Saturday, August 14, 2010

Moral Support at the Vet

I was recently reading another blogger’s post about his dogs which brought back memories of when I would take the babies to the veterinarian. Abby and Andy had their yearly exams at different times of the year. For a couple of reasons, I would take both dogs to the vet even if only one of them had an appointment. While I was in NJ, my mom would schedule Abby’s visits for when I would be down in NC visiting the family. Abby could be quite a handful at the vet making it hard for my mom to handle her especially when Abby was young. For example, at one vet visit when Abby was about a year old but no more than that, my mom and Abby were sitting in the waiting room for an appointment. My mom put the handle of the leash under a leg of the chair during the wait. My mom knew Abby could be forceful and headstrong so she hoped that anchoring the leash to the chair would keep Abby under control—not quite. Something drew Abby’s attention at another part of the waiting room; Baby Girl, wanting to take a closer look, slowly plowed her way across the floor dragging my 5ft tall mom across the floor with her. Abby would never pull that stunt with me because she knew she would get a spank.

Another reason I brought both dogs to the vet was so that I wanted to spend as much time around the babies as I could. Back in the mid to late 90s before the US-64 Bypass was opened, the round trip to our vet in Knightdale along with the waiting for the vet and the exam itself was almost an hour and a half, sometimes longer. On my trips to Raleigh, I wanted to be around them as much as possible so any chance I could be around them I would take. Lastly, if I took one dog somewhere and left the other behind, the one left behind would be sad and jealous. As I’ve mentioned before, I never, ever, ever mentioned to the babies that they were going to the vet. All they knew is that they were going ‘bye bye’.

Well, the first time I brought a dog to the vet when the other didn’t have an appointment, the vet was perplexed. She may have thought there was an error by the front desk and that possibly the second dog needed to be examined too. The vet asked me “Why is the other dog here? She doesn’t have an appointment, does she?” I replied “No she doesn’t. She’s only here for moral support.” The vet laughed and continued with the exam. By this time, the vets knew I was a little kooky when it came to how I treated my babies.

As Abby grew older and her mobility was severely limited by her arthritis, we didn’t take her to the vet unless she herself had an appointment. Getting her in the car was tough. Often times I had to lift her into the seat and then when she would get out, I would cradle her in my arms and place her on the ground. It was very laborious and painful for her to walk longer distances so we kept to a minimum such longer excursions. However, even when I would only take Andy to the vet, it was cute the way Abby responded to Andy after he returned. Although Abby was sad and felt left out when she wasn’t taken for a trip bye-bye, she seemed relieved afterwards when Andy returned. She would closely smell him in a slow, deliberate and curious manner. Abby knew where he had been, and she was probably glad that she stayed away from that place. Abby had several surgeries in her life and associated the vet clinic as a house of pain.

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