Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Always on Guard - A Barkley Update

Barkley hangs out in my home office a lot. There's a little bed there where I often bed down after reviewing reports or staying up late on the computer. The bed is comfy, if small, and smells like me. PLUS he can see the walk up to the front door, from dawn to dark, always in wait for his arch enemy the UPS man (who might be delivering a package of live squirrels, you know).

The pathology report is in. Not good news, but not grim.

It IS definitely cancer and it's malignant but distant metastasis is very uncommon in this one. Meibomian Epithelioma. Basically, it's a tumor of low-grade malignancy arising from the meibomian glands (modified sebaceous glands which are located on the inner surface of the eye with a preponderance of basaloid cells and a few sebocytes and ducts). These holocrine glands have a duct which opens at the eyelid margin. Dr. H. has only seen one in 12 years of her practice. The pathologist said the basaloid cells show marked mitotic activity (the abnormal cells have spread to the margins) so it will likely come back. He's doing better now (though I caught him surfing the web for C4, a shovel and some article about Cone disposal) but the first 6 months after surgery are crucial during which constant monitoring is a must. So that I will do. I don't love very often, but I love hard, and this dog has got more than a bit of my heart.

It's not the best news, but it's time, hopefully lots of it.

Just a reminder if you have dogs and cats, check their eyes. If you see any growths, in the corner as this one was, looking like a tiny black pebble, or on the lid, don't just say "oh it's just a sty or a fatty tumor". A visit to your vet could save a life.

Would we all be like the dog, our pain hidden deep inside
where unkind thoughts and fear and loss are buried with our pride
With someone - stalwart friend, kind soul,
who shows us wrong from right
with rebuke soft, a gentle hand,
unfair judgment far from sight.
Would we know that secret place, where playful thoughts abide,
waiting only for that one true friend, in whom we can confide
- Brigid


  1. Brigid.

    We're still sending good thoughts and prayers. You and Barkley are in our thoughts.

    Keep us posted, and know that you have a lot of shoulders to cry on should the need arise.


  2. I don't write often, but read everyday. My fingers are crossed... as are the paws of all 6 of my furry family members.... and prayers have been said for both you and Mr. B.

  3. Perhaps it is the brown uniforms. My great dane, PoohBear, would lie quietly all day long and never bark at anyone... until the UPS man came around. Then he went from a sleeping gentle giant to an awakened hell hound.

  4. What a terrific shot of Barkley!
    (as if he needs focus to look outside!)

  5. People look at me funny when I seem happy over a test result coming back saying positive for this or that. In my life answers mean solutions and planning for better things. This is a case of a cruddy answer that is better than no answer and now solutions and planning awaits. So glad it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Will still send happy and healthy prayers for the both of you! Thanks for the update. Now take a hot bath and eat something decadent. Breath deep. You rock and inspire many!

  6. Best wishes for Barkley's quick and complete recovery.

  7. I think it is within all canine DNA to hate the UPS & FEDEX drivers. ;-)
    Still sending prayers for you both!

  8. Get well soon, Barkley. Murphy is inviting you down for a few days of cat chasing.

    PS--bring the red-head.

  9. You and Barkley have been part of our extended "family", and so we continue to send good thoughts and our prayers your way.

  10. Brigid,

    I hope Barkley does well for a long, long time. I so understand what you are feeling from our experiences with our Black Lab, Christopher. There is nothing quite as special as the love between a Lab and his/her humans.

    All the best,

  11. Barkley is lucky to have one such as you to protect from the UPS man.

  12. I would wish the best for you, no matter what dog you had. But a black lab. . . well that really strikes a nerve in my soul. I've had three Labs, my current, Molly, a black lab, is really more human than dog. Keep us posted and I hope things will turn out good.

  13. Love sent. Barkley is such a great pleasure to see on here.

  14. Readily agree with Lila - once you know what a thing is, you can wrap your arms around it, be vigilant, and give him the best possible chance. My continued good thoughts for your dog's health.

    Like the man said - Dogs are proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.

    Or something like that.

  15. Ah, so goodbad news. I'm glad that it looks like they can help him; as others have said, you & Barkley and his extended family are in my prayers.

  16. Awwww thank you!

    Crazy rooster is all Gracie, my best friend and one of the 3 amigas. Luckily his evil ways have passed to a new and hopefully less chicken happy owner. Still have recovering chickens. Heh.

  17. That is a great shot of Barkley.

    Here's hoping you have many more years with Barkley.

    Isn't this Barkley's birthday? If I'm right Happy Birthday Barkley.

  18. My best to you and Barkley! At least now you know what the problem is.

  19. Positive thoughts and prayers coming your way for Barkley.

    I'm still laughing about the "door mat" Warning.

  20. Prayers and doggy happy thoughts continuing. You could always try telling Barkley that he's now a Shakespearean dog . . . "Now is the winter of our dis-cone-tent"!


  21. Hoping all turns out well for Barkley.

  22. I don't love very often, but I love hard

    God bless and protect this wonderful woman.

  23. You never leave my prayers, nor my thoughts. Barkley as well. I am glad to hear thyey have at least a handle on this; do keep me posted.

  24. Continuing prayers for Barkley.

    Our neighborhood doesn't have many UPS deliveries. But the mailman is quite popular with the canine population, because he carries dog bones. Chloe practically drools when she sees him coming down the sidewalk. She walks to the end of her leash, sniffs in the direction of his pockets, and begs for a treat. Of course, the neighbor dogs bark in jealousy when she gets one.

  25. I'm with Og. Still praying for you and the Barkster.

    Mark Alger

  26. Brigid, the Raptor Clan will be keeping both you and Barkley in our prayers.

    C4, shovel, and "cone disposal?" I guess he's pretty serious. Tell him when his plan comes to fruition, I want to see the video footage. ;-)


  27. My prayers are with you and Barkley. Take care my friend.

  28. Brigid,

    My thoughts are with you and Barkley. Hope he gets well soon!

  29. Poor you. Poor Barkley. (Thanks for the tip on what to look for; I have old kitties.) You're in my thoughts and prayers!

    Saying he's had a good, wonderful life isn't even a halfway decent balm for facing the prospect of losing part of your heart like this.

  30. Hope all works out for you both.


  31. Good thoughts and hope headed your way.

    Going to Bill's in Robbinsdale today.(Is tough having it a couple of blocks from my office!)

    Need a few "items".

    Believe you know where it is...

  32. Glad the news is not totally negative!

  33. Get well prayers for Barkley. I think good dogs are sent from God to remind us to smile after a crappy day...

  34. Hang in there. A dog could not be in better hands.

  35. You are both in my thoughts.


    P.S. Don't let the chipmunks make fun or tease him about the cone; they can be so cruel.

  36. Aanoosh - your kind thoughts have always been appreicated.

    Lyle - welcome and thank you for writing. You are lucky to have so many furry friends.

    Bob and Heather - both, thank you.

    Murphy's Law and Rev Paul - your two families are family to me too. Thanks for the support.

    Sherry - I'm glad you have Molly. Barkley is my third lab. I had a pair, Bonnie and Clyde that lived to a ripe old age. But Barkley has always been my favorite.

    45-er yes, and thank you.

    Maura - you have such a kind soul and are such a good friend to people. It's no wonder you have a soft spot towards animals as well.

    Sport Pilot, Glen and Peter- gentlemen, from you, good wishes.

    Alan - I'm sorry I've not made it out to your neck of the woods. Your support and encouragement over the years means the world to me. Hope the little one is doing well.

    Everyone, thank you so much. Friendship has gotten me through a lot lately. big hug to you all.

  37. Sorry to hear that this about your buddy Barkley. I understand how precious these dogs are. I just had to put down my Tuffy last week due to a freak accident that severed his spinal cord. Dogs have always held a special place in my heart.

  38. Emily, I was going to post your comment and turn in but I couldnt wait til morning. I am SO ,so sorry, I know how much your entire family means to you, four legged ones and all.

    Please consider this a hug and I hope you find joy in all the many memories.

  39. Run, play and chase, Barkley! Let the red-haired lady you love so much see you at your happiest!

  40. We're praying for many, many more years.

  41. Your photo of Barkley made me laugh at first glance, the prognosis made me sad but your positive outlook made me smile again. Thank you for all the info on this and what to look for.

    Just like the what if's that sneak up in thought about our loved ones, I get the same about our beloved dog, Buddy. The reaction is ALWAYS the same... devastating sadness, happy thoughts are recovered real fast.

    Prayers for many, many happy, playful and just hanging together times.

  42. Happy Birthday to Barkley, sorry it's late.
    I'll add my wishes that you have him until forever.

  43. I'll keep my fingers crossed for him. We lost a golden to cancer a few years back, and it's heart-wrenching.

    I freaked out when I found a benign adenoma on my rottie last year, turned out OK but you can't take a chance.

  44. Good luck to Barkley for his monitoring and treatment and take solace in the fact that dogs are blissfully ignorant of of such words as cancer, every day will still be just a normal day with you as far as he is concerned.

    We recently lost our Golden Retriever to a nasal tumour and its been tough to deal with, so hard to take him to the vets that last time that I vowed never again to have another dog as the parting was too hard.

    One week later we collected Jackson an 18 month old German Shepherd Dog from a rescue centre, the joy of sharing life with a dog is immeasurable.


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