bunn (bunn) wrote,

Familiarisation... sort of success

Yesterday I took Rosie Roo and Brythen to the vet for their annual checkups and vaccinations. Brythen is no more than averagely worried by strange people poking and prodding him, but Rosie Roo is the dog that has been known to suddenly take off vertically and hit people on the chin, or discharge her anal glands while screaming. Also, she is the dog about which I was told 'normally we'd admit a dog this thin with persistent diarrhoea and put her on a drip, but due to her temperament that's not possible'. Thankfully, she doesn't bite, but still, that level of fear is a bit of a problem if she ever does get ill.

So every week we have been going to the vet to buy dog food for Brythen. It's a bit more expensive from there, but not outrageously so, and it gives me a reason to bring the dogs into the waiting room, wait for a bit, then leave. I suppose I could do that anyway, but unless I have a reason to do it I know I wouldn't get around to doing it regularly enough!

Things went pretty well. We came in to the waiting room, and as usual Brythen lay down on the rubber-covered dog scales to wait. I can thus be very confident in saying that Brythen now weighs 28.8 Kg. Rosie Roo cautiously checked out the other dogs. Fortunately the other dogs were a labrador and a cavalier rather than border collies. She usually likes small dogs and male gundogs.

They walked into the checkup room quite easily really. Rosie was a bit reluctant to let the vet examine her. I had briefed the vet to be careful and move slowly. You'd think vets would do that naturally, but I find some of them - and the vet nurses even more so - can be a bit grabby. I think that was part of the problem last year, I wasn't clear enough that Rosie needed to be given a bit of space and time to get over her initial spooks. Also, I fell for the 'we'll take her out of the room, she'll be calmer then' lie. She really, really wasn't, and frankly I am pretty sure that the behavioural basis for that idea is close to exploiting learned helplessness and getting the dog to just shut down. Which Rosie did not do.

Anyway, this time I asked the vet to check Brythen first. He sat on his bottom doing Sad Floppy Ears, but is in great health. Then she did Rosie. Rosie was actually pretty good - not that much more worried than Brythen, she cringed but didn't shake or scream or panic, which is a vast improvement. Vet wasn't able to check her teeth, but I felt that it was best to accept Rosie's clear messages that she wasn't happy about that, in favour of getting the rest done smoothly, since there's no sign of anything wrong with her teeth. Maybe next year we can get her teeth done too! Rosie has grown a little wart on her face, but thankfully, it doesn't require surgery.

Then we weighed her. Rosie weighs just 20.1Kg, which for a dog the same height and basic shape as Brythen is really too thin. I'd love her to put on a couple of kilos, but getting her to eat is a bit of a problem - particularly as if you find something she likes, if she eats too much of it she's prone to being sick, so I've tended to keep her meals small. But perhaps I should try giving her an extra meal in the evening.

I can't say either of them are confident at the vet, exactly, but they were both pretty easy to handle, which is a definite improvement. Yay!
Tags: behaviour, dog training, dogs, lurchers

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