Contrary to the subject line of this Post, it is not currently vet time for Ray however, I have recently read a number of Posts about some dogs total aversion to the vets. The Posts were followed by a wide collection of suggestions from readers around the world about how to overcome this. Ray never had an aversion to vets … or did he perhaps?
When Ray was picked up as a stray on November 2012, it was done by our local animal welfare people who wear dark (black?) uniforms. After we adopted him in March 2013, He showed a clear discomfort when approaching Fire or Police representatives. We concluded that it was the uniform.
When we had selected the vet for Ray, they recommended that we took him there a few times prior to his initial examination so that he could get used to the staff and the building. It made sense to us because, if circumstances can make him apprehensive around a uniform, then different circumstances can also trigger delight at going somewhere!
As soon we arrived for these “happy visits”, he was given treats. The staff were clearly pleased to see him and, after a very brief time, even his vet came out to say “Hi” to him! Within probably 10 minutes, we were on our way home with a very happy Ray!
This process was repeated a few times, and then it was his examination appointment time. Ray was getting excited as we headed in the general direction of the vet’s building, and was really excited when we arrived there. He pulled us through the front door and, as expected, was greeted very enthusiastically by the staff … but no treats this time. From Ray’s perspective, it was perhaps confusing, but he would no doubt get treats later (his rationale). He did!
Ray has had a lot of unpleasant treatment there (in the form of injections for various reasons, and hands-on examinations). He has left there very drowsy, having been sedated for a specific purpose, and yet, despite all that, he still gets excited when we turn into the parking lot near the vet’s building.
We attribute his cooperation to a variety of factors, the most influential one being his initial “happy visits”. Since then, he has always been greeted very enthusiastically by the staff, and his vet. Of course we are not stressed taking him there, so he is not negatively impacted by our emotional state at that time.
The last time Ray was there, he was not only pleased to be going again but, while we were waiting in an examination room for the vet, he was alternating between the two partially open doors (one accesses general waiting area for pets and owners, while the other is access by vet from other areas) to see where his vet was, and when he heard her voice ……………………………….!
We are so pleased that we initially took the time to introduce him to the vets practice. We are also very appreciative of the interest shown in Ray by the vets and all the staff of that practice.
I do not know the origin of the pic below, although I think I may have stumbled across it accidentally while in FB? It always makes me smile, but also makes me happy. My imagination would conjure up Ray in that position as he exerts his will … and I would smile. I would be happy because “our boy” loves his vet, and taking him there is never a problem.