Yesterday was my surgery. It wasn’t open heart or anything else potentially life-altering, but surgery is surgery and involves risks. I’m happy to report that I woke up the same dog as when I went to sleep, minus a bit of hair and one suspicious lump.
My vet, Dr. Julie, said the lump is either a fibroma (benign) or a fibrosarcoma (malignant). I’m hoping for the former and we’ll know in a week or so when the results come back from the lab. But, either way, it’s gone.
I’m generally kind of a lumpy guy and have a number of what they call lipomas or fatty tumours. They’re basically little pockets of fat between the skin and the muscle. Apparently, dogs who are metabolically challenged are prone to them but they can also result from my body’s inability to rid itself of toxins. Lipomas are always benign so they get left alone unless they start interfering with movement or comfort.
I normally don’t mind going to the vet—I get tons of attention, the staff all like me, I get treats. It’s a good gig. But yesterday was different. For starters, I love breakfast and there was none. Then, after we arrived at Animal Care Centre (ACC) and we’d had a short visit with Dr. Julie, I took my typical trip down the hallway from the exam rooms to where they draw blood and sample lumps and other such activities, but instead of going right back to T and Nollind I was put in a kennel. I should have paid closer attention when T was explaining what was going to happen. She probably mentioned something about staying for the day.
Early in the afternoon, one of the staff came to get me from my kennel. They were kind to me, as they always are at ACC, stroking me gently, and next thing I knew I was waking up in a very groggy state. Logan had been sedated a number of times—teeth knocked out by horse, porcupine quills in face, ear lump removed, joint injected—but I’ve managed to keep myself out of the emergency clinic. Being sedated was a new and not entirely unpleasant experience, like floating maybe, in thick soup. Mmm…soup.
A little while later, Kristin, the vet tech, returned for me and took me back to the exam rooms where T and Nollind were waiting for me. Was I ever happy to see them! I ran over, wagging my tail, telling them all about my day, which probably sounded a little like whining to human ears.
Kristin went through my post-surgery care, which I’m happy to report does not involve skipping any more meals, she gave T some pills to keep me comfortable and an enormous plastic cone. The cone had me baffled until T and Nollind starting discussing it in the truck. Oh, it was for me. I’d heard about what dogs and cats refer to as “the cone of shame” but I’d not seen one. If I could speak I would have promised them, sworn on Logan’s grave, that I wouldn’t touch my sutures if they wouldn’t put that thing on my head.
Maybe it was because of the cone, or just the kind of day they knew I’d had, but Nollind turned left instead of right when we left Animal Care Centre, bound for Strathmore and … wait for it … ice cream cones! Did you know that Dairy Queen has “pup cups”? Yup, free ice cream for pooches at the drive-thru. For those few minutes of blissful licking, the trials of my day and the cone-wearing to come were completely forgotten.
Homeward bound, we were halfway between Strathmore and the farm when Nollind pulled the truck over. He did some looking at websites on his phone, T made a couple of calls, and we were driving back to town.
I love my people. They weren’t going to make me wear the cone. There was another way. I’m not over the moon about the Zen Collar either (I don’t even like wearing my regular collar) but I can drink, eat, walk around without bumping into everything, and it makes a reasonable pillow. As an added bonus, as my Auntie Sus pointed out when she said I was ready for the Titanic (she’s funny), in the event of a flash flood, I’m covered!
So, this Fur-iday finds me with a life preserver around my neck and a chilly spot on one hind leg, but grateful for the life I enjoy and the care of the people who adopted me nearly eight years ago. Life is good for one slightly-less-lumpy rescue dog.