I want to formally introduce you guys to someone that is very close to my heart. This is my family's dog Montana, or Monty as we call him.
He was 7 years old and he is the best dog I've ever known.
Monty was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer called hemangiosarcoma. This cancer, this stupid stupid cancer, has a very poor diagnosis and it happened to Monty so quickly. Even as he was being diagnosed he was acting like himself...a goofy, friendly dog that everyone falls in love with. And then last week, he had a seizure and was in the ICU. So my sister and I both made plans to go home for the weekend and see him. We met my dad at the hospital and went in to see Monty. I've never heard a dog cry so loudly or for so long in my life. Was he in pain? Was something wrong with him? Fortunately we were able to take him home that night, and as soon as we got him in the car, he stopped whining. He just wanted to come home.
As I sit here typing this, my little sister just had to say goodbye to Monty because she had to go back to college. She doesn't know if she'll see him again. With this disease, we don't know if Monty has a week or a month, or maybe a few. We have no idea how this cancer will affect him. And it absolutely breaks my heart to think of him suffering. To think of him wondering why this is happening to him (I know he's a dog and doesn't think like us...but still). To see him still wagging his tail, not knowing what horrible things are to come. As I am typing this, he is laying on his doggy bed, resting, with his buddy Katie (our other dog) by his side.
I wrote the first half of this post on Friday, when Monty was sitting in the kitchen with me as I wrote, alive, resting, wagging his tail when he saw anyone, and begging for food per his usual. He had some trouble getting around because of the anti-seizure meds, but it seemed like he bounced back, and we were so glad to see him that way. We all spent the day cuddling him, spoiling him, loving him. Unfortunately, that night Monty had seizures again and we had to take him back to the vet. I sat in the back of the car with him as my dad drove, petting him and telling him how much we all loved him. Monty died on Saturday morning. And we were and are a wreck. There's this giant hole in my heart and the house already feels so empty without him. It feels like I might never be happy again.
I deal with death poorly. I know it's never easy and everyone has a hard time with it. But I'm really not dealing well. I sit here and wonder why. Why Monty? Why did he have to go through this? He's so innocent, such a good boy. Why did this have to happen to him? I know it's pointless to ask why, I just can't help it. Why does cancer happen to anyone? We will never know. The only thing I know is that it FREAKING sucks. It sucks so bad and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. I prayed and prayed for him as this was all happening...and nothing. I started out so hopeful: maybe it's not cancer...which changed to: OK it is cancer but maybe we can treat it...which lead to: sh*t, treatment doesn't work very well in this type of cancer...to: please let him not suffer....to: crap, poor Monty had a seizure...to: please let us be able to say goodbye to him, please let us have him with us a little longer. And now, even though I will never stop wishing to see him again, to have him back, I just hope he knew and felt how much we love him. And I hope when he died he wasn't scared. I want to know that he is somewhere, looking down over us, but I'm just not sure that's true. I know I'm lucky that I got to spend time with Monty at the end of his life and actually have a chance to say goodbye. But it's not enough. It will never be enough time with him. And I'm so MAD. He was supposed to live to a ripe old age. To be with us for another 4 or 5 Christmases. To continue to be our best friend and light up our days. With everything I do, there is this overshadowing melancholy, like a punch in the stomach and a weight on my heart. I'm sadder than I've ever been about anything and everywhere I look I see him, I miss him.
I will always remember this past weekend that I spent with Monty. My sister and I sat on the floor with him and we cried our eyes out. We hugged him tight and told him how much we loved him. We had a sleepover and went through her old scrapbooks and pulled out photos of Monty from when he was a puppy and all the years in between. We remembered and reminisced about what an amazing dog he was and is and how our lives will be missing something without him.
He's just the funniest dog in the world. First of all, he's HUGE. Like I mean - the biggest lab you've ever seen. It might have something to do with his extreme love of cheese . You say the word "cheese" and he gets all up in your grill...it's quite funny how he just perks up at that word. He loves to roll over onto his back and pull his front and back legs up and just lay there...showing his junk to the world. He loves to play in the snow and lay in the sun. He lets Aggie playfully nip at him (and sometimes not playfully) and he's still her friend afterwards. Sometimes he sits with his back legs sticking out, like a duck, which is pretty weird looking (see below). Sometimes, when he sees you from the glass behind the door, he jumps up and down with his front legs, a little bit like a toddler would, because he's so excited to see you. He would like to sit on top of his plastic dog house and look out the kitchen window into the yard. He loves my dad, his best buddy, in a way I've never seen a dog love a person. And he snores louder than any dog I've ever known.
I've been very sad these past few weeks. And particularly this weekend. And when I'm sad I like to write. So if you've stuck with me through all this - thanks. I don't usually share this much, but Monty weighs very heavy on my heart. I will miss him so much.
So here's to Monty...the best dog I've ever known.
I'm not going to be blogging this week as I just couldn't bring myself to take outfit photos. See you all next week.