Georgina, Dudley's favourite vet, phoned us late this afternoon with his pathology results.
Using fancy speak it was a melanocytoma - basically a melanoma,which thank goodness is benign.The wound is so big as they took away a fair bit of margin around it and the borders of that are totally clear. I'm so relieved and yet stunned - melanoma was my worst unspoken fear, and possibly theirs, and of course it's wonderful that it's benign/hasn't spread.
From the rapid bit of Googling I've done it seems to often stem from a hair follicle if it's on the dog's tummy or such and also it tends to affect dogs under one year old. Exactly Dudley's visual symptoms and around his age group.
We apparently did really well to jump to attention and get him to the vet when we did and will both be giving him an even more thorough check at least once a week, although with luck he should sail merrily through to old age.
Of course, he'll lie on his back and absolutely love being stroked! Hooray for Dudley - a positive result and he's also 'positively' delighted at the prospect of being fondled even more than usual.
Which takes us full circle - as that's exactly how Len initially found it in the first place!
And the little chap? Fast asleep and totally oblivious here with his head on one of my slippers, with my foot inside, so he knows if I move away from the desk!
With grateful thanks for all your positive thoughts for this happy outcome, and a happy albeit unknowing woofle from Dudley.