Monty had a rough start to his life, whilst not much is known about his first year of life, we do know that the AWL found him tied to a street light pole alone and afraid. I had been looking for another dog after my previous dog Buddy had passed away, I had seen Monty's picture on the AWL website and just knew I had to meet him. We then took the long trip out to the Wingfield location to meet him. I waited nervously while the staff grabbed him from his kennel, not knowing what to expect. In strolled "Burnout" (his shelter name), a skinny, lanky, tan and white pup with big floppy ears.
The staff had told us that he might be shy at first but that treats are the way to his heart and he even already knows "sit", she then left us to introduce ourselves to Burnout. I gave him some treats and sat on the floor playing with a soft teddy bear, he wasn't quite sure how to respond but eventually loosened up enough to play with me. After about 10 minutes he was giving me all of the kisses and chasing every ball I threw, I was instantly in love. It only took me about 15 minutes to know he was the dog for me! Even with mowers, leaf blowers, other dogs and people around he was only interested in us, we told the staff "Yep! we'll take him!"
After the paperwork was filled out, we were on our way home with our new rescue pup! On the drive home, he laid on my lap and gave me lots of kisses, I like to think he knew he was safe and about to have a long life of love. Fast forward a week and Burnout had a new name (Monty), new toys, bed and life. The first 3 weeks were some of the most difficult I have ever had with a dog. He was still learning how things worked. I knew from previously volunteering at the RSPCA that it takes about a month for a rescue dog to settle in, sometimes even longer! I stuck it out and worked on giving Monty all the skills he needed to be a confident and happy dog. I found that positive reinforcement training, enrichment toys such as Kongs and snuffle mats made all the difference. It built Monty's confidence and gave his brain something to focus on. Within 6 weeks it felt like Monty had always been a part of the family. Monty is still a little nervous around strangers, especially men, this is something we are constantly working on.
Nearly 3 years on Monty has successfully completed his obedience training, learnt so many tricks and grown so much in himself. His absolutely favourite things are: doggy daycare, anything that involves going in the car, treats, his doggy best friend Maverick and snuggles in mum's bed. Some things that Monty thinks aren't so great: the broom or vacuum, strangers or loud noises.
Rescue dogs can be difficult but with time and patience, they can be the best dogs you'll ever have. They have so much love to give and just need someone who is understanding that the world can be a scary place, they just need a little help navigating it.
Written by Kelsey Jones, Administration Assistant.