Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ill-conceived Notion

Sorry folks. This is a post from earlier this year, but BlogHer wants to feature it in the next week or so, and they asked if I could add a couple pictures, so I had to repost it.

As I was making the appointment with the vet's office, I thought to myself,
This is an ill-conceived notion.

A few of my critters were due for their annual shots
OK, 2 mths past due, but who's counting?
so I was figuring who to take. Since my vet gives a discount to any client deranged enough to bring in more than two animals at a time, I thought it prudent to take advantage of the savings. Also, more animals at once means fewer trips all together.

And I knew my yellow Lab had another ear infection. See, I'm kind of like an animal expert, so when she tilts her head back and scratches it slowly with her hind foot, then examines the foot, sniffs it, and licks the bacteria-laden puss from her claws, I just made that leap in my brain. I'm smart that way.

It's sorta like when a hillbilly picks some festering bit of squirrel from between his teeth, studies it, then eats it.

So I decided two dogs and two cats would be a nice, balanced mix. Wisely, I determined that putting both cats in one carrier would free up one hand, making things more efficient. They would be comfortable, I was sure, as it was quite roomy.

By roomy, I mean it was roughly the size of a one-car garage.

As it had a handle, I considered it a "carrier", but much like a hanky in a breast pocket, it was all for show.
This was meant to be set in place in one's home and remain there. If the house were to be sold, this "carrier" would be sold along with it, much like a refrigerator or an oven.

With the cats comfortably lounging in their respective corners, I hoisted it up and proceeded to get it downstairs to the car. Besides the mass and the bulky dimensions of the carrier itself, I hadn't thought that I would also be hauling the combined 25 lbs of the cats themselves. My back and neck muscles were bulging, I started to break out in a cold sweat, and I was muttering obscenities under my breath, but get it downstairs I did.

Next I brought the dogs down. Sunny (the Lab) was wiggling all over, excited at the prospect of
going somewhere
doing something.

She leaped before the door was fully open.
You know how when Wile E Coyote runs headlong into a cliff painted deceptively like a tunnel, and his body accordians up and he plays music? I can attest that this happens in real life.

When her body straightened out, and with the door in its fully upright position, she jumped into the back of the car. By the time I leveraged the carrier into place beside her, I had to spend a few minutes picking up the crayons, coloring books, headphones and socks that had been dislodged from the car due to Sunny's perpetual state of wiggle-iness.

We got to the vet's in short order and I proceeded to unload without incident. Getting them into the office was another matter.

First Sunny wedged herself into the doorway just as I was edging the carrier through.
She is not known for her intellect.

They were jammed, but I unstuck them and tried again. This time I told the dogs to stay as I tried to put the carrier through first. But Cindy Lou, the little Rat Terrier, darted under the carrier and around my ankles a couple times, winding me up like a top, then sprinting back the way she came, sending me spinning.
Unfortunately the act of unwinding herself only served to wind Sunny up.

I put the carrier on the ground and proceeded to intricately step over and under leashes, much like Tom Cruise avoiding lasers in a spy movie.

Untangled, I left the carrier where it was and got the dogs in the door, then dragged the portable shed through the doorway inch by inch.

We had made it.

Into the foyer.

We then had to repeat the whole process to get through the next door and into the office proper.

Only once I opened said door, the antiseptic smell of Vet's Office washed over the dogs and they knew where they were. This was no longer an adventurous outing, but an excursion through the gates of Hell.

They both put their full body weights into pulling back against their leashes. This while I was pushing the carrier through the doorway with about 1/2 inch to spare on either side, like I was moving a dresser into a bedroom. I pushed it into the office as far as my arms would reach, then stepped back and flung the dogs in with one mighty, adrenaline-surge of strength.

I recovered my breath for a few moments in the waiting room, slumped in a chair, my hair plastered to my face, my clothes enshroudeded in dog hair. The dogs were trembling in the corner. The cats, nonplussed, gazed out at me from the confines of their mini mansion.

The time came to weigh the dogs and Sunny lumbered onto the scale. I know I heard it creak. For a split second her motion stopped and her weight registered.
101 pounds.

My mind's eye offered up several snapshots:
Sunny parked under the table, catching each food particle before it hit the floor.
Sunny beating the other dogs to the dishes placed on the floor to pre-rinse before going in the dishwasher.
Sunny trying to wedge her massive body inside the dishwasher to get any nuances of food left behind from the pre-rinse.
She was all about the food.

Next it was Cindy Lou's turn.
"Go ahead and put her on the scale", instructed the tech.
"She is on the scale", I replied.
She weighed all of 8 pounds.

We got them all in the exam room and the the vet did his thing and all went well. Except Cindy, having never been to the vet's before, was nervous. Standing on the exam table, facing the vet, she saw his hand reach out to her and she wanted away. With her little tail being pressed up against my arm, she had nowhere to go. So she started backing her hindquarters up my body till her back legs were on my shoulder and she was doing a full handstand, completely vertically, upside-down.

Yes. I have normal animals.

The exam over, with thorough examinations and multiple vaccinations for each of them and two new drugs for Sunny's ears, I headed to the desk to check out.
There was much clicking of the keyboard.
There were many papers printed.
There were consultations in hushed whispers.

I was presented with the bill.

$401 dollars.

My God in heaven.

This was 1/2 a month's worth of groceries.
This was a pair of shoes and a pack of socks for each member of the family. And throw in some underwear.
This was a couple month's worth of school lunches.
This was a trip to WalMart when I only planned on getting some Tide and Ziplock Bags but ended up buying everything that I saw that I thought we needed at the time including that cute little throw-rug that would look just right by the front door.

There was only one thing for it.
Sell the children for scientific experimentation.

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