Last Friday, my dog Lila Belle & I were going to my friends’ house in Brooklyn. She was sitting on my lap in their car, as she’s apt to do, and in holding her, I noticed a growth on her front leg. Since Lila considers herself a(n overgrown, 32 lb.) lap dog, she’s often jumping up on me so I have a pretty good idea of what is (and is not) on her squirmy little dog body. This thing on her leg, this was new. It was big, it was (somewhat) fleshy, and it seemingly came out of nowhere.

I called the vet immediately.

We went in on Monday morning; I was hoping the vet would immediately discount it, as it didn’t seem to hurt Lila at all, but she didn’t. Instead, she ordered a cytology, which she said often comes back inconclusive. If that was the case, we’d have to give her anesthesia and take a biopsy of this thing on her leg. For now, I’d just have to wait; results would come back at some point this week.

So for the last six days, I’ve been in a constant state of concern. “I’m sure it’s nothing,” I’d tell myself, and yet I’ve had this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’ve been overly doting on her, feeling guilty that I was at work, that the dog walker was taking her out vs. me, in case – God forbid – there was something more seriously wrong. Lila is only seven, and for the first time, I began to think about her mortality. I’ve lost three cats in the last three years, so the death of a pet is not foreign to me. But Lila? No. Not her. Not now. I can barely even think about her slowing down as she gets older. This is my puppy, this crazy, energetic, sweet, loving, floppy-eared gal. This is my dog. This is my future husband’s dog. This is my future children’s dog. No. She must be ok.

And, she is. The vet just called; I nearly burst into tears when she told me that the results came back and Lila is absolutely fine. It is simply fat cells. There’s really no rhyme nor reason why she has this thing on her paw; I’m supposed to monitor it and if it changes or starts to bother her, we can have it removed. But for now, she’s fine.

Celebratory drinking at lunch is acceptable, right? 

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