Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and by law, it's a bright sunny day. Although I have 2 teenagers, my biggest worry this past week was our canine child, a Golden Retriever named Chardonnay. Chardonnay is 8 years old but has always acted like she's much younger with the maturity level of a 3-year-old child. So much for a laid back middle-aged dog; her gray hair started showing up when she turned three, but that's been her only sign of aging. She still runs hard, plays hard, greets everyone at the door as if she's missed them for years.....the ultimate poster child for unconditional love.

A week or so ago, it was nice and warm out so I decided that Chardonnay was overdue for a bath. We have to bathe her outside with the hose which is fed by freezing cold well water, so I prefer hot days. Chardonnay is so great at taking a bath that I remove her collar and she will just stand there and allow me to manipulate her body around to wash her. It was a good thing I bathed her because otherwise I don't know when we would have noticed the quarter-sized bubbling growth under tail, right above her rectum. It looked very painful, but didn't seem to bother her.
Off to the vet to check out Chardonnay's butt growth. The kids were concerned but afraid to look "down there". Kelsey has often claimed that she hated the dog because she's a pain. A lot of this is simply manipulation to convince me that we need to get another, smaller dog. Kelsey finally admitted recently that she doesn't really hate Chardonnay as she wished her luck with her butt at the vet.
The vet asperated the growth to send off to the lab for analysis but warned me that 70% of growths in the anal area are malignant. Of course, all the worries get worse. Chardonnay is getting old whether we're ready to accept it or not. It doesn't seem fair that our beloved pets have such short chapters in our human lives. She is such a part of our family we couldn't imagine our household without her. We have many Maine Coons, but only one dog so yes, she is extra special.
I waited anxiously all day for the vet to call. I finally called them that afternoon and was told they had the results but the vet would have to call me back to talk to me. More waiting. Finally the phone rang. The vet reported that she had a benign perianal adenoma. I opened the bedroom door and yelled out the news to Tyler and Jay downstairs, "No cancer!" The tears would've come no matter what the news, but tears of relief were good. Now I just had to worry that her surgery would go okay and she wouldn't lose control of her bowels as a result.

Chardonnay had her growth removed this past Friday and came home the same day. She seems comfortable and has normal bowel movements. The family is happy and relieved to have the tumor behind us (pun intended). I don't know how long the new Chardonnay appreciation will last but she is enjoying the extra loving for now. The concern is replaced with trying not to laugh at her new doo.


  1. I like the last picture. It's like Chardonnay knows you have been taking embarrassing pictures of her for your blog and just caught you doing it.

  2. Chardonnay, nice do! Makes your tail look like an extra fluffy cat toy. So glad that it was malignant. I have a malignant histiocytoma smack dab on the middle of my pretty face between my eye and my nose. Don't know what's worse, on the face or on the butt!

    Wags, Logan

  3. Chardonnay replied, "Thanks Logan! I think you mean benign instead of malignant though; I get those confused too. I'm still uncomfortable with stitches going all the way in THERE. I even developed two hotspots on my shaved bum from the stress. I can't wait to get the stitches out on Monday and start feeling like my goofy old Golden self again."

  4. Chardonnay, oops I did mean benign! Must have been a blond moment. ;) Hope the stitches came out without a hitch and your hotspots are healing up. Goof Goldens are great!