We knew that at some point we had to take sir Oliver to the vet to get his annual shots. It was also a point that we tried to delay. Not knowing how sir Oliver would react to an medical environment, being a former laboratory Beagle. And I might find it more tensive than sir Oliver, who knows.
So I had made a phone call to a group practice of vets, a 5 minute drive from our home or a 15 minutes walk. The vet’s assistant took the call and told us that they only see animals by appointment. Which I found really reassuring knowing that we didn’t have to wait in a full waiting room with all kinds of animals. My only memory was one of about 40 years ago, maybe now all vets are doing there business by appointment.
The assistant suggested for us to come in the afternoon when it is in general less busy. She also suggested to come by a day earlier to look at his medical passport, weigh him and let him walk around a treatment room so he could sniff up all scents and not be excited about it when the vet would examine him. That sounded great, it gave me a sense of being taken of and real care, which seems to be the starting point of this practice. I had heard cool reviews about these vets and according to the phone call I had the impression that the animals are more important than their business model.
Today we had the appointment with the vet’s assistant. The idea was to walk sir Oliver to the practice. However this morning we found out that his one time diarrhea was not a one time event. It had become worse and this morning he didn’t want to eat all of his breakfast and no dog treats either. He was pacing throughout the ground floor and at a certain moment he started to pant. He never had done that for no obvious reason. My daughter took him for a short walk and see if he had to defecate, but with no success.
We decided to go to the vet anyway, since that is the place to ask and find assistance if needed. My daughter and I went by car, to not let sir Oliver walk 15 minutes back and forth in the rain. Sitting on the backseat of the car has become less exciting for sir Oliver. I however felt a certain level of tension within me, hoping things would went well, so going to the vet would eventually become a positive experience for sir Oliver.
I could see that my suspicion for doctors in general played it’s own movie in the back of my mind. I wanted to make sure and be assured that we were doing the best thing by bringing sir Oliver to this vet practice. All I could do was breathe through it and be aware of the thoughts that flashed at a high speed through my mind.
We went inside with sir Oliver, which he seemed to find odd. We so far never go into other’s houses with him. So he hesitated, but walked with us inside, where the doors automatically closed after some time. Since he had his harness on and was walking on a leash, his primary response was to track down new scents. Standing or sitting was no option, when there was so much to smell. We were allowed to explore the room and talk with the assistant at the same time. We tried to let him be at stop on the animal scale, which was pretty much a tough thing to do. He will sit if we ask him inside the house, maybe in the back yard, but that is it for now. His weight was less than on our own scale, so the assistant suggested to come by every now and then to weigh him and they put it in his records and be able to see if things are not okay.
I was impressed with how they run the practice, where employees are allowed to bring their own dogs to work. How great is that? The people were kind and not pushy at all. I explained about sir Oliver’s diarrhea and we got some pills to get back to normal stool. No need to pay them now, we can pay them tomorrow if the vet says he is healthy enough to get his annual shots. They are not allowed to vaccinate animals that are not healthy. And that is exactly where my fear of vets comes from.
We once had 3 stray kittens from a pet shelter, just a few weeks old. We brought them to the one and only vet in the village. He gave them without examination a lot of shots and deworming medicine. One kitten didn’t make it and the vet admitted that it was of the heavy medicines. So my trust in the credibility and professionalism of vets was lower than ever after that experience.
I can see that these are bad memories and at the same time not likely something that will repeat itself. So being aware that I make the right choice in vets, is the one thing I should focus on. Understanding that my mind will take me to places that are no longer relevant, is important as well, because then I know I have a choice. Do I follow my negative thoughts about vets and generalize all vets and all their actions? Or do I not follow these thoughts and work with what is here? And the last thing I chose to do, excepting my nervousness, knowing where it comes from and at the same time not let it direct me and the choices I make.
Lets see the vet tomorrow and get things done. The main focus is sir Oliver and making things as comfortable for him as possible. And that can only happen when I do not stress myself. Sir Oliver seemed pretty okay with this vet practice, just like us.