Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. Find him online at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com).
Chris Longenecker, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Reading, PA, contributed to this article.
Jonah, a 3-year old Beagle, had been seen by three different vets to find the source of his pain. His owner, Mary, described Jonah as having trouble wagging and lifting his tail. Occasionally, he would have trouble urinating and defecating. His family vet put him on pain medications, but they didn’t help much.
Mary also noticed that Jonah would occasionally chew at his back leg. “Because he was painful” she thought. But nobody would take her seriously.
That’s when I met Jonah. His physical exam was normal, besides the fact that he did have mild but consistent pain in his lower spine. Stretching his tail over his back would also cause pain. Otherwise, everything else checked out normal.
Beagles are prone to slipped discs, but Jonah didn’t show the classic signs. These include back pain and weakness or paralysis in the back legs. I wanted to take Mary’s concern seriously, so we had a heart-to-heart. There was clearly something wrong with Jonah. An MRI was the next logical step… and a big leap of faith. Mary went for it.
Imagine our surprise when the MRI revealed a mass in the lower spinal cord, most likely a tumor.
We had talked about the diagnosis, surgery, its possible outcome and quality of life. Mary opted for surgery, despite of the risks. She wanted to give Jonah every possible chance.
Surgery confirmed the mass exactly where the MRI said it would be. However, it was impossible to remove it entirely. In a case like this, we say that we "debulk"' the mass, i.e. that we remove the bulk of the tumor.
Despite the invasive surgery, Jonah was still able to walk soon after waking up. Spinal surgery is very delicate, so we typically expect worsening of the signs initially.
A week later, we received the biopsy report, which confirmed a tumor. Unfortunately it was cancerous, an aggressive cancer of the cartilage called chondrosarcoma. Fortunately, it was a slow growing tumor.
Two weeks after surgery, at suture removal, Jonah was walking and wagging his tail, with no signs of pain!
As our pet’s best advocate, we need to keep pushing until we get the answers we and our pets deserve. If we are not satisfied with the answers we’re getting, we owe it to them to ask more questions, to demand better answers, and, if needed, to be referred to a specialist.
Jonah is a perfect example of this philosophy: his owner kept pushing until she found somebody to take her seriously.
In the end, Jonah is the clear winner. He lived happily for a long time after surgery, with a dramatically better quality of life.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
7 Short Mystery Stories
As a kid, I read Carolyn Keene and Mary Higgins Clark into the late hours of the night. So it’s no surprise that when I stay up now, compelled by something beyond my control to keep turning pages, there’s often a mystery novel in my hands. Sometimes, however, a girl’s gotta sleep, and that’s where these short mystery stories come in. If you, like me, feel that all’s right in the world when you’ve figured out the big twist, these short mystery stories will deliver that satisfaction without the side effect of lost sleep.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
“The Little Men” by Megan Abbott (from The Best American Mystery Stories 2016)
I’m especially partial to this one since I’m a recent Megan Abbott convert (late the the party, I know!). This short story is about Penny, who has recently moved into her dream home. However, the beautiful cottage seems to be haunted. After hearing strange noises and creepy rumors from her neighbors, Penny begins to wonder about the death that occurred in the home a decade earlier.
“In My Hands” by Sarah Cortez (from Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery)
Every entry is fantastic in this short mystery stories anthology, but I chose this one because the twist ending left a pit in my stomach. Elizabeth and her husband Winston have just divorced. One night, our narrator gets a call from Elizabeth. She says, “If I ever get killed, find a PI or go to the police, because Winston will have done it.” Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth goes missing, leaving behind a shattered wedding picture and a cold cup of coffee. Read it on your commute and prepare to think about it all day.
“Miss Marple Tells a Story” by Agatha Christie (from The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories)
Famed fictional detective Miss Marple recounts a locked room case she once solved. In it, one of Miss Marple’s friends asks her to save him from being charged for his wife’s murder. She requests all of the details of the ghastly crime before solving it on the spot, without ever leaving her chair. This satisfying story is short enough to read over your lunch break.
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
“Since You Went Away” by Frankie Y. Bailey (from Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African Americans)
This one is from another great anthology of short mystery stories. At the beginning, a young woman decides to tell her date a chilling true story. The tale is about her grandfather, who worked on a passenger train during a time when there was a ghastly murder on board. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, this whodunit is full of zany characters who will keep you guessing until the very end.
Ghost Girl in the Corner by Daniel José Older
This is a novella, but at only 107 pages you could definitely read it in a sitting. Its plot is connected to Older’s Shadowshaper, but you could read it as a standalone since it features two secondary characters from the novel. In it, Tee and her girlfriend Izzy have to evaluate their relationship while also confronting a ghost and looking for a missing girl. Older’s mystery also deals with how missing brown and black girls get less media attention than white ones. The kicker? You can get it for under a dollar!
“The Adventure of the Sealed Room” by Andy Weir
You can read this and other short mystery stories by the author of The Martian for free! Part of Weir’s Holmesian fan fiction, it centers on Professor James Moriarty, who solves crimes as a criminal consultant. In this particular story, Moriarty himself has been charged with murder and his sidekick, Captain Moran, is called to bail him out of jail and exonerate him. Weir no longer writes these stories, but they are quick and fun reads if you like Sherlock Holmes variations.
“Killer Fudge” by Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck
If you’re a reader of cozy mysteries, this short story is for you. Callahan Garrity is a former cop who has started a cleaning business in Atlanta. In the series of novels about this detective, she usually solves crimes committed at or around the houses she and her crew have been hired to clean. In this short story, one of Callahan’s “House Mouse” cleaning staff members asks her to help her grandson, Darius, who’s been charged with murdering an antiques dealer. (And if you like this fudge story, there’s another one called Fatal Fruitcake you can read next.)
Like mysteries? Get more recommendations below.
Author hides short story in 1000 copies of his book, Twitter turns detective
Left: Author Will Maclean beside a mountain of signed books. Right The final copy, and final mystery word, out of 1000.
If you're going to sign 1000 copies of your new book, you might as well make the most of that inevitable wrist ache.
Last month, writer Will Maclean's debut novel The Apparition Phase was released into the world. To mark its publication, independent London bookstore Goldsboro Books released 1000 signed and exclusive first editions to members of their monthly book club. But rather than just putting his signature on each one, Maclean had another idea.
"On the title page, you'll see a single word handwritten by me," reads a note from Maclean distributed with each first edition. "That word, although meaningless on its own, is part of a piece of writing precisely 1000 words long.
"Each of these 1000 Goldsboro exclusive editions has one single word of that original piece written in them, dispersed among the people who own them. That piece of text is recorded nowhere else but, collectively, in those 1000 editions."
Basically, Maclean has created a 1000-piece puzzle. And by late November, people were coming together on Twitter to try and solve it.
In case you missed it we are searching for 1000 words! Will Maclean signed 1000 copies of his book The Apparition Phase & in each copy he wrote 1 word. Put together these 1000 words make a story.
Twitter please help to find the 1000 words! Please Retweet#apparitionphase1000 pic.twitter.com/a6TD7vi3nw
— Lovedreadingthis (@lovedreadinthis) November 23, 2020
To make things trickier, all the words probably aren't in play yet. Mashable spoke to Goldsboro Books, who confirmed that although all 1000 copies of Maclean's novel have been claimed, some of them are still in the process of being dispatched. And with some going overseas (and postal delays due to coronavirus expected), it may still be a little while before everyone has received their copy.
In the meantime, though, readers and book bloggers are slowly putting all the pieces together.
Still talking about The Apparition Phase, we have over 70 words now, but still lots more needed. In the signed @GoldsboroBooks copy of the book, is 1 word, 1000 signed copies = 1000 word story.
Helps us collect the words.
Please Retweet. Thanks pic.twitter.com/1HFqp7DRNc
— Lovedreadingthis (@lovedreadinthis) November 25, 2020
Maclean, meanwhile, has been watching from the sidelines and occasionally chipping in to help clear up any handwriting-related confusion.
Apologies for the handwriting! This is what “and” looks like when you’ve written in 938 books
— UnrealWill (@unreal_will) November 25, 2020
With only around 100 words confirmed at the last count, there's still a way to go. But with Twitter's strong track-record in solving mysteries through the power of crowd-sourcing, it's surely just a matter of time.
Harry Potter Year 3
Here you can find the detailed walkthrough for Year 3 of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. You will be able to continue solving the mystery of the Cursed Vaults as each chapter will give you new hints and clues about your brother’s disappearance. Your friends will be there by your side, and you’ll be able to forge some new friendships, learn many new lessons and much more on your curse-breaking adventures!