Thursday, February 26, 2009

It’s Quiet Time

Last week we had a rather unpleasant experience, the repercussions of which are still lingering for me. I made an appointment to take the dogs to get their vaccinations on Presidents Day. I was surprised they were open but was also thrilled because this meant GREG COULD TAKE THEM on his day off. Why is it such a big deal that Greg take them instead of me? Oh, well, let’s see. I just couldn’t bear taking all the fun for myself! I just had to share. I mean, come on! How much fun is this:

  1. Get two kids into the car. (A major feat on most days alone.)
  2. Wrangle two dogs into the same car. And, oh, did I mention neither of them really like the car?
  3. Back out of the driveway, and just get the car into drive before smelling that gawd-awful smell of dog poop because Charmin FREAKS OUT in a moving car and loses her bowels EACH AND EVERY TIME. (Just ask Greg about trip home from the animal shelter.)
  4. Listen to the kids complaining, whining, and crying about the poop smell.
  5. Roll down the windows IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER to aid with the smell.
  6. Listen to the kids complaining, whining, and crying about how cold they are.
  7. Drive while keeping your fingers crossed that the dogs aren’t leaving poop footprints all over the back of the car.
  8. Arrive at the vet’s office.
  9. Carefully and slowly open one side door of the van so that no dogs can escape.
  10. One dog does try to escape and succeeds in putting a not-so-great-smelling paw print on your freshly laundered jeans, the ones you usually get three or four wears out of.
  11. Get both dogs out of the car with a firm grip on their leashes with the one hand that isn’t trying to unbuckle the kids.
  12. Do a little dance because both dogs and both kids are out of the car.
  13. Open the door to the vet’s office and have Koko turn into Captain Contortionist and somehow gets her big head through her collar as she backs up like Speedy Gonzales on hot pavement. And escapes.
  14. Get kids and the one non-contortionist (but trying to be) dog into the vet and ask tell the staff to watch them. Please.
  15. Whistle and say “Koko! Come here sweetie!” so sweetly through gritted teeth to try and coax her back to you.

So, being the thoughtful and giving person I am, I thought I’d share in the fun with Greg. Oh, but I’d lend a helping hand and keep the kids at home. At least there would be four less feet to worry about leaving poop prints in the car.

Greg, being the gracious dog-lover he is, agreed to take the dogs for their check-up. To sum up the beginning of the trip: poop in car, escaped dog in parking lot, poop and pee in vet’s office. See? How fun is this?

Oh, then the thing that has been gnawing at me for the last week and a half happened. Koko bit the vet. Koko, the docile one. Koko, the one who we knew we wanted to adopt right away when we saw her just look back and do nothing at the kid who ran over her tail with his tricycle. Koko, my favorite. Koko. The vet wasn’t even touching her at the time, but as he started to reach to her stomach, she gave no warning and just turned and bit. Our poor vet was upset. Yes, he had been bitten, thankfully not bad enough for stitches, but it was the third time in a week. He was a little grouchy about it. Occupational hazard, I suppose.

When Greg got home and told me what had happened, I was completely devastated. And I cried. A lot. For in my mind, she had to go. HAD. TO. GO. After all, I did not want a dog who could do that, maybe next time to one of our kids, in our house.

Greg and I have always been of the belief that we would never keep a dog that bit. BUT. But what if she was so terrified of the entire experience that her natural survival instincts kicked in? It seems plausible and most likely possible that the wrangling into the car, the chase through the parking lot, the dragging into the vet’s office, the being hefted up onto the examination table, and the crazy plethora of scents in the room made her panic. And bite.

Koko is still here, and I’ve started to pet her again. I seriously started to detach myself from her for several days after this happened. Keeping her but not leaving her alone with the kids is completely impractical. I mean, seriously. I have the bladder the size of a thimble and am always running to the bathroom. I’d have more accidents on our floors than the kids AND the dogs combined if I had to run to the door and let them outside first each time. Am I watching Koko’s actions around the kids more? Absolutely. Have we taught the kids not to hug her? YES! Am I still agonizing over this? *Sigh*

I will undoubtedly continue to worry. It IS me we’re talking about after all. But during this agonizing process, I am enjoying moments like these:


I mean, just look at those two. A quiet time. Indeed.


  1. You forgot to mention the poop and pee at the vet was all over ME!


    They are so cute. Can we keep them mommy, can we, can we PLEEEEEAAASSEEE!!!

  2. You also have to take into consideration the smell of the vet's office. No matter how much disinfectant they use it is bathed in the smell of scared animals. If I walked into a room that smelled like a million people had shit their pants in fear I might bite someone too.

    Hell, I might bite them in a garden full of flowers. Good thing you didn't adopt me...

  3. I totally feel for you guys Susanne! But after Greg told me about it, I was sure it was the vet part that caused her to lash out. Greg said you would be muzzling her at future vet visits, which I think is a good solution. And if you guys can slowly get the dogs more acclimated to the car (and eventually taking them other places than the vet, so they don't associate the car with the vet) I bet things will be a lot better. Hang in there!

  4. And the longer I live, the worse of an idea pets seems to be. Does that make me a bad cat-owning person?

  5. Libby - Oh, I'd adopt you. As long as you wouldn't mind wearing Koko's muzzle. ;)

    Barbara - Thank you for your support. :)

    I, Rodius - Cats? Ewwww.