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Peyton and Me Meandering: So Where Is That Black Dog? (Chapter XI )



William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews


Screen Shot 2021-08-11 at 23.9.24Peyton wearing an E Collar


GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (August 11, 2021)--Someone said to me the other day "I haven't seen you or your black dog on your daily walk in recent days, is everything okay?"  

I explained that our best friend and companion Peyton, a black Labrador retriever, is having a tough time following an operation to remove a cyst/tumor.  She doesn't like the stitches and insists on pulling them out despite wearing an E collar and being heavily sedated.

What is an E Collar? An Elizabethan collar (also known as an E-collar or the cone of shame) is plastic or fabric hoods or cones placed around the head to prevent an animal from licking at a surgery site, wound, or dressing.

Her operation was last Friday, August 6.  We dropped her off at Dr. Sheehan's Veterinary Clinic in Fairview at 8:30 AM. and picked her up at 4 PM.  Our dogs have been patients of Dr. Sheehan for approximately 20 years. Lacey and Erica passed in 2013 and 2014 from cancer. We adopted Peyton a month after Erica died. He and his staff are the best in the business. 

We first purchased a donut collar thinking that would be sufficient. That type of collar doesn't block the dogs' peripheral vision. We soon found out Peyton was going to find a way to get to those stitches collar or no collar.  Saturday morning we got in touch with the vet's office and after explaining what was going on they prescribed something like a doggy valium to relax her.  Once it took effect she was a lot calmer. Finally, we can relax, we thought. 

Throughout the rest of the day and into the evening she was calm. But, apparently, there was a moment during the night she got to those stitches and pulled several out exposing her innards. 

As you can see Peyton was able to pull some of the stitches out.
Why her skin is blue in the photo is a mystery to me

Trying to find a veterinary clinic during Covid that is willing to take a dog that isn't their patient isn't easy. Especially on a Sunday. We first tried the emergency clinic near Deptford Mall, although they advertise being open 24 hours 7 days a week we found out that wasn't so.  Numerous phone calls later we ended up at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital in Turnersville.  The staff and the doctor were very nice and caring. The doctor recommended a few staples to close up the wound and after paying the $300 bill we headed home. 

This photo was taken this evening. When we take her outside to relieve herself we take the collar off as she has trouble walking. During those few minutes, she is twisting and turning trying her best to get at those nasty stitches. Periodically during the day and night, we sprinkle Gold Bon medicated power on the incision to help with the itchy she is also taking a pill to stop it. 

We picked up a new collar at PetCo that limited Peyton's movement so she can't reach the stitches. Most of the day she lays in her bed looking sad. She is eating okay. But  I know she misses her daily 2-mile walk because it is killing me too. After all, it is something we both have been doing for years and to have to stop all of a sudden is a jolt to your mindset and body.  Every so often she whimpers and you'll see a tear run down her face. It breaks my heart. 


The cyst/tumor (I am not sure what to call it) started as a small lump about the size of a dime at the end of June. Dr. Sheenan recommended we leave it alone to see if it grew or if it started to bother Peyton. By the end of July, it was the size of a silver dollar. Because it grew so fast it is concerning. The lump was deep into her hind quarter extending down to her muscle. Thankfully it didn't go into the muscle. 


Erica and Lacey 

Some of the stitches will be removed on Thursday by Dr. Sheehan with the remaining ones being taken out seven days later. We should have the results of the biopsy either tomorrow or Friday. Hopefully, those results will say the lump was benign. Peyton was just 7 years old in February. We adopted her when she was 14 months old. From the first day we saw her we fell in love. The month before we got her we lost our yellow lab, Erica, to cancer, and the year before we lost our black lab, Lacey also to cancer. They were both 11 years old at the time of their deaths.

If you have a moment we appreciate it if you would say a short prayer that her test results will be negative and we can get back to taking our daily walk in a few days. 

Below Peyton is in her favorite spot sitting at the back of the van waiting to take a ride.

Screen Shot 2021-08-12 at 9.37.32