Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daisy's Night Out

Beagles & cocker spaniels, labs & poodles, schnauzers & terriers, weenie dogs and carriers with tiny dogs and cats lined the pasture next to the high school tonight. It was the town's annual $8 rabies shot clinic. High school students involved in the Ag department volunteered their time to check in all the animals, take the owners' money and present them to the veterinarian who vaccinates all the animals.

Larry and I took our gentle, sweet basset hound, Daisy, last year. We stood in line & watched her squirm. She is such a nervous little thing. She startles and jumps so easily. Loud noises, other animals, lots of people (crowds) really freak her out. She tucks her tail & hides behind me when we are going on a walk in the neighborhood & another person passes with their dog. While we waited in line last year, I think she left 10 puddles and um, piles, as a trail behind her. She's kind of like her (human) mama with the whole nervous stomach thing. We've taken her to the vet plenty of times and watched her pull a Jekyl & Hyde switcheroo when the vet or his tech held her still to do any sort of procedure. The first time we took her in, the vet was actually concerned about our safety with her because she became SO aggressive when he was drawing blood from her. Seeing her growl & bite at him and jerk her body from side to side in an attempt to get away left me worried that we might've adopted a mean dog, despite the fact that she had been perfectly well behaved & docile the other 99.999% of the time since we brought her home. But we soon learned that this is just her personality. She is shy & quiet, but very lovable & tender with everyone....until you try to hold her down to do something to her. To this day, we still have to get her sedated to have a bath or nail trim, so her nervousness at the rabies clinic last spring was no surprise. When we approached the vet, we calmly said "You're going to have to be fast because she is not a fan of shots and she will flip out on you!" He assured us it would be fine and asked his tech to hold her still. Sure enough, when the needle pierced her skin, she yelped & howled and started squirming & jerking away from them, bearing her teeth & snapping like she was going to take off an arm. They both stepped back & let her calm down a little before going in for the attack again. It ended up taking 2 injections to get all of the shot into her, but in the end, we did get it done. As we walked away, Daisy peered over her shoulder and eyeballed the vet as if to say "I'm gonna get you one just watch out!" and then she bounced away with Larry and I, calm and happy to be done.

Tonight, Larry had to work late, so the kids and I took Daisy to the clinic. I was kind of dreading it, knowing how much it freaks her out to get held down for things like this. It was scheduled to begin at 7:00 and our neighborhood borders the High School's property so I thought we could go over early & be there when they opened, hoping to be one of the first in line, getting in & out quickly. We left the house at 6:40 but very quickly discovered that arriving early meant nothing! There were already at least 75-100 people in line ahead of us. What can I say? We are a community of money savers!

Before I left the house I posted to facebook that if anyone was up for some evening entertainment, they ought to come out to the rabies clinic tonight & watch our dog's dramatic portrayal of Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde.

When we arrived, we were sandwiched in line between one of the biggest golden labs I've ever seen and a pair of happy cocker spaniels. Daisy began her tail-tucked, nervous routine of peeing 10 times & leaving other "evidence" of her presence. She squirmed & pulled against the leash and gagged herself quite a few times between the car & the line. Poor baby really didn't want to be there! But somehow, while waiting in line, our scaredy-cat of a dog calmed down. Maybe getting there early gave her time to acclimate to the environment & she was less freaked out. By the time we made it through the very long line, I was proud of her, but figured my luck was about to run out. I knew I'd have to wrestle her while she got her shot.

When we approached the vet, I told him that he'd have to be really fast. I think he was the same vet who was there last year. Maybe he remembered her. Or maybe all basset hounds behave that way (according to my friends who work in vet offices, they do!) Whatever the case, he was ready. I knelt down & put Daisy's head between my knees & held on to her collar & braced myself for a fight. He asked if I was "ready" before he knelt down. I gripped her collar a little tighter & said yes!

And then it happened. Somehow, Mrs. Hyde disappeared completely. She didn't squirm. She didn't flinch. She didn't whimper. She didn't bite at the doctor or bark. The doctor & I and all three kids looked at each other with shock and said "Well, that was easy!" I guess it's like taking a car to the garage after it's been acting up for weeks and the mechanic can't get it to perform the way you've been reporting. A friend was in line behind me & laughed, telling me that he was surprised too after the horror story I'd been telling him while we waited in the long line.

You better believe that sweet Daisygirl got 2 treats when we got back home and lots of love! Crazy dog made a liar out of me tonight.....and I'm so glad she did!

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