I got a surprise when I tuned in to the latest episode of "Monk" on Friday. The show featured a dog, and not just as a walk-on, but as the essential piece of evidence in solving the case.
For those of you who may not know, the lead character, Adrian Monk, is a bundle of neuroses, and he's afraid of elevators, milk, a zillion other things, and germs. So when a murder leaves a dog without a home, he isn't a likely candidate for taking the animal in, but they set it up nicely so the animal control person essentially signs a death sentence for the dog (I think her name was Shelby), and Monk ends up with her.
He leads her around his apartment on leash, telling her the kitchen is off limits, the couch is off limits, the bedroom is off limits, and opens an umbrella upside down on the floor in the entryway and tells her that's her corner. Of course as things progress, Shelby is welcome in more and more of the apartment. Mr. Monk wears heavy gloves that almost look like falconer's gloves to touch her, but touch her he does. He calls a vet emergency line when she goes off her foot and is panting a lot and is told it sounds like she is delivering puppies. And sure enough, she does, with pretty much the whole cast present. The puppies, being tailless, are supposedly evidence that Shelby mated with the chief suspect's Australian Shepherd, and I won't go into the whole issue of THAT actually working as a plot point.
I was thinking, as this is the final season for Monk, that perhaps they were going to provide him with a dog for companionship. That would have been nice. But no, Shelby and her puppies go off with some lady and her daughter, conveniently introduced in this episode, who have 3 acres and can take them all and keep the family together. Mr. Monk has visiting rights, and says 2 pm every day.
I'm sure they will now completely forget about Shelby and we will never see her again, but it was nice to add a bit of humanity to Mr. Monk and make him a little happier for a time. At the end of the show, he even took off his glove and petted Shelby bare-handed.