Mate let the house this morning with this parting shot: Here’s your phone. Don’t forget the dog’s appointment. And the cat crapped somewhere in the kitchen and then dragged stuff on top of it to hide it. Good luck finding it!
Needless to say, sleeping in (which I usually do on Thursday) was a complete bust.
Anyway, I took Johnnie to his usual vets appointment today– you know, pedicure, ass squeezing, shots and heart worm. Geoffie was sorry to see him go–but ecstatic to see the people at the vets office, I will tell you that.
She’s a riot– she licks and wriggles and gets held and cuddled by no fewer than three vet techs whenever she goes in. Geoffie is very popular, the little slut, and she gets her belly scratched any time she wants.
Of course when Johnnie wasn’t there she spent her day wandering around the house with big sorry eyes. When I went down for my nap (because no sleeping in, duh!) she crawled under the blankets and cuddled extra close. Her buddy wasn’t there. It was very sad.
But my real lesson of the day was when I went back to get Johnnie– sans Geoffie this time– and I was waiting for him to be brought out. Now, the veterinarian had gone home sick– they’d told me that earlier–and the other vet on that day had been trying to see all the appointments, so the place was a madhouse.
Nevertheless, one of the girls brought out a dog–a twenty pound dog, at the bare minimum– on it’s cushion, with an e-collar on, and proceeded to try to talk about what sort of medication the dog should be on. It became apparent that some wires had been crossed, and that the woman getting the dog was unaware of some things she should have known.
The vet tech cheerfully told her that she’d go back and get the veterinarian to come straighten things out, and the woman was cold and unresponsive. “You are obviously under water here and–“
“Yes, but this is important, and we want your dog to have the best care. Give me just a moment, okay? We want to make sure your dog gets healthy and happy!”
Now I love the vet techs in this place–they are, to a one, extraordinarily nice people. They are organized, they work for each other, and, generally, I get the feeling of a happy work place–and thus far, in more than ten years of animal care, they have yet to fuck up. And that’s saying something.
But this woman wasn’t happy, and as she went to sit down, dog on cushion, on lap, the dog started to whine. And the woman started to verbally abuse the dog.
Now, I verbally abuse my animals all the time. “Steve, nobody likes you and you have no friends.” Since I’m usually scratching Steve’s ass and rubbing her whiskers as she says this, she’s okay with it.
“Geoffie, you are dumber than a box of diapers and you are not a badass! Here, have a treat.”
Yeah– the dogs may not understand the words–but they get the tone–and the tone usually screams, “I’m a pushover! Come pee on my rug and sleep on my coat!”
Verbal abuse is okay because dogs actually understand tone.
This woman’s tone made me cry–and I was sitting across the room.
“Stop it–shut up. You are a horrible nasty creature. You’re stupid. We shouldn’t be here. Look what you did you nasty thing. I hate you. Hate. You.” She stared straight ahead. The dog stared straight ahead on it’s large cushion and whined. And both of them looked supremely unhappy.
Enter the vet tech, with Johnnie.
She is all wet–and no, not with water.
“He was pretty excited to get fetched,” she said apologetically. “I, uh, hope he doesn’t go all over you too.”
“Oh my God! I”m so sorry!” I put out my arms and she gave him to me and I got covered in doggie kisses. “Johnnie–no! No you goofy thing! Okay, let’s go down, shall we? Okay, yeah, mommy loves you. You were missed. Now get down. Yeah, no more kisses. Down. Down.“
And I took my instructions and took the happy, excited dog on my way.
And thought about that unhappy woman and her unhappy dog.
I mean, I’ve yelled at Geoffie to stop turding on the carpet and she’s looked at me from under her bangs as if to say, “Isn’t it wonderful that you feel so passionate about this subject. As soon as I’m done with this turd, let’s find out what subject it is you feel so passionate about, shall we?”
I’ve told Johnnie to “Stop licking me, dammit!” and he has continued on.
There is a particular rug in our hallway that I put the pee pads on– for a very specific reason.
My dogs aren’t awesomely behaved, and they’re not awesomely trained, but they do love us very much. And seriously, that’s all I want from a dog. That dog’s job is to love me unconditionally, and frankly, my dogs are bonkers about their job. I keep forking over the treats and the pets, and they will keep forking over the unconditional love.
I am wondering– seriously wondering–what this woman’s dog did. And then I’m forced to ask myself the obvious–what did this woman expect from her dog? Did she expect perfect behavior? Because that’s a horrible thing to do to any dog. Or any human for that matter. Nobody delivers up on that one.
I don’t know–although I’m sure it will turn up in a story someday.
What i do know is that my dog peed on the vet tech and licked me in the face and was generally loved by everyone around him. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted from a furry quadruped in my home.