Changing Vet?; Weekends Away; Mantova – but not this year!

Let’s be honest, go to a different doctor and you’ll be sure to get a different opinion. General Practitioners are exactly that – general. Specialists, on the other hand are a different beast altogether.

The same is true of everyone, I’m not just singling out doctors here.

I’ve been thinking, for some time now, that I need a different vet. It’s not that the one (or, rather ones, since there are two of them) are bad, exactly, it’s just that I’m not sure they really do the best or right thing.

Take the lump behind Rufus’ ear. He has lots of lumps now; it’s not unusual; he’s over 14 years of age. However, this particular lump kept on growing, fertilised, no doubt, by Dino’s instance on licking it so often. So, eventually, as Dino’s licking would sometimes result in it bleeding, I took Rufus to the vet.

I wasn’t worried about the lump itself, and explained that I wanted to find some way to stop Dino licking it. He looked at it. He wanted to check to see if it was malignant. Actually that thought hadn’t crossed my mind but, OK. He tested it. Or, rather, he poked and prodded it (which made it worse than before). It was not malignant. But the answer to my question was not given. There was some talk of, if it gets worse, we can always remove it but we don’t want to as he is old.

Hmmmm. Plasters provided little respite. But, then, Dino seemed to leave it alone, most of the time.

When we were on holiday, staying at Johnny’s place, one night, Dino was obviously bored or something and, during the night, licked it so much that, in the morning, it was bleeding again – and quite a lot. So we went to the vet that Johnny and A used for their dogs (who turned out to be an old school mate of F’s). He looked at it and said it would be best to remove it.

He did it there and then (and I learnt also that F is a bit squeamish about blood and stuff). It took less than half an hour, cost less than €100 (although we probably got a ‘special price’) and, apart from re-bandaging it over the next couple of weeks, everything was perfect. Dino has stopped licking it (or, rather, where it was).

Last Saturday night, we found Rufus to be limping. I thought he might have something in the pad of his paw but looking at it I could find nothing. We came back on Sunday and on Monday night, as he was still limping, I took him to my vet.

“Ah”, he said, “it will be one of the ‘hairs’ from a grass seed that has got in”.

He found where it was (it was on the top of his paw, not underneath) and decided to ‘have a look’. He got out something that looked a little like a blunt pair of scissors and tried to find the offending ‘hair’ but couldn’t. He then said we would have 10 days of antibiotics and see after that. If the infection came back, he would need to go in to try and find it, if the infection stayed away, then it was already out.

But he seems to have made the situation worse than before. Or, maybe I’m not giving the antibiotics enough time to work. Or, maybe, I really should go and find another vet ………


F texted me last night. He is in Berlin. He checked into the hotel. They said that they had the room for two nights. He thought that was strange as it should have been three (he was coming back on Saturday night). Once in his room, he checked his itinerary and realised that he had made a mistake. He comes back on Friday night after all! Now he is suggesting that we go down to Carrara on Saturday morning, early. If we leave by 9 a.m., we should be on the beach by 11 – enjoying the last few days of summer.

I am more happy than you can know that he is coming back on Friday – whether we go down or not.

Next week he is working in Spain and is flying back from Spain directly to Pisa. If the weather is going to be good enough, I will drive down and we shall have yet another weekend there.

You may remember how, on the night of ‘Disaster’, the first night of our holiday, he suggested that I made him bring me down there and that he never wanted to come. It seems that may not have been quite the truth ;-)

Still, it does mean that I have, obviously, passed ‘the test’ and that, probably, from his family’s point of view, I am very much ‘the good guy’ as they will be seeing him more this year than any other! :-D


The only drawback to this and the wedding earlier in the UK, etc., is that this year, for the first time for years, I shan’t be going to Mantova – not even for a day – for the Festivaletteratura. I’m really sorry about that because I always loved it and I loved meeting the people I know. However, I do think it was V that they always really wanted to see (him being exotic and so on) and I guess this is one of those things that I should ‘let go’ now.

Still, I should send an email or something, perhaps next week, just to wish them all the best with this year. I shall miss the friends I usually saw and the things like playing chess with Boris Spaskey and playing Subbuteo and those sort of things.

Life moves on and change is inevitable. I would have liked to take F there, in the way that it was but I guess there’ll be other things that come up in years to come that will be similar.

At least Hay will always be there for me, when I can do it.