Clarence had his staples removed last night which wasn't as painful as I thought it might be. The big drama was getting him to lie on his side for the vet to access his belly. Once we managed that, it only took 3 of us to hold him down while the vet removed the staples - he actually used something that looked exactly like a staple remover! Clarence didn't flinch though, so it mustn't have hurt much at all which is good. Now he is completely back to normal and we can do all the things we used to do - he is dying to go for a walk, we haven't been able to take him out for long walks since the operation but now we can. And we have the pathology results back - the mass removed with his spleen is not cancer which is a huge relief. They don't know exactly what it is or what caused it, but it's not cancer so that's all I care about. Hopefully we'll have Clarence around for some time longer before we have to go through anything like that again... Thank you to everyone for your kind words and best wishes for Clarence.