Monty’s Journey, Continued

By Donna Bucek, Director of Animal Services

Most dogs have it pretty easy in life and don’t ask for much – a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep on, food in their belly and some toys to pay with. But if you’ve been following Monty’s story, you know that he hasn’t been dealt a great hand in life.

You already know he came to us severely matted, dirty and couldn’t walk very well. Our veterinarian told us he also had osteoarthritis, a deformed rib cage and a luxating patella (floating kneecap).  While treating him for these and keeping an eye out for more possible issues, our staff noticed that there was blood in Monty’s urine. We tested it and received an inconclusive result. It was determined that he must be suffering from a urinary tract infection so he was immediately placed on antibiotics to give him some relief. After another day or two of no changes, we performed an X-ray which revealed a very large bladder stone. Veterinarians said Monty should have it removed immediately.

ImageI dreaded the idea of poor Monty having to undergo surgery, even though it was definitely needed. He is just so frail, and with so many other issues, I knew that there was a possibility of him not making it. With his surgery looming on the upcoming Monday, I decided to take him home to foster over the weekend. I wanted to make sure he experienced life outside of being matted and the shelter. I just wanted him to feel like he was a normal dog. (Be sure to watch the video of him playing outside in the grass with a ball).

Dr. Ortiz, one of our shelter veterinarians, performed the surgery and removed a calcium oxalate stone. He said that due to its size, it must have been very uncomfortable for Monty, but he should feel better now. I took him home with me again that evening for his recovery. So far, he seems to be doing fine, running around playing with toys and even using his back leg better as it gains more muscle. I do worry that we might discover more medical issues, but I can’t dwell on what ifs.

I am a big Pink Floyd fan, and the song “Coming Back to Life,” often gets stuck in my head when I am watching Monty;

“Where were you when I was burned and broken

While the days slipped by from my window watching

Where were you when I was hurt and helpless,”

Luckily for Monty the Western PA Humane Society is here for him. While it is easy to just focus on Monty and his story, it is amazing to think that there are 10,000 other pets with stories that come through our doors every year. I’d like to think that Monty came into our lives to represent those other pets in need that come and go. Please, if you would like to make a gift to help us continue our work, visit