It’s been pretty tense around Casa BentNeedle lately. You see, we have an energetic, funny, crazy, wrap your heart around her little paw Boxer named Ginger. In the 4+ years that it’s been our pleasure to be her non-furry parents, this little gal has become oh…so very much more than a pet. She has given us reasons to stay on a schedule (try missing those 9pm treats, or sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and she is going to get YOU back on schedule, if it kills you!)… She has given us more laughs and hugs than I ever imagined when I saw this picture on a pet adoption site:
In short, she is our funny, short, furry 4 legged “baby girl” – and like “normal parents” we were concerned when she came bounding back onto the front porch one day this summer with more insect bites; but, since Ginger always has been an infamous target of stinging insects, we didn’t give it too much thought. When the bites shrank, we were thankful. When one came back, we were puzzled. Poor Ginger – pitiful luck to get stung in the same exact place over and over. But Boxers being Boxers, and bumps being bumps, we didn’t give it too much thought, until it kept coming back then shrinking, then came back and started getting bigger. Being good “parents,” her “dad” made an appointment with the only vet we’ve ever taken her to, and we didn’t give it too much thought. Boxers get bumps – Ginger really is a boxer, NOT a human.
Imagine our horror when Dr Pat told him of MAST Cell Cancer. How could something that looks like this:
bring our world crashing down around us? Ginger was scheduled for sugery a week later, and is doing relatively well… At least as well as a Boxer can do in a world where she can’t lick the owie…and can’t run and jump and climb and be a crazy dog, as she is so wont to do. This is what her haunch looks like now:
Now we are faced with a waiting game. Hoping and praying that the pathology reports come back on Tuesday as Stage 1 or 2. That our Catholic friends were correct, that having this diagnosed during the feast week of the patron saint of animals was a beneficial thing. That Rabbi Segal’s prayer, that Ginger’s doctor would have hands guided by G_D, and that this little doggie will live to be a happy old doggie, will be answered. All the people of whatever faith that have met Ginger seem to love her, as she seems to have endless love for the humans in her world. May all their prayers be answered.
The primary reason for this post is to warn you – if your dog has a bump that looks like a bug bite, but it seems to go away then come back, RUN – don’t walk – to your vet. MAST cell cancer in dogs is much more successfully treated the earlier it is diagnosed. Dr Pat’s face told us that she would have much rather that we’d brought Ginger in when it still looked like a mosquito bite, but is hopeful that she was able to excise the evil tumor and enough surrounding tissue that it won’t come back, ever again, and so are we.
And if you have a little doggie sized spot on your prayer list, please put in a word that Ginger’s pathology report comes back good. Like any parents, we just want to “make it all better” – but it’s really hard to make her understand right now why we seem bent on ruining her day, by calling her down when all she wants is a really good run on a brisk autumn day – a lovely autumn day which makes me hopeful that I’ll be getting Boxer kisses and hugs for many more autumns to come.