A Puppy Story: I Wish I Had a Picture!

If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I am an avid photographer. But, contrary to many today that possess cell phones, I do not take photos in every situation. Selfies are rare for me and when I do feel inspired to take one, it is usually terrible and I have to have another family member with longer arms step in and do it. I also do not take photos of every little thing and post them online. While I do take photos of some of my meals, usually in process, I usually don’t post them on social media and rarely, do I post them to my blog.

But, today, I wish I had a picture! Here is the background for the picture I will soon describe.

We, my husband and I, are in the vet’s office for a wound check. Our six-month-old Yellow Lab puppy was spayed on Friday. She was scheduled for her second K-laser treatment post-surgically. The first check was two days ago. At that time the wound looked wonderful and she was healing nicely. But last night, around dinner time, we noted a few light pink spots on the kitchen floor. My husband, who had slow-cooked a pork roast using red wine and onion soup thought he had dripped some au jus onto the floor when serving us. We wiped it up.

But, after dinner, we noticed more and we also noticed that our lab’s belly seemed to be hanging down much lower than it had earlier in the day! Sure enough, she was “leaking” serosanguinous fluid from her incision! She had developed a seroma! UGH! We examined her incision and confined her to the kennel.  A text to the vet ensued.  We were assured we were doing fine with what we had done and he would see us “in the morning at her second k-laser treatment.”

Being a lab, our puppy was very unhappy at the confinement to her kennel. She cried and yipped and in general let us know she was not happy being put into a contained area with a large cone still around her head! But, she got through the night with only one extra trip outside. Since it was very close to zero degrees, fortunately, that did not last long, either!

So, here we are at the Vet this morning! I went with my husband at his request to help with her exam and treatment.

The Photo

The time stamp on my photograph would have shown 9:30 a.m., January 8, 2020.

The photo reveals three adults in an exam room with a 55-pound yellow lab puppy wearing the “cone of shame.”  The vet tech, dressed in black scrubs, is lying on her belly on the tiled floor with laser in hand. My husband is laying over Molly keeping her still and trapped beneath the weight of his body.  As he laid on her torso, he gently stroked Molly’s neck and told her she was doing well (not a lie, she was) and that it would be over soon. The k-laser treatment takes four minutes – an eternity to an energetic pup! I was given the job of holding her back haunches still and keeping an open view of the incision for the vet tech. This was a job I did not do so well at but tried. I also stroked Molly’s back paws. She was shaking but not whimpering, bellowing, or barking. The vet tech was impressed or so she said.

She was so impressed that she decided to clean the wound to get a better view of her sutures. They were still intact, thankfully. This took several minutes, but Molly took it in stride, panting her way through it like a woman in labor would do.  We told the vet tech that the seroma had shrunk since we contacted the vet last night. But, the incision continued to ooze, and especially with having to wrangle her to the ground, it started up again at the office.  At this point, the vet tech told us how to wrangle a calf when it was time to apply ear tags. She had us use the same method to wrangle our pup into a position for a second k-laser treatment. This time it was to treat the edema (swelling). Molly endured another four minutes of eternity.

The photo, taken from above, at any time in the ten minutes of treatment would reveal three adults laying or sitting (depending on the person) on the ground hunched over a dog who was being very cooperative but obviously scared. This is a dog who is already loved like a dear member of our family after only four short months of knowing her.

The picture would have shown the above but the story tells about love, care, and help. What more could one ask for? The photograph is burned in my mind and so much better than a digital copy for it would only tell part of the story!


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