Ernest here. Scraps is taking a day off. It’s been a while since I’ve helped Mom here on the Writer’s Dog. Today I wanted to tell you about these tiny little spots on my sides. Lumps. Growths. The vet calls them masses. All I know is they caused Mom and Dad to worry.

You see, three years ago Dad found this tiny spot on my side. It looked like a mosquito bite. It was that small. I was taking classes to learn how to be a therapy dog at the time. But the vet stuck a very thin needle in the mass and withdrew some of the fluid and had it tested. (Don’t worry friends, it didn’t hurt at all!) But the news that came back was not good. The vet said it was something called a mast cell tumor. And I needed to have surgery so the cancer wouldn’t spread. I’m not going to lie, the surgery was difficult. Even though it was a tiny lump, the vet had to do a lot of work and the scar was from my shoulder down my side. This is my scar, after it healed up a little.

But I wanted to get through it and be back with mom and dad, so I was as strong as I could be. And guess what, every day I got better and better, and in a few weeks I was even able to take my therapy dog test and I passed!

The good news is that I recovered and have been cancer free for two years. The bad news is that the vet said that this type of cancer tends to spread. So I had three more bumps tested. And Mom and Dad had to wait for the results. I could tell they were anxious waiting. So I gave them all my therapy dog love.

After two days the vet called and we got the news—the tests were negative! It’s not cancer!

Mom, Dad, Petey and I are so happy. And Scraps too. I don’t know if I fully understand everything there is to know about these things, but I’m pretty sure that none of us know how long we have. But it’s more about how you live the time you have. I’m just lucky that I get to be a therapy dog, and live with Mom and Dad who give me all the love and walks and good food I could want. And Pete’s pretty nice to snuggle with.

(Photo by Roy Gumpel)

Yup, I’m getting on in years, I’m going to be 13 this fall. I’m a little slower than I was last year. But life is good.

Ernie, signing off for now. Love you!