This morning was Glacier's vet appointment to have the cyst-like lump on his left, front elbow examined. I had made the appointment on Friday and although there was an available appointment Friday, I said I'd wait until Monday because I wanted to see if it would resolve itself. I had ben putting T-tree oil on it twice a day and even though the lump shrunk a bit, it did not completely disappear. So, we braved the cold and slippery sidewalks to get to the vet's office.
Glacier and I walked to Carmen's flat to meet her so she could walk to the vet's with us. I have only been there once before and I am not 100 percent sure about the route. So, to ensure we made it there, I asked her to go with us. Glacier did very well on the way to Carmen's flat. There is a bridge we cross over all of the time and I nearly fell on my butt this morning when I first stepped on it. Glacier and I walk at a very fast pace and the momentum we had nearly sent me skittering. I dropped his harness handle, stopping him in his tracks and a nice gentleman came over to me to show me that there was a hand rail that ran the length of the bridge to the next crossing. I didn't necessarily need the hand rail, but was grateful that someone was actually being helpful. He told me that the bridge was "very frosty" and I had to agree. His choice of words made me smile. In North America we would have said "icy" or "slippery," but not "frosty." I may have to use that some time.
The rest of the route was fairly ice free and we moved along at a good clip. At one point, we got stuck behind a mom and her two little children, but she pulled over to let Glacier and I pass. Her one child was completely enamored with Glacier; probably because this giant dog was staring him right in the face. I said, "excuse me sir," and the little boy moved over. We picked up Carmen and walked the rest of the way to the vet office.
The vet was different from the last time we were in, but she was very good. She was gentle and quite thorough, checking Glacier's weight, ears, eyes, heart and lungs. Glacier still weighs 33 kilograms and she was very happy with his health, aside from the lump. She looked at it and figures it's a cyst, just as I had suspected. It is red and there is puss in it though, so she gave me anti-biotics for Glacier and instructed me to bathe the lump with warm, salt water twice a day. If the lump resolves by next week, we're in the clear. If not, Glacier has another appointment to go back in and he will probably have to have it surgically removed. I really appreciate that she is attempting to clear the lump up with non-surgical procedures before putting him "under the knife." He has already had today's anti-biotic dosage and I'll be bathing it with the salt water shortly.
After we went to the vet, we stopped in at the pet store and ordered Glacier and Roscoe boxes of their food to be delivered tonight. I also bought 150 biodegradable poop bags and a small bag of treats. The biscuits in the bag are even smaller than most kibble, so it is a nice, low fat reward for the boys when they are doing stellar work or just being good boys.
Our trip finished off with a stop in at one of our favourite cafes for coffee and a sandwich. Glacier behaved very well in the cafe, lying calmly by my chair. He had been a bit of a goober in the pet food store, continually sniffing everything in sight, but eventually settled into a very nice "sit stay" at the counter. He didn't even move from his sprawled position on the cafe floor when an unknowing customer stopped to pet him. The man was very apologetic when Carmen politely asked him to "please don't pet." Normally, I would have said something myself, but as Glacier didn't react to being fawned over, I didn't even know he was getting attention and therefore could not speak up.
Our walk home was mostly just cold. We did meet another guide dog user coming from the opposite direction. I didn't even know he was there until our two dogs stopped in front of each other. The other handler was the one to realise that we were both blind as I was busy telling Glacier to "leave it" and to "left, left," which means to move to the left without a sharp turn. We both laughed when we realised our dogs had stopped working because they wanted to be friends, but then encouraged our respective boys-his dog's name was Mitch- "forward" and we were on our way.
Aside from the vet visit being a bit stressful, it was a very nice outing. I was very proud of Glacier's work and am still in awe of the changes I have seen in him since we've arrived. He loves working and keeps good pressure on his harness, whereas before, he was unsure and would sometimes stop guiding entirely.
Good boy, Glacier.