11 Aug2009


It’s been a medical rollercoaster ride for “The Dog” and the MM family. And, no, not because she turns out to be a Martian dog with green eyes. :) We love our pet dog. Maybe even more than some humans, certainly more than the average local politician. Named after a common kitchen ingredient, she was probably the runt of the litter, and being a chocolate labrador, prone to all kinds of odd quirks and diseases. Not to mention a bit slow on the uptake but she certainly makes up for it by being one of the most loving pets around. I grew up in a household filled with dogs, and even to this day, every one of my siblings has a pet dog that is part of the family. A few months ago we noticed that the Dog had a lump near one of her many breasts and while she was regularly monitored by a vet, the lump kept growing until it was highly recommended that she undergo surgery. She was anaesthetized with gas and they removed the lump, sewing her back up with several stitches. Another growth near her hind legs was also removed. And a growth near an eye was cauterized…


She spent two long nights at the dog hospital with an intravenous drip and pain killers. And finally came home with a protective plastic cone around her neck, to prevent her from scratching her wounds. She was not a happy camper. It took her days to learn how to maneuver around the house with the satellite dish around her neck. Not even moving her bed into the living room seemed to make her happy. But she took it like a dog. No complaints. Just a little sulking when she couldn’t go out for her daily walks.


They removed a fairly large lump, which was sent off to be analyzed at the laboratories. It would take a couple of weeks for the vets to know if the lump was cancerous or not. Ater a week or so, her stitches were removed, and another week passed and all seemed reasonably back to normal, except that her hair had been shaved around the operating areas and the scars were readily visible. Her hair started falling off, she got the ickies all over from a lack of baths…


Then finally, the vet called. She’s all clear!!! The lump was benign! It may recur, and we just have to be vigilant. She has a clean bill of health for now! The stitches will hold if she wants to go chase down the neighborhood cats! So imagine the loud pounding beat on the radio to that silly song “Poker Face” (wait till the midle of the video for the hopping around to start!) and the Dog broke out in a big smile and a spontaneous dance number on her back out on the lawn…





Hahaha! All’s well that ends well. :)

Note: Last 5 photos taken by The Teen.



  1. dragon says:

    It is when I read stories like yours that make me want to get a dog. Had before but the urge isn’t strong enough for me to get one. Beautiful MM..story and dog.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 1:48 pm


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  3. sister says:

    Cysts and tumors are very common with dogs and most of them are nothing to worry about and are mostly benign. It’s a great racket for vets, dog owner worried and has cysts taken out. We’ve been there, done that, again and again to the tune of several thousand dollars. Another trip scheduled for Wednesday because cyst on tail bled and daughter is distraught so off to the vet for teeth cleaning and cyst cauterization. The pooch gets as much attention as a grandchild would… at least we didn’t have to send him to Yale, he failed dog obedience school.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 2:14 pm

  4. fely del rosario says:

    what a great post! our toy pom ginger (she’s eight) is also sick and needs a hysterectomy. The vet says it’s common among dogs but we think it’s because she’s an old maid. We’re still putting off the surgery because the vet himself says it’s very risky given her age and condition. Glad your lab is ok. Great to have a happy ending!


    Aug 11, 2009 | 2:20 pm

  5. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Our family also grew up with over a dozen dogs. And now all my siblings also have them as a member of their family. My daughter got her beagle (male) last year for her birthday. Last week, my kuya gifted her with a 2 month old female golden labrador. Both of them are adorable!!!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 2:28 pm

  6. Ging says:

    We have other names for the elizabethan collar too– satellite dish, lampshade, cone of shame hehehe

    Aug 11, 2009 | 2:57 pm

  7. Cecilia says:

    Aaaw! :D

    Aug 11, 2009 | 2:58 pm

  8. Lilibeth says:

    What a lovely dog Marketman! So cute!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 3:32 pm

  9. passive observer says:

    i love the “before” and “after” photo of your dog’s satellite complete with masking tape.. i also have a lab..and i’m now on my second satellite..somehow, i think dogs knew how to destroy these things…

    Aug 11, 2009 | 3:38 pm

  10. tna says:

    Thank God the ending of your story was different from “Me & Marley” or I would’ve cried again.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 3:43 pm

  11. chrisb says:

    Is that a plastic cup she’s playing with? I used to give our yellow lab artificial bones and other pricey toys but she enjoyed playing with bottle caps, twigs and even insects more than the store bought toys =)

    Aug 11, 2009 | 3:51 pm

  12. bebot says:

    Poor thing has to go through all those things, she looked so forlorn with that lamp shade thingy around her neck. Glad that she’s out of the woods. Thanks to The Teen for the pix.
    Kitchen ingredients, if we are doing a name guessing game, would she be a Ginger?;)

    Aug 11, 2009 | 3:54 pm

  13. Cris Jose says:

    I had a labrador puppy once which had to be euthanized because she was very sick… I only had her for a few weeks but I cried my eyes out when the vet was finished putting her to sleep… ‘kakahiya nga when I rode the tricycle home… but I didn’t care.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 4:00 pm

  14. tna says:

    sorry…”Marley & Me”

    Aug 11, 2009 | 4:32 pm

  15. Vanessa says:

    Poor baby. But happy that this member of your family is now in the clear!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 5:44 pm

  16. jing says:

    “satellite dish” LOL! :)

    Aug 11, 2009 | 5:59 pm

  17. THELMA says:

    i an glad that your dog is okay now. dogs are great companions. we have a maltese and she’s like a princess. she gets all the attention in my family.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 6:23 pm

  18. millet says:

    hahaha… cute! our own baby girl, a beautiful bichon frise’, has to wear that “satellite dish” on her neck most of the time because she is prone to allergies, and thus, to scratching. we have an open account with the vet as a result. but the joy,…oh, the joy and love that she brings to everyone. like thelma’s dog, our Mini (who doesn’t know that she is a dog) is a princess and is the center of the attention of our family.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 7:08 pm

  19. tna says:

    Ooohhh…I’m guessing The Dog’s name is Pepper. ;)

    Aug 11, 2009 | 7:19 pm

  20. evelyn says:

    we share the same passion for dogs.i, too love dogs.i have a black labrador named Ash and “aspin” asong pinoy named petite.we went thru the same experience as yours MM, when my lab was hospitalized for heartworm.it’s really heartbreaking, now Ash is free from heartworm but continues to have a monthly maintenance (heartgard).Petite is our princess while m the queen.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 7:28 pm

  21. the Teen says:

    tna: GINGER! :D

    Aug 11, 2009 | 8:17 pm

  22. Rico Tee says:

    Seeing your pictures reminded me of our black dachshund Sydney (whom I, my family, and friends all call SydSyd). Ooh how I miss SydSyd right now, I think I’ll go to the garden and see her HAHAHA!

    Hope everything goes well with your SydSyd (which is what we call any dog from now on)

    Aug 11, 2009 | 8:19 pm

  23. Ging says:


    better to have the hysterectomy for your dog than to keep mulling about it. I’m thinking your dog has pyometra, a condition wherein infection and pus accumulates in the uterus. Antibiotics are not effective in controlling the infection as the pus does not completely drain from the uterus through the open cervix. Surgery is the best alternative.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:01 pm

  24. Tina says:

    I didn’t realize till I got to the end of this post that I was holding my breath. So glad that this one was a happy ending. Just got our baby lab (2 mos. old) last weekend. This is day 4 only and I’m already hooked. Now I can’t imagine how I would feel if this were to happen to our Charles but I guess, we have to steel ourselves for what may come in the future. I guess that’s part of the price of falling in love.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:04 pm

  25. Rebecca says:

    Happy to hear The Dog is doing well!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:06 pm

  26. shalimar says:

    oh am almost on tears reading the first part. I grew up surrounded with pets. But with my life moving around and living on board its impossible to have a dog.

    My last one was 12 years ago… and I keep saying once I am done with this work am doing I will settle and have a dog again!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:21 pm

  27. bernadette says:

    we have two dogs and with the absence of a caring vet here, we have gotten known of home-grown remedies. Your satellite cone is familiar to us. Although ours has an added feature—a mesh ontop. It was because we had to nurse a gaping wound on our pet dog’s head. Our tobacco-castor oil-Geramn ointment concoction was on the dog’s wound and so that it wouldn’t scratch—the satellite cone-cum-net was the only solution and it worked! And we felt like what you felt (when the vet said it was all clear) when the wound began to heal well. :-) Nice post, MM!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:36 pm

  28. Pecorino1 says:

    Love this post MM. I’ve no doubt you’ll enjoy reading Peter Mayle’s book, A Dog’s Life. It was written from his family dog’s point of view, set of course in Provence.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:42 pm

  29. fely says:

    Hi Ging. Yes Ginger has pyometra. You’re probably a doctor, right? And yes, the vet said surgery is the only permanent solution because we can’t keep her on anti-biotics indefinitely. Still, we’re really scared kasi she’s old. Baka lalo pang mapadali. Marketman, sorry unrelated na to your post…

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:57 pm

  30. joyce says:

    reminds me of my own pet labrador, esp the last pics. she looks so happy. im guessing, Sugar’s the name?

    Aug 11, 2009 | 10:34 pm

  31. natie says:

    since he’s dark maybe ‘soy sauce’? hee

    Aug 11, 2009 | 11:05 pm

  32. Thumbbook says:

    Awww! What a great post! Glad that Ginger is doing better.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 11:53 pm

  33. fried-neurons says:

    Awww… they look so sad AND so cute with those cones on, don’t they? :)

    I can relate, MM. My golden retriever-aussie cattle dog mix got really, really sick a couple of years ago. Emergency room, ICU, CT scans, blood work, prescription drugs… it all added up really quickly. But I didn’t hesitate to do it. Now he’s fit as a fiddle and awesome as ever. Just got another puppy as well, a yellow lab who’s super cute but quite a handful because he’s only 8 weeks old.

    I used to have dog phobia. I can’t thank my mom enough for getting me a puppy when I was young to break that phobia. Now I’m an absolute dog lover.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 11:54 pm

  34. THELMA says:

    we have another dog, a golden retriever, who’s so smart. her name is keiko. i taught her how to close the door, roll over, speak (when i say the word “speak”, she would keep growling), dance (she turns round and round), walk like a princess (she would walk with her hind legs), and a lot more fun tricks. one day, we brought her to dog beach where she could break loose and play with the other dogs. suddenly, a lot of dogs were following her, and we found out that she was in heat. we had to take her home because the other dogs were going crazy. we didn’t realize after that a sign was posted warning that no dogs in heat around.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:02 am

  35. Connie C says:

    So MM, are you saying Ginger has gone gaga with the Teen going gaga over Lady Gaga? I think the Lady is there now for a concert.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:08 am

  36. Mila says:

    Glad to read the diagnosis was benign, poor G looks so forlorn (cone of shame! Just saw UP last week!) in the first few pics, not to mention that eerie green goo in her eyes lol

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:09 am

  37. fried-neurons says:

    Thelma, I just read an article recently (through Yahoo News, maybe you can still find it) that listed the smartest and dumbest dog breeds. Golden Retrievers are in the top 5, along with Border Collies and Poodles. I can’t remember the other 2 in the top 5, or what the bottom 5 breeds are.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:21 am

  38. THELMA says:

    thanks, fried-neurons for that information. i will try to find that article. anyway, all dogs, smart or not, are all lovable
    and cuddly. in the real sense of the word, they are man’s best friends…

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:41 am

  39. tnm says:

    I’m glad your dog is ok. I’m a dog lover myself and a proud owner of a pug and a beagle mix. They go to the vet a few times a year for medical issues and I’m glad I purchased pet health insurance for them. It offsets some of the costs.

    My beagle mix goes into a nervous fit whenever a cone is put around his neck. Lots of whining ang trembling.

    I had a dog named Ginger once…a loveable askal.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 1:50 am

  40. Vicky Go says:

    All’s well that ends well! Happy for you that The Dog is back in the pink!

    Aug 12, 2009 | 2:58 am

  41. kurzhaar says:

    Various comments as I am a long-time dog owner/trainer.

    Marketman, is your dog spayed? While lipomas (fatty tumours) and sebaceous cysts are common and normally benign, mammary tumours can be malignant. Spaying reduces the risk of mammary cancer to near zero.

    On spay/neuter. If you are not breeding your dog (and nearly all dogs–while they are fine pets–should NOT be bred since generally they have not been evaluated for conformation, health, temperament, and in the case of working dogs, working ability), there is no reason to not spay/neuter.

    Teeth cleaning–I am a strong believer in doing this yourself at home. My own dogs have pearly whites and zero “doggy breath”. There is NO need to put a dog under, just to clean its teeth, when it is so easy to do yourself. A daily brush takes literally one minute to do, and dogs generally adore the toothpaste (various dog-appealling flavours are available). Scaling teeth takes perhaps ten minutes (once every few months) to do with a dental scaler, and most dogs are quite cooperative. Not only do you save on the vet charges, but you will be keeping a closer eye on your dog’s health this way.

    On dog intelligence–there is certainly a spectrum (I speak of one who has taught obedience for many years to owners of a variety of breeds). Not surprisingly, retrieving breeds such as Labradors and Goldens tend to be good at learning repetitive behaviour, because this is what they are expected to do in the field. Continental hunting breeds and herding breeds have a different type of intelligence, they are considerably more inventive/independent, and tend to get bored more quickly with repetitive behaviour. These are stereotypes of course but in general I find this to be true.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 4:27 am

  42. fried-neurons says:

    I agree with kurzhaar. I’m a big believer in spaying and neutering. Most people are regular pet owners and not breeders, and regular pet owners should not have “unfixed” dogs. It’s also important to note that for female dogs, you reduce their chances of getting cancer TREMENDOUSLY if you have them fixed _before_ their first heat. I believe that male dogs also benefit health-wise from getting neutered early in life. At the very least you reduce aggressive tendencies and wandering tendencies.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 5:05 am

  43. sanojmd says:

    i never thought that dogs can also have lipomas.. good thing your dog is now okay..

    Aug 12, 2009 | 6:11 am

  44. joanie says:

    I love dogs too and it breaks my heart so see them suffer in anyway. So, I’m glad that the result came out clear.

    Oh thats so cute that start dancing with the Poker Face song.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 7:56 am

  45. kurzhaar says:

    fried-neurons is correct…although even if you spay after the first heat you will still dramatically decrease the risk of mammary cancer. There are some known cons to spaying/neutering, especially if done early (before dog is 1 y old), but in general the health and behavioural benefits FAR outweigh any negatives.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 10:03 am

  46. mojito drinker says:

    great to hear that ginger is ok. i heart dogs =)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 10:32 am

  47. bagito says:

    this doggie mom is happy ginger’s ok. i have a 4-yr old shih poo (shih tzu/poodle mix) and i get sad just thinking i wouldn’t be growing old with her. =(
    whatever i spend on vet bills, groomers, etc. is all worth it bec the joy she provides to hubby and i is immeasurable and therefore, priceless.
    hay naku, i could go on and on about doggies so i better stop here.
    p.s. like kurzhaar, am a proponent of spaying/neutering.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:10 am

  48. zeph says:

    Touching post MM!

    @millet: are you based in Manila? because I’m curious to know how you got your bichon frise. i’ve been searching in vain for some months now.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:35 am

  49. Anne says:

    glad your lab’s doing great. even though vet expense can go up to the roof, these 4-legged babies are worth it. i have several dogs, 2 of which are senior citizens and a retriever who has idiopathic epilepsy. needless to say, there is not a month that goes by that i’m not at the vet’s for one reason or another. :)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:46 am

  50. shella says:

    oh our basset hound just got home too last week, she was also operated because she had kidney stones and had to stay in the vet for 5 days. Our lab was so happy to see her I think she thought she lost her already :)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 12:37 pm

  51. tna says:

    Teen : oh, i thought because of her color that she’d be a “pepper” =) Judging by her twirls I guess she could be a “ginger” as in Ginger Rogers (if you don’t know her just ask your dad);)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 1:03 pm

  52. Marketman says:

    Ginger, after a Christmas session of making gingerbread houses… The dog’s coat and the color of Gingerbread are nearly identical. :)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 1:32 pm

  53. Anne says:

    Speaking of skyrocketing vet expenses, just want to share that PAWS is hosting a FREE Spay & Neuter Day at the UP Vet Teaching Hospital on Friday from 8am-5pm.
    for more details: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600179242&ref=name#/event.php?eid=124694143254&ref=mf

    Aug 12, 2009 | 1:52 pm

  54. Mila says:

    To Zeph: I’ve seen bichon frise advertised for sale through local breeders in Manila (check with your vet, they may know someone breeding bf puppies).

    Aug 12, 2009 | 3:35 pm

  55. chris says:

    wow, what a dog life! :)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 4:09 pm

  56. meekerz says:

    I’m so glad The Dog is ok! Our dogs are family too.

    Oh sister, not all vets are racketeers. My vets seem to genuinely care for animals and don’t even charge me consultation fees! Also, even if benign, tumors may grow to the point of making the dog uncomfortable. My vets have horror stories of removing tumors bigger than the dogs!

    Since we’re on the subject of dogs, MM, maybe you can do a post on the proposed Greyhound Racing bills (and the utter stupidity and ignorance of the senators and mayors who are supporting it).

    Aug 12, 2009 | 4:13 pm

  57. Kasseopeia says:

    I too have had dogs all my life. Currently, we have a yellow lab (2.5 y/o male)and a couple of beagles (5 months male; 6weeks female). I love them like my children and I would do anything for them…even become their chew-toy! *lol*

    From one dog parent to another: I’m glad yours is doing GREAT! =)

    Aug 12, 2009 | 5:25 pm

  58. Gener says:

    DOGS can be funny and very friendly, they can be a very effective guards too…I loved having them while jogging around…Feeding them is not complicated too and they loved being cleaned…But i wonder if they were already spared from the beer-side? ghost! they were once considered as exotic delicacy,,They were once favourite “Pulutan” with many drunkards from the remote places! I cant even think of it! they were such a beautiful pets and i hope that consuming them can be prohibited once and for all…im not saying all anyway as its simply very shameful….

    Aug 12, 2009 | 5:34 pm

  59. cherie says:

    this post warms my heart ;D i have a labrador too but sadly she passed away a month ago. seeing these pictures remind me of the joy our dog has brought to all of us.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:35 pm

  60. Liv says:


    This is such great news that The Dog is a clean bill of health for now. I do hope she stays healthy! I am a doglover myself, and have battled my way out of dog illnesses and deaths. It would always break my heart to see friends (my dogs) suffer. So I do hope The Dog stays as “bibo” as she is in your photos! And please do post more pictures of her. She reminds me of a choco lab I had a few years back :)

    My prayers to your family!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:50 am

  61. Lady E says:

    I don’t have dogs but I do have several cats. I know how you felt when your dog got sick. Stories like these make me sad and make me want to rush home and hug my cats. I’m glad that she’s all better now!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:40 pm

  62. kurzhaar says:

    Marketman…just a suggestion, it would be good for your lab to lose a few pounds. (I know, she’s a lab, so that’s a challenge!) :)

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:06 pm

  63. CGT says:

    To tnm: May I know where you got a pet insurance policy? I’m looking for one for my beloved yorkie. Thanks =)

    Aug 25, 2009 | 1:34 pm

  64. Larina Mejillano says:

    I am so happy your dog is okay and doing well. Prince my golden retriever also has a lump on his leg. I will bring him to the vet tomorrow. We were just postponing it for several months but I think we really have to see a vet. I am so scared of what the vet will say. I hope the verdict is okay.

    Jan 8, 2010 | 11:07 am

  65. YahooMazda says:

    Hi I’m from philippines, anybody knows where to buy this e-collar which basically can fit to a 1.6 yr old labrador retriever?


    Apr 21, 2010 | 12:30 pm


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