(Takes a sip of wine to fortify self.)
Don't freak out, internets - Murphy is alive; he came through the surgery just fine.
This morning I had a last minute "What the hell are we doing?" moment. Murphy seemed like...Murphy! He watched me get dressed for work, went outside for his walk, ran barking to the front door when he thought he heard a strange cat that needed to be chased away. He was himself - almost. I could see that he wasn't quite himself. One of the big giveaways was - and this is truly TMI but you are all dog people if you've stuck with this saga - when I took him out this morning, he "assumed the position" and nothing happened. He gave up. I knew then that we shouldn't put off the surgery, but I wanted to discuss it further. I dropped him off, but asked that a vet call to discuss the surgery with me in more detail.
So, the vet called - not the same one I spoke to yesterday - and we had a totally different conversation. They were not totally confident of the diagnosis I was told yesterday - though the Dr. yesterday presented it as "most likely" and downplayed the odds that it was a tumor, and I thusly reported it to you. No, the doctor today told me bluntly this was actually a fishing expedition, but all the vets agreed that if Murphy was their dog, they'd do it. I am so glad I insisted on a second conversation - I felt much more comfortable, even though I also felt much more anxious - does that sound crazy? I've been through so much shit I have to know the scope of the situation. Then I can make my plan.
So, the same vet - nice young guy - called post surgery. It was not that unpronounceable thing cited as the culprit yesterday. It was a tumor.
BUT - and there is a but - the good news is that he came through the surgery fine, and the rest of his gut and his other organs and his lymph nodes all look fine. It was a single, fairly large tumor, and they removed it. Now, it goes to the lab, and we will find out what we are up against.
I love this dog with all my heart, and because I do, I will treat him sensibly but not to the point where he suffers miserable days of painful confusion, just to make me feel better. He's gone through enough of that today - major abdominal surgery on a wee little 7 lb. dog. We will all think positive thoughts, that this was just some freak thing that has been successfully removed - because that is what the pleasantly blunt young vet described. They got it out, they saw nothing else even remotely menacing, and this will be sent for a biopsy.
Meanwhile, I have asked for a couple of vacation days from my pointless, futureless job, and was duly granted them. I will pick up Murphy either tomorrow evening, or Saturday morning if they want to keep him a little longer. I will be home with him for at least 4 additional days, and then see how he's doing - if he bounces back all fiercely Murphy, I may do a couple of half days at the office. I am so grateful that my boss is also an animal person (well, his wife more than he, but he is too) and also has a dog named Murphy.