I took Carmi into the vet’s today. It was nearly time for her usual visit, but I bumped it up by a month because she had a…thing on her shoulder that I wanted looked at. Just a little bump, but over the last month it had grown noticeably.
I chatted with the vet tech about the bump and she confirmed my suspicions.
”Well, the doctor will see if she can express anything out of it [express = code word for ‘squeeze it like a nervous 13 year old sitting in the bathroom sink’], and if she isn’t able to get anything, she’ll want to take a sample to send to the lab to be analyzed.”
Translation = It is either a harmless doggie pimple or virulent dog-eating cancer. Run along and try to enjoy your day with images of your dog dying a cancer riddled death. Ta ta!
And so I did.
When it was time to pick her up the kids and I surged around the desk. The nice vet tech went through the paperwork with me, discussing the various discoveries. Carmi has “moderate tartar,” meaning that three tooth brushing sessions a year aren’t cutting it. Damn. She had full anal glands and they went ahead and emptied them. (Lalalalala, filling my mind with non-anal gland imagery until that particular phrase fades from my consciousness. LALALALALALALA!)
“And the bump…let’s see. Oh, right. The doctor was able to drain some fluid from it.”
“OH, excellent!” I replied. It was not, in fact, dog-eating cancer.
“Yes. Would you like to see what she got out of it?” She was, God help me, reaching for a gauze pad.
You know, there are questions in life that give me pause. Questions that make me think, to delve deeply into my understanding of right and wrong to come to an answer. “Paper or plastic?” is that sort of question. Also, “Do you think, as a society, America will ever find a way to reduce its carbon footprint?” Questions like that make me ponder awhile.
“Would you like to see the substance the vet squeezed out of a pustule on your dog’s shoulder?”
Not so much a question that requires wise reflection.
“WHAT?” I replied in a near-panicky voice, “NO!”
The nice vet tech looked embarrassed for me and quickly moved to throw the offending gauze. The OTHER vet tech at the counter dived for it.
“No, wait, I want to see it!”
There are many things that give me pause in life, many questions I’ll never be sure I know the answer to. However, these things remain clear:
1 – I do no want to see substances that have been squeezed out of my dog.
2 – I will never brush her teeth often enough to make the vet happy.
3 – I would not make a good vet tech.
And let’s not forget:
4 – I’m ever so glad that the goodest of the good dogs does NOT have dog-eating cancer.