Hello humans, I’m Monty. I’m around three and live in Loughton, Essex with Louise, Dave and their son and daughter. I rescued my family two years ago when they visited the Waltham Abbey kennels where I was staying, run by the excellent charity All Dogs Matter. When I saw these poor humans waiting forlornly to meet the dogs, I knew I had to help make their empty lives and home complete. There was stiff competition from another dog but I pulled out all the stops to impress and the rest, as they say, is history. All Dogs Matter helps people unfortunate enough to not have a dog own a lovely specimen like me. (The humans say it is the other way round and the charity help re-home rescue dogs but us canines know better of course!)
I’m an unusual mixture of several breeds: the humans think I have Jack Russell, Springer Spaniel and Border Collie in me with possibly more, but all I know is I’m very cute. Eating is my passion: I am a huge dustbin and my whole life revolves around food: begging for scraps and foraging. Louise says that when someone drops anything in the kitchen, even a potato peeling, I swoop in like a ninja and gobble it up, often before it hits the floor. I am also partial to gourmet snacks like manure and goose droppings. Playtime comes a close second to food and I will happily spend hours destroying tennis balls and squeaky toys and chasing my tail. Although I love all humans (particularly those bearing treats) I’m still a bit wary of other dogs. I don’t travel well in the car but there is so much to do in my manor that I keep the pawrents from boredom. Although we are on the doorstep of London there are forests, lakes, nature reserves and country pubs aplenty in this area. Visitors here are usually surprised at how green and rural it can be, yet you can be in the West End in two shakes of a tail.
I love the playing fields behind Valley Hill in Loughton which is alongside the River Roding, leading to the Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve. This is a great area for dogs and humans alike, with numerous sports and picnic facilities and plenty of poo bins. At the weekends I used to try joining in football games by popping the balls whilst the teams warmed up, but the pawrents weren’t keen on this for some reason.
My humans just love to see me swim and I nearly always throw myself into the River Roding no matter the weather, sometimes trying to play with ducks and swans too, and on one occasion I tried to catch a huge carp which was almost bigger than me.
There are so many dog and family friendly pubs and cafes to choose from in this area but a favourite with the family I own is the Kings Oak where I like to take them for a tasty meal and a couple of drinks. It is right in the centre of Epping Forest and provides drinks for the dogs, a separate kids’ playground and even has a lido for members. The humans enjoy the permanent ice cream stall outside too. Next door is the Epping Forest Visitor Centre which has loads of useful information about the forest and is a good place for kids, although I have to wait outside.
I am partial to a picnic or two in the summer (an excellent opportunity for nicking food when no-one is looking, and games of catch and Frisbee too). I’ve even caught the tube to Hyde Park for Louise’s annual picnic with friends where I stole the show.
My family are so grateful that I help them explore all these wonderful places. Must dash – I have some musing to do, on where to go for my next adventure. Monty xx
Phileas Phacts: Loughton, Essex
- All Dogs Matter’s Head Office – the initial point of contact for people interested in re-homing dogs, who are all in foster and lodging in kennels in Waltham Abbey and Norfolk – is at All Dogs Matter, 30 Aylmer Parade, London N2 0PE Tel: 0208 341 3196; www.alldogsmatter.co.uk
- Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve, Grange Farm, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6DP www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/roding-valley-meadows
- Kings Oak Hotel, Paul’s Nursery Road, High Beach, Essex, IG10 4AE Tel: 0208 508 5000; www.kingsoakhotel.com