Our Lobo is a bit nervous at the vet. Being a rescue dog with a hazy past, we have a hard time separating fact from fiction with what we have been told about him. What we do know is that not long before we started to foster him, he was taken to the vet because he had injured himself trying to escape the room he was left in overnight alone. His mouth and paws were bloodied (it breaks my heart to think of it) and he had to be muzzled at the vet because he was in such an agitated state. This was before we met Lobo.
Our first visit to the vet with Lobo was just a meet and greet, not an exam. He glued himself to the exit door of the room. He even squeezed between Rob and the back of a tiny chair. He wasn’t aggressive but he wasn’t friendly.
The second visit was for a rabies shot for Lobo. The vet’s office insisted on an examination as well and our usual vet wasn’t in that day. The other vet was fearful because Lobo bared his teeth at her and she had us put a muzzle on him for the exam. I wasn’t happy with this but I guess I can’t blame her for being nervous. He’s a big boy and he can be a bit of a loud mouth.
Truly Lobo is “a big mush,” as more than one person has told us about him. Our two girls Fiona and Secret love their vet excessively and we want Lobo to have the same experience. Rob and I have always felt that the vet-pet relationship is so very important because an animal must be comfortable with the doctor and the doctor’s office in order to be well-examined, cared for or diagnosed.
This weekend, Fiona and Secret were scheduled to see the vet for an exam and shots. We wanted Lobo to see how much they love their vet. To bring the experience up another positive, emotional notch, we picked up two Wendy’s hamburgers en route to the appointment. We gave them to the vet to share among the three dogs.
Lobo must have thought he was in heaven! This nice lady with a stethoscope was giving him hamburger and petting him. He looked at the doctor adoringly and ultimately threw himself across her foot as he lay on the floor.
Our hope is that when we go back in a few months for a checkup for Lobo, again with hamburgers in hand, that Lobo will associate the office and the vet herself, with a positive experience, and allow himself to be examined easily. The poor boy’s teeth are a mess from his days and nights left alone and trying to escape, so they will need to be seen to in the near future. All in good time.
We are going about this gradually to give Lobo the best chance for stress-free healthcare. I’ll keep you posted on our progress! This vet-apprehension is a new experience for us. If you have any comments or suggestions, I would really love to hear them!!
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