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THE SOLID GOLD DOG
31 March 2006
Ashley had recommended it several times, especially since Kimba developed her peeing problem. She suggested that I take her to a local vet which specializes in Senior Dog wellness exams.
"It's great," she told me. She said it was a comprehensive exam, with blood work"and everything" and would give me a good picture of what is going on with Kimba.
"It's only $80," she said. Several times.
I'm not at all dissatisfied with the vet that we've been going to for more than 30 years, but I had never heard of a Senior Dog wellness exam there and I decided that for $80, it would be worth it to have a dog gerontologist check Kimba out so that we knew where she stands, health-wise.
(I have to admit I felt a little bit like Dick Van Dyke when he had an emergency dental problem while his neighbor, the dentist, was out of town on vacation and Dick went to see a different dentist. He spent an entire half hour episode dealing with his guilt about having "cheated" on his friend and how to hide from Jerry the fact that he'd been to another dentist.)
Sheila was so thrilled with the idea of a trip out away from the puppies that even though I knew I couldn't take her for a walk or to the dog park, I brought her with us.
We parked at the mall where the vet was located and Kimba and I began shuffling our way slowly toward the office. I had to pick her up over the curb. I suspect she could have climbed up that high (she had, after all, climbed up to the back seat of the car, from the floor), but she didn't seem to want to.
Slowly....slowly....slowly we made our way to the office.
I filled out the introductory paperwork (which asked for my Social Security number and my drivers license number, neither of which I supplied. Nobody seemed to care.)
In time, we were ushered into an exam room where one of the assistants took Kimba's temperature, which was normal.
Then the vet came in. She got down on the floor for the comprehensive exam, which lasted (if I'm generous) 5 minutes. She explained some things she thought might be going on, but wanted to do some tests before deciding what sort of treatment. I was all for whatever she thought was necessary.
She left the room and in a short time, the assistant was back with my "estimate" for the procedures....
five hundred and sixty five friggin' dollars!!!!!!!
This was for the diagnostics. There was talk of accupuncture and chiropractic and other things after they had a more clear picture of Kimba's health status.
I was trying very hard not to express what was going on in my head. I was expecting $80 and we were now approaching $600. They said that we didn't have to do it all now (thank you so much!).
They gave me a bottle where I am to collect samples of Kimba's urine because they suspect a bladder infection.
They gave me eye ointment for her bloodshot eye. (Excuse me. "gave" is a misnomer. Sold.)
They gave me antibiotoics for her bladder infection until they can test the urine I'm supposed to bring back. (See former comment about the word "gave.")
They never clipped her nails, which I had asked them to do, but since it hadn't even shown up on the estimates, I didn't want to remind them that I'd asked about nails. (I had clipped them myself 2 days ago, but I can't clip them close enough because I'm afraid of cutting them too close--as it was, one of her toes began to bleed.)
As it was, the bill for my $80 comprehensive exam was already $180.
I walked out of the office, saying I would call them when I had the urine sample.
All the while the vet was doing her 5 minute comprehensive exam, she kept petting Kimba and sweet talking her and calling her "my treasure."
Now I know why.
The worst part was that when I went to Peet's to get coffee beans afterwards and went to pay for my purchase, I realized that I had charged Kimba's exam to my seriously overburdened, more seriously underfunded credit card, not to the "family card." But since it was my stupid mistake for not taking Kimba to her regular vet, I guess I'll eat the mistake myself.
Oh yeah--and after they brought Kimba back in, after she'd been stuck with a needle and had them try to get a urine sample--the vet poked her head and cheerily said, "her little tail was just waging like crazy back there." I wonder if she even looked. Kimba's tail hasn't wagged in a good 10 years, under the best of conditions, and somehow I can't imgine that under the circumstances she would suddenly start wagging her tail.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I couldn't believe this last
night...Kimba wanted her