Crying at the Vet

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Big Hairy Dog had surgery last week.

In addition to needing some dental work, he also had a 2 1/2 pound tumor hanging between his back legs that needed to be removed.

Big Hairy Dog

The growth was more cyst than tumor – but at 2 1/2 pounds – the vet said it was the largest tumor they’d ever removed from a dog.

I felt both proud and broke when she told me that.

His surgery went well, and it just so happened that I had all three kids with me when I needed to pick up Big Hairy Dog.

I’m going to go ahead and blame Even Steven for that situation…

Even Steven

Everyone was reminded to use their manners and their very best behavior, and we were ushered into a small room where the vet and Big Hairy dog were waiting for us.

Big Hairy Dog was a little out of it but looked like a new man without his dangling goiter.

I instructed the kids to share the two chairs against the wall, and the vet proceeded to give me post-op instructions.

Unfortunately – the tumor had been wrapped around his penis, and the vet kept saying penis over and over and over again. And I was trying really hard to focus on how to care for his incision and what medicine to give him when I heard sweet little Alice whisper to her brothers, “She said penis.”

And then they all laughed hysterically.

And then my adorable little 2-year-old started stomping around the small room chanting, “I can see your penis. I can see your penis. I can see your penis.”

And I really wanted to tell him to be quiet and scold him – and a better mother would have – but I was laughing too hard to say much of anything.

Which just made the kids laugh even harder – because – you know – we’re all supposed to be on our best behavior but instead they’re talking about penises, and I have apparently turned into a 12-year-old boy because I can’t stop giggling.

The vet didn’t even crack a smile. Instead, she pulled out a medical book detailing the various types of worms that dogs can carry – and what the worms look like under a microscope and offered it to the children as a form of distraction.

This will come as a shock to no one – that didn’t work.

And then with a totally straight face she told me that I would need to brush Big Hairy Dog’s teeth every single day.

That made me laugh even harder.

So we rushed through the post-op instructions with me trying to keep a straight face, and Miles wanting to know if Benson had worms in his butt, and Alice giggling and Simon chanting, “I can see your penis, I can see your penis, I can see your penis” while stomping around the room.

And it doesn’t really matter, but did I mention that Simon was wearing Alice’s pink princess rain boots?

We were finally released out into the lobby where we had to wait for invoices and medication, and of course the kids couldn’t calm down.

There were shelves of canned dog food, and Simon immediately began stacking them to build a tower.

Big Hairy Dog’s mouth was bleeding a little from a pulled molar, and some of the blood dripped onto Miles’s boots – which caused a bit of a scene.

Luckily Alice was behaving, but I was still quite distracted as I attempted to pay, manage a woozy Big Hairy Dog, a distraught Miles with blood on his boots and a determined Simon to build a tower of dog food higher than his head.

While I tried to use my calm voice to get a handle on my children, the receptionist said,

“Enjoy every minute. They grow up so fast.”

I’m not even kidding. She seriously said that.

At first I thought she was joking – I mean – it’s such a cliche. It’s something that moms write about on the internet – saying things like, “I enjoy moments but not every moment,” and “it’s okay not to enjoy every moment,” and blah blah blah. So while I’ve read about things like this being said, it’s not something that anyone has actually said to me.

Especially in a moment like this.

I mean – she had to be joking, right? But when I looked up and started half laughing half smiling she said,

“You’re going to blink, and they’re going to be graduating from high school and heading out on their own.”

And then I punched her in the face.

No – not really.

In fact, I started crying a little bit.

And as the tears rolled down my face, I’m sure the receptionist thought it was because I just couldn’t imagine my sweet kiddos growing up and moving out.

But really it was the giant bill that I held in my hands that brought me to tears.

That – and the thought of having to brush the dog’s teeth. I think we’ll put Even Steven in charge of that…

Even Steven


  1. Janine Huldie

    November 18, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Glad Big Hairy Dog is Ok, but there is no way, I wouldn’t have been cracking up with that scene either and seriously how the doctor kept a straight face, I will never know!

  2. Kat

    November 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I can’t wait for those pics of you brushing the dogs teeth.

    Btw. PENIS!!!

  3. Lori Wescott

    November 18, 2013 at 9:05 am

    So glad he is ok. Baxter had his teeth cleaned last week, as well. I had already been brushing his teeth with the “poultry-mint” dog toothpaste everyday because his breath was rancid. After they were cleaned his bad breath was obliterated. They earned (almost) every bit of that money.

  4. Frugalistablog

    November 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I need to get my dog’s teeth cleaned too. Sometimes I forget to brush my own teeth. How am I supposed to brush the dog’s every day?
    I am thoroughly entertained by this post by the way.

  5. Kathy at kissing the frog

    November 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Okay, so glad the dog is okay, but OMgah! My boys would have been singing penis songs all over the waiting room, too. Why is it that when you’re so obviously overwhelmed and out of your mind, someone ALWAYS has to remind you to enjoy it all? I really hope I never say that to anyone.

  6. amy locke

    November 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This only happened because your mom was at your brothers. It is partially her fault (sorry Linda, but I have 3 brothers).

  7. Dara

    November 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I laughed my way through this one! I’m supposed to brush my dog’s teeth too. I don’t. It’s not good.

  8. Pam in IL

    November 18, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Glad Big Hairy Dog is ok. My kids have behaved much like yours many times, so I know how you feel. However, my kids are grown up and what the receptionist said is really true. I’m guessing she’s recently become an empty nester as I find myself saying the same thing now that my girls are away from home.

  9. Mom

    November 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I laughed pretty hard at this – I can picture my adorable grandchildren howling with delight at the “p” word! It also took me back to when you and Nick were acting ridiculous in Meijer’s and everything was so out of control that all I could do was laugh…and then your pre-school teacher came by and was NOT amused….which made me laugh harder. Must be you inherited that gene. You guys were in your 20’s by the way. Okay , not really, you were 3 and 5. It was great. I miss my little ones….these adults are killing me!! oh – I hate to paint by the way 🙂
    thanks for the support A.Locke ……:)
    love Mom

  10. Ashlee

    November 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    For what it’s worth, when I envision supermom, you’re who I picture.

  11. Dorothy

    November 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    That reminds me of a trip to the vet with my 8 year old daughter and her sick hamster. The vet examined him, and them says “well his testicles ARE inflamed” and looks at me like I should have known. I think I mumbled something about the hamster and I not being that close, and insisted that I did check everyday to make sure he was in the cage, had food and water, but I was definitely not responsible for checking his testicles. Somehow he was not amused, we left with antibiotics and an $80 vet bill (yup for a $7.95 hamster). I think I would have been laughing if my daughter wasn’t so upset over the little guy being sick …and then I got to explain what testicles were in the car on the way home .

  12. amy locke

    November 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    sorry Linda, I know that that Anna is your favorite daughter, just like I am my mom’s. 🙂

  13. Twin mama

    November 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I laughed so hard I actually cried……

  14. Debbie McCormick

    November 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

    So funny. Sounds like a day in my life. I get that comment “enjoy every moment, blah blah blah” all the time. It IS true, I have already raised two kids prior to my little monkeys now, and I wish I could have them back little again. But still, it doesn’t make current stressful times easier when people say that to me and the last thing i want to do is have a conversation about it when my kid is climbing on the Walmart turning bag holder.

  15. Michelle

    November 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

    The only thing worse than “they grow up so fast” is “I’ll pray for you.” Or am I the only one who gots that from complete strangers in the grocery store? And once from a friend who, if anyone knew where to find an excorcist, would’ve had the number.

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