He went in for his vaccinations today. And what was seemingly harmless turned into a traumatic experience, more for me than for him. He trotted happy-go-lucky into the Berkeley Humane Society Vet office remembering that this is the place where he gets those yummy treats and gets to flirt with all the ladies. (oh, the ladies love him.) The vet tech came in and told him how cute he was and explained how she was just going to take him in the back to give him his shots. So I stood up, paced around – this wasn’t new. Last time they took a blood sample in the back room while I paced. Waited. Paced. Sat. Read about dog breeds. Finally they came back out.
“Well,” the vet tech said, “he was a little difficult. He is just really scared of strangers.” Well duh, was all I could think. His leash was all wet. “Did he pee?” I asked, knowing fully well that he would. “Yes, but we had to muzzle him because he lunged at a vet tech.” I think my expression dropped to a what the fuck? face. Seriously. I was pissed. She said they kept giving him more and more treats to gain his trust before they could give the shots. Fine. But seriously? You are going to put my dog in a muzzle before you think about maybe calling me into the room to be with him?
I’m sure they have their reasons for not allowing parents into the back room while giving shots or taking blood. But I’m so upset that they put my dog in a muzzle without my permission first. He was wearing a pinch collar all the while and his last vet tech noted his aggressive fearful behaviour, but she got to know Jack before taking blood and he was fine. At least they recognized it as fear. But I have been fuming about this all day. Jack? He could care less. He’s been a tad lethargic all day, probably from the stress rather than the vaccinations. Me? I feel terrible.
Boy and I discussed options for his behaviour back when we decided on the pinch collar. We discussed a gentle leader, pinch collar, and a muzzle. We decided that the best learning tool for Jack would be the pinch collar. I just didn’t think the muzzle would give people the right impression about my dog and would reinforce the fearful behaviour if anything. And then the vet, of all people, put one on him. I just wish they had come to me first and asked me to stand with him to calm him down.
This experience tops off my mommy guilt after a horrible experience I had recently at PetSmart. I went in to get some items one day when a sales rep from a dog food company WOULD NOT MOVE! She kept cornering me in every aisle talking about her dog’s flatulence. What’s worse? She wouldn’t say flatulence or gas, she kept using the word FART. I hate that word. Poot, gas, bubbles, whatever. But I really hate the word fart – it reeks in itself. So what did I end up doing? Nervously stammering about grabbing whatever I saw off the shelf and leaving with $40 worth of stuff I didn’t go in for.
The next day I was like man, my dog doesn’t need this crap. So I went back to return it and grabbed some Milk Bones for kong stuffers. In the car I asked boy to give Jack a treat for being so good and after he opened the box he just said “Turn around, go back. And don’t look.” I was busy driving and couldn’t look anyway, but when I returned to the parking lot I looked over. The inside lip of the Milk Bone box was COVERED in bugs, little weavel-like bugs. I was horrified. Disgusted. I brought the box back in and told the guy what was up. “Why don’t you just exchange them.” I was like HELLS NO! These are weavels! You probably need to clear out the whole shelf. I went to the next aisle, grabbed a single treat for Jack and stormed out. Not only did I not get an apology, the guy kept going on and on about how those bugs show up in corn too and they’re harmless. Yeah, I’ve shucked corn and seen bugs, but it’s not the same. At all.
I had a break down about how I don’t know what I’m feeding my dog and I wish I could make all his food for him from scratch and I am NEVER shopping at PetSmart again. (Really, I’m not.) And organic food only and Trader Joe’s does not sell food from China so guess where he’s getting his treats?
“Are you going to write a letter to PetSmart about this? You really should.” said boy.
“No. I’m passive-aggressive, remember? I’m going to blog about it instead.”