Thursday, June 23, 2011

Abby Associating the Neuse River with the Vet

Crossing the Neuse River
Abby always loved going bye-bye. No matter where we went, I told her we were going bye-bye. I was especially careful not to ever use the words “vet” or “veterinarian” around her. She could figure things out and would quickly associate words with places, events or things. She didn’t like going to the vet, understandably so. Therefore, when I took her to the vet, I told her we were going bye-bye.

Abby had a nervous tick when she was nervous or scared—she licked her lips. For example, if I was about to give her some medicine or clean her ears out, she would try to leave the room. She would also lick her lips. She would also lick her lips when I would open the drawer where her medicines were kept.

After I put Abby in the car for the vet trip, everything was fine. She was happy to take a ride. She loved looking at new things and all the people. However, the moment we crossed over the Neuse River (pronounced as ‘noose’), Abby became still and would lick her lips. She knew where we were going. She associated the Neuse River with the vet. The jig was up; the party was over. Abby knew she was going to the doctor. Abby especially hated going to the vet after she had a couple of surgeries. She remembered the vet clinic as a place of pain and discomfort. She didn’t want to go, but at that point, she was stuck.

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