I much prefer a trip to the vets than the doctors. Unless it’s not routine, which is awful. Today was the Rudi Dog’s day for his booster vaccination, which means I’ve had him for three whole years. He’s now transformed from the malnourished, scared of his own shadow lurcher from Navan of December 2007 into a passable impression of a pet. He used to double-back upstairs when he saw the lead, try to run off blindly if there was a sudden noise, and a car passing by on the street caused severe mental trauma. He still growls like a gurrier when approached if he’s half-asleep but, I suppose, some of us wouldn’t be without him now.
He has to keep his Coat of Power on in the vets. He feels naked without it.
For once, I had little to say this morning and I had to take the cat to the vet for her jabs first thing, so that’s where I’ve been. For once, I was early. How an earth that happened I cannot say. Anyway it gave me plenty of time to soak up the waiting room atmosphere.
I looked at the animals on the noticeboard needing a home and wished I could take on the 3 yo German Shepherd called Sheba, but was definitely not tempted to lay out £250 for a Jack Russell pup. I studied the animals in the Waiting Room. There was a black Cocker Spaniel that seemed rather nervous about his date with the vet. I smiled at the Jack Russell with pointed ears that begged to go back in the Consulting Room when he had just been set free and I made friends with a gorgeous golden Cavalier that stared deep into my eyes and cleverly distracted me from her terrible homemade haircut (not that I can talk).
Then a couple came in, without a pet. The woman looked a bit fragile. They had come to collect their dog they said. Ah Miracle Bob the Receptionist said. The woman’s eye watered a bit and she had to lift up her glasses to wipe it away. The man, being stoic, poked himself in the eye putting on his glasses. Clearly Miracle Bob had been through something pretty major.
Then Bibi was called and, unprofessional Owner that I am, I said to the Vet: Oh I was really hoping to see Miracle Bob. The Vet was not familiar with this beast so he kindly sated my curiosity and looked him up on his computer.
Bob the Border Collie has been in the hospital here. He came in after a total and unexpected collapse. It turned out he had ruptured his spleen due to a massive growth in it. He’s one lucky dog as it was touch and go.
Well, by now I nearly wanted to leave my poor Bibi to get on with it and go back out to the waiting room to catch sight of this Bob, but of course I stayed. Bibi was really good. She is a good little cat, healthy if somewhat greedy. Then we were released. The Vet said, perhaps Miracle Bob is still out there.
Well he wasn’t. It was even better than that: they were still waiting as the Vet finished delivering her medical update – Bob needed to come back tomorrow and he looked a bit tatty and dirty. I only caught the tail end (haha!)
Then came Miracle Bob, in his Elizabethan plastic collar. He was not a regular sort of Border Collie in black and white. He was a tricoloured with more brown than white. He was quite shaggy too and not at all wiry in build. His lady Owner crouched down to greet him and then, then Bob started to tell us all about it.
He didn’t howl, he didn’t bark or whine, he made this rather strange noise somewhere between them all, but he was definitely saying:
“God it’s been awful Mum, but look I’m alive! Alive! Oh but it was awful. Can we go home? I’m alive!”
Then he noticed his rapt audience, hanging on his every word and turned to greet us too. I don’t mind saying I would have loved to stroke Bob, tatty as he was, but it would have been an imposition. So I just smiled at him and wiped away my own tear. I didn’t have to lift my glasses to do that as my dog Rudi chewed them up months ago. Did I mention that?