In between the seconds

Hi, this is Liz. I just wanted to clarify the post I wrote before about Maggie getting the staples out and the aggressive dog at the vet’s office.

The examining rooms at the vet’s office open directly into the waiting area. In this case, when we exited the examining room we came face-to-face with the aggressive-acting dog and its owners. For me to engage the woman in a lecture of how she should have control over her dog would have put Maggie at risk of another fight. The quickest thing to do was to have Jamie go near the door, and for me to hustle Maggie out. The whole thing took about 5 seconds, and in between the seconds, I was thinking about how I’d like to have given that woman an earful and how I hoped Jamie wouldn’t get hurt (not necessarily in that order). However, it just wasn’t practical. I realize that writing about the incident makes it seem like it took a lot longer than it really did.

I also followed up this “staple removal” visit with a 2 page letter to Dr. Craig, the vet who started the practice, and whom we normally request when Maggie has an appointment. In this letter I expressed my concerns, disappointment, and feelings of betrayal that I trusted my dog with them and they let me down.

Dr. Craig shared the letter with his son Dr. Ben, who, in turn, called me to discuss my concerns. Dr. Ben was “on watch” when the fight incident happened while Maggie was being boarded, and thus led up to her needing the staples. Dr. Ben admitted that the waiting area scenario was becoming a problem for other patients, and offered to bring Maggie in through the back next time, or the option of me waiting in the car til I got the all-clear.

The upshot of all of this is that I am seeking to find a new vet. This decision DOES NOT COME LIGHTLY to me. I have had a doctor/patient relationship with Dr. Craig for many years, and when I was doing Greyhound rescue, he would come to my home for a house call to inoculate my fosters and adopted Greys. This is no small matter to me and I remember this well, and will be forever grateful to him. However, perhaps it is time for a change to a vet that has more experience with pitbull-type dogs.

In closing, I would ask my gentle readers to please remember that I always have Maggie’s best interests at heart. Maggie came to us from a high-kill shelter where she was the longest resident and was in danger of being euthanized. I would never knowingly put her in harm’s way.


19 thoughts on “In between the seconds

  1. colinandray

    Liz – You do not have to explain, or defend, your position. It is up to the vet to establish a safe and functional business environment, and also up to the vet to enforce a level of responsibility for all pet owners using their services. Any “customer” with a reactive dog should be kept in a waiting area separate from the general area where the cats, rabbits, dogs etc may also be waiting. This not only protects the dog in question, but also the animals of their other customers. The vets are, by the nature of their work, very much aware of potential issues and how to deal with them. It is not unrealistic to expect that knowledge to be utilized when dealing with dogs with socialization, fear aggression etc issues.

  2. Deziz World

    We never doubted dat, and knew it all happened much quicker than we were readin’ it. We’s glad you sent a letter tho’. Seems VETs don;t think ’bout their office waiting area in mixed practices or any other fur dat matter. Bein’ cats we often have to worry ’bout da big dogs while we’re in da waitin’ room. They aren’t all kitty furiendly and slobber ain’t always drool. Good luck. We’s just glad Maggie’s okay.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  3. leggypeggy

    Given that both Dr Craig and Dr Ben reacted to your letter and Dr Ben offered positive solutions, if it was me, I’d be inclined to give them another chance. It seems like they are genuine about trying to keep Maggie and you safe, and I’d put them to the test. Let them prove whether they can or can’t do it.

  4. Nancy

    Hi Elizabeth, if you’re looking for a new vet,try to find one that makes house calls… that would be less stressful for Maggie and you!

  5. GP Cox

    I understand your trepidation. You are trying to speak for the animals who can not. I believe you will come to the best solution for our dear Maggie.

  6. loisajay

    Liz–there is no doubt in my mind that Maggie’s best interest is always #1. But anyone, in that situation, would have responded in protective mode. I am glad both vets took the time to respond to your letter–and I am glad you wrote the letter! Mulling things over is good, as are second chances. Although I’d still be a bit wary of boarding Maggie there again….

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      Geez! I tried to ‘like’ and ‘approve’ this comment like 20 times before it “took”. WP is weird lately. I am searching for vets who specialize in bully breeds. I haven’t found one yet. I am probably going to call the shelter Maggie came from and ask for a referral but I fear they will just tell me to use their clinic (very crowded and inconvenient). I have had issues boarding Maggie before; Dr. Craig knew this, so I am surprised it happened at his clinic. Paws crossed!!!

  7. Susan P

    You are right to move Maggie. I had to do that for my dogs, small that they are, because for some reason the practice decided that money came first, and his choice eventually was responsible for an early death. After thinking long I sent a letter telling the practice that I was leaving for another practice. I grieved for a long time. I do still have the other little one and he turned 16 this year. Follow your heart and choose for Maggie.

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      I am sorry for your loss. We do not have enough time with our furry friends no matter how long they live. I am looking around and hopefully will choose wisely for her. ((Hugs))

  8. Susan P

    Thank you for your kind thoughts. I try to remember all of the joy that he gave us while he lived with us. And my heart tells me that we will be with us in the end.

  9. hitandrun1964

    Liz, I know how you adore Maggie. I’m happy you told them how you felt and that they responded. I think you’re doing the right thing by getting someone else. Kiss Maggie for me. Hugs for you too.


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