Well, I'm sure that everyone is anxious to hear about George's day at the vet--my having mentioned, yesterday, that he was going in for some minor surgery and a tooth-cleaning. Here's the skinny.
I left him off at the vet's in the early morning, to be sure he'd be first in line. George was puzzled, to say the least, to have gone without his breakfast. He is, as they say, a creature of habit, and is displeased when his habits get interrupted--particularly, I have to say, when those habits have anything to do with food. George is a dog who takes his eating seriously. It was clear to him even as I put him in the car that this was not to be a day like any other day.
He was not especially relieved, I have to add, when he realized where he was when we arrived at the vet's office, but he managed to maintain his dignity (his dognity?) as I led him in and left him with the receptionist. Truth to tell, I was probably a lot more upset than George was, and simply projecting my anxieties onto him. He gave me one last reproachful look as they led him away and I tried to reassure him with familiar words: "Back soon." "Back soon," in fact, can mean anything from an hour at the gym to a couple of weeks in Europe, but I'm assured that dogs have no sense of time, so I trust that I'm forgiven for this small effort to reassure myself, as much as George, that everything will be okay.
We stopped by to pick him up around noon, as we were leaving the beach to return to Los Angeles. The receptionist offered me a bag whose contents were small and bloody. Two of George's teeth, which the vet had had to remove--in case I wanted to put them under his pillow, I suppose, for the tooth fairy. I declined. It appeared, however, from our conversation with Dr. G, that all had gone well. The tooth-cleaning proved to be a challenge: George has the habit of chewing at himself, and his teeth get jammed with little hairs. There was some infection, the doctor had ascertained from blood tests, but the problem was not uncommon for the breed. George, he told us, has a "typical Cavalier's mouth."
There was also that small growth on his hind leg which the doctor had successfully removed, and George now sports a bright orange bandage around the affected area. It can come off, the doctor says, in a couple of days. Otherwise, aside from the jaw-dropping, bank-breaking cost to us, we all came off relatively unscathed. George's body was still coping with a dose of morphine, administered to spare him pain, and he remained a little dopey for the rest of the day. A little distrustful, too, of people who had abandoned him to the tender mercies of that doctor. And a little careful with that leg. He has been jumping up with a little less enthusiasm than is his wont.
His appetite, however, seems to be unaffected. Here he is this morning, bandaged, but still regal. And ready for his breakfast.