Thursday, August 27, 2009


(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.


KatyaR said...

Oh Catherine, what a day you have had! I'm sorry to hear that it turned out to be something else, but it sounds like he will be okay after a few days rest--at least I hope so. And I agree with you--when I'm dealing with something major, I want to know ALL about it, not just what the doctors think I NEED to know. I'm not stupid--knowledge is power.

I'm glad you're going to take the time to be with him. I'm sure being at home with Mom will help him recover that much faster and give both of you some important together time.

Hugs to you both, and I will keep my fingers crossed. How long do they think it will take to get the path report back?

Catherine said...

If they shipped it tonight, maybe next Wednesday-ish?

Anonymous said...

Oh my! But at least the surgery is over and we can all hope that Murphy just returns as the big strong dog he thinks he is. Much love to you, Murphy and the kitties. Rest and take care.

Mrs. Miller said...

Thanks for updating, Catherine. I don't know you or Murphy (but feel as if I do a bit), but I am a dog-lover and owner, and I have been thinking about Murphy and you all day.
Sending only positive vibes your way...

Catherine said...

I love every positive vibe - I really think this could be a Freak Bad Thing - I live with this dog, and have hauled him to the vet a number of times in the last 3 months, and honestly, I can't fault them. Check three weeks back for the video of the happy, bouncy little dog rooing for his dinner, and leaping off the Very Tall Bed.

Anonymous said...

Excellent planning to take a couple of vacation days, and then half days (if possible till the stitches are out). Boarding with the Vet is good (if needed) but he will recover better in beloved company, familiar surroundings, and his own lawn to p--s on.

I have seen Peke bitches recover from a C-section like you would not believe. The first time we had to look after a C-section, Mum tried to persuade the patient to use newspaper, indoors. Scandalous!
OK, lock all other dogs in pens, let patient out on lawn. Patient immediately did the necessary, and then GALLOPED over to the fence of the dog-pen and raced up and down threatening death and destruction to all within - this all no more than 6 hours post-op!

All the best to you both,

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

Yep. My main concern is the hard plastic lampshade collar - so I ordered a soft inflatable for express delivery Saturday. Otherwise, I think he will recuperate just fine on his home turf. I will take Monday for sure, Tuesday probably, and then we will play it by ear until the stitches are out. Though this was way, way bigger than a spaying, in terms of internal things rearranged, I have faith in His Bossyness.

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting all day to check in & see how Murphy was doing.(live in the time difference is good)So glad things went well & tumor is out--will be thinking just positive thoughts & waiting for the good news next week. It's good for both of you that you can be home with him.
Take care & thinking about you both.

Anonymous said...

i'm *so* glad you spoke with the vet again before surgery so you weren't just blind-sided by news after having a sense of 'false security'-sounds like you sensed something was wrong early enough to remove the troublemaker and set the mighty one back onto his feisty path again-

i've thought about you and your little buddy all day- glad the surgery is over now and happy to hear you can take some days together to recover-

continued good thoughts-
barb in texas

Ginnie said...

I am glad it is over and the prognosis looks good. I hope he heals fast and well.

Teresa said...

I'm glad it's over and they found something to remove. I was like you - just not quite comfortable with the other diagnosis. So let us all be thankful and say a long prayer, and love our furbabies even more tonight. I have a very good feeling that this was just one of those freak bad things, that they got it all, and that Murphy will be back to his old self in no time at all. Casey send him a gentle lick and I send his Mom an extra warn hug. Please keep all of us up to date as you know things -we're living this with you, dear Catherine and Murphy. Love to all.

nurseknitsalot said...

Have been checking the site today to see how everything went. Sending you both positive thoughts as you await the biopsy results. It's wonderful that they believe they found everything..keep that good news coming.

caroline said...

So glad the wee bossy one came through with flying colors. Shifting vibes slightly to all is well, all is benign, all heals quickly...

And may YOU get some rest and relaxation, too.

Daisy-Winifred said...

Trust you and Murphy have had some gentle healing sleep and that he is able to rest a while today before Mum picks him up for home.

When Rhys had to have a lampshade collar after surgery there was no problem...until his sister Banon decided she wanted to wear it too so weedled her way in from the front and promptly got stuck! Both had to be cut out of the collar in the end but were fine it was 'mum' who lay on the floor in a heap.

So take care of you eh. Good wishes and light continuing to be sent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine,

Long time lurker also sending good thoughts Murphy's way. Our pets are definitely one of the family, aren't they? Hoping for good news for your and Murphy's sakes, glad to hear that he came through the surgery well.

Cris in PA

Enjay said...

Catherine, I pray that you both come through this with flying colors. How is Murphy doing today?