King's Fever


“Good morning Honey,” Rory said walking into the office the next morning.

“Hi, Doc. Have you called Doc Katie?”

“Yep, she’s packing right now.”

“I’m glad, good for her and you.”

“Why me?”

“Oh, I suppose because you’re supporting her going back to school.”

“And she's going to be far away from Tal right?” Rory teased. Honey’s infatuation with Tal was now very obvious although Honey still wouldn't acknowledge it. And even Rory could see, Tal liked Katie.

“Jen says Mozart is better but King isn’t eating and there’s a lump on his face. Can you check him out?” Honey was obviously anxious.

“Sure bring him back to the exam table. How is he adjusting to his new place?”

“He settled in fine for the first few days, but now he's getting lethargic, and I think he's feverish.”

Rory stuck a thermometer in the dog’s butt. “Can you hand me the clippers? I’ll shave this bump while we wait for the thermometer.”

He palpated the firm swelling on the left side of King’s face just below his ear. “I bet we have a submandibular abscess,” he said after shaving and feeling both sides of the head for comparison. “Take his thermometer out. It’s beeping.”

“Oh, oh. It’s 104 Doc.”

He nodded. “Yeah it’s probably a lymph node abscess, or it could be cancer. I need to suck up some cells and look at them under the microscope.”

That worried her. “Oh don’t tell me King has cancer Doc.”

“Shh, it’s likely an abscess because he has a fever; tumors don't cause fevers. But the cytology will show me if there is cancer too.”

This fellow is not a Queensland, but he does have a similar swelling under his jaw.

Opening a drawer, he pulled out a syringe with a needle attached. He used a cotton sponge soaked in alcohol to clean the clipped area and poked the needle into the mass, pulling back on the syringe hard enough to suck a sample into it. “It’s probably pus. But there sure isn’t much. I just need to get one drop onto this slide. Oh yeah. Good, I’ve got it,” he said, smearing the sample over the slide with the end of the needle. He held it in the light to ascertain his success.

“Good there’s enough here,” He could see a small spot on the shiny glass slide. He handed the slide to Honey. “Put this through the Diff Quick staining solutions to show off the cells better.”

“Sure Doc. Hey, what’s this thing you've got going on with Marol?” She asked suspiciously, as she walked into the lab area and unscrewed three bottles of different colored solutions.

“What are you talking about?” Rory was surprised, baffled actually.

“Remember the pig hunt?”

Marol is from South Africa

Rory nodded.

“Byron says you were all over Marol like ants on honey and now she’s taking you on a private tour of Hearst Castle.”

“That’s bullshit! He’s trying to get me in trouble. It’s not just Marol; it’s also Hugh her brother and Katie. But that won’t be for a month,” he replied wondering why he suddenly felt he was expected to explain his friendship with Marol.

“Oh, you think this is a tryst!” He smiled realizing Honey misunderstood his afternoon intentions.