Sunday, August 7, 2011
A tribute to Tony Montana
My darling dog Tony Montana passed away Friday August 5th 2011 sometime between 10 and 11pm. He was only about 7 years old. The last couple of years were a little tough for my darling. He had hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, tick fever, mummy and daddy broke up and went their separate ways. Tony and Spike left with their daddy whom I'll call A here, and I didn't see them very much anymore. I only saw my darling dogs when I visited them and I always brought lots of toys and treats. I never stopped loving them and I don't think they ever stopped loving me. Tony was especially clingy every time I visited, refusing to leave my side even for a second. He knew I would always leave again. He would lie at my side with his beautiful head leaning on my thigh and look at me with his warm chocolate eyes.
Those eyes were what got me the first time I met Tony Montana. That was about 5 or 6 years ago. His name was Whitey then, he was about 2 years old, and he was one of the dogs for adoption at SPCA Selangor's booth at the Dogathon in BU Central Park. I was one of the volunteers and I spent that day walking around with Whitey trying to get him adopted. We wore a sign that said "Please take me home". Later in the day, Whitey stole my burger right out of my hand. I had never my own dog before and something about this little mini-wolf dog appealed to me very much. I was smitten. My ex A was with me that day and we were both really taken by this sweet pooch. Whitey wasn't adopted that day and he went back to the shelter. I went home and couldn't get him out of my mind. Finally after a few days and discussion with A, we decided that we would adopt him. I called my friend JJ at the shelter and told her not to let Whitey go anywhere, that I was coming to get him! I remember when we went to pick him up. He remembered us. He immediately stood up when he saw us and barked in excitement with his tail wagging furiously. The ride home was eventful too. He rode in my lap and he smelled awful. He was so excited he stood up and stuck his nose in the window panting away at every car that passed us. I opened the window a bit for him and I think he would've flung himself out if i wasn't holding onto him so tightly. We stopped at a pet store in Great Eastern mall and bought him his first leash, collar, bowls, food and toys.
He was an affectionate dog right from the start. Even though he was quite a small dog, he was fiercely loyal and full of devotion. He did have his moments of jealousy and sometimes he was way too territorial but oh how he loved us. Everything he did was for us. He always thought he was protecting us. He didn't want to share us with anyone and I am sorry Tony for not understanding that and scolding you when you were mean to Spike. I know you didn't want to share us with him. I know you felt like he was an intruder. You were the only dog until he came along. You were the alpha dog. My little alpha dog. I know you did what you did out of love.
Tony was so territorial that he peed everywhere. He would even pee on my other foster puppies. When Spike was a puppy, Tony peed on him too. He also peed on all of Spike's things. He peed on people too.. people he liked. When I brought Tony out to shelter events he would pee on the table legs. I brought him to a pet store and he peed on some collars on display. I guess he wanted a new collar. He peed on my car every time we walked past it as we headed out for walks. Tony loved peeing.
Tony and Spike used to have fights. I remember once they had a particularly nasty one. I didn't have time to think so I just ran to them and grabbed a collar in each hand and pulled them apart as hard as I could. The moment I managed to separate them, Tony turned and bit my arm. Not hard enough to really hurt me but hard enough to break the skin, hard enough for me to yell in fright, and hard enough for Tony to realize that he'd done something bad. Ashamed he walked off with his tail between his legs and hid in his crate. He looked at me with apologetic eyes. Such a silly baby.
He was a quirky one. He ate without chewing, devoured his treats without bothering to taste them. I remember the silly boy coughing up a big piece of rawhide. He also hated most people. He nipped, bit, lunged at, growled at everyone that came to the house. Everyone except me and A of course. I think he thought all visitors were evil. No one saw his sweet side. He kept that just for us. I'll miss him lying quietly beside me. We didn't have to be doing anything. Just being together was enough for Tony. I miss him so much already.
What finally killed my baby? He survived hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, he beat tick fever, but this time he couldn't even get up. He stumbled, his legs kept giving way. One vet said he had a slipped disc. Another thought he might have had a stroke. But finally an x-ray revealed a growth on his spine. It was causing him pain and making it hard to walk and stand. The vet also found out that he had an enlarged heart that was pressing on his diaphragm and an irregular heartbeat. They couldn't operate because of his heart. He might not wake up they said. So they gave anti-inflammatories and painkillers to manage poor Tony's condition. He had been staying at this particular clinic for a couple of nights and was finally discharged Friday evening. He went home with his daddy. There he had a few good hours. He ate, drank, he even jumped around a bit and played with A's brother B. Then later A's other brother AA found Tony lying motionless. He was still alive but almost gone. AA sat with Tony and petted him as he died. Spike was there too. They sat with my Tony as his heart stopped and his life left him.
I'm forever grateful that Spike and AA were there with Tony as he left this earth. I'm grateful he died at home and not alone in the clinic. I'm sorry I didn't get to see him. I was always finishing work too late. The clinic always closed at 7pm. I was supposed to visit Tony and Spike the next morning. I had toys and treats for them. Instead when I woke up I saw that A had called me while I was sleeping. I knew it couldn't be good news. He wouldn't have called so late. Sure enough there was also a message informing me of Tony's death. I called A immediately and cried. I was too late. I never got to see my Tony one last time. Never got to tell him that I love him. I wish he had held on just till the next morning so I could have had my last visit with him. I asked A to take care of the burial arrangements. I didn't want to see Tony like that. I didn't want to see his body. Tony loved life. His body was weak but he loved life. He was excited about everything and that's how I want to remember him.
I went over to A's anyway yesterday for my scheduled visit even though Tony was gone. It was strange to see just Spike. Spike was happy to see me but he seemed subdued. I could see sadness in his eyes. He was just trying to be happy for my sake because I was crying behind my sunglasses.
I want to thank A and his family for taking such good care of my boys. I know Tony was happy there.
I love you Tony Montana. You are always in my heart and I will never forget you. You're such a good boy. Goodbye my darling.