Saturday, July 10, 2010
Good thoughts for Mr. Flash
Today was Dottie's annual vet visit for her check up and shots. She was a real trooper and handled it very well. Kisses were freely handed out to all humans and dogs and many new best friends were made. One lady who Dottie was licking and playing with said, "I think she really likes me!" I smiled and nodded since I didn't want to burst her bubble and tell her Dottie is a social butterfly and treats everyone like that. She got her shots and passed her exam with flying colors.
We also took Flash along because we wanted him checked out before we move. Yes, the five us will be setting off on a new adventure next month and moving to VA. We are excited about it since we will also be moving in at first with my sister Natalia while we find our own place. Between us we have six pups so we are a doggy park onto ourselves. Before we left though we wanted Flash checked out one more time and get copies of his medical records for the next vet. During the initial exam she took a look at his teeth and noticed he will need a cleaning again soon (of course). Then it was time to check his heart and she said she heard a little heart murmur. From level 1 to 6 she says it's a 1 which I guess is good news at least. She says it's common as they grow older and valves begin to also age and degenerate. Flash is nine and a half now so it makes sense, but it still took us by surprise. Joe and I looked across at each other and I knew we both were worried for our Mr. Flash. Four months ago there was no heart murmur when he got a check up before his teeth cleaning. Age has a way of creeping up quickly on our little friends it seems.
The main reason why we took him in today was because Flash has had this little bump on his chest near his armpit since the day he came home with us. It isn't hard and moves around. Last year the vet took a sample and told us it was simply fatty tissue which is common as dogs start to age, but nothing to worry about. In the last year though we've noticed it's gotten a little larger so we wanted it checked again just to be sure. Today Dr. Thompson took another sample and again found fatty cells, but also some "other cells." She told us she wanted to take one more sample and send it to the pathologist to determine what they are. We agreed, of course, but also looked across at each other again with matching, "Oh no" looks. This was definitely scarier than the news of the heart murmur. It seemed like in the short visit he had already gotten 2 strikes.
With the exam over we got copies of all the dog's records and a promise to hear back when they got the results from the lab. On the ride home we were quiet and I knew we were both processing the news. We got Flash when he was seven, which was also just a guess, so we've always known he is old, but until today it never really hit home. I call him my old guy and Mr. Flash, but in my mind his real golden years were somewhere in the future. In the far, far future. Today it felt like they are here and coming on real fast. He is still plucky and so full of spunk that I just can't imagine him any other way. Now we can only hope and pray that those "other cells" are nothing bad, and monitor his little ticker regularly.
Oh my Mr. Flash, stay quirky and grumpy and precious, but don't get old too fast. There is still so much you have to do and bark at. Besides, who else is going to keep these young pups in check?