I was just sitting on the sofa next to Monty and, as I do having a chat about the school we're visiting tomorrow when I suddenly thought how strange this would have been to comprehend a few short years ago. After nearly 50 school visits, charity appearances, Crufts tours and the occasional nursing home it's very difficult to remember this very same newfydoof as an extremely naughty puppy and an even worse adolescent.
But this was what he was and there were many, many days we questioned what possessed us to invite this massive hooligan to share our lives. It's strange now because when I'm in schools and asked what inspired me to start writing the 'Monty stories' it was this bad behaviour that was the catalyst.
The children love to hear tales of chewed walls, destroyed cookers and sucked chickens but back then it wasn't something we ever conceived would take us to where we are now.
So as we relax before reading stories and reliving puppy misdemeanours before a few hundred children tomorrow I can't help but marvel at this special breed and moreover this very special dog I call my best friend.
Well done Monty Dogge....you've done good big fella....