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Published:June 24th, 2011 13:18 EST
Why Do We Own Dogs?

Why Do We Own Dogs?

By Donna Cavanagh

If I were a dog, I would think the vet would be a nice place to visit as there would be lots of attention, praise and treats. My dogs look at the vet as their Canine Guantanamo; however, it`s not them who are the recipient of the torture-- it is me. I had to take my dog Frankie to the vet for a wellness check.  Usually, I will try to do this at night so that someone can be at home with my other dog, LuLu, who does not like to stay by herself in the house. She gets nervous,piddles and then hides.

This time around,  I had to make the vet appointment for the morning because our evenings were filled.On the day of the appointment, I decided to wait for everyone to head to work before I got the vet trip underway.  When my daughter drove off,  I sent LuLu out into the backyard, so she would not see me putting on Frankie`s leash. A leash to LuLu means "Okay, we`re going on a walk, YAY!" And I hate giving her false hope.   I saw LuLu dart after a squirrel, so I took the opportunity to escort  Frankie to the car. Then, I ran back in the house, brought in LuLu -- who looked puzzled as to why she couldn`t find Frankie, the main tormentor in her life--and ran back to the car to head to the vet. 

I figured it took LuLu about 20 minutes to realize Frankie was gone. At first, there was probably a bit of  panic until she realized that no one was making her life a living hell. When she did finally comprehend that Frankie was not in the house, she most likely performed  the "Yes, I am free and I can do what I want" dance.  This pretty much entails the dog squirming on her back with her legs up in the air. 

We got to the vet and everything was going fine. Frankie was prancing along until she saw the entrance. She put on the brakes and would not budge. I tried treats, talking gently, yelling a command--nothing. It  was as if someone superglued her butt to the pavement.  One of the vet techs saw me pulling on the dog and came out to see if she could help.  I asked her to hold the door  while I half-carried,- half-dragged the 85-pound moose into the vet`s waiting room.  

The tech put us in a room right away because obviously Frankie was not happy about being forced into this situation, and the tech didn`t want her corrupting the mood of the other dogs.  In other words, my dog was a bad influence. In Frankie`s defense,  I  do know why she gets like this at the vet. She has memories of being at this hospital when she was sick as a puppy. I think she has Post-traumatic Parvo Stress, and it manifests itself via a really bad attitude. 

I tried to calm Frankie down while we were in solitary. Finally, the vet came in and said, "Frankie you are such a pretty girl; we don`t need to muzzle you do we?"

And I said, "Yes, muzzle her. I just had to carry the damn pooch through your doors and I don`t think she is going to be thrilled when you shove that thermometer up her butt."

And he said, "Mom sounds like she is having a bad day?"

I just inhaled deeply and shut my mouth  because I knew I would meet this vet again in two weeks for  LuLu`s wellness check. Despite the prods and pokes, Frankie  was a gentle trooper. So, I decided to be brave, and as it turns out, stupid and asked the vet if he could trim Frankie`s nails.  He said the techs would gladly do that for me. He left the room and the techs took over. One said it would be best to lay Frankie on her side and hold her head down. I thought this was a bad idea, but they insisted.  They held her down and after the first snip, Frankie went berserk and knocked everyone down. She jumped on me for protection and that nail that was now so sharp from being partly cut landed in my forearm and didn`t stop until it had sliced all the way down to my thumb. 

The blood spurted, and the vet people apologized as they handed me towels and antiseptic. I was woozy from the blood loss, but luckily, the vet had people bandages too, and after they were sure that I had not severed an artery, they sent us on our merry way with a new toothbrush for Frankie and a $20 coupon for our next visit. 

When we finally got home, LuLu was, of course, hiding and Frankie took off to hide in her crate.  I didn`t look right away for LuLu.  I sat down and examined my wounds and tried to remember why we own dogs.