United States of Motherhood: Do You Put Sunscreen on Your Dog?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Do You Put Sunscreen on Your Dog?!

Picture of Our Baby Girl Taken By my other baby girl for a School Photo Competition

Yes, my friends, the results are in.

While they are not 100 percent and can not rule out a benign tumor until they biopsy the actual tumor, the cells from the biopsy were highly suspicious.

The lab report listed suspected malignant melanoma.


Poor little Grendel. We used to joke about how she would lay on her back in our California backyard and work on her tan. Not so funny.

I thought the fur would protect her. Did you even know dogs get melanoma? I didn't.

So, she's scheduled for surgery. All growths (one of the others was a glandular cyst) will be removed with wide margins. It's weird to think your dog has cancer.

I am petting her even more. Screw her diet, I fed her salmon and pasta lightly tossed with sauteed spinach, garlic, and shallots last night. I fed her real dried sticks of pepperoni. Screw it. My baby is going to enjoy life like there is no tomorrow.

The kids are a bit sad. CG, on a business trip, had to find a good place to take my call last night because he might cry.

You see, Grendel is his desk troll. Since CG works from home, he's at his desk 8-12 hours a day. Grendel stays at his feet and follows him when he gets up for an espresso or lunch. Although CG has never been a dog person, he loves that dog probably more than us all.

He was there when I got her in college and he was a champ with moving her between our no-pet apartments, so the landlords wouldn't find her. We finally moved in together and top on our list was finding an apartment that ended up charging rent for us and on the lease, rent also for our little Grendel.

Grendel gave me a scare yesterday. You know a dog is old when she no longer greets you at the door. Only one waggly tail, Seb's, was there. I searched the house with a sinking feeling. Not under CG's desk. Not on the office couch. Not curled up on her bed in our room.

Oh, God!

I found her curled up in a ball on Li'l Man's bottom bunk. There she lay in a puddle of warm afternoon sun. She does love her sun. I sat down on the bed, began to pet her, and still she didn't awaken. I checked more than once to see if the old girl was breathing. Yep.

No way could I have walked in a room even a year ago and she wouldn't wake up. We think she's almost totally deaf and the slight cloudiness in her eyes hints at cataracts to come.

In the college apartment, she would pop her head up at the bay window when she heard our car round the corner of a busy street. Yes, she recognized the sound of our car. Now, she doesn't hear the car, the kids as always loud, exuberant, welcoming voices, the keys in the lock, or the turn of the knob. Nope, she sleeps on dreaming of chasing squirrels.

When I took her back to the vet on Monday, the sheer pleasure she got from hanging her head out the window reminded me of the old Grendel. Now days, she doesn't want to leave the house.

All of you must know of someone elderly who doesn't get out much. They are happy in their routine. They, in the twilight of their years, putter around the house and watch their TV programs.

So, too, is Grendel happy in her routine. She curls around her masters feet in the dog cave under his desk. She still gets excited for cookies. Still loves the breeze in her face from a very infrequent car ride. Still loves to sleep in her puddle of sun.

As long as she is happy, I'm happy.


Not a Granny said...

Here's hoping the biopsy goes well.

Do answer your title, I do use sunscreen on my Shih Tzu. He sunburns. LOL

Tismee2 said...

Oh how I feel for you. This is the worst about having pets, they always have to get old and leave you.
I'm presuming that having short hair means a greater risk than having long, thick hair? I have never heard of dogs getting this?

Hope things go well and you have many more wonderful times with her.

Scout's Honor said...

Not a Granny:

Thanks for the good thoughts. Since she is darker skinned, she never burned.


I'm not sure about short hair, but cancer, and especially melanoma, is the number one non-accident cause of death for dogs in the U.S. I did some research today. :)

In the end, I don't think it will shorten her life that much. I think her age will get her before the cancer. I just want to keep her happy, pain-free, and around for as long as possible.

Our other dog is 10 years old and my husband is very resistent to getting more dogs after these two pass.

Life without pups makes me and the kids very sad indeed.

Leighann said...

I've never been much of a dog person myself. I dread the day my kids win and I lose in the "let's get a pet" battle.

I sure hope the biopsy goes well!

Kandace said...

I had no idea dogs need sunscreen.

I hope the hubs comes around and thinks about how much joy the dogs have brought to your family.

And, Amen to feeding her all the forbidden stuff - let her live a little.

imhelendt said...

Awwwwww Heather, I am SO sorry! I'm all verklempt. BTW- I think onions (shallots) and possibly garlic are toxic to dogs...

Whit said...

I hope the best for you guys.

We have three dogs, ages 14, 7 and 1. I have this theory about introducing new blood to keep the others young, plus hopefully their good behavior will rub off on the pup.

So far, so good.

Erik said...

oh damn. My first thought was to say "I hope she does well and stays healthy a lot longer", but I know she will - she always was a tough girl, even putting up with anti-dog roommates...
That's one of my biggest fears now too, realizing that the kitties are now 12, and my ex-dog is 9 and starting to go grey in the muzzle.

Southern Sage said...

tytytytytytyty for the comment
I hope you come back soon
Your daughter is absolutely stunning, and you son too
your hubby leaves alot to be desired though!!!
thanks for coming by, I hope you come again soon

Scout's Honor said...

Leighann: You'd be surprised how much richness and unconditonal love a dog can bring to a family. Try it. You'll like it. Thanks for the good thoughts.

Kandace: I hope he comes around too. Beau, you reading this?

Helen: Holy shit. I googled it and you are right. It's a shocker that our dogs aren't in worse shape because I've fed them lots of onions and garlic. Oops. First, no sunscreen and now poisoning 'em. Please don't report me to the SPCA.

Whit: That's a great idea. Hmmmm....a puppy so all Grendel's good behavior rubs off. Ok, Beau are you reading this???

Erik: Ah, but you were the best kind of anti-dog roommate a dog could have. You just muttered to yourself and put up with her housetraining accidents. Sorry for that...ohh...thirteen years later. ( Um. Wow! Has it been that long? ) Good thoughts toward your elderly furry friends as well.

Southern Sage: Thanks. I think I'll keep 'em. And about my husband, (snicker) BEAU, ARE YOU READING THIS? HA HA HA! Thanks for visiting SS.

Beau said...

Yeah, I'm reading this. I'm okay with it as long as I'm desired by you!

Christine said...

I have a kitty, Simon, whom I've had since college. He's getting and acting old, and it freaks me out. I'm a bit weepy just typing this. I can totally relate to your feelings about Grendel. I'm hoping the biopsy results are reassuring.

BTW, I had a cat growing up named Grendel. How weird is that?

(I can't remember if I've left a comment to this effect for you yet or not, so sorry if it's repeated information.)

Tismee2 said...

My other half keeps saying "This is our last" He's not a doggy person really, but I'm sure I can win him around again - like last time he said that.

A breeder friend sent me an e-mail with a picture of a puppy she was selling, telling me that she had a buyer but wasn't happy about them, she had a 'feeling' about them so had put them off for a week. She told me that I could have her if I wanted her.

Took me three hours of persuading getting "no" at regular intervals. Until he asked "How much is she". I knew then I'd won! So keep at it, use your womanly charms.

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