I’ve haven’t posted anything for several days, because I’ve been lost in an enchanted forest of memories: old posts whose categories and tags I’m trying to clean up, along with various flotsam and jetsam that has washed up on these shores over the years. There are nearly 2,000 posts, and I’m barely past the halfway mark in their review. The going is slow, because sometimes I have to stop and holler for Buck to “come look” at some fun thing we did on a trip, or to see a particularly spectacular sunset. I don’t call him for the ones that make me cry. The man is more sentimental than I am, and that’s saying a mouthful.
This one, for instance, from May 1, 2009. Smiles and tears here, seeing sweet old Maggie. A grateful heart, too, for Lou, our new companion. Of all the posts in all the years, this is one of my favorites. And a reminder of the personal value to me of keeping this life journal.
“Dogs never lie about love.” Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Maggie and I always see at least one interesting dog, person, or situation when we go to Scenic Hill Veterinary Hospital. Yesterday was no exception.
Maggie is a very laid back 9 1/2 year old chocolate lab. She has several nicknames, including “Li’l Brown Sugar” and “The Ambassadog of Goodwill.” She sprawled on the cool floor of the waiting room, one eye on the treat jar at the counter, and the other on a cute little girl who kept smiling and pointing in her direction.
A woman came in half-dragging a reluctant 4 month old Bernese Mountain Dog. She told everyone in the room that this was the first time she had put a harness on the pup. He scooted flat-pawed across the slick floor as the woman gently coaxed him from one side of the room to the other. The handsome youngster already weighed more than 45 pounds. Fully grown, his weight will be between 130-145 pounds.
Maggie and I both were just about to doze off as we waited our turn, when the inner door opened, and a tall African-American woman came through, both of her large hands held out in front of her, like protective scoops. One of her hands cradled a handful of something that looked like a small pile of black bird feathers. The other hand cradled its twin. I leaned forward and stared. “Yorkie babies! They’re adorable!”
She smiled proudly and came closer so I could admire the tiny Yorkshire Terriers. And then, she just made my day. In a lovely contralto voice, she moved one puppy-laden hand closer to me, and said, “This Itty.” And then she brought the other hand even with the first, and said, “This Bitty.”
Our eyes met and we shared a good laugh. Everybody wanted a look at the little tykes, and I could hear her introducing Itty and Bitty all the way out the door.
When Maggie’s name was called, we went in to visit with Dr. Chere Ernest, our family vet for the last 25 years. Maggie got her nails clipped, an annual shot, and a general check-up. Now that Maggie is almost ten, I always have a trill of anxiety when Chere runs her hands over Maggie and listens to her heart.
Maggie has a lipoma (a benign fatty-cell tumor) in the neck tissue between her chin and her chest. That’s an awkward area, and we’ve been watching it for awhile. The only reason to surgically remove it would be if it is growing, which could make removal in the future difficult and potentially dangerous for Maggie.
Buck and I thought the lipoma has either stayed the same or possibly even shrunk, and Chere agreed. No surgery, just continued watchful waiting.
I grew up scared to death of dogs. Impossible, now, to imagine life without such a great friend.