Small Dog was scheduled to have her rabies vaccination this afternoon. She has a deep pathological fear of going to the vet and sits trembling in the waiting room, looking for all the world as if she was about to be hung, drawn and quartered, rather than simply having a routine injection.
She has a brief goodwill period when she is first put on the examination table which might, if she is in a particularly good mood, last as long as 90 seconds.
With this in mind, I prefer the vaccination to be done quickly before she realises what is happening and has time to muster her resources. Today however, the vet decided (rashly I thought) to give her the once over and check her ears, claws etc. He probably also wanted to check her teeth but in the end that proved unnecessary as we all unanimously agreed that they were probably fine.
It turned out that she needed to have her ears plucked. Apparently dogs of her breed have very hairy ears and the ear canals can become blocked with wax and general detritus, leading to infections. We have been assured that the process is completely painless, but Small Dog begs to differ.
Admittedly it does look a fairly brutal procedure. A pair of locking forceps are inserted into the ear canal and locked around a clump of hair. They are then given a sharp yank and removed to reveal a small clump of hair. As soon as she hears the click of the forceps Small Dog undergoes a metamorphosis from cowering, trembling, tail-between-the-legs little scrap, to a twisting, snarling ball of teeth and claws.
After an initial abortive foray which left PP with minor flesh wounds, it was decided that a muzzle might be a Good Idea.
After only three attempts, we managed to muzzle her, but it was just a bit too big for her, so someone had to 'volunteer' to try to hold it in place while the ear plucking was completed.
PP had to hold Small Dog in a half nelson while the vet valiantly tried to remove the last of the offending ear hair.
That done, we all four stood panting, while the vet prepared her vaccination. To be fair, she didn't put up too much of a fight for that, probably because she was completely exhausted after the ear plucking debacle.
We eventually emerged from the consulting room, a sorry-looking trio.
PP was nursing a bandaged and bloody finger.
I was nursing an incipient nervous breakdown.
Small Dog looked as if she was being pursued by all the hounds of hell.
Apart from that, and the bill, we were fine.
Small Dog is now convalescing in her basket, occasionally throwing us baleful looks from beneath her fringe. I'd give it till dinner time before she deigns to forgive us.......