May 2nd 2010 5:27 am
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It all begun back in 1996, I was only three years old back then so never knew any better, we went into the pet store to buy goldfish and instead came out with a gorgeous little puppy. We didn’t buy impulsively, mum had been considering getting a Cavalier or Cavalier mix for a while and when we saw Monty, in his pen at the pet store we couldn’t resist, he was all alone and oh so cute, how could you say no? None of us knew the horrors of back yard breeders and puppy mills back then. We bought our gorgeous little puppy and left with him, on the way home he threw up in the back seat, we just assumed it was travel sickness.
Once we had taken Monty to the vets to get his shots they told us that he had a very special condition called Mega Oesophagus which essentially meant he had a pouch attached to his oesophagus which made him bring back his food, the vets told us that he may only live 6 or 7 years as his vomit would burn away his throat lining. They said surgery was strongly discouraged as the chances of him dying during it were very high, many would of given up then and there. We didn’t. Dad built Monty a special feeding table, so when he ate he stood on his hind legs.
Monty grew into a lovely dog and the best friend. He’d curl up next to me when I was ill and keep me company; he never ran off and would sit out the front while we did gardening. At first he used to throw up every time we went on a car trip, over the years he seemed to learn to control his problem. At times it would be embarrassing when we’d be at a pet fair or event and Monty would throw up on the ground, especially when he tried eating it again. Most people wouldn’t be able to handle having a dog that threw up a lot, or they would have made them an outside dog. Monty had the good life, he was allowed to lounge around on the furniture and had full run of the house. It never crossed mine, or my families mind to make him an outside dog, of course, we’d put him out if he’d been sick too much that day (when he threw up it was undigested food, it didn’t seem to affect him otherwise, we weren’t being cruel). We used to take him to visit our nan and she loved seeing him, he seemed to know to play gentle with her, nan had a soft spot for Monty and would always say, I wish I had a dog just like Monty, as a puppy he was a little terror chewing up everything and on top of potty training we’d have to clean up his vomit.
When Monty was about 4 years old he was acting off colour, mum warned me then that perhaps it was his time then, of course being young and naive I said he’d be ok, deep down in my heart, I knew it was true that he’d be ok. The vet said that he had a piece of food that had gone into his pouch and had become infected. He also had pneumonia. The vets put him on antibiotics and I was so happy to have my furry friend back. We took him home and he made a slow but sure recovery.
For awhile I’d wanted guinea pigs and one day, when I was in the yard picking grass seeds for the budgies I came upon a guinea pig hutch in the yard, I was so excited and ran inside to mum, she smiled and confirmed the hutch was ours and I could get guinea pigs. I was so excited. A few days later we bought home two lovely guinea pigs. Monty on the other hand, couldn’t stand them and wanted to chase them, he continued harassing them through the cage for a year or two and then one day, he calmed down and was fine with them, in fact he became fond with them and when I had the guinea pigs out he’d calmly sit with them.
We used to take him to pet expos and he won the RSPCA’s happiest pet award, the prize was a free entry to the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. We hadn’t done it before but thought sure, why not, it was about half an hour’s drive away; Monty was about 6 years old now but wasn’t really slowing down. We took him along and he loved greeting all the dogs and having fun in the fun events, afterwards we took him to an off leash dog beach, he had great fun and loved it, although he wasn’t keen on the water he loved romping and frolicking in the sand with the other dogs with his tongue lolling joyously.
Monty had a soft spot for our cats, when we first got him he and our old cat were best friends, but our cat was around 18 years old and sadly passed away when Monty was around a year old. Monty wanted to befriend our new cat but she didn’t like him, in the end they had a love hate bond, he like our other two cats. We also found my nan the perfect dog, she was a small Maltese mix that my dad’s boss owned, he said he didn’t have time to give her the proper love she deserved, nan fell in love and kept Missy. We took Monty to visit and it took a few visits before Missy warmed up to him, she and him soon had a strong bond and Missy started to find her confidence with other dogs.
Last year, Monty started acting off, occasionally he’d stumble off the cage but we thought he was stiff from waking up, after about 5 months he started throwing up yellow bile and had lost his appetite and was losing weight at a startling rate, we took him to the vet, I was really worried it was his kidneys. The vets ran a blood panel on him and said he had a higher enzyme rate in his kidneys, I mentioned my concerns about his kidneys and the vet said, no, it’s quiet common in dogs who haven’t been eating, I then bought up the fact he had been throwing up yellow bile, the vet said no, it’s nothing serious, most likely an infection, at worst he may need a kidney removed.
We told our regular vet about the results and he said that if he were us he’d go for an ultra sound on his kidneys, we booked Monty in for one and they said to come back in an hour and they’d call us if anything were wrong. We left Monty at the vets for an hour and had no call, we returned and the vet looked grave, she continued to tell us they stopped the ultrasound halfway through as they found Monty had bad kidney cancer and that it had all ready taken over one of his kidneys and the other was nearly gone, I was shocked and immediately dropped to the round and just hugged Monty, they told us there was nothing we could do and he had about a week at most left.
I decided rather than waiting around in misery for him to go to let him live his last days to the fullest, even if it may put a strain on his heart. We decided we’d take him to the beach, as he enjoyed it so much. We drove down and took him around, he was weak but I could see in his eyes he was enjoying himself, he even managed to play. He even ate some roast beef later. He made it through that night, sadly, two days later he wasn’t happy anymore, we had scheduled to have him put down that night but I didn’t have the heart, instead we took him over to nan’s. Missy greeted him and sniffed him and suddenly jumped back when she sniffed his belly, I believe she could smell his kidney cancer. Nan said her farewells to Monty and the next night, we took him to the vet, where he took his last breath. As they injected the lethal emerald green liquid into his veins, the last words he heard were good boy, we’ll miss you, you were the best dog ever. I stood there, stroking his ears weeping, as were the others.
It makes me think when people say they don’t want a rescue dog as they are some one else’s problem and that they’d rather a pet store puppy, when in reality, being a back yard bred or puppy mill dog, Monty had to live life with his oesophagus problem, there are many great rescue dogs, the reason they are there is due to the sheer stupidity of people. In my belief adopting isn’t just buying a dog from a shelter but in fact saving a life, which is what we did, we gave Monty the life he deserved, he now has a garden in his memory in our yard, he will never be forgotten and has touched my heart, I now know the horrors of back yard breeders and puppy millers first hand and will speak out for the voiceless, I don’t have any regret of getting Monty, I just have the regret of where he came from. Unless we get the word of adoption out nothing will change, after all, actions speak louder than words, may you fly free sweet angel.
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Monty found the best... the VERY BEST home with you and yours.
He had the most wonderful life and gave you beautiful values to grow up with as have your family.
Loving is about acceptance.. of the good and the not so good.
Thankyou for ALL the love you gave.. and still give
They cant throw us away !
Flicka Δ,,Δ Lucas /..| Cleo (I.M) Δ,,Δ & Pam
Monty, indeed, was most fortunate to have landed with your family. It's wonderful he was accepted, cherished and loved for who he was. What a beautifully written, loving tribute.
Despite Monty's rough life when it comes to his health you could tell, just by reading this that that dog really loved you. You did everything you could. Losing a dog to cancer is one of the WORST things in the world and is terribly hard to overcome. Angel had cancer in his mouth that spread throughout his jaw and eye. I will never forget him. Our dogs leave special paw prints on our hearts forever.
Thinking of You...
- Angel. Koby. Jaz. Kenna. Nakota.
Monty, I never knew your back-story. As mom sat here and read this on your birthday, she cried. What a wonderful life you were given with the family that adopted you!
Your heart was as big as your family's heart.
Much love to your family.
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