A Dental Morning

The clock radio went off at 6:30. The actual time was 6:20, but Chet had his bedside clock radio set 10 minutes fast so he could hit the snooze button once, which he did.

You can still donate to the cancer surgery fund for my dog Buddy.

He had the surgery last Tuesday, but we are accepting your kind contributions ongoing to reach our goal and ensure Buddy has good followup care for a high quality of life.

The surgery went very well. Buddy is recovering normally and seems happy and normal. He is also drinking less water, noticeably.

He had been drinking a lot of water before the surgery and the veterinarian said this is common with malignant cancers.

So this could be a sign that they have removed most or all of the tumor and it has not metastasized. Supporting this is that his calcium levels were normal and the x-ray of the lungs was clear (the lungs are a common site of metastasis).

Thanks for all the donations and good will. If you can't donate, perhaps just spread the word to some animal-loving friends.

I think Buddy has a few good years left in him.He didn't fall back asleep in the nine minutes before the alarm went off again, because his mind immediately began thinking about the day ahead, which would begin with a dentist appointment.

He rolled out of bed and pulled on the shorts that lay crumpled on the floor. Oscar, Chet's Boston terrier, lifted his head but remained curled up on his "bed" in the corner of the room. Being a smaller dog, Oscar conserved his body heat by staying put until the furnace kicked in and took some of the chill out of the room.

Chet walked down the hall to the bathroom. His other dog, Brody, a lab mix, lay sprawled across the floor, sound asleep, and didn't budge when Chet stepped over him to get into the bathroom. Brody was an older dog, and completely deaf, having lost his hearing in part due to anesthetic when he had undergone anal gland cancer surgery a few months before. Brody had a plastic cone around his neck, because he had gone in for another surgery two days before.

The anal gland cancer had returned a few months after the initial surgery, which probably hadn't removed all of the cancerous tissue. Chet had moved to Madison WI in the intervening months and had a new veterinarian who had performed the most recent surgery. The new veterinarian performed surgeries every day of the week and was a pro. She told Chet she felt she had gotten most of the tumor and preserved the healthy nerve and muscle tissue in the area. In the two days since Brody had returned home, he appeared to be recovering normally.

When Chet came out of the bathroom, both Oscar and Brody had moved to the living room. They knew the routine. It was breakfast time.

Chet crushed up Brody's pain pill in the dog bowl, added the food, and broke open the two antibiotic capsules to sprinkle their contents on top. He poured some used cooking oil into the bowl and mixed it in to hide the taste of the drugs.

Brody's cone crashed into Chet's bare leg as the dog tried to pass through the narrow kitchen toward the nook where both dogs were fed.

"Ouch...I hate that effing cone," Chet mumbled, wincing. Brody had no ability to compensate for the width of the cone, so it slammed into doorways and scraped along walls as he navigated around the house. "I cannot wait till you get that thing off," Chet said to Brody, who just gawked at him with expectant "food" eyes.

Chet let Brody like off the form he had used to mix of the food and meds, then he added some of the cooking oil to Oscar's food too, in part out of fairness, but mostly to ensure Oscar ate his food quickly. Oscar was a notoriously finicky eater and if he left food unattended, Buddy would pirate it. The cooking oil met Oscar's high dog food flavor expectations.

He set both dogs' bowls down in the nook and they began to eat while Chet reheated some of yesterday's coffee that was in the fridge.

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