Penny has had a quiet week and so have I. Wednesday of last week she had a lump removed from her chest and the vet said he thought it should be sent for pathology. He was quite reassuring that he was only being extra careful and I tried not to worry, but the terror was lying beneath the surface.
I couldn't bring myself to post a blog about it and I think that was because, deep down, there is a superstition in me that if I put my worst fears into print they might come true. So I just spent time with Penny and hoped... and hoped...
Well, I'm thrilled to say that today the vet rang and said it was just inflamed tissue, probably caused by a foreign object sticking into her at some stage - the thickened tissue had a hole through it but no actual object was in the centre.
Which brings me to the question - when should we leave well enough alone? If Penny were an outside dog, or if we didn't groom her so often, and thus check her, perhaps the swelling would have come and gone and we would not have known. She would not have had painful surgery and a long recovery from the effects of the anaesthetic.
But, the general advice is to check your dog regularly for lumps. It's a difficult juggling act, I guess. And I would do the same again, in the circumstances. Even the vet thought it looked suspicious.
Now we have to deal with a bored dog who is used to being active and isn't allowed to exercise for another week, until the stitches come out. I'll have to re-read some of my own old posts about keeping dogs busy, and visit some of my favorite blogs for advice. I did remember something I read about hunting for food, so I've been hiding chicken necks around the backyard for Penny to find, instead of just serving dinner up. Here she is, having found one in the weedy corner where I hid it: