Sep 16, 2013

My Little Moto

My Little Moto

I've tried four times to write this post and never made through it without needing to stop, grieve, and close up my computer. I guess a part of me felt that by writing this out, and seeing it on the screen...well... it just made it a little too real for me to handle at the moment.

It is so hard to write about someone you love and have lost, no matter how much you want to share with the world just how special that someone was and had such an impact on your life.

Monty passed away a week ago today, and this last week has been more emotional than I would have ever thought.

For those who have "fur babies" in their families, I know I don't need to express the lost that is felt when your "baby" has left you and only memories remain.

Monty was by my side from day one. I remember so clearly coming home from work, still in my military uniform, and finding him asleep on my bed in a wicker basket. He was anniversary gift for me who continued to give me love, devotion, happiness, laughter, and comfort. I took him to work with me the very next day and days after that, so I could care for him and be near him. 

After my time in the military, Monty was by my side, every single day while I owned my store. He was known as the "shop dog" and greeted all my customers with a wagging curly tail and his bright eyes. These photos here, are him with me on a photo shoot. Yes, I took him with me on my shoots whenever possible. He stayed quietly at the kitchen door and was very intrigued by something. 

And I never ceased to be intrigued by him.

Monty, always one to explore and inspect, never took his eyes off me for very long. Always wanting to make sure of my whereabouts. He heard me click my camera, and just gently turned his head to see what I was doing now...and I quickly captured this moment.

This photo/memory is my favorite. It was taken 2004 and at that time I had a photo studio in my apartment above my store. I was shooting product shots on this pedestal for hours, while Monty leaned against my tripod as I was working away. He dozed off and on but suddenly after a while, he stood up and went to the pedestal and looked up at it and began to bark all happily.

He then pawed at the pedestal and wouldn't leave it alone (or me) until I finally sat him up on it in the sunshine. These aren't poses and I didn't coax him to do anything. He actually just sat there and posed on his own! He made no indication of wanting to get down, and so I had to actually lift him off so I could get back to work. I remember being so rushed that day, so way behind in everything I needed to accomplish, but I cherish this moment and I am very grateful that I took time to photograph him and not shoo him away so I wouldn't step on him.

Monty even became a star, nationally, with "his" first photo shoot where he appeared in the Feb 2004 issue of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion magazine. The editor was enamored with him and took his photo and it made it in the magazine, with his name, even.

There are so many stories about Monty and him being a local celebrity as my store dog. One of my favorites that I will share with you is when he was "arrested" by local authorities. I was closing up my shop after a busy day of selling and I was standing in the shop's doorway (with it open) seeing out my last customer and chatting. I closed the door, locked it, and went back to my counter to close out.

About 15 minutes later, there was a knock at my door, and I went to open it and a policeman (I believe named Andy) smiled at me and said, "Are you missing someone?" and he pointed over his shoulder behind him to his squad car. In the backseat, there was Monty, looking out the window at me! Andy said he was driving by and saw Monty and he said, "I know Monty isn't allowed outside by himself and I didn't see you come out to get him, so I thought I better take him in...." I was horrified, but laughed as I called out to Monty, still in the squad car, "Did you get yourself arrested? I'm not sure I will post bail on you!" I was so grateful and finally figured out that the stinker trotted right past me and my customer, while we were standing in the doorway, to go one door down to take his ritual pee-pee on the bushes, as he always did with me when I locked up at night. I guess my gabbing was taking too long for his bladder, and so he decided to go it alone!

After closing my store, my life was way less structured as I began to travel more and work freelance. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but I decided to let his daddy take Monty and his sister, Lulu, with him when he decided to move to NC. Monty later got another mommy, who loved him just as much as me and his daddy and my barber husband do. I will always be grateful to his second mommy for caring so well for him and loving him as I would, had I been there.

The above image is one of the last photos I took of him when I drove to NC last summer just to spend time with him and his little sister, Lulu. He was staring at my Iphone, and true to form, he stared right at me as I tried several times to aim my Iphone right at him. So patient, he just waited and waited until I could get it right.

This is how I will always remember my little Moto. He brought sunshine into every room and he most definitely brighten up my world, as he did for so many.

I love you, my little Moto, and I will see you again someday.




Sue said...

A very beautiful story and heartfelt. There is something so special about our "furry friends". And when they leave us, there is not only a hole in our heart but a void in our lives as well. . .

Take care,

amy of studio four corners said...

heartbreaking to hear of your is so hard so lose someone so dear to you...but you do have wonderful photos of him - his personality just shines through!

Burlap Luxe said...

Oh, oh, Elizabeth,
So sorry for your fur-baby loss...sigh, awwwww!
I don't have pets but have had them and for this very reason of loss I just can't bare the repeat loss that sometimes takes place, if its not a cat, dog, or bird it's something. And when Hannah loss her canary named Frenchie, who sang to us all day and to our bird CDs it was even more then we can bare with.
Your Monty is a star...let me tell you, believe me when I say, Home companion use to be a favorite for so many creative reasons and as for your Monty we, meaning my aunt and I so remember your handsome dog.

Here is a bit of a shocker to you, my aunt and I would call each other while looking through the magazine and noticed that this dog of yours had some sort of unique dog bed, we would think about how we could make them at a cost effective way and something along the lines of your dog sleeping inside a TV set, was I not right about this ?
It's been so long ago and to know that God placed you on our hearts and your creative passion so many years ago. It was a friendship that formed long before we even knew it.
Yes indeed Monty is a star and the brightest one to date.

Take your time in replacing him, take some time to yourself and know that when you least expect it a Monty will come along needing your love and giving back as well.

I hope and pray your heart will be filled with the joy of knowing we loved you then 2004 and we love you now 2013
Your a force to reckon with, beauty, talent, a heart full of love and best of all my friend.

Lots of doggie kisses to you,



Rene Foust said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss and I just can't stop crying, I guess because I too lost my best little fur friend of 16 years this past June. When she passed away I was so very surprised by how difficult her passing was for me. I have many pets and have loved them all for so many different reasons and I grieved over each one but this one has been a real challenge. I always prided myself in being strong and ok with being "alone" but with my little Daisy girl I wasn't ever really truly alone. The first hour that she wasn't there and every other one after made me realize just how alone I really am. Don't get me wrong I have a full happy life but when the guests go home or the party is over its just me. I miss my little friend and thank God it isn't quite as painful. The pictures of your Moto are beautiful and they seem like they really capture his soul! I hope you find some peace real soon. Thanks for sharing your beautiful Moto with us.

cathypentonatelier said...

Thinking of you beautiful friend !!! Sending love and hugs your way xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

So so sorry Elizabeth. I have a little black multi-poo that I take to my shop with me and never leaves my side. My sympathy is with you.

girl on a bicycle said...

This touches my heart. So dificult to lose your beloved friend, Elizabeth. Thinking of you as you work through this time with memories and beautiful photos.

Curious Sofa said...

You know I am crying with you my dear.

I remember Monty greeting me happily as I entered your store for the first time. What a treat to see the Elizabeth House mascot who matched the store's color palette! My second favorite memory was chatting with you upstairs in your apartment, Monty on my lap as I scratched away at his butt. You and I talked non-stop as usual and I never looked down at him as he was enjoying being petted. Suddenly, maybe 20 minutes later, I look down and my black jeans were COVERED in strands of Monty hair! I was shocked and amused at the same time as I did not have a shedding dog! I had no idea I was creating a mess by loving on him!

Forever in our hearts....

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Oh sweet Elizabeth, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Moto. I hope the fond memories and beautiful photos will help you through this difficult time. Please know I am thinking of you and send you a hug.

Rhonda said...

I am so sorry your Monty, he was adorable to a T. Your story made me cry but that's okay, I'm tender when it comes to fur babies. They cannot talk but their eyes say everything.

Mary said...

Oh Elizabeth, I feel for you in your loss. Such a memorable Monty story - and thankfully you have such gorgeous photos of him for always. He certainly knew how to strike a pose, and appeared to be a really lovable furry boy.

Thinking of you dear.

Victorian1885 said...

Sending hugs your way as you remember Monty.... Our "Boy" is truly part of the family as well. Take care.


trash talk said...

Dear sweet Elizabeth,
I still have this issue and the memories that came tucked inside the pages. I fell in love with you and Monty on the day I purchased it.
Like you, My precious Jakie Dog was a gift for my birthday in '98. He left us New Year's day 2011 and just like you, I debated on whether to blog about it or not. I decided whether it was appropriate or not didn't matter. What did matter was the heart he and I shared and the knowledge he deserved a true tribute just like you wrote for your Monty. Two years have gone by, but there isn't a day I don't miss and think of him. He was the dog of my heart.
Only those who love their pets the same way they love us, unconditionally, can understand the heart break that comes when we lose them. There are just no words to explain the grief that overwhelms us, but I want to leave you with the words a dear friend left in the comment section for me when Jakie said goodbye.
~To share grief means we'll take on part of yours to lessen your pain just a little.~
God bless you darling lady.

Debra said...

I'm crying too for Monty- even not ever meeting him-his love for you shines out in the photographs...
Love, Debra

Kim said...

Hello Elizabeth,
Your story brought tears to me eyes. Furry babies are such a wonderful part of our lives. I am sorry for your loss. You have taken wonderful pictures of him. I love the one with the sunbeams. I am sure that he adored you. Thinking about you.

Letters from the Shore

Claudia said...

I'm so sorry, Elizabeth. I know too well the heartbreak of losing a beloved member of the family. He had a wonderful presence, didn't he? That face is so expressive. My thoughts are with you my friend. Sending you hugs.


Curtains in My Tree said...

I know your pain and it's a hard pain to bear
I am so sad with you for Monty
I remember that issue in the magazine and your store in St Louis
I had Sissy my little pug then so of course I noticed Monty in the pictures
Your pictures of Monty are all precious and there is nothing like the love of a sweet little pug

I have ruined my mascara reading this and my heart hurts right alone with you remembering my sweet little pug Sissy and sad about Monty

Healing hugs Janice

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh this breaks my heart...I am a pug girl myself...I know you will miss him so much. You've posted such beautiful photos and a loving tribute. I can tell Monty was a most wonderful dog and his pug personality shines. A big xo being sent your way...

Richard Cottrell said...

Poor little child of mine. Life must go on. When one life leaves another begins.I know how hard it is. My Prissy left 4 years ago June 1st and I still cry almost daily. I have Sissy Dog almost ever since, and I loves her so, but, Prissy is still deep in my hear as will be Monty. Love and Beagle Kisses. Richard

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Oh, my friend. I'm heartbroken for you. Godspeed, healing and comfort to you. <3 prayers...


Monica said...

I have no words, dear Elizabeth... I have loved (and still love) my furbaby Kim with all of my heart, and even if no day passes by without me crying, I feel and know she and I will never part, even if she is no longer in this material world near to my physical body. She has taught me more than any human being could ever do, and has given me plenty of love, friendship, support and help even in the hardest times. I so feel that ours has always been such a special bond of spirit and intertwined hearts, and that wherever I may go, out of space and time, she will ever be in me/within me.
Much love,
Monica xoxo

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Each of our four legged friends
seem to find their way into hearts and it is there you shall hold his memory...
Rest assured that your love of him was shared equally by he to you.
Thank you for sharing this part of your life's journey with us.

Susan x said...

Awww, so sorry for your loss. Beautiful photos, you captured Monty's personality so well from how you took them and wrote about him. I've lost fur babies too but always remember how truly lucky I was to have had them in my life. And I believe that they are always with us:) They are our best buddies giving us something that no human can and that is so special. Take care Elizabeth.
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Trish Banner said...

Oh my... what a beautiful tribute you've given to Moto. I love how he knew how to communicate with you and get your attention when he needed it. Thank you for sharing :)

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your "Monty". The pictures are absolutely adorable, especially Monty's face shots. These little creatures bring so much happiness to us . . don't they. You could see in his eyes how much he loved you too. Treasure all the memories and that you got to be part of his life. Blessings, Sandy

must love junk said...

Oh, Elizabeth, my heart goes out to you! We lost our kitty Cole just 2 weeks ago, so I feel your pain. :(
Our sweet fur babies become such a special part of family-they're truly like our kids!
I'm praying comfort for you.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Dear Sweet Readers,

Thank you for such loving comments and for sharing stories of your fur babies too. Your comments have made my past week better, and your love was felt.

I think you have it right, Deb, when you stated that your friend said that sharing my grief with others allows them to take on some of the pain to lessen mine.

Very true.

Thank you all for sharing your stories...I know we have to let them go at some time, but hearing how you let yours go (some of you recently and some quite a while ago), how the memory and love for them is still so strong. I find that very encouraging.

Much love to my sweet readers,

Seawashed said...

I an soooooo sorry for your loss. I cannot even think about that i will lose my Bella Bleu someday. I really do not feel like i could live without her. Your little Moto is as precious as can be. Hugs to you through this sorrowful time.

Auntie Cake said...

A beautiful tribe to your sweet baby. What a love!

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