Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Now I said Doctor, Mr. MD (well, DVM)

Today was Elka's annul trip the the vet!

It was raining, so we didn't go for our walk prior, as I had planned on doing. I thought perhaps blowing off some of her energy would help her be calm and focused at the vet's office. Not that she's bad at the vet; on the contrary, everybody loves her, and there's so much to look at, and the whole thing doesn't concern her much at all.

But first, we had to get there.

In addition to being good at the vet, Elka is also good in the car. She happily climbs aboard, she doesn't jump around or bark or whine.  I put her in the back seat, and tell her to settle down, and then we go.  I'm looking for a seatbelt harness for her, so that I know she's secure back there.  Not unsurprisingly, the few harnesses I've found locally are for smaller dogs, not my deep chested wonder.
When we first got to the vet, there was nobody else in the waiting room, so we walked around a bit and Elka sniffed and looked into each open door.  There's a crochety old cat that prowls around the office, who has been in residence for many years, I'm sure.  Elka eyeballed him, but I thought we should forgo the meeting, as she never seems to understand that cats don't want a big ol' dog nose in their faces.

Another champion "move at the last minute" shot, after we sat down.  Today seemed as thought it was tooth cleaning day at the vet, a Yorkie and three cats came in for that very same reason.  Elka just needed the kennel cough vaccination (we haven't kenneled her yet, but it's more for my peace of mind, if we're ever in that situation), a general going over, testing for heartworm and other parasites, and getting the heartworm preventative.  She had to have blood drawn for the heartworm test, and was sitting on the exam table. The tech approached with her needle and said "will she stand for me?".  As "stand" is, in fact, one of her commands, Elka stood.  She didn't seem to notice, or at least be bothered, by the needles, but then, she never has.  The day we picked her out as a puppy, the breeder microchipped her, and Elka didn't even flinch.

While we were in waiting room, we practiced the "Which hand?" trick. Elka has done quite well in picking up that I want her to put a paw on the correct hand, and is also pretty good about picking the correct hand.  We also worked on "Sit", and "down", as it was a very distracting environment, and a good place for it. When I had her focus, she was very responsive, and I could give the commands i a very very quiet voice for a response.  I'm not sure why she has weird dinosaur neck in the above picture; her collar isn't any tighter than usual.

So, overall, it was a good trip. The vet was very pleased with Elka; he kept saying how sharp she was (meaning appearance, not temperament), and how well behaved she was, and the tech was of the same opinion.  Elka did a little bit of back and forth to the end of her leash to look around, and I let her, because it seems to me that if she thinks she has a handle on her environment, she's inclined to be more relaxed and more able to focus.  And then, just like that, we were all done and went home.

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