Vocation or Big Bucks?
Yes that does say vocation and not vacation !
Today Pup had an appointment … with his new Vet for his second jag (sorry translation from the Scottish: jag: injection; medical treatment, applied with a hypodermic syringe.) Now I am rather choosy about medical interventions – both for myself and for my pets. I avoid taking medication for the sake of it (a leftover from too much antibiotic as a child leaving me with a penicillin allergy) and I try to use alternative therapies where I can – so if I have a migraine I use a levomenthol stick and/or a levomenthol gel patch, try to keep my fluids up and go to sleep in a cool dark place.
So you can probably imagine I am not impressed with Vets who want to over medicate a pooch. Pup had his first jag before I picked him up and that vet advised his breeders that his second jag should be 4 weeks later (often Vets say 2 weeks). I went into a Vet practice locally which is one of these with shiny showroom type clinics – purpose built and glossy. I asked about the price for the second shot and she went on about it probably needed to be started again because the medications wouldn’t be the same and then criticised the breeder for lying to me about the 4 week gap. She discreetly slid a card across the counter with a rather high price written on it (and I assume that was ex-VAT). I told her that the breeders were my parents and that the advice had come from their new Vet who they are very impressed with. Now at that point I would have done my best to restore some semblance of “customer is always right” to the situation but she pursed her lips and said “oh!”
When I got home I telephoned the other vet in the town – although I had never set foot in their clinic to know what it was like. The Receptionist asked me for some history and checked with the vet before advising that if they could just do the second shot it would behalf the price of the full course but there was a possibility they would need to give him a full course if the medication brands were not compatible. She also clearly informed me that the price included a full health check and I was able to say I didn’t need a Vet check because the breeders were my parents and I was confident I had a very healthy Pup – to which she replied “how lovely”.
Without considering the price which practice do you think I booked him in with? That is right I went with the second one. It was irrelevant that the first one wished to charge me more than half again – if they had made the right noises I wouldn’t have even phoned the other Vet; although the glitzy clinic Vets was the Vet I used for Dog and for Otto.
The treatment Dog received was very good when he got a bad injury (whilst in my parents care he had gone for exercise with their dogs and somehow gashed his leg – it was one of those injuries that happens sometimes to very active dogs and nobody’s fault); by the time Otto needed checked for lameness I was less impressed. They had him in and sedated to take x-rays. The young vet phoned me to say they thought they could see a ‘mouse’ (a piece of cartilaginous tissue come loose) in his knee and they recommended surgery there and then while they already had him anaesthetised. I said no I did not want them to do the surgery based on thinking they could see something to which she said “but you have insurance so it won’t be a problem”. I was incensed – they were proposing major joint surgery on a young dog based on supposition just because they were guaranteed to get paid for it. By the way we put him on serious cage rest and gradually very light exercise over several months and the lameness healed.
So today was the day and we were due there at 2:20 this afternoon. After lunch we caught the 13:46 bus – another driver going all gooey over the puppy – and got off at the depot. We were in plenty of time at the Vet and while I registered Pup with the Receptionist he was making puppy eyes at a young springer spaniel bitch. Even though he is not fully vaccinated it was important that he had a good experience so I allowed him to greet the spaniel with her owners agreement and then we sat down to wait. Pup was allowed to greet a small girl waiting for her parents coming out of the consulting room and before long it was his turn.
He happily took us into the consulting room and wagged at the Vet who picked him up onto the table. We had a discussion about the vaccine and I let him know that if they couldn’t do just the second jag I would take Pup to the Dundee Vet who was able to give Ollie his jag last week. Pup got the once over and we discussed flea protection and worming – the Vet approved of my product choices and I told him that I wouldn’t routinely prevent for fleas because Dog at 9 has never had fleas and I only use treatment on him if we are going to a location that has a heavy tick population.
The young student Vet was asked to check Pup’s ears and they got the all clear – he didn’t like that think being poked in his ears and was very wriggly. He got his jag and they checked his microchip and made him up a new health record. He was presented with a treatment of Frontline for a few weeks time and the Receptionist gave him 700g of very expensive doggy food as a gift too. Pup did enquire whether they had any toys that they might like to gift him but the answer was a smile and a shake of the head. The clinic was clean and functional and the staff were first class. I am happy to take my dogs there in the future event though it is a bus ride and not a short walk.
We waited for the bus home and saw several favourite drivers in the process. Weather Guru made a fleeting appearance but no time to talk and Toxic texted to say it is odd not hearing from me (said I missed him too but it was his choices that had made it like this). We came back past the house and went round Kirriemuir to visit Evelyn … you remember the lady I tell everyone about in training sessions?
Evelyn is feeling a little bored – she has been stuck at home for weeks after breaking a leg and then when she was just starting to go out again she broke her shoulder. The second fall happened just outside her house so I asked about her pendant. She said yes she had used it then and the Community Alarm Team had come t rescue her but the young man next door had also called an ambulance for her. She is now telling other people that they must wear and use their pendant alarm … go Evelyn!
She is due to take delivery of a new rollator (wheeled walking frame) soon which should help her to have a more steady gait and while I was there I was able to book patient transport for her for a hospital appointment in a couple of weeks. She hadn’t liked to ring me to bother me about her leg because she knows how busy I am; I reminded her it was no bother just now because I am not busy and in fact I would never be too busy to help her out if she needed. Having said that she asked for some help with personal care an when they assessed her she did so well they said she didn’t need help and the OT confirmed she can manage routine tasks. What Evelyn really needs is company; she has asked for sheltered housing but been told she is not a priority or been offered somewhere upstairs (great for a frequent faller) and many people would miss her if she moved away from Kirriemuir but then we know if she got a better place to live with some company it would be better for her.
Pup made himself right at home once he learned not to jump on Evelyn’s poorly leg … in fact he stretched himself out on the floor for a sleep (I was well impressed since at home he sleeps on the sofa!) and it was a shame to wake him to come home – but it was a short bus ride before tea time!
So Pup is now vaccinated and next week will be able to start going out more and I have found a Vet clinic that puts their customers first; a no nonsense old fashioned values place staffed with competent and vocationally minded people for whom the animals come first. I wish they had a website where I could leave a recommendation …
…. and by the by – sadly no full moon pictures today – guess what the weather is doing? that is right it is raining again! so complete cloud cover and not even a hint of a shiny thing in the sky.