Joel Vernier

was enjoying a nice afternoon nap. I was surrounded by a warm throw blanket and snuggled into my “Comfy Chair!” My shoulder was being shaken, and I heard, “Joel, wake up, it’s time to take the dogs to the vet’s office.” I quickly responded, “don’t say the V-word until we get them into the car!” 

You may be wondering why I would not want to say the “V” word in front of my dogs; after all, they are just dogs, right?

For the same reason, I don’t say the words “ball, walk, or dinner time;” these words alert them that an activity is about to commence! If in casual conversation around the house I say that I’m going to take the dogs out for a “walk,” 

it’s like a doorbell goes off in their heads, immediately relaxed dogs go from no movement to a wild flurry of gyrations, happy sounds and an immediate need to fulfill the pleasure of going for a walk or playing with a ball. In that state, it’s almost abuse not to follow through with the verbal utterance’s activity.

Going to the Veterinarians office sets off another set of physical antics and emotions. The goal is to let the dogs know that you’re going to the vets when you get into the parking lot. So, as we are getting on our coats, I ask the doggies, “would you like to go for a car ride?” They love car rides to a park, the post office, my daughter’s house, and our friend’s house. To the vets office, not so much. 

We grab the leashes and head out of the garage onto the driveway. I open the liftgate on my car. One at a time, they bound up in the air and get into the back area with a doggie blanket and a safe place for them to ride in the car.

As we head out, all is well; when we go past the street to my daughter’s house, they are okay. Into town, no problem. They are happy and love sniffing the fresh air as we crack two windows for them for ventilation. But when we head out of town, they somehow know we are going to the vets office. 

They start to get nervous, they whimper just a little, they try to jump into the back seat. We tell them that it’s all right and that we love them, it’s okay, but they will not hear those comments and build a crescendo that builds as we get closer to the office. 

I understand how they feel. I do not like going to the dentist or getting on the scale at my caregiver’s office, but it is essential for them and us to keep healthy. Today is pretty much routine; heart worm check and some shots that are needed. 

We pull in, and I get them out to parade around and try to get them to do their business. Then we head into the office filled with scents from other animals, people, and medicinal smells. They are not happy. We get called into the examination room, and a nice gal comes in very friendly, pets them, calls them by name, and gives them a treat. 

All of a sudden, it’s not such a bad place to be. They go along with the pokes and jabs, and of course, more treats. We leave the office, stop for business, get into the car, and are on our way. Exhausted, they lay down and sleep all of the way home. 

When we get home, it’s like nothing happened, but then I need a nap after “dinner time,” of course.

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others.” – Joel, author of the book: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer!” © Joel M. Vernier November 15, 2021.

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