Today is the first real snow we’ve had this winter in Colorado, and it was a big one. Monty would have loved it. If Monty was still here, he would have woken me up at dawn with an excitement of a child on Christmas morning. SNOW! He would run out into the yard and not come back when called until he was completely run out and covered in the white stuff.
Monty was named Montreal at the Elmbrook Humane Society, and he was from a western Wisconsin farm that was hording over 70 dogs. Just a puppy, he was underweight, not socialized, and terrified of the world. Monty wouldn’t walk unless he could be walking along a wall, and would pee himself if you touched him.
I adopted Monty in February, during the year I was between undergrad and graduate school. I worked at a law firm as a receptionist at the time and was living with my parents, because I had lost all my money trying to make it work in California (total fail, except that I got Loki there). I was only 22 years old, and Monty was about 7 months old.
Monty would be with me through graduate school, through dozens of boyfriends, multiple jobs, well over 20,000 miles of driving (including the 10 year birthday celebration road trip to the Oregon coast and back). We lived in three states together, in eight different places, and I bought my house partly due to the large yard that I knew Monty would love. We ran over 20 5ks together as a team. Monty was the best brother for both Loki and Calliope. He was also a wonderful foster helper, teaching dogs the ropes of being an indoor pup (including Penny and Gizmo!), and letting kittens play with his big fluffy tail.
Monty loved cooler temperatures, and while he would come up on the bed when I was first there reading and getting ready to sleep, once the lights were off he would jump down and go lay on the coolest floors (bathroom or front door entrance thanks to the tile). When my alarm would go off in the morning, he would wait to hear me get up and go into the bathroom before he so jubilantly would come bid me good morning. He would literally wait until he heard the toilet cover touch the back tank to come running.
His fur was so soft. I was constantly asked if he had just gotten a bath when people would pet him. No, he was just that soft! We couldn’t go anywhere without at least one person commenting on how handsome Monty was, asking me what type of dog he was, and then being all shocked when I told him he wasn’t some fancy purebred pup.
He hated rumble strips on the road, bath time, bugs (especially ones that went near his butt!), and was not a big fan of children. He was pretty much indifferent about other dogs, with just a select few of good friends (Lando and Roo!).
He loved swimming (eventually!), chasing shadows and lights, shredding paper, playing fetch, jumping and biting at the air (getting those mind bunnies!), treats in toys, and belly rubs. He liked to put his paw into this mouth while laying on his back like a total weirdo. When entering a room or area with many people, Monty wanted to say “hi” and get pets from everyone, so he would work his way around to get everybody at least once.
The sheer excitement and ridiculous noises Monty would make when I came home were the best part of my day. No one will ever be so happy to see me as Monty was after we had been apart, even if just for an hour.
He was my heart for almost 11 years.
When we got the news of this second cancer, one we could do nothing to battle, it was the most devastating shock. The CSU oncology team told me we had hours, maybe a few days if we were lucky. They offered to put Monty down then and there, but after I learned from them he was not currently in pain, I took him home.
The next week was dedicated to Monty. We went to all his favorite spots, spent hours out in the back yard sitting in sun and watching the squirrels. I got Monty every human food I could imagine a pup would want: hamburger, chicken strips, bacon, hot dog, pepperoni pizza, ground beef. He got all the treats in our cabinet. We had several days of him being totally spoiled and getting all the love in we could with the little time we had left. One evening, I let him outside to go do his bedtime business, and he wasn’t himself. I went to pet him, and he rested his head in my hand and sighed. It was time. Monty passed peacefully at home.
I miss Sir Montague every day. He was a one of a kind dog. It has taken me so long to write this post, because I keep trying to make it perfect for him. But I will never be able to truly articulate how wonderful he was. This will have to do. Monty was my heart, and he took a part of it with him.