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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Natalie's First Vet Visit

The dogs I had before Natalie were all family dogs - Mom, Shawn and me.  I was referred to as "Sissy" - as in "Come to Sissy" or "Go wake up Sissy".  With Nattie, I became Momma.  It's great, except it also means that I'm the one who has to take Baby Girl to the vet for her shots.  Fortunately, Daddy was good enough to come, too. 

I'm a firm beliver in the power of prayer and I also believe that God, the Creator of all things - including sweetest Nattie - cares deeply about His creation.  So, I prepared for Natalie's visit to Dr. Brown by praying for her.  But, like so many prayers, what started as for her quickly became for me.  And for Bruce.  I tell you, we were both as antsy as could be about taking her to get her shots!  It was ridiculous! 

Natalie, if you remember, was a stray when she was taken in by Ship to Safe Haven in February 2009.  We adopted her in July.  She was up to date on all her vaccinations and has been healthy since we brought her home.  But, the charts showed it was time for Rabies, Bordatella, and Dystemper shots.  We were concerned because Miss Nattie is very. . . well, anxiety-ridden, I guess is how to put it.  She's wary of people - all people - other than us.  Even when my mother comes for a visit Natalie barks and backs up across the room before finally bolting upstairs and barking from the top.  She does this with everyone.  So, the thought of taking her to a vet's office was not a happy one.  I envisioned our sitting in the lobby, Natalie skidding all over the linoleum floor, barking and backing and causing a scene.  I imagined when the vet came in she'd bark and growl and twist in her harness and cause an even bigger scene.  I feared she'd be upset with us afterward and not want anything to do with us.  I worried she'd have a reaction to the vaccines - didn't matter what kind - I was worried about everything from mild joint aches to hives.

We arrived in this gorgeous Animal Care Center and were taken straight back to the nicest little exam room.  Natalie was fine with the nurse who escorted us there.  We were left alone to fill out paperwork and the same nurse came back.  Natalie decided to growl.  It wasn't really a threatening growl, just a low kind of "I don't like this very much" kind of growl.  Then, it came time to weigh her which required we hand the leash off to the nurse.  Nattie was having no part of it.  She would NOT go with the nurse.  So, I picked her up and handed her to the nurse who took her to the next room to weigh her.  It was nothing more than a couple of minutes, I'm sure, but it felt like a long time and every noise we heard we worried what Natalie was doing back there.  Running amok with her leash trailing behind?  Leaping off the scale?  Worse?

She came back through and wagged her tail at us once we were left alone again.  The next wait seemed interminable.  There was a beeping sound that we heard each time the exam room door opened and for some reason I think it beeped ten times at least before someone actually came through.  When Dr. Brown entered he was quite a shock to our quiet little girl.  He's a delightful man, but speaks up and is quite expressive.  Bruce and I keep a really quiet home, so Natalie's used to the sounds of NPR or a favorite of Bruce's c.d.s, things like that.  I mean, one time we were watching NCIS and Natalie was laying on my lap.  McGee opened a cupboard door and a monkey started screaming.  Natalie's head popped up and she looked at that screen.  Her ears were high.  The monkey kept screaming.  Before I could say, "Bruce, press Mute," Natalie darted around the corner, out of the line of vision and it was a week before she'd go anywhere near the television again.  She is a very civilized dog.  Anyway, long story short, Natalie's healthy and nearly three hours later is showing absolutely no signs of any adverse reactions - either physical or psychological.  Praise God! 


1 comment:

Shoe Queen said...

I'm so glad that your first visit to the vet turned out well. I know the anxiety that comes from taking your "child" to the vet. It is so hard to watch them get shots, I think I do worse than all of them. They never even cry. Glad to know that Nat is healthy. She is so sweet and super cute. Baxter was very jumpy and scared for a long time, but after eight years he is finally coming out of his shell. I think Buttercup has been a good influence. Thanks for sharing your experience. I love the fact that others in my family feel the same way we do about our four legged children.