Hank The Wonder Puppy

A week ago, I was really concerned my son, Hank, a 13-year old Cocker Spaniel, might be at a cross roads in his life.  Hank had a fast-growing  tumor in his left hip. Fortunately, Nancy brought this to my attention and insisted I get him to the vet right away.

2011-09-24_14-58-54_952 Dr. Stanley Ueno at Kirkwood Animal Hospital in Campbell, California (who I have worked with since 1985), told me we had 3 possibilities, 2 of which involved cancer and could negatively impact his life with a third possibility that it might just be a fat tumor.

Due to Dr. Ueno’s skill and Hank’s will to live, Hank got  through what turned out to be a challenging surgical procedure.  The fat tumor, rather than being just under his skin, was growing behind his muscle. Dr. Ueno said he had only seen this once before. It was a significant challenge to remove it.

We brought Hank home last Tuesday night, about 4 hours after his surgery.  He has an incision that is about 8 inches long.  Hank had a tough night.  The next day, I carried him downstairs so he could go to the bathroom. We used a cloth strap to support his hind legs as he could put no support on his left leg.  This continued twice a day.

The rest of the time, Hank spent time on our bed. Friday night, Hank was outside and saw a one-year old, 80-pound white Labrador named Buster.  With me supporting Hank’s rear legs, Hank walked to the parking lot to see Buster up close and personal. I suspect their interaction was something like this:

Buster:  Dude, where you been?

Hank: Man, I had to have surgery this week.  It’s hard for me to walk right now but don’t think for a minute that I don’t know that you’ve been marking all my favorite spots outside the house.

Buster:  Me?

Hank:  Yeah, you! Knock it off. A little respect please!

And, with that, Hank turned and walked back to the house. Saturday, Hank needed no support to walk. Sunday, he went for a walk that is about half of what he usually does.  And, soon, he’ll be able to negotiate the stairs again.

Nancy and I are most grateful for every day we have with Hank.  We are amazed at the progress he’s made in such a short time.

And, we are especially grateful for the skill, care and expertise Dr. Ueno brings to those in his care.

Dave Gardner

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