“Your dog looks cute in that T-shirt,” Cali’s little friend said. We walk past a school-bus stop every morning, and some days, we beat the bus there. Two young children, themselves owned by a handsome male golden retriever, often ask to pet Cali. “But why is she wearing it?”
The little girl who asks a lot of questions is probably around 7, her quieter brother even younger.
“She had a tiny lump on her side,” I said. “It was removed, and she has stitches, but she’s fine.”
“So the shirt protects it?”
“Yes, it keeps the stitches clean and keeps her from licking it.”
“Oh.” My questioner nodded knowingly. Her dog has had stitches too.
We chatted for another minute, until the bus pulled up.
Deni and I talk about Cali’s “quarterly de-lumping” in resigned tones. Lots of golden retrievers are little lump factories. So far, Cali’s have all been benign fatty cysts, but … she’s a golden. She’s over 6 years old. I know the statistics.
That’s why Cali is in the Morris Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Cali’s personal physician, Dr. Jani Zirbel, also has a golden in the study. He’s about Cali’s age, a tall, gorgeous boy. She always says that I can leave the lumps and see if they grow, but I like to know that they’re benign.
I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I find the next little bump. But so far, Cali is fine.
She came home from her minor outpatient surgery a little groggy from the sedative and with a tummy ache. She had not fasted and did not have anesthesia, but after her procedure, the vet techs fed her. (Cali does a very convincing impersonation of a starving dog.) Whatever they fed her did not agree with her tummy …
Other than that, she recovered quickly and was delighted to run outside in her beloved yard the next day. And she does look cute in that T-shirt.