Dogged Fear

My dog, Sid, sure hates going to the vet.  Today I took her to what I kept wanting to call a conjugal visit.  She didn’t get poked, prodded or anything, at this visit, so really that word is not appropriate, right?  It was really a visit to help her feel “safe” at the vet’s office.  It was my vet’s suggestion, as Sid got a little aggressive when she went there the time before last, and the last time, we had to get her shots outside where she felt a little more comfortable.

Today, the visit, I felt, was a little less than what I was hoping for.  Sid has come a million miles in her progress.  But the smells and familiarity of the vet’s office must have made her regress.  When the vet tried to give her a treat, Sid pooped on the floor.  It was like, “Oh, shit.”  Literally.

I guess I can relate to her apprehension, and I wonder if a dog gets their neuroses from their owner.  Like Sid has to have the basement door shut before she will go past it, because when we were under a Tornado Warning, I carried Sid down the stairs.  She didn’t like it, and now she has a terrible association with the contents of the door.

When I was around five years old, I was at my grandma’s when a tornado came.  My grandma and I were outside getting the baby chicks into their houses when that twister blew up.  When we tried to get ourselves into the safety of Grandma’s house, we found that the door had locked when it had slammed shut.  Grandma usually kept her keys in her apron, but on this day, they were not there.  I don’t remember how we got back into the house.  I only remember how scared I was.

Like Sid, I never let go of that fear.  Every time the wind picks up, I feel that fear in my knees and my stomach.  The vulnerability factor looms up before me.  When I have to go anywhere, I always check the weather.  That incidence, that brush with danger, happened to me 45 years ago, and still, it affects my life.  I am forced to hand myself over to fate.  How can I fault my pup?  She’s only a year and a half old.  Hardly long enough to learn that every time she goes to the vet, they aren’t going to hurt her or that every time the basement door is open, she isn’t going to get precariously carried down to a strange, scary place.

I am hoping Sid learns to trust the vet again.  Through a few uneventful visits, where all that happens is that the vet or her assistant will pat her head and someone gives her a treat, she will learn that going there isn’t worth poopin’ on the floor about.

I have gotten a lot better about storms.  I still get nervous when I am in the car and the wind and rain seems to take the wheel, but I have learned to trust that I am where I need to be, and I will experience what I need to experience.

It’s been a very dry spring.  And I realize I haven’t even checked the batteries in the portable radio.  Maybe there is hope for Sid.


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