Monday, 28 June 2010
Timing is the secret of good comedy - or even tragedy
We've had a wobbly couple of days. On top of the Big Move and associated nerve-wrecking arrangements, not to mention the bloody football (I won't), last Wednesday daughter noticed a lump on our ten-year-old Labrador's flank. We all felt it and husband and I were astonished we hadn't spotted it before: it was the size of a tennis ball. On top of that everyone said Pretzel had lost weight too.
Last Thursday's visit to the vet's made things worse. The diagnosis was a very probable tumour; they'd do a biopsy on Monday to see if it was malignant, in other words cancerous. Our forever-hungry Labrador needed to be starved the night before. As it is, every morning when he gets fed he acts as if he's never had any food in his life. It's the only time he ever growls at our other dog, the plucky Border Terrier who often tries to eat his mate's food as well as his own.
The day of the biopsy was today, but we didn't expect any news as the sample would be sent to the lab and all we'd get back is a poorly dog, one that would probably not want to ever visit the vet's practise ever again.
We got the phone call at quarter past two to say he was ready. 'Don't worry it's not bad news, the vet would just like to talk to you when you collect Pretzel,' the veterinary nurse said. I didn't even ask; we were expecting a week long wait for results.
All weekend I'd been thinking that our lovely Labrador would still be poorly whatever the results when we were due to move, in only three weeks' time.
But there is a Dog God after all. When we collected Pretzel it was thoroughly good news: the lump was a lymphoma, a harmless fat ball, after all. 'It's something Labs suffer from,' our friend the vet said. 'But otherwise he's a very fit and healthy dog.'
All that's visible from the drama is a dog feeling very sorry for itself, in a collar with a sock on one paw to stop any scratching. And of course a lack of lump, replaced by a neat set of stitches.