Monty before leaving for the hospital December 1, 2006 : Over the previous few weeks we have noticed Monty was drinking a lot of water. Yvonne seemed to think he was sleeping more than normal. During the last few days of November we noticed Monty looked sick - his eyes were bloodshot, the skin around them was pinkish, he had crust forming around his eyes and more importantly, he seemed to be losing a lot of weight. We decided to take him in. Monty weighed in at 16lbs. He is normally 20lbs. A big difference in a dog that size. The vet suspected diabetes due to the excessive water drinking and took a blood sample to check. He also gave us some antibiotics to take care of Monty's other symptoms - that being that he was basically sick.

December 2, 2006 : The vet called to confirm Monty had diabetes. They needed a urine sample and asked us to bring one in Monday morning.

December 4, 2006 : Urine sample taken (while Monty glared at me) and the vet tells us Monty has Stage II diabetes. Because of the excess ketones in his urine Monty needed to be hospitalized ASAP. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition. It's a by product of the body eating it's fat to sustain itself since the lack of insulin prevents it from getting it's nutrition from food. Monty needed to be admitted to the hospital while this was leveled out and to start him on insulin. Monty came home Dec 7th. We were told to give him one shot a day of three units of insulin. We hated it more than Monty did but he was a trooper. He seemed to understand he needed his shots to make him feel better. At this time no major change is needed to his diet.

December 15, 2006 : Monty returned for a scheduled day long glucose curve. The vet upped his shots to twice a day of three units.

December 17, 2006 : While saying good night to Monty I noticed the skin of his chest area was blood red. A paniced call to the Vet Emergency line confirmed this can happen after a glucose curve, and is similar to bruising. We should only be concerned if it was causing discomfort or he had difficulty drinking.

December 24, 2006 : Yesterday we came home from an outing to find little clumps of Monty hair around the house. Today Yvonne noticed more clearly that Monty is losing his hair. We took a clean comb and stoked his hair a couple of times and there was a significant amount of hair on the comb. Our brief research on the web indicates this can be a side effect of diabetes and once he levels out he should stop, but it can also indicate other diseases such as Cushing's. Monty has another glucose curve test on Wednesday so we will discuss this with the vet then. Waiting for Walkies

December 28, 2006 : Spoke with the vet today. He says what we suspected - the hair loss and the bruising on his chest/throat area suggest Cushing's. And that means more tests. Put simply, Cushing's is caused by tumors in either the pituitary or adrenal glands. Adrenal gland tumors can be removed, but in 85% of the cases it's in the pituitary, in which it can be treated with drugs, but not cured. However, the hair loss can also just be a side effect of the diabetes. Even more confusing, Cushing's can lead to diabetes, and many of the symptoms are similar to diabetes.

Meanwhile, the vet has asked us to up his insulin dosage to 4 units twice a day, and maybe 5 units if we feel he needs it after a few days, and call him back next Tuesday to see how he's doing. Monty does great with his shots. Sometimes he's not really wanting it, but mostly he accepts it and occasionally even comes to us when it's time. Plus, Monty gained .4 lbs in weight!

January 5, 2007 : We upped Monty's insulin injections to five units. We can't test for ketones until he's fully leveled out and we're basing this on water consumption. We're told a dog typically drinks 1 oz per pound in weight, so he should be drinking between 16-20oz of water a day. On his first day at 5 units he drank a little over 20oz. We'll monitor this for a few days and if he's still drinking a little too much well give him another unit per shot.

January 14, 2007 : When giving Monty his morning shot I noticed a hard lump under his skin between his shoulder blades. It's fairly large and it's hard to believe we hadn't noticed it before as this is where he gets his shot.

January 16, 2007 : If it's not one thing it's another. It snowed last night which means the bunnies decided to move in under the deck. Monty sensed this as soon as he was out the door and when he asks to be let in he was a muddy mess. I gave him a bath and while tearing through the house afterwards he ripped away part of his thumb nail. His paw was all bloody. Back to the vet for another $100 bill. Asked about the lumps. We were told to watch to make sure they don't get much bigger, and that the antibiotics he'll be taking for the paw might even get rid of them. If it still seems to be a problem when we take him in for the Cushings test they'll take a closer look. His weight is up to 17.6! We also upped his insulin to six units. His water consumption has been borderline so this might be his final level.

January 23, 2007 : Six is a magic number. Upping Monty's insulin to six units seems to have leveled him off. He races on his walks now, he doesn't need to go out in the middle of the night, his water drinking is normal, his hair seems to be returning to it's normal texture (it no longer feels so synthetic). His lumps seem to be going away as well. We'll be taking him in for his Cushing's testing soon, but with his hair improving it was probably the diabetes that was causing it, rather than the Cushing's.

Relaxing at the Park February 11, 2007 : Monty's 8th birthday. Upped the dosage to 7 units the other day as he seemed to be drinking a lot of water again. He also now knows when it's time for his shots and waits for it, sometimes almost asking for it. Although he may just be waiting on the liver treat he gets afterwards. His hair is growing back nicely and his weight seems to be back to normal.

March 1, 2007 : Monty got his first haircut since we discovered his diabetes. We held off a little bit longer than usual due to the hair loss. Well, his hair has grown back just wonderfully. You wouldn't even know he was losing it just a few weeks ago. It's also completely lost it's artificial, dry feel and is now soft and pet-able like always. He is also quite clearly back at his old weight.

March 11, 2007 : Not a good weekend for Monty. On Friday night I tried to shuffle him off to bed and noticed he seemed to be having a particularly difficult time climbing up the stairs. Saturday (10th) we noticed he was having some trouble with his rear right leg or paw. Sometimes he's walking fine, but other times, particularly after he's been laying down, he is clearly having difficulty. It's been about three months since his last blood glucose curve so it's probably time for another one. So we'll take him in to see the vet this week and get that done, get his leg checked (this might simply be a symptom of diabetes), and have a large skin tag he has on his tail removed (the groomer nicked it and it's been bleeding a little, bothering him, and we've always hated it anyway).

March 16, 2007 : Took Monty to the vet today. He weighed in at 18.4lbs - which is where we consider his normal weight to be. Got some eye drops for his eyes (they were 'gunky' and bloodshot for the past week). His tail will have to be worked on at a different time. Nothing's wrong with his leg. And his blood glucose curve was exactly where it's supposed to be -- so he's doing great there. Asked if we should still bother with the Cushing's testing and the doc feels that we should still go ahead with that, but, it doesn't seem to be crucial at this point.


May 14, 2007 : Monty seems to be having some vision problems. Y has noticed him walking into toys in the yard twice recently, and couldn't seem to find a treat that landed on the floor, and I've noticed that he didn't seem to know where the stairs ended while going down them. Other than that he seems perfectly fine.

May 22, 2007 : Took Monty in for his Cushing's test. While he doesn't have it yet, the tests show it's emerging. We were advised to have him tested again in a few months. The doctor also confirmed he has cataracts.

June 17, 2007 : Monty continues to handle not being able to see very well. He's not completely blind. He'll trip over a toy, or if we pick him up and move him he can get disorientated. But he navigates his walks perfectly well. I will occasionally take him to a big park where he can run free without danger since playing chase in the house is no longer an option. Portrait

November 07, 2007 : Just under a year in and Monty is doing GREAT! His dosage hasn't changed since February and he is still his normal 18lbs. Despite his vet's warnings that Cushing's was on the horizon Monty has yet to show any signs (similar to diabetes - excessive water drinking, heavy eating while losing weight). He seems 'over' his blindness. One eye is much more white than the other so we suspect he's only partially blind in one eye (probably can see shadows and shapes) while the other eye is probably just poor vision. We believe his stumbling around in the early days were more him getting used to the new vision but now that he's adjusted you wouldn't even know there was a problem -- apart from the occasional stumble or getting surprised by something appearing where he didn't expect it. We've even started chasing him around the house and throwing toys for him to fetch again, tho we are careful to throw them in a straight line or an open area where he won't collide with anything. Sometimes he won't be able to find the toy, but otherwise he's very happy.

March 02, 2007 : Monty's started to bury bones. He's never done it before but lately bones go outside and never come back inside. He has this huge rawhide bone he got for Christmas. He took it outside we didn't see it for a long time. When heavy rains were expected I went looking for it. It's not like there's a lot of places to hide it out there but I couldn't find it anywhere. Just the other day I took another look and there it was, partially sticking out of the dirt near the corner of the house!

Monty turned 9 last month and he's doing great! He's happy and playful and sulks when he wants to play and no one will give him time. He clearly misses his walks this winter. People around here don't shovel very much and we've had a heavy snowfall this winter and it's hard for him to walk in all that. Plus, when the snow melts and freezes it's hard for him to walk in all the icy footsteps. Plus it's been too damn cold! When he has gotten walks his partial blindness is clearly evident. He literally has snow blindness. He can't navigate in all the whiteness. He would often walk straight into a snow bank and look up at me with a snow covered snout.

We are debating if we should take him in for Cushing's testing again. We want to make sure we catch it in time, but on the other hand he doesn't seem to have any symptoms yet. He started drinking a lot of water when it started to get cold but a quick survey showed everyone's dogs started drinking a lot when the temperature changed.

June 24, 2008 : Monty seems to be losing his vision in his other eye. He still negotiates the house as normal, but he will walk into unexpected things. For example, if I'm sitting at my desk and he comes in to sit at my feet he will walk straight into my leg. There was one time recently where I had the distinct feeling he had gotten lost and he didn't quite know where he was. I believe this was in the backyard and he was looking for the stairs to the deck. His right eye is starting to appear cloudy. But other than this, he's doing great.

November 16, 2008 : This past week marks Monty's second year with diabetes. His right eye is nearly just as cloudy as his left, but this doesn't seem to bother him. The only times he seems impaired is when he can't find a dropped treat or a tossed toy even though they're right next to him, and if he's looking at us and we move from where we were standing and he doesn't hear us (he stares at the now vacant spot). We took sleephim in recently for a blood curve since it'd been about a year since his last one. The vet (a new one since his old one left the practice) remarked that it was one of the best curves he's seen and shows he's at exactly the right dosage. It should be noted that Monty wouldn't eat that morning and for his blood curve to be spot on without food shows how well he is doing. The only real problem is that he seems to be fed up with the shots. He still comes to me when it's time but now he rolls onto his back when I try to grab a roll of flesh. Eventually we get it done and he still gets a chunk of liver after each 'poke.' One odd thing - we had him at a kennel for a few days and when he came out he had brown staining of his 'beard'. This hasn't happened in many years. There's even a patch on his right front leg where he licks that's turned brown.

March 10, 2009 : Monty turned TEN back around Valentine's day and he's doing great. We had a really cold winter and a ton of snow so Monty didn't get walked at all, really, for several weeks. I took him out once and I could tell his paws were hurting him so I carried him home. I've mentioned before that he has trouble with the snow. There are no shadows so everything looks like a white wall to him. For him to find the stairs to the deck we have to keep a path shoveled for him. He won't play in the snow either. He would only go on the area we cleared for him to relieve himself on. He also started losing his way back to the house. Once I heard his 'help' bark and looked outside. He was standing on top of the boys sandbox. He apparently thought it was the stairs and didn't know what to do when the deck disappeared. Poor guy. We also have to put the light on for him now when he goes out at night so he can find his way back.

Inside the house he's great. He had a few weeks where he was afraid of the last step. I'm assuming that when he walks down the steps he can see the step below him. But when he gets to the bottom step he just sees a void. Sometimes he'll pace back and forth before making a huge leap to reach the floor six inches beneath him. Sometimes he'll go back up to the top of the stairs and trot back down to try again (like a running start). Other times he'll just give up and lay down on sadness a step. Usually he'll just bark for help.

August 2, 2009 : Not a lot has changed with Monty. He's still doing remarkably well in every aspect. He still occasionally can't find the bottom of the stairs, but no longer worries, and if he's excited he might forget where he is and run into the side of the couch. Early in the summer he seemed to get lost in the backyard when we put him out at night to do his business so we started putting the outdoor light on for him, but just recently we realized he can still see fine in the dark (or is otherwise relying on his knowledge to get him back to the door). He will occasionally stand next to the door to be let in rather than in front of it. The heat of summer is, of course, bothering him again so walking him is an annoyance as he frequently plops down in a shady area. He has been starting to show his love for the boys, tho. When he's stressed he will often go into Adam's room and climb onto his bed - which causes Adam to wake up and start yelling "Monty! Get off my bed!!!" And if one of the boys can't sleep and winds up in our bed Monty immediately curls up alongside of them.

May 1, 2010 : Today is Monty's eleventh anniversary with us! The only major development is that his Vetsulin has been discontinued. He is now on human insulin. We weren't sure how this would work but he's doing fine on it. And, actually, it's a huge money saver because the doses are smaller. A bottle lasts us over thee months now. His hair, especially on his back, seems to have thinned out a little, but this is the only change we've noticed. As time goes on he gets a little worse with his vision. He's gotten lost on the deck when trying to find the stairs occasionally, and if there's a night light on on a wall he might think it's a doorway and try to walk through it only to be confused when he bumps into the wall. And I'm afraid to say we've all but given up walking him daily. We'd like to but his constant laying down in shady grassy areas have worn us thin. He still gets walks occasionally, but usually only around the block and, if it's a sunny, cool day I'll take him on one of his old, longer routes. He does get to walk Owen to school nearly every day so he does get to go out and run across the field. Adam has finally started to become attached to Monty. One day he was sitting on the floor and Monty came over and lay down next to him. I told Adam where to pet him and he giggled when Monty rolled onto his back for belly rubs. Then I August 2010 showed Adam that if he blows gently on Monty's face he will give kisses. Adam loved this and now gives Monty lots of attention. From getting him cookies, getting him toys to play with, and trying to get kisses from him. Owen loves Monty too, but isn't as willing to get a cheek licking.

November 13, 2010 : Monty is starting his downhill course, we're sad to say. He's starting to lose his sense of location in the house on occasion. Occasionally he'll stand facing the wall next to the fireplace, apparently thinking he's at the back door, wanting to go outside. But these two locations a half the house away from each other. Other times he'll wander back and forth several times and it's clear he's not sure exactly where he is. Most of the time he's fine, tho.

Back in July we had a scare when he fell down the steps. I was in my office when I heard someone trip on he stairs. I ran to see who it was and Monty was standing on the bottom step, one paw raised, as if he was about to step down. "Step down" I commanded, which I use on curbs on our walks, but he just stood frozen absolutely still. I picked him up and set him down and still he remained completely frozen, paw still raised, trembling slightly. I ran him upstairs and set him on our bed and curled up next to him and eventually he relaxed and calmed down.

In August we noticed he wasn't walking quite right. He seemed to have lost strength in one of his rear legs. He would stand there and seemed wobbly. Or he'd walk and it looked like his leg was asleep. We weren't sure if it was arthritis, or a muscle weakness, or what. His tail was down all the time. Normally it curls up over his back. We took him to the vet who could see his leg was bothering him, but after a thorough examination, could not see anything obviously wrong. We approved a blood test and while nothing came up that would affect his leg, it did reveal a high enzyme count in his liver. This does not necessarily mean there is a problem, but we need to bring him back in February for another blood test. Meanwhile we are keeping an eye out for the various signs of liver problems.

His weight has dropped back down to around 14lbs, but this doesn't seem to be a concern as he's holding steady and not excessively drinking, or any of the other signs when the diabetes first appeared. He hair has dramatically thinned on his torso.

And, for the last couple of weeks, Monty has been extremely clingy to me. Typically, when I go to sleep in the morning, he will stay with me for about half an hour before heading off downstairs. Lately he's been staying in bed with me the entire day - even after sleeping all night. And if he's not in the bed, I'll find him on laying next to the bed, either on his pillow or on the floor, or, occasionally, on the mat in the bathroom.

April 1, 2011 : Monty has turned twelve! However, he had a fairly traumatic month last month. We've been concerned for his eating for the last couple of months. He didn't seem to be eating as much - barely finishing his food and sometimes only eating a few bites. We took him in for his six month liver test and expressed our concerns to his vet. We decided to get his teeth cleaned (they really needed it!) and the vet suggested perhaps some of his teeth were bothering him. We suspected the same. So Monty went under for his cleaning and wound up having three teeth pulled. We also had them remove a quite large skin tag from his shoulder that was always getting nicked when he'd get his hair cut (then he'd spend the next week licking it and it'd never heal). He spent the next 24hrs practially asleep. But we're happy to say he's back to gobbling down his food, and he even feels a tiny bit heavier. We've noticed in the past that he walked with a slightly hunched back and that, too, seems to have gone away.

Adam continues his love affair with Monty. He'll frequently pet him and coo "Who's the good doggie?" He's taken to giving Monty "Adam's Home Treats" when he comes hom from school so now Monty rushes to greet him when he comes home. When we picked up Monty from the vet Adam was very concerned. He didn't like seeing the shaved areas from where Monty had the IV and where they removed the skin tag. He asked if his hair and his teeth (!) would grow back.

He still gets lost in the house occasionally. More than ever, in fact. He'll frequently mistake a low patch of sunlight on the wall for the door, or be unable to successfully navigate to the top of the stairs and wind up walking halfway down the hall before realizing his mistake. It's hard to say his vision is getting worse since he has cataracts. Perhaps it's just old age that he's losing his sense of location. One area of the house he rarely goes to is where the boys' rooms are. We were all in Adam's room recently and Monty wandered over to find us. When it was time to leave he had a hard time finding his way back down the hall, and nearly fell down the stairs when he finally did.

His hind legs are also still weak. He has no problem walking, but it only takes a slight push to his backside to make them collapse under him.

May 21, 2011 : Poor Monty is slowing getting worse. He is become more disorientated than ever before, frequently getting lost in the living room, or walking into walls and furniture. Baths are becoming an issue as well. He used to just stand there and maybe wander around a little bit, now he franticly scambles to get out of the bath, walking into the water pitcher we use. His back legs are now too weak to support him fully so when we go to wash his front paw he'll fall over. And after the bath he usually franticly runs around the house, now he can't make it out of the bathroom, and when he does he runs straight into a wall.

haircut September 17, 2011 : We had a heck of a scare a couple of weeks ago - Monty fell down the stairs. We're not sure how many (but Y thinks it was a lot). I was asleep and awoke to a noise. When I ran downstairs Y was there with Monty who was limping badly, he couldn't put any weight on his leg. We called the vet. We had just come back from the vet because Monty needed his shots and some blood taken. The vet had said he'd be sore where the blood was taken and it was the same leg, they also said he might sleep a lot. We all decided to see how he did after a couple of hours. It was clear nothing was broken and he was fine when he handled his leg, it was just when he tried to walk.

After I awoke I went to check on him and Y said he slept all day. When I tried to get him up he couldn't even right himself. I had to help him to his feet. I took him in to the vet and it was decided it was a pulled muscle or possibly a sprain. He gave us some painkillers and medicene. Thankfully, within a couple of days Monty was back to his normal self. He was a little leary walking down steps but he had no problems trotting around the backyard.

His stool sample from the vet visit revealed some parasites (damn rabbits) and gave us some yellow medicene we needed to squirt into his mouth with a large syringe. He LOVED that stuff. I'm not sure which he loved getting more - his inch of Pupperoni after his morning shot of insulin, or the yellow medicene!

Other than all that drama he's hanging in there. He gets lost in the room sometimes, he sleeps a lot, and can't sense a rabbit three feet away from him, but he's doing really good otherwise.

Adam is starting to worry, tho. He has frequently expressed sorrow that Monty can't see and wishes we would or could get his eyes fixed. And he had a bad dream recently where Monty wasn't living with us anymore. When asked where he thought Monty was he said he didn't know, he just wasn't there.

October 20, 2011 : Monty spends a lot of time sleeping lately. He'll sleep all night with Y, then when I go to bed about two hours after she gets up he comes to join me and sleeps all day until I wake late in the afternoon. While he would do this occasionally in the past, he's done this almost consistantly for the last three weeks or so.

January 11, 2012 : Last month was Monty's 5th anniversary of being diagnosed with diabetes, and he turns 13 in a month. We honestly didn't expect him to still be with us this long and we cherish every day with him. While still perky there have been noticable changes in his behavior. He no longer sleeps with Y - he refuses to. She takes him to bed but he refuses to settle and wanders the bed until she lets him down then he wanders the room, bumping into things, until she opens the door. He goes straight downstairs and curls up on the blanket in my office. That's where I find him nearly every day when I come home from work. The nights I'm off he will sleep with us, snuggled between our pillows. He never used to sleep there either, he'd always sleep by our feet. We suspect he's losing his hearing, at least partially, and in his left ear. He seems to become disoriented easily. For example, he'll walk into my office and while he should know he needs to turn left to find my desk, he almost always turns right these days and walks into a wall. We think he hears noise reflecting off the wall on his right, rather than the natural sound on his left, and heads towards it. He's also no longer able to locate us when we call for him. I'll call out for a cookie and repeatedly call for him, clapping my hands, tapping the floor, etc and he'll frantically try to locate me, while bouncing off the couch, the wall, etc. I have to catch him and give him the cookie. Beyond that he's doing great!

Looking back, I can't believe I haven't mentioned it, but Monty has been taking Denosyl for his liver for the past several months. We have yet to see any liver related problems. We need to get him tested again to see how he's doing on this.

We've had a very mild winter so he's been getting walkies, which he loves. He spends the first half of the walk exploring, and the second half running hell bent for home.

His favorite part of the day, tho, is clearly his morning 'Poke, Pets, and Pupperoni' (insulin shot, cuddles, and an inch of pupperoni with a pill for his liver crammed inside)

July 16, 2012 : It breaks my heart to write that our dear Monty has left us.

Since the beginning of the year we had begun noticing a decline in Monty. He seemed confused more, couldn't find his way back inside the house from the yard, etc. Due to the warm winter and early spring I had been taking him on walks around the block more often, but this again became frustrating as after the first quarter of the walk I either had to coax him or just carry him most of the way. He still loved the last quarter of the walk as he would take off running and wouldn't stop until we got home. The last time I walked him it was like he had given up. He flat out refused to move and just stood there as if waiting. I carried him most of the way.

On July 15th we had returned from a 10 day vacation. Owen and I went to get him around noon. The tech at the animal hospital said his blood sugar was low and asked to keep him a little bit longer for observation. We came back for him at 2pm. I noticed that he didn't seem interested in me, and just accepted being handed over. He rode with Owen on the backseat while Owen held on to him.

Monty wandered around, unsettled, as he sometimes does after coming home from the kennel. After a little over an hour he finally lay down in front of the tv. He immediately went into a seizure. Y called the emergency vet at the hospital/kennel while I rubbed honey on his gums. He soon came back to us with a sharp bark and staring up at me like "What was THAT?!" The vet offered to open the hospital so we could bring him in for an examine.

After two hours and a number of tests he said Monty was stable and we could bring him home. He gave him a sedative to calm him down and said the best thing we could do was put him in a dark room and leave him to sleep.

Monty felt differently. He'd sleep for about 90 minutes, wake with a start, then try to walk around. His walking was very unstable and he'd often stumble. I would take him outside but would have to hold him up as he walked. He'd be awake for about 90 minutes then would fall asleep again for another 90. Late at night I took him out front where the ground is flatter than our backyard and let him wander. He could walk, sort of, but wandered aimlessly in circles. Around and around. Occasionally he'd fall over.

At 3am I needed sleep. I lay in bed with him and Y and we decided we needed to confine him so he wouldn't hurt himself or fall off the bed. I removed his collar and set up the baby corral, and made a bed for him. I got about 90 minutes sleep before Y woke me to tell me he'd soiled the bedding and we needed to bath him. Monty hates baths lately and usually wanders around the tub. This time he just lay there. I had to hold his head up out of the water. Monty was now unable to support himself.

When morning came Y called our normal vet who agreed to see us first thing. His reflexes in half of his body were clearly diminished and he thought Monty most likely had a tumor in his brain. My mom thought maybe he had a stroke. We had decided that since Monty could no longer walk properly it was time to let him go. We decided to bring him home for the day, pull the kids out of summer camp, and let them say their good-byes.Monty

Owen became very upset and spent a lot of time crying and laying down next to Monty. Adam took it very matter of factly. He adores Monty but has always known Monty as being sick and that some day he would no longer be with us. He'd had dreams recently where Monty "just wasn't there." He cried once, complaining that his head felt funny. Monty, meanwhile, slept most of the day.

About an hour before we were to leave Monty woke up and I took him outside in front again. I walked behind him, supporting him, as he wandered around and relieved himself. It'd been an unbearably hot summer, most of our grass was dead and it was in the 90s that day. I picked him up and carried him to the tree in front of the house where there was some shade and some grass. We sat there for a couple of minutes and he lay with his head up, panting and looking around. He lay his head down we lay there together a minute. Just the two of us. I scopped him up, brought him inside, and lay down next to him by his makeshift bed. He fell asleep for the last time.

When it was time to go I picked him up and lay him on my chest and held him. He was like a rag doll. There was nothing inside him. He didn't even stir as I carried him to the car and drove to the vet.

The vet put him into a deep sleep while we all said our goodbyes. Adam didn't want to be present for the end so he went out to the waiting area. Y didn't want to be there either but as Owen insisted on staying so she stayed for him.

I held his head in my hand as the vet gave Monty his final 'poke' and Monty took his final breath.

I cannot begin to describe how difficult it was losing him. We've known, of course, that he could go at any time, but it was still hard. I can only speak for me, but he was my routine. My second nature. We had our morning ritual of Pokes, Pets, and Pupperonis. He'd wait for me to come home from work while laying under my desk and when I went upstairs to get ready for bed he'd come up and join me, often snuggling against me, or next to my pillow. Sometimes he'd stay all day, if not he went downstairs and slept under my desk, waiting for me to get up.

He was a sweet, and gentle dog. Everyone who ever met him adored him. He was never aggressive towards anyone.

I can't begin to describe how much I miss him. How much I cried in the first week after he'd gone. I felt an emtiness in my chest I thought would never go away.

But the sadness of losing him has slowly been taken over by celebrating his life, and the love he taught us to have. We chose to get back his ashes and are thinking of ways to memorialize him. Adam had asked for a paw print (we painted Monty's paw and pressed it against a pad of paper). Owen took ownership of one of Monty's toys and sleeps with it. I spent Monty's last day with us trimming away the mats in his hair from his stay at the kennel. I have some of it in a ziploc. Y would like to plant a white rose bush in the back yard, with some of his ashes in the soil beneath. Maybe we'll scatter some ashes around the backyard so we'll know he's there on pleasant sunny days. But for now he's home with us.

Good night, Monty. We will always love you.

Monty "Monster"
Feb 12, 1999 - July 16, 2012


Click on the paw print to view a tribute gallery