Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monty

I had planned on my next post being somewhat of a wrap-up from my weekend trip to Florida a few days ago.

I was going to tell you about drinking sparkling wine on the balcony overlooking the marina, laying out at the breezy beach, tanning in the serene "quiet zone" of the grown-up pool, floating past the mini-waterfalls of the pool's lazy river and getting flashed by my brother-in-law's bare ass before going to see Fiddler on the Roof. (Hey, they can't all be Hallmark moments.)

It was a great weekend -- much needed by all of us.

But instead of looking back on the weekend and thinking fondly about all those things, I'll always look back on this as the weekend my dog died. My baby girl.


January 23, 1998 - April 27, 2009



While putting on my makeup on Sunday night in Florida to go to dinner, my cell phone rang. It was my brother. Since he's moving to Chicago this summer, I figured he was calling about apartment-related matters.

I answered the phone with a chipper, "Hey!"

Silence.

"What's up?" I tried again.

When my brother spoke, he was more shaken up than I'd ever seen him. He told me that Monty had 2 seizures.

"You mean, what, she just started shaking?" I asked.

"No," he said flatly. "She dropped to the ground and convulsed for a full minute. Right in front of me."

My heart sank. My stomach churned. The mascara quietly slipped out of my hand.

My brother told me that they were taking Monty to the hospital to get her checked out. On the way there, she had another seizure in the car. While getting checked out, she had a fourth seizure -- except this one caused her to stop breathing. She turned blue and had to be intubated. They medicated her, removed the tube and gave her oxygen while someone sat with her all night for observation.


While all of this was happening, I was in Florida, helpless and terrified.

If they can just keep her on some meds, I thought, I can catch a flight home to see her this week. Heck, maybe she'll come out of it. Maybe she just has epilepsy and will need to be on more medication to control it. We're talking about a dog that survived cancer! She's tough! She could be okay, I told myself.

I didn't sleep much that night. I didn't talk much in the morning. I was numb during my flight back to Chicago.


The second the plane touched down, I turned my phone on and saw a text from my sister. "She looks great," sis said. They had picked Monty up from the hospital.

I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. I called home to get the details and was told that the baby was at home, calm but exhausted. Her blood work came back normal. Mom was keeping an eye on her, but my dad had even gone into work. Monty would be taken into the vet in 15 minutes to see what was going on. I was cautiously optimistic.

Throughout the day, I got several more phone calls and updates from my brother and mom.

Monty failed her neurological exam. The vet thinks this is a primary lesion on her brain. The hospital needs to confirm.

They do.

My mom called me, crying, to tell me that they had to put Monty to sleep that afternoon. My baby girl of 11 years -- who almost NEVER missed a night of sleeping on my bed, who gave "hugs" with both paws, who played gently with my mom and I, who greeted my dad when he came home from work every evening -- she wasn't going to be around anymore.

The last time I saw her? That was the last time I'd ever see her. I can't describe how much that stings.


So, at 3:30pm yesterday, my little girl (all dopey from the medication) was brought into a room with my parents and sister so they could say goodbye. They took their time, petting her and talking to her. My mom gave her an extra hug for me. My sister managed to lift the poor 55-pound pup onto the table and my mom kept talking to her the whole time. There were tears from everyone.

Just before 5pm, I got that final phone call. It was done. I lost it.


I spent the rest of the night fluctuating between sobbing and being eerily calm. I watched TV, played DS, drank -- anything to distract myself. A temporary fix, of course, but it got me through the evening.

And now? I don't know. I've been focusing on work, which is good. Today I can think about my dog and not burst into tears, like I did all day yesterday, which is even better. But I still get sick to my stomach thinking about the last two days of her life and the last time I saw her. I guess that's the grief and it will pass with time...


RIP, baby girl. We miss you already.






31 comments:

Aunt Becky said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. I know the pain and it's awful. I'm so sorry.

ANG* said...

you know this breaks my heart...
and thank you for making me cry at my desk ;)

all i can say is that sooner than you think you wont be sad, instead you'll think of all the fond memories of your baby.

Stef said...

I'm sorry, Lisa. That's just awful.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Through tears of my own, all I can say is I'm so sorry for your loss. As a dog owner, I hate to think of the day my very own baby girl grows old.

Jamie said...

I'm so so sorry. This post has me crying. I lost my dog of 13 years last summer. She was my shadow, my baby.

I have Edie now, she'll never fill Princess' shoes (or paws) but she is pretty damn close. Soon it will be easier though, it'll still hurt but the memories make you smile.

Thinking of you.

bodelou said...

im sorry to hear this. i dont know what i would do without my pup. id be a lost cause.

hang in there.

Lacey Bean said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your puppy. I'm just so glad that you have such fond memories of her to carry on with you.

Life in a Cube said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It made me cry at my desk.

Brick Cedar said...

I am crying.

The Alleged Ringleader said...

Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss! I would be so devastated, it's so tough to lose a pet :(

d said...

oh, elle, i'm really really sorry to hear, and the details make it so hard to even imagine. the pictures seem to portray my future with branner...seeing a vizsla in later years doesn't happen often and i don't think i realize enough how much i'll long for today when it comes time to think about life without him.

my heart goes out to you.

d

wendy said...

I read your blog on your wonderful Vizsla. I can't imagine how sad you are. I look at your pictures and see my own V's. Tori is 13 and Amber is 11. I realize at anytime we may found ourselves without our girlies. This breed is wonderfully gentle and loyal, they love so unconditionally and made very little demands. You were lucky to have had Monty in your life.

TraciJ said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby, Monty. We have two "babies" Mia and Mario (English Bulldogs) and I keep telling myself they will live forever, but I know they wont.....

Take good care!

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

im not even a dog person and you touched my cold heart. im sorry you had to go through this my friend.

Audrey said...

I met Monty at the ever most popular bocci ball gathering at your parents home. Monty was so sweet and gentle. I am so sorry for your loss. She will always be with you in your heart.

May Monty rest in peace, and bless her soul and the hearts of those who miss her.

She's in doggie heaven now Elle, a great place to be!

Lots of Love,
A.

Jeff and Chris said...

My dear sweet daughter in law, we aree so sorry for the loss of Monty. Your beautiful words made me feel as if I had lost my best friend... xoxoxoxoxo

Bayjb said...

So sorry to hear about your dog. I'm so sorry to hear.

A Super Girl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Monty! I lost my dog a couple years ago, it's such a hard thing to go through.

Now off to find some Kleenex...

Shellbell said...

She was a wonderful doggie. I know you'll miss her, but also know that you gave her a great life!

Ananyah said...

I'm so sorry! Nothing hurts more than losing someone you love, human or dog! Your post reminded me of my puppy who died after 15 years (Yorkshire terrier) and I cried so much I never thought I'd be able to get another dog. But I did & we have and he's a cute thing, new memories will be made & old ones will never be forgotten!

*hugs*

Allie said...

That's always so hard. So sorry to hear :(

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

Oh honey. This made me cry all over my work. I'm so so sorry for you.

Belle said...

Oh sweetie...my heart goes out to you.

theycallmecurlysue said...

I am so sorry about your dog. I just got done reading another blog about that gal needing to put down her dog too. :( Your post brought tears to my eyes, so much to the point I was glad I was alone at work. Your readers send you hugs and in time you will no longer cry or feel sick to your stomach, but you will remember all those times you got to spend with a great dog.

The Constant Complainer said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

And I kind of reiterate what ANG said. I couldn't have said it any better...

Carrie said...

i managed not to cry.
it gets easier.
i still find myself getting up in the morning, walking into the living room, and looking on the ground next to the couch to tell monty to get up and come downstairs and come outside so she can poop(she started only pooping for me). picking up one dog bowl in the morning for "dinner" instead of two bowls is getting a little less awkward. i still try to look to her water bowl and see if she needs water only to find a bare corner. we all miss her. and just when i start to get wrapped up in sulking and crying, moses will appear out of nowhere and start licking my face. i wish you were here to receive his comfort even if you think his kisses are gross! i love you.

Single said...

I'm so sorry! Your post made me cry. Pets really are a part of your family.

elle michelle said...

Thank you SO much for all the comments, DMs and kind words everyone. You have no idea how much you've helped.

Marie said...

So sorry hon. hugs to you.

Rebekah said...

Poor puppers! She looks like a beautiful girl and she was so lucky to have people that loved her like family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

RebeccaC said...

Hang in there....I know it hurts so much at first. When your pet dies its as bad or sometimes worse than losing a family member. Cry as loud as you need to and then think of her being cute and laugh even louder.

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