Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Zoe, the Bichon, Freaks Out Children

Zoe went to the vet last week or her annual "wellness exam". My dog gets better health care than I do. She also needed booster shots for rabies, and a host of other doggie things.

She is a doggie drama queen.

When I rescued her, I got her fitted with microchip. As the vet held her, crooning comforting words to her, Zoe howled and shrieked like a banshee on amphetamines. I was panic stricken. "What are you doing to her???" I cried.

The vet laughed. "Look at the needle. It is 10 inches away from her. And I haven't even touched her with it yet. And her tail is wagging like crazy. You have a drama dog on your hands."

And so it goes at the vet every time. She wags her way in, greeting everyone, like the Queen of the May. "Oh yes, I am beautiful," she seems to say. "And I am loved and happy. Would you like to admire me? I'll let you."

Then we go into the examining room. Oh yes, weighing is lovely. Teeth exams are great. But take out a needle and my dog starts yelling. She doesn't tremble. She is not frightened in any obvious way. She doesn't squirm to be released. She just makes a hellova noise. She weighs 18.3 pounds and sounds like a hyena giving birth to a hippo.

As we walked out the door of the tiny office, Zoe grinning, holding her tail at a jaunty angle, a mother and her two small children were waiting to go in.

"Was that your doggie singing in there?" she asked.

"Singing? My dog was yelling bloody murder in there," I laughed.

"Oh," said the mother, giving me a stern look, "are you sure she wasn't SINGING? That's what I told my kids -- that she was singing" By this point she was almost hissing the last word at me.

Ohhhhhhh. I get it. The kids had freaked out anticipating agony for their own puppy, and Mommy was trying to bluff them, telling them my dog was singing.

"No. Zoe was not singing. She was trying to fake us out because she doesn't like shots. She yelled because she wanted us to stop, not because she was in pain. In fact we waited until she was quiet to giver her the shots, and then she didn't even yelp. Zoe is a great actress."

The mother glared at me.

"Sorry," I said, "my dog is complicated."


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