Itty and Bitty

IMG_2342                "Dogs never lie about love."  Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson


Maggie and I always see at least one interesting dog, person, or situation when we go to Scenic Hill Veterinary Hospital. Yesterday was no exception.

IMG_2338 Maggie is a very laid back  9 1/2 year old chocolate lab. She has several nicknames, including "Li'l Brown Sugar" and "The Ambassadog of Goodwill." She sprawled on the cool floor of the waiting room, one eye on the treat jar at the counter, and the other on a cute little girl who kept smiling and pointing in her direction.

A woman came in half-dragging a reluctant 4 month old Bernese Mountain Dog. She told everyone in the room that this was the first time she had put a harness on the pup. He scooted flat-pawed across the slick floor as the woman gently coaxed him from one side of the room to the other. The handsome youngster already weighed more than 45 pounds. Fully grown, his weight will be between 130-145 pounds.

Maggie and I both were just about to doze off as we waited our turn, when the inner door opened, and a tall African-American woman came through, both of her large hands held out in front of her, like protective scoops. One of her hands cradled a handful of something that looked like a small pile of black bird feathers. The other hand cradled its twin. I leaned forward and stared. "Yorkie babies! They're adorable!"

She smiled proudly and came closer so I could admire the tiny Yorkshire Terriers. And then, she just made my day. In a lovely contralto voice, she moved one puppy-laden hand closer to me, and said, "This Itty." And then she brought the other hand even with the first, and said, "This Bitty."

Our eyes met and we shared a good laugh.  Everybody wanted a look at the little tykes, and I could hear her introducing Itty and Bitty all the way out the door.

When Maggie's name was called, we went in to visit with Dr. Chere Ernest, our family vet for the last 25 years. Maggie got her nails clipped, an annual shot, and a general check-up.  Dr. Ernest and her assistant check out Maggie dog.Now that Maggie is almost ten, I always have a trill of anxiety when Chere runs her hands over Maggie and listens to her heart. 

Maggie has a lipoma (a benign fatty-cell tumor) in the neck tissue between her chin and her chest. That's an awkward area, and we've been watching it for awhile. The only reason to surgically remove it would be if it is growing, which could make removal in the future difficult and potentially dangerous for Maggie.

Buck and I thought the lipoma has either stayed the same or possibly even shrunk, and Chere agreed. No surgery, just continued watchful waiting.


  Dr. Ernest's assistant has a great dog-side manner. I love their eye contact and facial expressions here.

I grew up scared to death of dogs. Impossible, now, to imagine life without such a great friend.



6 thoughts on “Itty and Bitty

  1. What a beautiful coat on Maggie. You and she should be proud. Give her a pat for me—and someday I’ll let you TRY to pet Pablo. Wear leather gloves, though. Thick leather gloves–like welder’s gloves.


  2. It’s always fun to see into someone else’s daily life. One of the things I like best about yours is the way you see everything as a story. This one had themes of love, acceptance and the eventualities of time. Nice.


  3. You are right about the expressions in the last picture, it shows the love the assistant has for her work and her patients. That is hard to find nowadayss. As usual your words ring with life the way that only you can convey.


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