Saturday, February 5, 2011

Roya in the house

Roya is back in the house. She lived in the house the last time when she had her puppies, which required the addition of double cylinder deadbolts and locks on the INSIDE of the doors.  Roya knows how to open doors that have handles.  Her little kitty buddy, Kia, is the feline counterpart to this. Our house appears to be inhabited by poltergeists, as Kia opens cabinet doors. After Roya's last house stay, I heard the door handle rattling and looked to see Kia, stretched and standing on her hind legs, trying to gather enough leverage against the handle to pull it down and open the door!  Who says animals don't learn by observation! 

I had noticed a spot on one of Roya's rear foot pads that was bleeding. It looked to be a rub spot, which dogs can sometimes get from pacing on a concrete kennel floor.  The only problem is, Roya is not an active youngster any longer. She is 10 years old and does not pace. We tried pad-tougheners and other commercial products and still it bled.  There was nothing I could think of that would have caused a puncture, and it didn't look like a puncture, but it just was not healing. 

I took her to the vet, and on exam, the pad looked to have a crater, a small divot with a dimple center.  Not a puncture. Very odd.  Dr Jay opted to take a punch sample for biopsy and we learned she had a Spindle Cell Tumor.  From my reading, it does not normally metastasize to other areas and in the slow growing form she has may recur in 2-4 years.  It often appears on limbs and the median age is 10 years old, but Dr. Jay said they had not previously seen it on a foot pad.  It does not respond to chemo and the treatment is to surgically remove.

Roya was an exemplary patient!  She did not require a plastic conehead, and never bothered the sutures, so grateful was she to be in the house and on the..... yes, bed.  She takes up such a small bit of room, being only a 45 lb dog, and she is a wonderful cuddler. No nighttime romps, she just curls up and goes to sleep.  She also enjoys the therapeutic bed we had purchased for Jinx.  The difference is that ALL of Roya fits on the bed!

In the meantime, Roya has adopted Kia as one of her own and insists on grooming her just as she would a miscreant pup.  She grips Kia using her forepaws, and presses her shoulder down if Kia struggles.  We watched Roya use this tactic when her pups would struggle and she would press them to the ground with her shoulder until they surrendered and behaved, so to see her do the same to poor Kia is quite amusing!  Roya will hold Kia and do gentle grooming nibbles from head to tail.  At night, they sleep next to one another on the bed.

All the dogs seem to love those red rubber Kong bones, and I see that Roya has stolen one.  She will bring it for one of us to throw, and after 2-3 tosses, she carries it back to her bed and snoozes again.  She isn't the high maintenance dog that I bought 8 years ago, nor the one who caused everyone to hide in their vehicles when I took her out for protection. She is a sweet matriarch now.  Pre tried to engage her with play bows but when she stood over her, she ran after him, punching him with her front legs and barking.  Pre acts like the pimply 12 year old, hoping to see a breast.  He follows her around, makes sideways googly-eyes and hopes she will pay him some attention!

So, at least for now, Roya is living in the house. It appears she may stay.