For Thanksgiving, I headed to Nags Head, NC to visit my family.  They are doing one of those modern “working retirement” things where they move to the ocean and find jobs they enjoy.  My mom owns a general store called The Stock-Aide and my dad mostly plays guitar at local venues.  Its a slower pace of life by the water that I enjoy.  Molson always loves to go.  He sees me packing and perks up.  As soon as I say “Wanna go to the beach?” he’s halfway in the truck.  This trip was much like many of the other trips.  We spent a few days by the ocean and a few by the sound.  The big waves of the ocean still don’t seem to deter Molson from jumping in the ice cold water for a tennis ball or a stick.  In fact, he looks at me like I’m crazy because I’m standing in the sand trying to stay dry as the cool reality of November in North Carolina blows.  The dunes on the sound offer more protection from the wind and slightly warmer water as Molson plays with his cousins (I guess that’s what you would call them).  My sister has a 1 year old Golden Doodle named Gunner that reminds me of Molson in his younger years as he runs in every direction seemingly without purpose.  My brother has a small chihuahua/pomeranian mix, named Belle that only wants to get her feet wet.  My parents have a Sheltie named Ranger that paces up and down the beach keeping tabs on the entire pack, barking when one of the dogs goes beyond where he feels is appropriate.

In many ways, this trip was much like any of the others we had made to visit family.  However, during this trip, a bump was forming on Molson’s nose.  It didn’t seem like much at first.  It kind of looked like a bit of a snarl and we joked about him having an “Elvis Lip.”  As time passed, the lump continued to grow.  It became apparent that he should see the Vet.  As many pet owners have experienced, the Vet needed to run several tests and do X-rays and blood tests and biopsies, etc.  Each test failing to provide anything conclusive.  We tried numerous anti-biotics and anti-fungals hoping it was just some type of infection.  Meanwhile the lump continued to grow.

The kids were curious but only remotely concerned as they have never dealt with serious illness or anything on a personal level yet.  They joked that Molson must have sneezed and part of his brain shot down to his nose.  So from then on, we referred to the lump as his “Nose brain.”  It seemed to help lighten the mood as the conversation moved from medication to extraction.  On March 7th, Molson went under the knife.