It's an awkward experience, being on the other side of the exam table. Today, I took my dog to the veterinary dentist. While I am able (and actually enjoy) doing dentistry, I don't do it on my own pets. I try not to ever even do anesthesia on them, as I know I would be more likely to react emotionally than professionally.
My dog was happy to go in the car. Then, he got to take his first ferry ride ever. With the nice weather we have now in the Mid-Atlantic, I even opened a window for him. We got to the clinic and he immediately wanted to greet and play with a St. Bernard. Everyone thought he was a puppy, not the "senior" he is. At over 7 years for a large breed, he is considered a senior and in another 2 years, he will be "geriatric". It's hard to believe. As he sat at my feet and shed a pound of his hair coat in the waiting room, I thought about our relationship. I was his third owner at 5 months of age. He is the first dog I had all on my own. I remember as I took him to training classes, the trainer said he was the perfect student. I however- well let's just say I got the same admonishment from my piano teacher, "practice, practice practice".
He probably saved me more times then I knew. As a petite young woman, I'm sure he scared off plenty of people from messing with me. A 5'2" women- no intimidation- with a Rottweiller-Shepherd looking hybrid- pretty intimidating. At least 3 guys who may have had other intentions, were scared by him and at least one almost-robbery thwarted. And yet, my big intimidating dog is like a marshmallow when it comes to my 6.5 pound cat. She rules him and he knows it. As I sat down, thinking about all these memories, my dog was just soaking in all the attention he could get. The toddler was no longer vying for attention with him, he loved being the center of attention. As I thought of all these things, I did get a little nervous about him going under anesthesia. I often have been on the opposite side of the conversation, "anesthesia is safe, we will do everything we can, etc." The colleague I was entrusting him to is the most trust-worthy and capable. But yet- there's that emotional bond. The doctor talked with me and everything he said, are things I've said before. The technician (veterinary nurse) came in and I found myself saying that often used line to excuse bad behavior, "he's a little neurotic because he's a rescue".
Well, apparently he did fine and I'm glad he did get the procedure because we found out he did have an abscessed tooth (neither the dentist nor I had expected that). The bright side, possibly insurance might cover some of the procedure. From the finances to the emotion, it looks like I got some of my own medicine today...