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The Continuing Adventures of SuperMurph…

Well hey, I was just informed that I left y’all dangling after my “Happy Birthday, Murph” post recently. 

We went to the vet and I pointed out the area of concern: a large blob that had been forming on Murphy’s lower abdomen near the site where the cancerous mast cell tumor was removed back in March. As a typical twelve-year-old lab, Murph has blobs all over her — fatty cysts mostly, many that have been there for years. It was when she developed something that resembled a scrotum hanging between her legs last year that we became concerned. People usually mistake her for a male dog, but she was literally starting to look like one. I’ve heard that birds can switch genders for the sake of the survival of the species, but I’ve never heard of it in dogs, so we took her to the vet. They recommended immediate removal of the tumor.

Now, six months later, after a good surgery and clean recovery, I am watching her like a hawk. Anything new gets palpated like crazy. The vet took a sample of the lump and it looked fine at first, but based on Murph’s recent history, she decided to go in a little deeper. Hmmm…. this sample didn’t look as good, so the vet sent it off to the pathology lab. She said they’d have the results “next week”. Geeez…

Bravely, Murphy and I went out to the cashier and paid the — gulp! — $623.00 bill… We had also purchased flea stuff and heart worm medicine, but still… I smelled the vague odor of plastic melting as my credit card was used, yet again, for the purpose of propping up my old pooch.

I rarely check invoices when I pay for things. I’m just lazy that way. But on this day I thought I’d see where all my hard-earned credit had gone. I’d bought a year’s supply of heartworm and flea medicines so that I could also use it on Wacky Jacky the Weisenheimer Weimaraner. I noticed, however, that they had only charged me for one box of heartworm stuff. That was $40.00 all by itself. At first I thought, “Woohooo!”, but I was quickly cut off by my good conscience — Dang! Why did I have to go and look at the stupid bill?!! I got out of the car and walked back inside. 

The front-end people at this particular vet are not always the most friendly, so I thought I’d play a little game with them. Invoice in hand, I said, “I really hate to have to do this to you…..” They looked at me with pursed lips and creased eyebrows.  “It pains me terribly to tell you that you UNDERCHARGED me on my bill.” One of the women made the kind of sound that a person who has almost drowned makes when the water is pushed out of their lungs and they take a huge gasp of air. “WHAT???” she exclaimed. 

A conversation ensued after this between me and this former group of euphemistic female dogs about the virtue of doing the right thing. It didn’t help my wallet out any, but it totally changed the tone of that day for all of us. I told them that I believe in karma and that my good deed would not go unrewarded. Neither would Murph’s. We had just learned that a friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and Murphy had decided that, since she has managed to live such a good long life, she doesn’t need the karma points, so she was donating hers to our friend, who, she believes, needs them more. 

And so, with that nobility of intention, the karmic value was increased tenfold. Not only did our friend recieve the blessing of having caught her cancer early, Murphy and I were rewarded, too. The vet called on Saturday, her day off, to tell us that we had nothing to worry about. There were some crystals in the sample, but they were benign. All’s well!

Carry on, Karma Dog… You still have work to do in this world.

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