I have had a couple of recent conversations with veterinarians about how we sometimes interact with others and just can't understand how they aren't very adaptable. You mean you can't deal with sudden change? With a problem that suddenly comes up and changes what you are doing, how you are doing it and the time you have to do it? Yes, all of us vets have agreed, we have learned to be adaptable.
You can be in the middle of a wonderful sweet puppy exam and you have a dog that comes in unexpectedly in heart failure, or more dramatic, a dog that has been hit by a car with traumatic injuries. Your brain goes from talking about brushing teeth and vaccines to dosing pain meds and assessing if the pet needs CPR. There's nothing like going from 0 to 60 mph in your brain.
Yes, as I congratulate my profession at our adaptability, I sometimes come home and have to remind myself to be adaptable. It's a good characteristic to have with a toddler, and I think I am fairly adaptable to his moods, desires and 0 to 60 personality.
The other night, I had to remind myself to be adaptable. I wasn't treating a dog in trauma, there was no life or death incident, it just wasn't how my husband and I wanted our evening to go.
After a pretty nice "hang out day" with my son, my husband got home late from work and we were starving, it was close to 8pm. We had a good dinner although it was fairly rushed. Due to how late dinner was, we decided our son could forgo the bath we had planned. As we were trying to get him ready for bed, the dog needed to go out. As I was trying to get my son ready, I hear my husband calling that there is something wrong with the dog. All I heard was "He's stuck in the raspberry bush". I come down stairs and see my dog circling around under a low-lying tree with grapevine growing over it. Apparently he was refusing to come inside for my husband. I tell my husband to attend to our son and I'll try to figure out what's going on. I find an old pair of shoes and go outside and also experience I have difficulty getting the dog inside. He's circling around and acting like he wanted us to see something. "Oh great", I say to myself, "I hope it's a kitten he's found and not some other form of wildlife." As I search for a flashlight and realize the first two I picked up don't have batteries, I hear some type of smoke detector/alarm going off (like it ran out of a battery). My husband's looking for batteries and I'm trudging out into the yard in the mud to some unknown discovery. "Yep, this is definitely not how I wanted to spend this evening. Be adaptable," I remind myself.
I go outside search the area my dog is interested in and to my relief do not see anything gross or really anything at all. It's pitch black. I decide maybe my dog is interested in something on the other side of the fence and if he still wants to show it to me tomorrow in daylight, I will go beyond the fence to investigate. Rather than wrestling with a dog in the mud (we all know where that was headed), I quickly ran upstairs and got a buffet of different treats to bribe my dog with. It worked. He came inside. My husband and I went through the house looking for the affected smoke detector (It wasn't easily obvious and reminded me of why firefighters always say to change ALL your detectors each daylight savings time). I think I will take an abdominocentesis over a smoke detector hunt anyway...