Advocate for your puppy. Because if not you, then who?
Olaf was a gem at the vet today. He waited oh so patiently - exploring the table but then laying down calmly as we waited for the vet to come in.
But then the vet came in, and I failed Olaf. I knew there was a risk with this vet so I don’t know if I wanted to see how things went, or I’m just conflict averse, or
what. I’ve had a few instances where the vet has been okay and it’s a fine experience (like Olaf’s last visit) but I’ve had just as many where my dog was overly handled physically and not given time to process or respond to the physical exam. And unfortunately this time with Olaf was that way.
Now, to most, it probably seemed like a perfectly fine vet visit. It was a 12 lb puppy who didn’t like being poked and prodded and who tried to back away from the vet peering in his ears and listening to his heart beat. He’s little and he didn’t scream or make any noise, just tried to avoid the vet as he was being handled. But to me, I saw that he was starting to panic and I comforted him but didn’t intervene and stop the vet - and I have been absolutely kicking myself all day for not stepping in and asking the vet to pause and slow down. There are a million things I could’ve and should’ve done in that moment, but I froze. And the whole thing lasted about 1.5 minutes so before I came up with a game plan it was over.
I now have on my list to go back to the vet for no reason other than to have people pet Olaf and snuggle him (because the rest of the staff is literally amazing and adore him and are positive experiences every single time). And then our next visit, if I don’t get my preferred vet then it’s my job to step up and advocate for Olaf and you can bet that I will. I let him down today, but it won’t happen again because the only thing I hate more than interpersonal conflict, is seeing my puppy frightened when he didn’t need to be. I’m sorry buddy.
(Olaf was a trooper through it all, but I know that he has a tendency to be frightened and a tad sensitive so I’m hyper aware of any situation that could worsen this)