Thursday, January 12, 2012

RIP Monty

It’s been a long time since I have been able to post a blog, mostly due to the fact that our internet has been disconnected due to financial situations beyond our control.

It breaks my heart to have this be my last post on this blog.

We lost our beloved little Monty yesterday, 1-11-12.  It was out of the blue and very unexpected. 

Monty had been happy and healthy (as far as we knew); his happy little bark when he was playing with his toys or his friends always made us giggle and smile.  We had finally gotten the poop control issue taken care of with some innovation using diapers with strategically cut holes and a cross between a onsie/overalls type of mutant garment that Karen came up with.  Life was good and happy and we had all settled into our life’s routine.

Les had his bladder cancer surgery on December 19th and it went very well.  However, I had just started a new job that is an hour’s commute each way and Karen and I didn’t think that it would be good for Monty and Bruiser to be left all alone for at least 12 hours every day.  So Karen took Monty and Bruiser down to my Mom’s to stay there; Karen was staying there when she wasn’t up at the hospital with Les, and Mom would be home from work by 5:30pm, so they were only alone for a couple of hours during the week.  Monty loved being at Mom’s.  There were so many people to hold and love on him, the food was great and there was Bruiser and Alice – my mom’s cat – to play with in addition to all the toys he could wish for.

Les came home from the hospital a week later, but they all still stayed down at Mom’s so that Les was close to the hospital just in case of complications.  Lots of friends and family came to visit, and Monty was thrilled to meet all the new people and everyone loved him.  The evening of December 29th was completely normal; Monty ate his dinner and scooted around the house after Bruiser, played with his toys, and everyone went to bed.  Friday morning, he was sick. He vomited up his breakfast and wasn’t really interested in doing anything.  He wouldn’t eat much dinner, and what he did eat, he vomited up again.  He was lethargic and just generally not doing very well.  We were pretty baffled by this, but not necessarily worried as he didn’t seem to be in any pain.  We made sure he drank plenty of water and just gave him lots of love.  Saturday he would not eat, so Karen took him to the vet.  He had a kidney stone lodged in the end of his penis and the vet removed it.  Once the stone came out, there was lots and lots of bloody, pussy urine that drained and drained.  It was very odd since he had been urinating in his diaper (plus we would express his bladder for him to empty it) and we didn’t have any indication that there was a stone.  The vet said that he had a bad bladder/kidney infection and put him on antibiotics.  They wanted to keep him overnight for observation, but we had already run up a $600 bill and it would be over $1000 if they kept him overnight.  Karen took him home and kept a close eye on him.  The biggest problem was that he had to eat in order to take the medication, and we could not get him to eat.  At all.  So Karen puréed chicken and put it in a feeding syringe to get it down.  After a couple of days, he was not getting any better, although there was no more bloody/pussy urine; it was nice and normal.

At this point, Karen took him to a really great vet hospital.  They determined that he was in kidney failure.  We had to pay $1000 up front before they would start treatment, so my mom put it on her credit card and maxed it out.  Monty stayed in the hospital for several days and Karen and mom went to see him twice a day during the one-hour ICU visiting hours to hold him, rock him, and love on him.  He perked up a bit and they were able to bring him home.  Karen and Les finally were able to come back home to Washington on Tuesday, 1-10-12.  Monty was just not doing well again and hadn’t pooped for days.  He didn’t want to eat, but would still drink water eagerly.  Karen was really upset and afraid that Monty was giving up, so she set up an appointment with our local vet.  He is AWESOME and has seen us through many difficult times over the years.  Karen knew that he is a “save them all if you can” kind of guy, and the vet also knows that Karen is a “save them at any cost unless they are suffering” kind of gal.  We knew we would get the straight story from him.

The news was the worst we could get.  Due to the nature of Monty’s spinal injury, the nerves that connect the vital organs to the spine – and thus to the brain – were dying.  These nerves controlled his kidney and bladder function, his liver function, and basically his gut (stomach, intestines, colon).  His kidneys were still failing, and now his liver was also.  The vet said that we could keep him alive for a while, but he would have to have daily enemas, subcutaneous fluids (injected under his skin or via IV) daily, and other medications daily.  He could crash at any time; just missing one enema or dose of fluids, or even if one of his injured disks sifted in some way, he would crash.  He knew that we would be willing to do these things, but Monty would never get any better; he would always feel ill (although not necessarily be in any pain), we would have to force feed him on top of all the other things we would have to do to him, and in the end he would probably only last a few months.  The end was inevitable; there was no way to save him.  He said that we would probably be back in the vet’s office within days.  The decision Karen had to make was so hard, but she knew that she could not torment him with needles and enemas every day just so that he could feel like crap all the time and then die anyway. 

Karen and Les held him in their arms, kissing and petting him as they let him go. 

Karen was, and still is, devastated.  She was pretty much inconsolable all day and cried all night last night.  I cried all day at work yesterday and was supported by my wonderful, empathetic, dog-loving co-workers.  Mom cried when I called to tell her the news.  I’m crying now as I type this post.

73 days is not a long time, but we formed a fast and firm attachment to that little guy.  We miss him so much.  We are so glad that he came into our lives; he knew that he was loved and we are sure that he was just as happy to be with us as we were to be with him. 

We don’t know what the final tally of all the bills will be, but we would have given anything to save him if we could have.

R.I.P. little Monty. 

We love you.