“Be right back,” the vet tech says smiling as he closes the exam room door. No, you won’t be right back. Just tell me about how long I’ll be waiting on you. You have no intentions of being right back. The lies begin.
And with that, Doug leaves me and Thatcher in the sixty degree exam room with it’s distinct funk and cat posters. I look around. We got a cat room. Now I have to deal with this anxiety-ridden pug in a cat room.
(I hate cats. I have nothing against “cat people” but I do not trust cats. A cat scratched me right underneath the eye when I was little. Granted, I was trying to pick it up. But I don’t think aggravated assault was an appropriate reaction. That cat tried to blind me. Ever since them, I’ve despised them. They are small demons here to do the dark work of Satan.)
Now I can focus only on my irritation with this cat breeds poster (aka Demon’s Notebook). Th pug can focus only on the impeding indignities of an annual exam. The butt probe. The shots. The bright lights to the eye. The new vaccine that gets squirted in her nose.
She knows what’s coming. She’s sweating. I pick her up and notice the wet under her little pug arms. I put her down. Gross. The smell of urine covered by the smell of ammonia (thanks for using a component of urine to clean urine, vet office!!) has hints of dog body odor.
And I forgot my phone. Surprising because my phone is literally attached to my hand.
Still waiting. I attempt to give Thatcher a treat. She looks at me with utter disgust. I’m complicit in the rapey things that will happen to her when the vet tech comes back. She looks down at the treat then up at me. You eat it. It’s probably paleo and you love that shit, she seems to quip.
I swipe two lollipops for the kids from the same area of the desk. (I would swipe more human pops after the tech shows me the price for the “senior dog” annual exam.)
Doug finally returns. He explains the pricing for the physical. “It’s more than last year’s $140 because she’s a senior now.” We prefer “pug of a certain age,” I think to myself.
Doug has questions about Thatcher. Eating, pooping, drinking, sleeping. Yes to all. Heartguard medicine. “Yes, from Sam’s club,” I lie. The actual answer is that I bought the three month supply last year and didn’t follow up. She’s a healthy weight though. I congratulate myself on being an awesome dog parent.
Doug picks up Thatcher . He winces when he feels the sweat in her armpits. Yes, Doug. She’s afraid. The tail is down. The sweat is up. I ponder if I should have dabbed some essential oil on Thatcher before coming.
I tell Thatcher it will all be okay. Another lie. She looks back at me forlornly. She’s no Fulbright scholar but knows why we are here. The only way to tell if you are healthy is to stick long doctor’s office q-tips in you. I’m sorry.
So I wait. And I wait. Just me, this cold room, and this cat poster. Now I’m sweating too. I blame the cats on the poster. Kill Doug, the Bombay with the golden eyes seems to say. And now I’m casting out demons.
The pug comes back. She is happy it’s over. Doug says she did great and I just shake my head. I’ll never actually know what goes on when the tech leaves the room with my dog. Maybe Doug took Thatcher to be hypnotized by some cat demon underboss. And now she’s under a spell. Thatcher circles the legs of the chair so excitedly that she strangles herself and starts coughing. The cat poster snickers. A spell indeed.
Finally, the doctor comes in. I like her. She sits on the floor with the dog instead of making Thatcher scramble on the metal table. She comments that Thatcher is a healthy weight and looks more like 8 or 9 years old rather than 11. These, Thatcher knows, are the best compliments any female can get. Thin and young-looking.
The doctor even comments that most pugs look like ottomans by 11 years old. A pug ottoman is such a delightful image that I am momentarily distracted from the evil cat poster.
The rest of the appointment goes well. We look at Thatcher’s gross skin tags. Harmless but I’m still convinced they could be her twins (a la My Big Fat Greek Wedding).
Then I check out. I write them a big fat check for the rapey things they did to my supermodel pug. And we both leave feeling icky.