Xena Bean, the tail waggin' machine....that's what we call her. Her tail has never stopped wagging in 14 years. Oh, not true, she got "cold water tail" twice and she stopped wagging for a day or two. After that, I was very careful not to bathe her on the picnic table if the water was too cold.
I drove straight through from Mountainaire to home on Tuesday. 9oo miles. I wanted to stop outside of Flagstaff and stay at this pretty KOA in the pines at the 6500 foot level. Good sleeping weather for me and the dogs in the truck. They wanted to charge me $25 for a space to sleep in my truck and $10 for each dog! I told them that was more than a Motel 6, for goodness sakes. So, I got back on the road and really didn't become tired until around 10 pm on the California 18 road to Palmdale. The road has no lights and many big rigs with high headlights beamed in my eyes. I was glad to get home. I also, took aspirin and got out of the truck every 4 hours or so. I didn't want to come home with a blood clot.
My other reason for driving straight through was because my husband had called me and said he just noticed this strange growth in Xena's groin area. He said it was weeping and she was licking it. He made an appointment for Xena at the Vet in Fillmore who did Champ's hips. It is a about an hour and fifteen minute drive for me, but I opened the clinic with Xena the very next day. Wayne told the Vet he thought it was a hernia. He must not know what a hernia looks like :0) It appeared to be a mammary gland tumor where it originated and then blossomed over night into what looked like a hanging left testicle.
Xena walked herself into the Vet clinic carrying her leash in her mouth. She hopped up on the scale and weighed a slim and trim 53 1/2 lbs. Dr. Lidikay was impressed. We had to hold her mouth closed and hold her tail from waggin' so he could listen to her heart. Her tail was beating against his stethoscope. LOL We discussed what needed to be done and I left the clinic thinking good thoughts. The Doc felt this tumor probably had been on her tummy for awhile. But, since Xena doesn't roll over for belly rubs and since I hadn't bathed her in about 4 months, it went unnoticed. She has had a cyst on her side for about 18 mos. I told him to carve that off, too. He thought, like I, that it was just a cyst.
I packed up Champ and Jet in the truck with me knowing we were going to have another looooong day waiting for Xena to have surgery. The boys were cooped up all week while I was gone. We went to the beach to wait. I took Champ off leash when we were on the beach and he took off. No amount of whistling, calling, threatening could get him to come back to me. The little bugger. Finally, I picked up a stick and started throwing it for Jet. He came back for the stick. I put him on two leashes tied together and did at least 50 recalls with him at the ocean's edge. :0) He got the message.
I went over to the harbor for lunch. I was dying for a salad. You know when you are on the road, you nibble on all sorts of crap...none of it is green. I was missing GREEN. I had my favorite Dungeness crab salad out on the porch with my dogs overlooking the harbor. After lunch I took the dogs to the park area of the harbor and worked with Champ. Someone tossed me a tennis ball they found. Purrfect. I had his attention now!
Finally, around 3:30, I called the Vet clinic and they said I could pick up Xena in about a half hour. We started our trek back to Fillmore. I was met by a tail waggin' cone head. She did great. I LOVE DR. Lidikay and his wife. It's a small family practice. They removed the big tumor on her belly without too much difficulty. What we thought was a cyst was a tumor up on her side, probably a mast cell tumor. He scaled her teeth and trimmed all of her nails for me (for free, might I add). Xena had her 250,000 mile overhaul/check-up and came out wagging her tail. I LOVE it.
Dr. Lidikay asked me if I wanted the tumors biopsied. I said, "Nope... none of us are getting out of life cancer free." I'm certainly not going to put an old dog through chemo or radiation. He agreed.
We will keep her comfortable and see to it that she is happy.
Later on, I will post pictures of my trip. I have some house cleaning and wash to catch up on, since I work the next couple of days. It's good to be home, but there is so much to do. You know how that goes. I'm just so happy my Lab is doing well. She is one heck of a dog.