been with us since he was four months old and he's soon to turn six. I can't imagine what our lives would have been like thus far without him. I can't imagine what life will be like when he's not here. If you've met him, you'll probably never forget him either.
He's 90 pounds of awesome, a mile of tongue and the whiniest giant you'll ever meet. He's family.
He's our Mondo; our beast.