The Veterinary Visit

Yesterday, when I met Carly, it was at the veterinary clinic. I wasn’t taking the Scottie boys…..instead, Carly’s little Dachshund, Joe, needed a booster. Since the vet office is located nearly midway between our homes, Carly asked me to meet her.  I really do enjoy vet offices. There is so much to observe…..it is never a dull visit!

 Several years ago, I read the wonderful veterinary adventures of James Herriot. I laughed at some stories until tears flowed down my cheeks. Herriot’s style of writing…so highly animated, held my interest and made me long to visit England and Scotland. Someday, perhaps.

I met Carly and we went inside the clinic. This particular office is very nice with a large reception room.  The area is bright and everyone working behind the desk appears to thoroughly enjoy being there!

As we sat down, there was a woman sitting nearly in the center of the room with her kitty in a small carrier. Carly’s Joe was raised in a home with cats, and he was anxious to examine this kitty. As he walked across the laminate flooring, his little toenails tapped and seemed almost amplified. The woman began to look very forlorn and slid down the bench she was on, moving the kitty in the carrier away from us, as though she was annoyed by Joe’s inquisitive nature.  Suddenly, my heart sank as I wondered if the kitty was there for his or her final visit. I felt so bad as I observed the woman now positioned with her head held in her hands, elbows on her knees…..what if…..

My attention was diverted when a man walked in with a rather elderly-appearing black Lab. The dog wore a metal training collar….the kind with the spikes that dig into the ruff of the neck when and if the dog chooses to lunge.  The collar looked so ridiculous on this sedate dog who walked calmly to the scale behind the reception desk and sat down as though he or she had done this many, many times before! 

As I was watching the animals and their owners, the vet techs called them into adjoining rooms for their appointments.  One of the girls at the desk apologized to Carly, telling her that the vet Joe was scheduled to see was running a little late.

A couple then entered the room with another kitty in a carrier. The woman went over to one of the benches and set the carrier on the floor as the husband announced that he was going to bring in “the dog”.  Shortly thereafter, he re-entered the room looking as though he was being dragged by the most highly-energized Golden Retriever I have ever seen. My own Irish Setter that I owned many years ago would have seemed somewhat calm compared to Sassy!

Sassy was truly beautiful and her size and stature really did remind me of my girl, Shelby. The owners looked rather apologetic about their girl’s restless behavior, but worked to calm her down a little.  As Sassy pranced about, she resembled a hyperactive child with what looked like a big smile upon her face!

Just then, a smallish woman entered the room with a dog in her arms. As I watched,  my heart nearly stopped beating as I wondered if the dog was a Sealyham. I questioned the woman after she spoke with the receptionist, but it turned out the dog was a shaven Wire-Haired Dachshund. She looked rather large when compared to the diminutive woman. The woman took a seat and the poor dog in her arms shook as though chilled to the bone!

When the Dachshund came into sight, Sassy went even more ballistic! She looked as though she was ginning ear to ear as she closed in to examine the dog within the other woman’s arms. Sassy’s owners pulled her leash in and apologized for Sassy frightening the poor dear into a shaking fit! The owner smiled and said the Dachshund was soon to turn 16 years old, and the “shakes” was just a part of her veterinary visit. She never shook any other time!

Just then, a tech came out and grabbed the Dachshund into her arms and took her into another room. The woman remained in the waiting room, as though she had complete confidence in the practice to take care of her elderly baby.

Carly was called into the exam room and I remained in the waiting room.  Joe tapped his way across the floor, looking just a bit forlorn at the thought of an examination! He is a good boy, though, and went on in for his appointment without much resistance.

The owner of the Dachshund then came over and sat next to me, chatting about her dear girl. She told me she had two more Dachshunds at home that did field trials. When I told her a man lived not too far from us who had a little Wire-Haired Dachshund used for tracking down injured deer, she asked his name. She said that many deer-tracking Dachshunds also attend the field trials.  We chatted on a bit, until the vet tech reemerged with the elderly girl cradled in her arms.

As the Dachshund and her owner left, the woman turned around and told me what a pleasure it was talking to me. Ah, if only she knew….the pleasure was all mine!

Sassy’s people began talking to me across the room after the Dachshund and her owner left. We chatted about how much a dog like Sassy loves to run freely. The people told me she never leaves their property, although she is a Retriever, she cannot swim, and that as a puppy she only slept a maximum of three hours a night if they were lucky!

At one point, the woman who was originally the sole appointment came back out with a smile on her face and her kitty across her shoulder, much like a baby. The vet walked across the room and she followed, looking so greatly relieved. And, I was relieved as well, seeing that the kitty was probably fine!

Shortly after Sassy and her kitty were called into one of the exam rooms, Carly came back out with Joe.

I felt badly on two accounts….one was that my camera was out in the Explorer and that I hadn’t photographed these wonderful clients and their people!  The other was that I now had to leave and would miss all the other clientele and their humans.

As I left the premises, my mind wandered off to the Herriot books….I can certainly understand his passion to write about his dear little patients and the people who loved them so…..