A month ago, we noticed a small pink growth between Saidee-the-Hu-beagle’s toes. It was the size of one of her paw pads, only it wasn’t black and she didn’t need any extra paw pads. We took her to the vet, a loquacious southerner named Dr. DuBois. Upon examination, he decided she needed surgery right away to remove the growth.
Once he got in there, Dr. DuBois found a tumor that wasn’t well-defined, as he had hoped. “It was tangled into veins and tissue and growing everywhere,” he said to me on the phone. “I got a lot of it, but there was no way to get all of it.” He started preparing me for the worst-case scenario: that Saidee had a malignant tumor that would require amputation of her leg to save her life.
Three days later, he called and left a message on Matty’s phone with fantastic news. Even though the tumor was locally aggressive, it wasn’t cancerous. We were beyond relieved.
Saidee’s 12 going on 13, which is pretty old for a dog. I got her my junior year of high school for my Mom, because mom is a dog lover and since I knew I was soon going away to college, I wanted her to have another daughter. Since she joined the Hu family, Saidee has lived in Texas, and St. Louis, and then with my brother Roger in Arizona, and for the last four years, with me and Matty in Austin and now, D.C. She’s as important member of the Hu family as any of the rest of us; she loves all of us unconditionally, and never wavers in her loyalty.
So we owe it to her to give her many stimulating memories for these sunset years of her life. She joined the rest of the tourists this weekend (and was a huge attention getter) as she roamed the Washington Mall and saw the sights.