I had to take my dog, Frankie, to the vet for a wellness check. Usually, I try to do this at night so that someone can be at home with my other dog, LuLu, who does not like to stay by herself in the house. She gets nervous, piddles and then hides. When I do arrive home, she never greets me. I think to teach me a lesson because I left her, she makes me play hide-and-seek, and to her credit, she never hides in the same place twice so the game gets annoying quickly.
This time, I had to make the vet appointment for the morning because our evenings were filled with just normal everyday crap which left no time for anyone to be on vet duty with me. So, this morning, I decided to wait for everyone to head to work before I got the vet trip underway. When my daughter drove off, I sent LuLu out to the backyard, so she would not see me putting on Frankie’s leash. A leash to LuLu means “We’re going for a walk, YAY!!” and I hate giving her false hope. Once LuLu was being entertained by the birds , I quickly put on Frankie’s leash and escorted her to the car. Then, I ran back in the house, brought in LuLu — who looked puzzled as to why she couldn’t find Frankie – her best friend and main tormentor–and ran back to the car to head to the vet.
I figured it took LuLu about 20 minutes to realize Frankie was gone. At first, there was probably a bit of panic until she realized that no one was sniffing her butt, licking her ears, or stealing her toys. When she did comprehend that Frankie was not in the house, she most likely performed the “Yes, I am free and I can do what I want” dance. This dance pretty much entails the dog squirming on her back with her legs up in the air.
We got to the vet and Frankie was prancing along without a care in the world. Then she saw the entrance and put on the brakes;she would not budge. I tried treats, commands–nothing. It’s as if someone superglued her butt to the pavement. One of the techs saw me pulling on the dog and came out to see if she could help. I asked her to hold the door while I half-carried, half-dragged the 85-pound moose into the vet’s waiting room.
The tech put us in a room right away because she didn’t want Frankie “corrupting the mood of the other dogs” in the waiting room. In other words, my dog was a bad influence. In Frankie’s defense, I do know why she gets like this at the vet. She has memories of being at this hospital when she was sick as a puppy. I think she has Post-traumatic Parvo Stress, and it manifests itself via a really bad attitude.
I tried to calm Frankie down while we were in solitary. Finally, the vet came in and said, “Frankie you are such a pretty girl; we don’t need to muzzle you, do we?”
And I said, “Yes, muzzle her. I just had to carry the damn pooch through your doors and I don’t think she is going to be thrilled when you shove that thermometer up her butt.”
And he said, “Mom sounds like she is having a bad day?”
I inhaled deeply and shut my mouth because I knew I would meet this vet again when it was time for LuLu’s wellness check in two weeks. Despite the prods and pokes, Frankie was a gentle trooper. So, I decided to be brave, and as it turns out, stupid and asked the vet if he could cut Frankie’s nails. He said the techs would gladly do that for me. He left the room and the vet techs took over. One said it would be best to lay Frankie on her side and hold her head down. I thought this was a bad idea, but they insisted. They held her down and after the first snip, Frankie went berserk and knocked everyone down. She jumped on me for protection and that nail that was now so sharp from being partly cut landed in my forearm, and didn’t stop until it had sliced all the way down to my thumb.
After the blood spurted, the vet people apologized as they tried to stop the dog from bolting from the room. Woozy from blood loss, I had to sit. Luckily, the vet had people bandages too and after they were sure that I had not severed an artery, they sent us on our merry way with a new toothbrush for Frankie and a $20 coupon for our next visit.
When we finally got home, LuLu was nowhere to be found and Frankie took off to hide in her crate. I didn’t look for LuLu immediately. I sat down and examined my wounds and tried to remember my life before dogs.
photo by loveberries