It was one of those days. I had planned to take Charles to the vet to get his annual shots (his birthday was last week and that is when they are due). Then I decided to take Louise too (because the vet is 30 miles away and I wanted to not have to make another trip). Louise needed her teeth looked at and this thing growing on her head. As fate had it, the day before the visit, Sofie went lame in her front right leg. OK, now I was taking 3 dogs to the vet. When you have 1 anxious dog and 1 fearful dog and 1 small dog it can become a complicated trip. They all have different needs around the adventure.
Being the zookeeper of course, I had a plan.
1. Stay cool. It is just too hard to take all 3 into the office at the same time so someone needs to stay in the car. That wouldn’t be a problem if the temperature was moderate but, it was too hot out to leave anyone in the car (96 degrees). I brought my extra key so that I could lock the car while it was running. I turned the air conditioning on high, put on some classical music and locked Sofie in the car with all the comforts of the world. I watched the car from inside the waiting room. It was funny to see people’s faces when they looked in and heard the classical music and a happy dog. I worried the whole time though that someone might break the window if they thought she was locked in a hot car, so maybe next time I’ll make a sign.
2. Empty the waiting room. When I take Louise to the vet, I always need to make sure that there are no other dogs in the waiting room before I bring her in. She can get aggressive with strange dogs and people, especially if she is scared. Sometimes I bring her in and out the back door of the vet’s office so we avoid everything. (You know me, avoidence is one of my favorite dog management practices.) Luckily, there were only cats in carriers today.
3. Keep Charles safe from Sofie. Sofie is grumpy and Charles is pigheaded. They can get into a big snit, so I never leave them unattended in a stressful situation and I especially wouldn’t leave Charles in the car with Sofie because I don’t trust that she won’t attack him which would be goodbye little boy. Keeping all 15 lbs of Charles safe is a major concern always.
4. Switcharoo. Once Louise and Charles were done inside, it was time to switch dogs and take Sofie in. But Sofie, being Sofie, makes that action not so easy. She knows where she is and refuses to get out of the car. I am not lifting 55 lbs of anxious dog. A push and a pull and finally I get the stubborn ‘donkey’ to move along without the other 2 dogs running loose.
5. Safe drive home. Somehow Sofie, who is normally in the back seat with Louise, switched spots with Charles, who is usually tethered to the seat belt. I don’t like loose dogs in the car, but in this case, I gave up and let them all just be where they wanted to be.