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.