This will hurt me more than it hurts him: A trip to the vet.

After a few days recuperating I think I’m ready to talk. The trauma isn’t as fresh, the wincing and twitching have eased, two good signs I’m told. Yeah, we’ll see.

Earlier this week, I took the dog for his annual rabies shot. Not an average dog, this one makes a trip to the vet roughly equivalent to alligator wrestling, minus the risk of death. Injury, sure, but not death. Never have I won a match against this wild, flailing, stubborn, freakishly strong terrier.

Just the walk from the car to the office threatened to separate my arm from my shoulder. He pulled and lunged and yanked me along in the same fashion as a sled in the Iditarod. When we reached the waiting area I threw myself into a plastic chair and reeled him in like a fish, winding his leash around my fist. On a short leash, he’s unable to launch himself at by-standers, instead I just lose the feeling in that hand for a while. So there we sat, him hovering tentatively centimeters above the floor, his version of a sit, me tense and grim, gripping his leash.

When our turn came, a tech took us to weigh him. As she knelt beside the scale, he leaped and twisted and wriggled, trying vainly to lick her face. Just as I bent to grab him he jumped, drilling his cement-like head into my own. I staggered backward. The room went dark. I heard birdies. I was helped to an examining room.

Bart’s weight remains unknown.

Waiting yet again, I listened to the ringing in my ears keep time with the pulsing throbs in my forehead. Eventually, finally, the vet appeared. After nodding a greeting, he turned to the dog and tried to corral him. He failed. He tried a second time. That, too, failed. I began to enjoy myself. People just aren’t accustomed to being outsmarted by a dog. I am, but they’re not. Embarrassed, he called for assistance.

Two techs arrived and worked to gain an advantage over Bart, who was channeling Houdini. Minutes passed. Then, in a nanosecond pause, the shot went in. It was over. Relief coursed through me. It had required two grown-ups to contain one eleven-year old dog on Prozac. Can you imagine what it was like when he was young? No, you can’t.

I find comfort in knowing I have a year before needing to do this again.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

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