Good Boy, Toby

Last Thursday, I wrote and told you about our dog, Toby, who sustained an injury to his left eye after misjudging a jump into our truck while we were on our spring break. The eye became red, swollen, and misshapen upon our arrival home, so we took Toby to the local vet. The vet recommended Toby see the ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist shocked us with her diagnosis of a tumor in Toby’s left eye and the recommendation that his eye be removed and tested for cancer.

Well, having an eye cut out is no small thing, especially for a young, healthy, strong pitbull. George and I were both horrified at the thought of our sweet Toby losing an eye. We consulted with some friends who are animal experts, who in turn consulted with their friends, also animal experts. We all agreed that a second opinion was in order.

We didn’t get any sleep Thursday night. On Friday morning, George rose early and made calls to secure an appointment for Toby with an ophthalmologist in the big city. He made a bed for Toby in the front seat of the truck and at 9 a.m., a grim-looking George pulled out of the driveway.  Brave Toby sat up straight in his seat and looked out the window with an expression even more concerned than usual on his big, serious face.

“Unfortunately,” George said when he called later that day, “The second opinion is the same as the first. They are pretty convinced it is a tumor and they think the eye should come out.”

“When?” I asked.

“Today,” he answered.

George and Toby returned home at 8 p.m. that night. Toby had a large plastic cone around his neck to protect his head and eye, and his big pitbull head was wrapped in a thick purple bandage. Toby–who has always been solid as a rock and unflinching–cried, shuddered, and whimpered the whole way home and throughout the night. Over the weekend, several visitors came bearing gifts of squeaky donuts, squeaky monkeys, treats, and laps for Toby to lay his hurting head in.

The surgeon said that Toby’s eye did indeed have a large tumor and that his vision could not have been more than 30% in that eye, which may account for why he missed the jump into the truck. It was not the accident itself that caused the tumor. Apparently, it had been there and growing for some time.

We now await word of whether it is benign or malignant.



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