Big needles, little needles, scary needles – suriviving cancer from the eyes of a poodle

Big needles, little needles, scary needles - suriviving cancer from the eyes of a poodle

HI, I am Albert, the poodle

Boy, has it been a scary year for me! BIg strange-sounding machines, people coming to take me away from my mom, and needles, needles and more needles. But hey, I am here and who would have thought that? If you give me a few days, I will tell you my story. Whoa, I hear the refrigerator door open. Oh boy, oh boy….I smell my special food. I am hungry…really hungry.- Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go…..Food!

I am back. Boy was the food good! I hated it at first. A special diet ’cause I have cancer. In the beginning it tasted like bad medicine. I remember the first time I tried it a year ago….I refused to eat. I looked up sadly with my big brown eyes waiting to get my regular food but my mom said, “No, no, no more old food, Albert boy Those days are over. The oncologist said no more grains.” And I thought she loved me.

Wow…. a kid on a bike! Time for me to go chase him…”Invader, invader on the sidewalk. Mom, Mom, come, he is trying to pet me.”.Yuck…..patted by a kid with chocolate on his hands…hey, chocolate, sweet chocolate…looks good. Should I try it? Nope, I remember the emergency trip when I got up and ate a pound of See’s Candy. Never again. “Woof, woof, woof – get outta here, kid! This is my turf! ” He left……….End of danger……………………..

Okay, back in the Lazy-Boy. It was nice of my mom to get this for me. Cool in the summer and she puts a special cover on it for me in the winter. I love it. Time to put my feet up and tell my story.

It all began a little over a year ago. I went in to my local vet, Dr. Douglas Paulson, ( he has known me ever since I was a baby) for teeth cleaning. Yeah, I know, I should brush more often. There was no food the night before. I was really ticked at Mom especially when she took the water away from me too. She will never know what happened to that sock of hers but I showed her! No food and water…no sock for her. Wait ’til she finds what’s left of it under the bed! Oops, off track again…….so I went in for a normal teeth cleaning. But when they came to get me out of the cage, Dr. Paulson and his great assistance Valerie (I love Valerie because she has warm hands and a warm heart too) examined me. He kept pushing on my stomach. I had tried to tell Mom that something felt bad around the stomach but she ignored me. It felt like I had swallowed a ball….a big ball. And she thinks she is bilingual! Well, Dr. Paulson closed his eyes one last time to feel, then he went to the phone. I heard him say my mom’s name but by that time Valerie had taken me back to the cage so I could not hear what he was saying. I tried to look pathetic so I could hang out with her but she was far too busy for that! Good try though.

I waited for the dreaded teeth cleaning moment. I always remembered a bunch of people in special outfits, I would shake and whine and then a needle was stuck in my leg and I remember nothing…but this time, no one came for me. As a matter of fact, Mom came almost immediately to pick me up. Yep, good old mom’s voice but not with the happy lilt as usual. While she waited an assistant came to take pictures of my stomach area. She looked business-like but also very serious. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap…and then needles, needles, needles…they took so much blood that I thought I was going to be a blood donor for some other dog. And all of this on an empty stomach. How dare they? Not even any treats afterwards to get my stamina up.

Mom went into a room with the doctor. I heard them talking….how dare they talk about me when I am not there! But then Valerie of the warm hands came to get me. I knew she could not resist those cute eyes and the wet tongue. I was so happy to see Mom but I was very tired and sore from all of the needles and X-rays. Mom picked me up and looked at me so sadly. Hey, what was up with that? And then I heard Dr. Paulson say, “Take these x-rays to the Specialty Clinic in Sorrento Valley and have them do an ultrasound on Albert’s abdomen. There is a mass in there and we have to find out what it is. I have already made the phone call.”

Mass, what mass? Ul’ Sound…??? Ultrasound? What’s that? Tomorrow? Hey guys, I am supposed to chase the mailman tomorrow. I gotta protect the home. Who is gong to protect the home if I am someplace else?

But my stomach does feel bad and I have been so tired lately. I finally got to eat. Food is so wonderful. When you are worried you can eat. When you are happy you can eat. I love the sound of the refrigerator door and get so excited when I hear the can opening. Anticipation…wow. With food life is better no matter what.

That evening Mom and I hung out in the Lazy-Boy watching “Dancing with the Stars.” What funny humans! They dance and no one even gives them a treat. I dance and get treats. Now who is the dumb animal here?

Day 2 – The Bad News Terrors!

Here I sit at the Specialty Clinic with my mom. It was a long drive from our house in El Cajon. About 35 miles or more. I entertained myself by looking out the window but Mom refused to roll the window down. What a Grinch!. She looks so worried and I do not understand why. She got me up out of bed really early to head out. I am sleepy and tired and wouldn’t you know it – no food again. What’s up with that?

We arrive. Not much traffic. Boy what a huge building! Hey, they have artificial grass. This cannot be a good thing. Where do they expect me to go? Fake grass is like eating fake eggs. it is just not the same. Oh well, business is done. Let’s see what is inside.

Boy, there are so many dogs, so many people and so many places to sign in. Mom signed in where it said internist. What the heck is an internist? Ya gotta be kidding me? RIght? There is no way there is another name for a veterinarian. Maybe it is the guy’s name. Dr. Internist. That has a nice sound to it. Appointment time…yeah, yeah..tell the woman behind the desk that it is way too early for me. Hey, food…cookies…Come on Mom. Cookie, cookie, cookie. Look, they are giving them away. Come on, come on….food…treat. And the lady is saying, “Can Albert have one?” Thanks Mom…wait…where is the cookie? What do you mean, “No cookies, he is having an ultrasound.” Can this be fair? Well, I will find another sock that is a part of a matching pair and she will no longer have a matching pair for that set either. Revenge is sweet sometimes.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Sniff..sniff…Boy, some of these guys look really sick. OMG, there is a dog coming in that cannot walk. They are bringing him in on a cot. He is bleeding. Wow! What a sickie. Can’t look, can’t look, can’t look. I hate the sight of blood.

Hey, look at the other side. Cute girl there. Little, petite, cute face. Boy, a toy poodle. A red head…what a looker! Maybe I should go over and introduce myself. Come on Mom. Let’s go check her out. What…Albert…Albert. Who is calling my name? Oh, the nurse is saying it is time to be checked over. Drat…well,maybe I can catch her eye when I walk by.

In a small room. In a very small room. In a really, really, really small room. Sniff, sniff, sniff. Smells like antiseptic and pills and shots…I do not like it here. Not one bit. Well, I hope Dr. Internist shows up soon. I gotta get home and protect the home. Check out the mailman. And I need to be where there is real grass and not the fake stuff. How dare they mess with nature?

Wait, wait…I am thirsty. No water either? Boy, double Grinch today. I hear someone coming. It is Doctor Internist. Looks kind of nice but we will see. Examine, examine, examine. Hey, watch what you are touching back there. You are getting kind of personal. Ouch, my stomach. Yeah, it hurts over there. Yeah…ouch, ouch, ouch. Stop that! Okay, where are they taking me? Ultra sound, ultrasound. Hey, Mom is supposed to go with me. Come on Mom. I am scared and you need to be there. Where are you going? Do not leave me!

Cage, cage, cage,cage. I hate this. Why? No food! No water! No Mom. What a drag! I cannot even see other dogs. Rush, rush. Wait, I hear a noise. The cage is opening. Back to Mom? NO, TO A BIG ROOM with a large machine. Hey, what are you doing down there with the clippers? Don’t get so personal! Why are you shaving my stomach? Jerks. Come on, stop that. Stop that I say! I could growl but Mom would be upset with me. She told me to be a good boy so I gotta be a good boy.

Big machine, very cold gel. Tickles….all over my stomach. Pictures, lots of them…pictures, more of them. More and more and more pictures. How long is this going to take before I go back to Mom? Ridiculous. Don’t these people know I have better things to do? Ouch. That hurts where you are putting pressure.


Back to Mom. Back to home. Hey, why aren’t we going home? Dr. Internist wants to talk to Mom. About? Because? Wait, wait, wait. Let’s see if the cute red head is still around. Nope she is gone. Boy, is there one ugly guy over there. All wrinkles, short legs, big eyes, difficulty breathing. What kind? A bull…bull what? How old? Boy, I would hate to be that ugly. And not able to breath? Wonder if he drinks? Those wrinkles. Those short legs. Hey, he is looking at me. Guess I better quit staring. He is butt ugly though. Hope he cannot read minds.

Okay, we are going back into the small room. So, Dr. Internist, what do you have to say wasting all of my time? What? A mass. Surgery? Benign or malignant? Most are malignant? What is he talking about? Blood work, urinalysis, more x-rays? Chem panel. Spleenectomy? Adrenal glands? What is he saying? When? Where? Who? My mind is frazzled. I need the Lazy Boy recliner. I am getting scared. No worried. No freaked out. No terrified.

Home…but the bill has to be paid. Geez…what a huge amount. Mom is going to have to work selling on Ebay to get that kind of money. She must love me ’cause that is a big amount of change. Way more than I ate when I was younger. Maybe I will not destroy her second pair of socks. Gotta figure that one out when I get back home and she feeds me – if she feeds me.

Home, home sweet home. Real grass, real food, real love. I love home. I love everything about home. I miss Mom when she is at work but I have other family members who sleep with me when she is at work. Food. Yes, comfort food all warmed up for me. TIme to hit the recliner and…………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

If you want to read more, go to my new HUB, Albert the Poodle Has Surgery

Hey, here’s a picture with my Martha!

Here I sit at the Specialty Clinic with my good friend Martha Estrada. Martha has known me since I was a baby too. She still laughs at the time I swallowed coins and had to have them pulled out by Dr. Paulson.