Friday, September 14, 2012

Going to the Vets

Cherrystone Animal Hospital is a wonderful place. Fixed up like a country home, with wreaths on the door and country-style decor, there is a big picture window that looks out over a field with cows, horses and llamas.

Cherrystone Animal Hospital looks like a country farm house.

Cruising the lobby is Puppet, the hugest yellow Lab ever. His job is to calm nervous, edgy animal and human visitors with his laid-back presence. And any treats that get dropped Puppet instantly tidies up!

Puppet, the resident greeter, makes sure everyone feels at home. 
He is a massive, but gentle young Lab.

Taking an animal to the vet can be a traumatic experience if they associate it with unfamiliarity, fear and pain. When Dorian has a vet visit we take our time getting inside and sitting down. Our vet is really good about letting owners go back with their pets to the exam room. Your constant presence can be reassuring to the dog, while allowing you time to talk personally with the vet. If I have questions, this is the time to ask.

If a dog ever deserved a treat and extra praise, it's after being in the vet's exam room! If your vet doesn't give treats, be sure to bring some with you.

Check out the "cookie" jars! Getting treats can take the sting out of going to the vet's.

I highly recommend taking your dog on "fun" visits to the vet. When you get inside let the desk know you are just there to visit. Stand out of the way or sit on the couch, or do a short walk around. Let your dog take in all the animals, always working on him staying next to you calmly. You can do some obedience to get your dog's focus on you. I ask to have the dog weighed, giving Dorian a lesson on going onto the scale.

Dorian says, "61 pounds - yikes!"

Puppet the resident greeter says, "You all come back now!"

When it's time to leave, practice your dog's exit out the door - no fair bolting! You might walk around the grounds a little before hopping in the car and heading home. If you do this periodically from their puppy-hood on, a trip to the vet's will not bring on nervous fits for you or your dog. You've also made everyone's job at the vet's a little easier!

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