Friday, January 26, 2007

Chloe Deserves Filet Mignon for Dinner Tonight

Chloe took a ride to the vet today. She’s a great passenger and loves a ride in the car. When I stop at a light, she stands up to see and sniff, especially if we are near a Bojangles or McDonalds. I had my camera with me and regret leaving the battery in the charger back at home…darn!

Since she was a puppy in 1996, I’ve dreaded her visits to the vet. Her bad behavior has been embarrassing and unnecessary. I’ve had several different vets during her life and she hated them all. What made matters worse is that animals can detect anxiety in their owners and will share it but I did the best I could to cover mine. In the waiting room, she’d tremble while I tried to calm her with relaxed conversation in our own language we share. Chloe’s phobia and fears caused growling, struggling, and snapping. How could this loving and sweet girl turn into a demon the moment she entered the office? That’s not how Boston Terriers behave, although she does have some wicked tendencies we admire. (I need to add that she was not bred by Jane, the famous Chet Baker’s breeder). In Chloe's ten years, she never had a complete and thorough exam due to her quick snap at the stethoscope and other instruments. Nails clipped? Forget that! “Just give us the shot, doc, and we’re out of here!” Luckily, she's been a healthy female.

Today was different from past visits to the vet. Maybe she’s mellowing in her senior years or maybe she decided she likes Dr. Mark. This was the first Christmas she didn’t steal and run with a dozen Christmas tree ornaments and lately she has been intently watching certain programs on TV. This morning in the examining room, she sat in her own chair, next to me, and allowed Dr. Mark to investigate a benign mass on her back, examine her teeth, listen to her heart, and look closely at her eyes with an instrument. She wasn’t happy about it but was amazingly patient! Dr. Mark has a "Dog Whisperer" way about him. We heard a little low growl when she got a rabies vaccine in the bum, though. I’ll take that. Inside me, there was a woman bursting with joy, wanting to shout out, “Yay! Chloe, gimme a kiss! I’m so proud of your brave old soul!”, but I waited until we got into the car.

In February, she’s going in for an overhaul. Under general anesthesia, the surface growth will be removed. At the same time she’ll have her teeth cleaned and her nails trimmed to puppy length. Dr. Mark gave me more good news. She’s maintaining her 23.1 lbs. well. She doesn’t have cataracts. What she has is called lenticular schlerosis, more commonly called ageing eyes. Her acuity isn’t as sharp as it used to be and she’ll have some trouble focusing at dusk and dawn. We won't be calling her "Eagle Eyes" anymore... She looks tired after her trip today.

After we arrived back home, I read her new rabies tag with an expiration date of 2010. A while back, I read that the life expectancy of a Boston Terrier is about 10-13 years. I did the math. Chloe will be 14 years old in 2010. Oh, heartache, loud sigh. I had to grab a Kleenex. Could this be her final rabies vaccine? NO. I can’t bear to think about it right now.


Anonymous said...

Did you have to go and do that math?
Good girl Chloe! Sounds like Dr. Mark is a great vet. Hang onto him! I love a vet that makes animals nice and calm.

Mary said...

Pam, I didn't even need the calculator! LOL!

Anonymous said...

It is quite possible that she will live much longer. Lucky, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, lived to be 16 years old, which was 6 full years longer than she was expected to! Spotter, our Border Collie also lived to a ripe old age. As healthy as Chloe is, I bet she will do the same.

Anonymous said...

Always love pictures of peoples pets! BTW: My mothers dog lived a very long time!

Susan Gets Native said...

It is one of Nature's cruel jokes on us...we live A LOT longer than our dogs.
But those of us who love "little" dogs at least can reasonably expect them to be around longer than the big dogs. My parent's Manchester Terrier lived to be 16!
Nellie has a tiny growth on her lip that has me worried...I guess it's my turn to visit the vet. Thank goodness that Nellie is completely incapable of being bothered.

KGMom said...

May Chloe live to a very ripe old age.
I understand completely the "embarrassment" of having a snappy dog at the vet. Our dog is always muzzled because she is so face protective. Get in her face and she bares teeth. So the vet has a helpful note to remember the muzzle.
Good luck on the overhaul!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your Bluebird photo in this week's Good Planets!!! Keep taking your great photos Mary!

amarkonmywall said...

She looks as though she has a lot of good life left in her, Mary. I'm glad this vet trip was less traumatic. Your post made me laugh and it also put me in mind of two things:
We had a feisty gray cat once, named Velcro, and he had a red dot on his chart for "bad patient." Our vet was the absolute hands down nicest guy but Velcro wasn't having any part of it. He was the only cat I cold never pill and the vet gave him a worming shot instead. When Velcro was done with this life, the vet came over to the house and helped him out of it and in that quiet hour long visit, I knew that he knew Velcro, despite his bad vet manners, was our best cat.

and the other is- all the animals at the zoo receive general anesthesia for their annual overhauls. It's considered far less traumatic for them.

Cuppa said...

Rocky, our indoor only cat is THE WORST animal at the vets I have ever, ever, ever encountered. He had his shots as a kitten, was taken back for minor problems when he got older, but the visits were so horrendous we haven't been back since. It is just too traumatic for him and us. He turns into a spitting snarling whirling dervish of teeth and claws, the likes of which we have never seen before and hope never to see again.

He seems healthy and happy, has already lived to a ripe old age, and is still going strong, so we leave well enough alone and let him be.

Mary said...

Laurie, I think Chloe will live to a ripe old age, too. She's too bad to die young.

Mon@rch, I love seeing photos of everyone's pets, such as the other day of your Mom's cat and dog :)

Susan, it really is Nature's cruel joke when we need to say good-bye to our pets only after a decade or more. I have a friend who's black Lab died at the age of 15-1/2! Good luck with Nellie.

kgmom, good to hear there is another dastardly dog like mine. I think Chloe may need a muzzle for her short snout when she goes in for her overhaul...

Pam, thanks. I was in the right place at the right time to capture the bluebird story. I am really grateful for it - I had so much fun!

Vicki, she does have a lot of life left in her. She has always been a spitfire and although she's slowed down a bit, she still has a playful way about her. Poor Velcro, the nasty cat that her vet won't soon forget. Chloe is much like her. I was comforted to hear that my vet puts his 150 pound dog under every 8 weeks to clip his nails! The zoo critters deserve less stress, I agree.

Cuppa, I've seen a whirling dervish cat not too long ago. I tried to put my daughter's cat in a carrier for a trip to the vet (needle in stomach) and it was scary. A long story. I empathize with you! Leave Rocky in peace unless you can manage to tranquilize the poor thing!