But there's nothing like a trip to the vet with your healthy pets to make you feel like you are the single-most horrible owner on the face of this green earth. I usually get to see Dr. Mike, but apparently he's on vacation--I got his "understudy," a young lady with the bedside manner of Mr. Scrooge before he started seeing ghosts...
Case in point is a discussion about Hawthorne's "junk":
"Hmm" all you want there, but I am not spending money to take away something that's not an issue. I'm all about preventative care, don't get me wrong. And if I would have had the dough back when I got Hawthorne, he may have gotten fixed then (of course, the guilt trip back then was not about his prostate, it was about the potential for more puppies in this lonely, cruel world... but I digress...), but he didn't. He's not a humper. When he does get the opportunity to see a female dog, all he does is lick her face anyway (talk about your lack of a sex drive!), and you think now I should take them away? Should I have my balls removed just in case I have prostate problems in the future?
Vet: Have you ever considered getting him fixed?
Me: What? He's nine years old! Why would I do that to him now?
Vet: I've personally already seen three cases this week of dog's with prostate problems...
Me: ... And?
Vet: And they could have been avoided if they had simply gotten their dogs fixed.
Me: Yeah, well, he's nine. He's healthy. He does not at this point have prostate problems, and if he had problems, then we would consider our options.
And then there was this doozy:
Vet: He has some plaque build up, you see?
Me: (I peer at the tooth in question) Hmm...
Vet: He should really be scheduled for a prothy.
Me: A what?
Vet: A good dental cleaning.
Me: Oh, he's fine. They don't hurt him, see? (I knock on his tooth)
Vet: Yes, but in time that plaque could leave him with quite the sore tooth.
Me: I have a toothbrush for him. I'll just make sure to hit those back teeth a little better.
Vet: That's not going to cut it, sir.
Me: And why not, ma'am. (Yes, I'm copping an attitude. I want to see Dr. Mike, not this sanctimonious snoot...)
Vet: Because he needs a good cleaning.
Me: And how much does a "good cleaning" cost?
Vet: Only around $500.
Me: Are you nuts?! I don't even spend $20 go to a dentist, and you want me to pop $500 so he can have "pearly whites"? I don't think so.
Vet: Well, we put him down with anesthetic, and keep in mind some of those teeth may need pulled due to cavities, there's the IV to keep him hydrated while he's under--
Me: No. Absolutely not. I'm sorry, and you can think I'm a terrible owner all you want, but there's no way in hell my healthy playful active nine-year-old dog is "going under" for any reason other than life-saving surgery--and maybe not even then depending on the scenario. Am I clear?
Vet: Sir, why do you even have the dog if you don't feel you need to take proper care of him? (Yes, she is now getting snooty with me...)
Me: He gets fed, he gets love, he gets played with, he gets a bed, three balls, an acre to call his own play ground, he barks when strangers arrive, and is great with nieces and nephews. He's nine years old and, except for that brief moment in time when he was stolen from my yard while I lived in Allentown and was missing for a week and I had to spend close to $3,000 to save his life due to some cruel and negligent morons, I am an excellent owner to this dog, just as I will be an excellent owner to this cat. All I need you to do is give him his rabies shot, his heart worm shot, worry less about his balls and more about his general health, okay? Dr. Mike has never once implied anything of this nature and I resent you doing so.
Vet: ... Nurse, make sure he gets to see Dr. Mike next time, alright?
Nurse: Yes, Doctor.
Me: Thank you.
Vet: Thank you.
Granted, I copped attitude first, but that's neither here nor there.
Needless to say, I will not be seeing this vet again... I made the receptionist put it in Beaux's and Hawthorne's charts that they only ever get scheduled for Dr. Mike in the future, just in case... Not that I begrudge him time off, you see. Just his newest trainee...