Today I took Harley to an veterinarian orthopedic surgeon. Who knew these kinds of people even existed? Harley is a pain in the ass. You can never take him anywhere in the car because the entire time he whines like something is grabbing him by the balls and squeezing with all their might. He even howls. I get so frustrated that by the time we get to our destination, passers-by think I'm the most horrible pet owner in the world and don't love my "handsome, so sweet" puppy as I bark orders at him. If only they knew. And if only they knew what I was about to find out.
We go into the vet reception area and check in. "So handsome!" All the receptionists coo, as my right arm is being ripped out of my socket and the contents of my purse are being flung everywhere. We sit in the metal chairs in the waiting area and I attempt to get Harley to sit. For sanitary purposes, I understand why they have linoleum on the floors, but with an 80 pound puppy, I think it's the most idiotic idea ever. Undoubtedly, every time I wait in the vet lobby with Harley, one of two things happen: 1) Just as I'm settling in and get him to sit, another dog or cat enters the reception area. He bolts to meet this new potential friend and I go flying. He has actually dragged my seated ass across the entire waiting area before. Or, 2) I loosen my grip to reach for a treat to entice him to sit, and he bolts out of my hands, goes slamming into the poor sick kitty in the carrier and all over their unexpecting owner. To which they give me the death stare that says "You evil person! Why would you own a dog if you can't control him? Now Mr. Scribbles here is so freaked it will take weeks to get him out of this carrier and it's all your fault!" I hang my head in shame and hope the nurse is stronger that I am. They're usually not.
It's at this point they usually give us a room that we wait in for quite some time. But this vet's room had a door that was split in half and they only closed the bottom half, which was just out of reach of Harley's sight and all the more enticing to try to look over. Trying not to look like a crazed, mean owner, I tried my best to get him to calm down. The nurse, still cooing over him as he's trying to use her as a ladder to escape the room, handed me all kinds of forms and information on ACL tears in animals. I'm supposed to have read over and know all this information by the time the vet arrives, but given that everyone on the entire block can hear my screaming pup, I opt to sit on the floor with him, petting and praising him just to make him shut up. Thinking that if my husband where here, he would point out how dirty the floor is. But, I don't think about that and just try to calm Harley down.
So, not only is this room filled with smells of other animals most likely in distress and I'm guessing they put out a different odor that says "you're in trouble! Be the worst you can be and your owner will have to take you home on account of possibly getting imprisoned for bad training!", and the half door that's more enticing than a dripping piece of steak, there's also a window which people are walking by on. Now, the only thing my dog can't stand more than ridding in the back of a car, is seeing people walking that he can't go great personally. At one point, I wondered if dogs could get hernias from whining.
About 20 minutes of this - just enough time to thoroughly stress Harley out, and enters the vet. To which Harley jumps on, and to which the vet wasn't so enthusiastic as his bimbo receptionists. We look at the x-rays, which have been crushed en route, and he feels his leg. Yes, a torn ligament. Yes, surgery. Yes, the more expensive one. Yes, it could happen again. That's really all the information I would gather since Harley is continuing to whine excessively and the vet is trying to give me all these terms and a 101 course on knee joints while I can't hear over my screaming dog. But, that's all the information I really needed.
So, we venture back out into the obsitcal course or a reception area. We pass another room with the lower half of the door closed and a husband and wife are quietly sitting with their silent, seated collie. They look at me being drug out the door with a look that says "You poor, son of a bitch." The only good idea this place has is there's a hook to tie your dog's leash too on the coutner so you can have all hands free to pay the enormous sum of money the vet is charging me to tell me something I already know. But, this just means more leash in which to tie himself and me up in. At one point, I think there wasn't a free leg on either of us that wasn't entangled in his leash in one way or another. The receptionists coo. The word "treat" is mentioned and there went the 80 pounds of hyper dog over the counter and into all their papers. Oops. "You said it, not me" was the look I'm sure I had on my face. Back in the car and another 30 minute drive of howling dog.
At one point I started thinking, is this really worth it? By the time it's all said and done, we will have shelled out $5,000 for this whining, destructive, smelly dog. As I look in my rear view mirror at Harley chocking himself on the seat in front of him just to get a better look at the car next to us, which has turned his whines into abbreviated gasping sounds, I really start to question this. Then we get home and every time I get up, his ears perk, his eyes follow my every move, his tail wags, and follows me faithfully around, never leaving my side. He comes next to the couch, sits down on my feet and with those eyes never leaving mine, lays his soft warm head in my lap. But I'm never going to the vet alone again.