Last week I had a call from the vet who treats our pooch to remind me that he is due his vaccinations before the end of the month, and that I should remember to bring his pet passport to be updated. This call triggered in me a double reaction: firstly, one of eye rolling at the ongoing maintenance (and cost!) of having a pet pooch; and secondly, one of utter dread that reached into the pit of my stomach….all because a trip to the vet means transporting the little monster in my car. A 10 minute trip to the vet sounds easy enough….easy enough for dogs who are not terrified of being a doggie passenger; and easy enough for dogs who do not get car sick.
I am pretty certain that Poochie Poo’s fear of the 4 wheeled beast lies in his previous vehicle experiences: every time he has been in the car, he has vomited. I am not just talking about a little spit up, but rather a complete emptying of the contents of his greedy tummy until he reaches a point where he is just frothing at the mouth, and swaying drunkenly in the back seat, with a pitiful look that said ‘please make this stop’.
The last time I tried to get the 4 legged munchkin into the car was practically as traumatic for me as it was for him. Refusing to go willingly (even with the temptation of a cooked bacon sausage in the back seat!) I had no other option but to pick him up and plonk him on the back seat. The poor thing was shaking like a leaf and, I swear the shiny black pools he has for eyes begged me to set him free.
That was quite some time ago. In the meantime, he has celebrated his 7th doggie birthday, matured, calmed down, and as my back was about to find out….gained weight!
I had planned the morning of the appointment with the vet with military precision. If Teddy to resist I knew that the less-than-10-minute drive from our home could double, or possibly even triple so I embarked on mission ‘get Teddy into the car’ with a lot of time to spare.
And, it was a good thing I did. On his leash, Teddy pulled with all his moulting might in the opposite direction of the car. Digging 4 paws in whilst shoving his hind to the ground to get more leverage. Sweating, frazzled, and hair frizzing in the morning humidity, I was forced into a semi-surrender. ‘Semi’ because I had to get him to the vet.
Crankily, I began a lecture as if I were talking to a tantrum toddler, ‘you have left me with no option, Teds. You are getting in this car whether you like it or not.’ When I think about the ultimatums I offered my darlings when they were toddlers; the amount of ultimatums that were ignored, no matter what I said, no matter what tone I took…..I knew I was fighting a losing battle with Teddy.
There was only one thing for it. The ‘lift and drop’ was my only option.
More savvy than the last time, the little scamp was prepared. As I tucked my arms under his belly to position him 4 paws first into the car, he somehow managed to spread eagle all 4 limbs, and plant each one of them against the exterior frame of the car. The stealth like move brought me back to the days of trying to seat my reluctant toddler twins into their car seats. Limbs flailing. Backs arching. Feet pressing up against the backs of the front row. Faces progressing through a pallet of pink to bright red, and tears….with me wanting to pin them down with my knee whilst I buckled them up.
Weary at the memory, I was not sure I would have sufficient strength to tackle a 4 legged creature.
Thankfully, armed with kitchen towel and disinfectant spray to mop up any potential vomit, my helper came to my rescue. Shutting down every possible escape route by closing all doors and windows, we pried away each paw away from the car nail by nail…. whimpering we finally had Teddy in situ. I could swear he was throwing me daggers as I reversed out of the drive. I will probably end up paying a dog psychologist to deal with the trauma I inflicted on him that day……