lost (then found) in translation

first let me say for the record: i love my vet. LOVE him.

really.

and today was the day to take my 4-legged child to see him (the vet) for the annual vaccines. we both (phoebe, the dog and i) look forward to seeing the vet, and today started out as no exception.

but THEN we got inside . . .

blondeassistantgirl says: ohmygawd, phoebe is SO overweight.

i hear: you are SUCH a sorry excuse for a dog ownerette.

she says: what do you feed her?

i say: kibbles. oh, and bits.

she says: ohmygawd, that’s the WORST POSSIBLE thing you could feed her.

i hear: slut. you sorry, sorry slut. i’ll bet YOU eat the kibbles and leave only the bits for phoebe.

she takes my dog out of the room while i read the nearby archaeology today magazine dated 02/1403 (the novel ideas edition filled with such delectibles as shovels. and dirt). then all too soon, blondassistantgirl re-enters with phoebe and the vet in tow. she lets them enter first then she closes the door and leans against it. smugly, i think. she’s leaning against that door smugly.

vet says: phoebe is SO overweight. if we don’t get some of this weight off, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah dire blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah new meds blah blah blah blah blah reroute blah the fat blah blah cells blah blah blah oh, and hello how are you blah blah blah blah.

i hear: you wicked, wicked, horrible, terrible, scumbag of a pet caregiver. look at you, sitting there. just look at you. look. at you. why you’re just lucky i don’t sick the doggie social workers on you.

vet continues: blah blah blah blah blah blah fat blah blah blah blah weight blah blah blah blah problems blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

i think: yeah, well, i have this friend whose wife was a nutrition consultant AND a personal fitness trainer and one day when she was out in the driveway yelling for her kids to come on because they were going to be late for school, she dropped over. dead before she hit the pavement. and she was not that tall. not as short as me, but not that tall. really. so think about it: she did everything RIGHT, and bless goodness if she didn’t die anyway.

vet: and i can tell you don’t blah blah blah blah brush blah blah blah her teeth blah blah blah on a blah blah blah blah daily basis. blah blah blah problems blah blah blah woe be unto you blah blah blah blah blah.

i sink lower in the seat and hear: i can’t believe this dog is even still alive. how are your children? how’s your mother? husband?

vet checks phoebe’s rear knee joints and says: ohhhh noooooo. i feel the blah blah blah blah blah blahgenning stages of arthritis. blah blah have you noticed any blah blah blah blah blah blah blah change in the way she walks?

i quietly say: nooo . . . ?

to which the vet says: blah blah blah blah well, if you’re SURE you haven’t noticed blah blah blah blah anything different, blah blah blah blah prescription blah blah blah blah blahrthritis blah blah blah blah blah.

which i hear as: of course YOU wouldn’t notice a difference in her gait. she could lose the use of all four of her legs and YOU wouldn’t notice because YOU are NOT . . . and right then i kinda’ made myself stop listening to myself (and the vet) and dove right into a full-fledged pity party, complete with self-reciminations like you wouldn’t believe. the self-flogging went on for a while – blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah drawing boundaries blah blah blah blah blah internalize blah blah blah blah blah blah culminating with something to the effect of when you have spent your life being a caregiver, it’s hard to hear stuff like this spew from the vet’s lips and not take it personally – which actually, i have to say, felt like good, solid justification somehow, and let’s face it: it kept me in that pity party for a while longer. which was fine with me cause i wasn’t nearly ready to leave yet anyway.

blondassistantgirl: that’ll be $175.00

to which i say (on the inside): jeez, you mean to tell me i’m paying $175 for half-hour of scolding, i am so in the wrong business . . . and then i remembered how i paid the dentist more for half-hour of scolding and $175 didn’t seem quite so bad. until i wondered why i would pay ANYBODY to scold me. i mean, i break into hives at the sight of a red pencil . . . which could mean that i don’t handle criticism well – which is something i’ve told myself many times before – and right about then i realize the pity party isn’t nearly over yet, so i talk to phoebe about it all the way home and eventually, finally i get to the core question: why on earth does it matter to me what others think about me? and then – right after i give phoebe a (small) treat – i load up my ipod with tunes that have a really good walking beat (okay, i do the ipod loading after unfolding myself from the fetal position i assumed on the sofa) because beginning tomorrow, miss phoebe and i start hoofing it around the neighborhood.

i will walk until my clothes feel comfortable on me again, and phoebe . . . well, phoebe will walk until my clothes feel comfortable on me again, too. and maybe, just maybe, i’ll eventually walk right on away from worrying so damn much about what others think of me.

you know, i really do need to get out more.

and i don’t mean to the vet’s office.

or the dentist, either.

but now we’re going to bed, my little porker and me, because all that putting words in other people’s mouths is exhausting. absolutely exhausting.

phoebeistired.jpg
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  • http://quiltdivajulie.blogspot.com/ quiltdivajulie

    I can’t stop giggling at how you described this most uncomfortable and demoralizing situation … blah blah blah indeed.

    I wish you and Miss Phoebe all the best as you venture out into the walking world – I used to walk every day but then my feet blah blah blah blah and now I miss that freedom.

    Baby steps, my dear, baby steps (you and me and Phoebe).

    • http://thebarefootheart.com/ ever jeanne

      baby steps, indeed.

  • http://quiltdivajulie.blogspot.com quiltdivajulie

    I can’t stop giggling at how you described this most uncomfortable and demoralizing situation … blah blah blah indeed.

    I wish you and Miss Phoebe all the best as you venture out into the walking world – I used to walk every day but then my feet blah blah blah blah and now I miss that freedom.

    Baby steps, my dear, baby steps (you and me and Phoebe).

    • http://thebarefootheart.com ever jeanne

      baby steps, indeed.

  • http://www.sheba-kitty-productions.com/ sheba

    That was a very funny description of what was obviously a difficult visit. I am lucky to have a Vet for a Dad…. or a dad that is a vet, whatever… so I always get a good second opinion from all that over zealous stuff about meds and teeth cleaning. Although they may be the right things for your dog, they are also the way the vets make overhead costs. But an overweight pet is something to avoid.

    Good luck with the walking.

    • http://thebarefootheart.com/ ever jeanne

      you are lucky to have a trusted second opinion. thanks for stopping by, sheba.

  • http://www.sheba-kitty-productions.com sheba

    That was a very funny description of what was obviously a difficult visit. I am lucky to have a Vet for a Dad…. or a dad that is a vet, whatever… so I always get a good second opinion from all that over zealous stuff about meds and teeth cleaning. Although they may be the right things for your dog, they are also the way the vets make overhead costs. But an overweight pet is something to avoid.

    Good luck with the walking.

    • http://thebarefootheart.com ever jeanne

      you are lucky to have a trusted second opinion. thanks for stopping by, sheba.

  • http://kaizenjourney.blogspot.com/ annalisa

    That sounds very blah blah blah painful, however I expect you will walk away from worrying about what others think about you and your caregiving very quickly and you and Phoebe (I love that photo!) will find it to be an adventure that you enjoy all for yourselves. Dogs have a way of making the most of even a mundane walk!

    • http://thebarefootheart.com/ ever jeanne

      walk away: exactly.

  • http://kaizenjourney.blogspot.com/ annalisa

    That sounds very blah blah blah painful, however I expect you will walk away from worrying about what others think about you and your caregiving very quickly and you and Phoebe (I love that photo!) will find it to be an adventure that you enjoy all for yourselves. Dogs have a way of making the most of even a mundane walk!

    • http://thebarefootheart.com ever jeanne

      walk away: exactly.

  • Acey

    oh christ. that’s all & everything. And laughing for real as I say that much …

    • http://thebarefootheart.com ever jeanne

      well, shoot, acey. you’re one who knows funny – that’s for sure!

  • Acey

    oh christ. that’s all & everything. And laughing for real as I say that much …

    • http://thebarefootheart.com/ ever jeanne

      well, shoot, acey. you’re one who knows funny – that’s for sure!