Sunday, August 21, 2016

My "Heart Dog"


Among dog folk there's the idea of your "heart dog," that one dog that captures your heart and ensorcells your spirit.

Walker at eight months.

Walker is that dog. I knew it when I met him, a gorgeous little tricolored hunk of Corgi puppy about five months old, the grandson of a Westminster Best in Show-winner named Carbon Blue. He came to us permanently at six months old, joining our brindle princess Rosey (née Pawcific Postit of Penrose) and adding a spark of spunk to our sedate household.

He's certainly not perfect, by any means—hyper vigilant, barky, dog reactive—but sometimes you just can't help who you love. As I said to a friend recently, "He may be a butthead, but he's our butthead."

Walker with Rosey.

At nine years old now, he was recently diagnosed with a malignant tumor called an adenocarcinoma, an aggressive cancer around his anal gland. It was only discovered by accident when I noticed that he'd been drinking lots of water, more than was normal even in the summer heat. Thinking it might be a urinary tract infection (UTI) or problems with his kidneys, I took him in to a vet new to us, Heartfelt Veterinary Hospital, to be tested.

Walker and Kitty.

In drawing the urine sample—non-dog owners can stop reading right here—they found a swelling around his anal gland and did a biopsy. It was, as noted above, a malignant tumor. X-rays were done that indicated no metastisis of the tumor to his lungs or lymph nodes and blood work showed the same, so surgery was done.

On the beach.

A large (2" by 2") tumor—in situ, with no rupture—was removed, and he's resting next to me on the couch as I write this. It'll take a couple of weeks for the healing process, with lots of pain relievers and ice on the wound, but with luck he'll live a full life and have many more squirrel chases, ball retrieving and walks on the beach to look forward to. None of that is guaranteed, of course, only fervently hoped for.

4 comments:

Peggy said...

We never have guarantees, only our most fervent hopes - but I still think there is lots of power in the images we hold in our minds and hearts. So keep picturing lots of barking at UPS and FedEx drivers, and lots of couch companionship while you write. And I will hold good thoughts for you from here :-)

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Peggy. So far, so good…keep those thoughts coming!

Lisa Belt said...

Sounds like Walker found his heart person. �� Lucky boy.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Lisa…my cup runneth over!