Monkeys · Sweet Home

The Littlest Monkey and the Silly Pitiful Ostrich

In honor of the Littlest Monkey’s birthday today – she turns 1, while my dad turns 61 – I’m sharing a dog story. It’s mostly about the other dog, actually, though it’s a little bit about her. But she gets her picture first on the page. 🙂

Little Delia is pretty much fearless. She’s not stupid, and she will back down from another dog who lets her know it means business, but she’s not really afraid to try anything and she’s not really freaked out by anything. She sees life as her playground. Sweet, laid-back McNulty, the Biggest Monkey, on the other hand, is terrified of nearly everything. Fireworks. Sirens. Honking horns. Honking geese. Thunderstorms. WIND. In fact, thunderstorms and wind freak him out so much that we have speculated on whether or not he was a hurricane Katrina rescue. You know, they sent a lot of rescued animals to shelters all over the country for adoption. He’s about the right age and showed up as a stray at our friends’ house maybe 6 months after the Charlottesville area started getting Katrina animals. He’s probably not, but it certainly makes you wonder.

Normally, he wants to be touching one of us at all times during a storm or other traumatic experience. If I’m on the couch, he will come sit under or between my legs, trembling pitfully. Once over the summer, it stormed in the middle of the night, and he kept jumping up and putting his paws on my side of the bed, trying to get me to wake up and touch him or be with him or let him know it was OK somehow. Usually I can just put my hand on him over the side of the bed and go back to sleep, but for some reason he wasn’t having it that night. He jumped into bed with me (we have a pretty high bed, and the dogs are not generally allowed in it, but I was willing to let him stay just so I could get some sleep), and he curled up in the curve of my body so I was spooning him. When I rolled over to the other side in my sleep, so my back was to him, he batted me on the head with his paw until I woke up and turned back over.

So anyway, the photo above was taken one night last fall, when we had a thunderstorm right at bedtime. For some reason, he didn’t try to get one of us to hold him, even though we were both still awake. He just stuck his scared little head under the bed, like an ostrich, like that would make it stop. Poor silly little monkey. It’s so funny and so pitiful at the same time. Miss Delia, of course, thought he’d invented the greatest thing ever, and since that night has been climbing under the bed for fun and entertainment, crawling from one side to the other and back again when she’s restless. I have no idea how we ended up with two dogs who are so very, very different, and I have no idea why they get along with each other. But somehow, it all works.

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