Monty by Shelby / Shelby & Ellis

Cancer finally overcame my beloved Monty last Thursday. We had tried everything, two surgeries and numerous “second opinions”.

I brought Monty home from the vet on Monday, October 15 and everyone had high hopes that this last surgery would work. I came home from work on Thursday to find that the incision had split apart and poor Monty had a cavernous-like void where the tumor had once resided. It was horrific.

I drove Monty to the vet, with full confidence that he just needed more stitches.
The vet said that since the cancer had taken over the whole area, his wound would have no chance of healing. She suggested a diaper.

I tried to take Monty home.

I turned around a minute later, knowing that I was driving him back to the vet for the final time.
I stopped off at the grocery, bought a pint of vanilla/chocolate ice cream, re-entered the vet’s office and tearfully asked for an examination room. This wasn’t, however, going to be an examination.

I let Monty lick and lick on the ice cream until he had his fill. I watched his tail wag and tried to ignore the white crescents framing his eye as he looked up at me with anticipation…

…I left the vet with a retractable leash in one hand and a red bandanna in the other.

I’m not sure which drive was more difficult; driving Monty back to the vet to meet his demise, or driving home alone, looking in the backseat and intently listening for something that wasn’t there.

I am proud of what I did for Monty. He was dropped at the pound by his family. I tried everything I could to compensate for this abandonment and selfishly, keep him with me. Admittedly, I had fallen head-over-heels in love with this creature, and I would’ve done anything to prolong our brief 125 days together.

I am more proud of what Monty did for me.

He taught me to enjoy the ‘moment’, despite fear and uncertainty.
He taught me that gratitude is most profound when shown to a stranger.
He taught me that unconditional love and unwaivering devotion need not take years to achieve.

In a lifetime, most people aren’t lucky enough to experience the profound joy that Monty brought me in four short months.

Godspeed, you marvelous black beast.


18, Oct 2007