Roxie had a surgical procedure yesterday, to remove four lumps that we discovered hovering under her skin on her sides and neck over the past eighteen months. We knew from experience that this happens to beagles: our other dog, the late great Bijoux, was lumpy, too.
I waited until the last possible moment to drop Roxie off in the morning because she’s extremely vocal. I remembered that the last time I had to drop her off, for a teeth cleaning, they had to sedate her immediately because she was riling up all of the other patients that were waiting for surgeries. Yesterday was no different. She started barking and howling the second I turned into the parking lot, continued through check-in, and didn’t shut up even as she was being taken to the back.
“I’m so sorry,” I said to one of the receptionist/technicians. “I really can’t take her anywhere.”
“That’s okay,” she said, smiling. “The doctor is on his way. He’ll be sedating her momentarily.”
Note to self: bring the veterinary staff some cocktails on our next visit.
I asked her if there was a way I could cut down the Cone of Shame that Roxie would be sporting for the next seven to ten days. “It’s so pitiful, watching her walk around with that thing, and it always seems so big!” Roxie with the cone on makes me think of the music and visuals from the “Pink elephants on parade” segment of the movie “Dumbo”. She walks around slowly, swinging her head gently from side to side (the cone following just a split second behind), very elephant-like. She also, like the fighter she is, doesn’t let the cone get in her way: she will still run up the steps, catching the cone and tripping along the way. The sight of her eating her dinner looks like a giant funnel has taken up permanent residence on top of her food bowl. When she feels like she’s not getting enough attention, she rudely runs into us, cone first. The technician told me that they would send her home with the smallest one possible for her size, but I shouldn’t cut it. Sad trombone.
I went on with my day, attending Zumba class and heading over to the salon for a meeting. The vet called around 1:00 and I was surprised to answer my phone and hear the doctor on the other end rather than someone from his staff, which is the norm.
“Weeeell,” he said, “Roxie came through just fine. I wanted to tell you that the lumps were sebaceous and so we didn’t have to make the larger incisions like I originally thought, and we don’t have to send them off to the lab because they aren’t that kind of growth…”
“Yay! That’s great news!” I exclaimed. But of course, nothing Roxie does is ever simple, as I found out just a second later.
He said, “Yes, that’s great news BUT…I have a theory about her having so many lumps like this. I have a hunch that she has a mild food allergy and I’d like for you to put her on hypo-allergenic food.”
“Oh! No problem!” I replied. I mean, I know that special dog food is more expensive but compared to the alternative? Yes, please. But on the other hand, leave it to my high-maintenance beagle to have high-maintenance food requirements. Oh well.
I told him I’d pick her up around 5:00 and we said goodbye.
When I arrived to pick her up, I was overjoyed to see that Roxie wasn’t wearing the Cone of Shame as expected. One of the techs said, “I figured that since the surgery was much cheaper than you expected, you probably wouldn’t mind if I upgraded her collar to something a little easier to deal with, since you had expressed concerns about the Elizabethan collar.”
I LOVE MY VET AND HIS STAFF. I think Roxie does, too. Or she will anyway, when the drugs wear off.