I woke up in the middle of the night remembering a particular day at the vets. As I was coming out of my dream it was playing step by step out in slow motion; it was a nightmare, but one that had come true. About 12 years ago we had just moved here to Southern California; we were in our house only 2 weeks when Tilley got an ear infection. We had a pool at the house and Tilley loved to dive in the pool; too much water in the ear and with hair and floppy ears they couldn't dry properly. Off to the vets we went; we walked, it was only about 8 blocks and it would give me a chance to have a look around the new neighborhood.
Tilley needed a good ear cleansing; I was told and the vet took her away. Apparently a vet tech then took over who brought her out back to give her an ear flush. At the time I had a bad feeling in my stomach but chalked it up to being an overprotective Mom. Left to sit alone in the examining room I could hear some turmoil going on outside my door. My vet didn't come back and all I heard from an almost hysterical voice on the other side of the door was she ran across the road. I sat waiting and waiting; until I could wait no longer. I ran out to the lobby and demanded to know what had happened. Everyone just looked at each other with dread. My blood was starting to boil; the idea that this might be Tilley was making me crazy. You really don't want to mess with my dogs, honestly. I started to scream "was it a poodle?" "was it a poodle?" Finally someone said yes and I charged out the front door frantically calling to her. We were on a very busy street at noon. I couldn't see her anywhere and my voice was already horse from screaming for her. I ran back into the building and demanded to know which way she went.
Horrible things were running through my head; I tried to think positively. I had to find Tilley; she'd only been here two weeks, she didn't even know how to get back home, or so I thought. To make a long story short; Tilley did find her way home. It truly was a miracle as we had only lived in this area for 2 weeks and we'd never walked it until this day but just like Lassie she found her way home. The vet never did come back to talk to me, no calls, no apologies. This was totally unacceptable and should never happen to anyone or any dog. Each time I drive by that vets I see the gate in the back that was meant to contain my terrified dog left open still to this day.
And now I do everything within my power to stay with my dogs. Yep; I cause a stir, many of the people who work at the vets there role their eyes. It is my responsibility to ensure my dogs safety; I cannot do that behind a door. And when my dogs are stressing; it is not a strangers arms they want wrapped around them. Strangers are anything but reassuring to a freightened dog. This fact alone needs to be consider when an owner wants to stay with their dog.
Recently I asked to stay in the room while Tilley had a blood test; the Veterinarian did not think this was a good idea. "It's a liability," he said. "What if you faint?" "I'm not going to faint; I do everything for my dogs." I stood fast and he allowed it; he brought everything into the room instead of bringing Tilley out to the back. I held her in my arms as they drew her blood and she never flinched. I was able to hold her face close to mine; letting her know that I was there with her and I was not going to let anything happen to her, not again.
What a nightmare; but a real nightmare. Never again.