Dogs aren’t always welcome visitors in gardens. They step on tender plants, they dig to hide their treasures, and they pee on everything in sight. Many yards on the route of our daily walk have signs warning dogs and dog owners to KEEP OUT and KEEP OFF.
But, Monty, my Westie has always been more of a garden helper than a garden foe. When he was a puppy, he practiced his innate Westie traits at my St. Paul house by keeping the rabbit population in check. It was disconcerting the first time I found a dead rabbit while mowing the lawn, so it soon became my practice to scout before mowing.
He also helped dig holes for new plants – sometimes stopping when told, sometimes so excited at his opportunity to help, he would send a new plant flying. Every once in a while, I’d get frustrated by the flying plant, but overall, Monty has been a welcome visitor and helper in the garden.
Monty turns 13 today – old for a Westie. He’s slower than he once was and he’s not as interested in rabbits anymore (although he will give the squirrels a run for their money from the sunroom window). And, he enjoys soaking up the sun while I read in the garden more than helping me dig.
He’s a great companion, in and out of the garden, and I’m aware that he won’t be around for many more years. So, I’m enjoying our time together while I can. Happy birthday, little pal!