Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vet visit

Rupert was due for his annual vaccination at the end of July, and since I am on leave this week, it seemed like a good time to get it done. Which meant that Murphy's Law kicked in and the car chose this week not to start.

The Chevrolet people came, jumpstarted the car, towed it off and it has been sitting in their garage since Monday because they have not been able to get a check-up/fix-it slot for us yet.

Okay, never mind, let's do Plan B. Leave one dog at home, take the one that needs the shots to the vet in a taxi. Two humans, one fox terrier, we outnumber Roop the Poop two to one, we can handle it.

Which, of course, prompted Murphy's Law to swell up to a double dose. Queeni's Schnauzer Bumps (seriously, that's the name of the itchy, bumpy skin condition Schnauzers are prone to) flares up and she must have been going for her tail because the base of her back and her tail are red and angry. It was really ugly looking, just short of dripping blood.

Called the vet double quick and made an appointment for two dogs. The receptionist is used to us, one dog at a go and wanted to make sure: "Is this for Queeni or Rupert?"

Her response just about summed it up nicely. We called for a cab and as always, we skip the automated booking to talk to a human because it's only fair that the operator/dispatcher indicate to the driver that we have a dog -- in a carrier, we always stress -- so a Muslim cabby wouldn't pick up the booking. Although we've had Muslim cabbies before who didn't mind the dog and non-Muslim cabbies who did.

Couldn't get a cab. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be honest when you say you have two dogs. In carriers or not. So we got a bit economical with the truth, we just said: "Got dog. In a carrier." Without specifying the number.

So we finally get a cab. And then the next problem was Rupert in the carrier. Grown too big and strong for the soft-sided carrier, he tipped it over and got out of it three times between our front door and the taxi waiting downstairs. But mercifully, he behaved in the taxi because I had one of his bones with me and rammed it into his mouth everytime he as much as lifted his head up. He obligingly gnawed on the bone instead of doing what he always does in cars -- try to cover every window because he can't decide which window to look out of and thinks he's missing something at one window while looking out another.

When we got to the vet, Queeni glowered at everybody while Rupert loved everybody. He loved Dr P, even though he got poked with a needle twice -- once for the vaccination and another for a blood test before starting on heartworm preventive.

Queeni was fairly well behaved, none of that growling and thankfully none of that biting the vet business. Dr P asked if she ever growled at Dr T, the senior vet who took over her care when he removed the mast cell tumour (Queeni was seeing Dr P today since she might as well see both dogs together at one shot). We don't think so. Yeah, there's something about Dr T, said Dr P. Well, we're happy a fellow vet thinks as highly of Dr T as we do.

And boy, do we love our vets. I didn't realise until I got home and looked at the receipts that I realised she charged us very cheaply. Since Rupert was there for a vaccination and annual exam, we paid for that package, which does not have a consultation charge. I expected to pay consultation for Queeni but for that, I was billed for "repeat consultation/short examination for second dog" -- which was considerably less. OK, granted that over the years and many dogs, we have probably paid for Dr T's Lexus, the renovation of the new hospital wing and his kids' college education, but it's nice to know they're making things easier for us when they can.

And the taxi ride home posed less complications. We called and punched in the code for the vet hospital because it was registered on an auto phone-in booking line. We reasoned that there was no need to talk to a dispatcher this time because any cabbie responding to a call from a vet hospital would be prepared to pick up a dog. Or two.

The furkids have passed out from exhaustion. I think I will soon, too.

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