Boyd has been having some skin allergy issues, so I called yesterday to make a vet appointment. They had time for a walk-in appointment that afternoon, so I decided I could take him myself before JD got home.
We take the dogs to a Banfield clinic located in PetSmart. Given Boyd’s social behavior, this is usually something JD and I will schedule for the weekend and do together, so JD can hide Boyd behind aisles while I check him in and pay afterwards. I figured I could handle him by myself this one time, and hoped that I could get there early enough that it wouldn’t be super busy.
At first, all was going well (besides the slobbery mess he left all over my car). As we were standing at the reception desk checking in, a couple came up behind us with their dog, but when they noticed Boyd’s ears perk up, they waited with their dog behind a display. I was incredibly grateful. Boyd stared at the display intently, knowing there was something behind it, but was soon distracted by the assistant who came to take him to the back room. He gladly followed, and I thanked the couple, explaining his extreme excitement around other dogs and the wailing noise he makes.
We weren’t so lucky as we checked out. They have convenient leash latches you can hook your pet to while you check in and out, and luckily Boyd was already latched up before the next dog came around the corner. He immediately yelped and lunged forward.
He certainly looked and sounded vicious as he wailed and scratched at the floor, trying desperately to break free. His claws couldn’t grip the slick tile, and his paws kept slipping out from underneath him. He went face first into the floor several times, but this didn’t deter him. The wailing and clawing continued as the other dog stood calmly watching. The dog’s owners stared at me, horrified.
Other shoppers started to peer out from behind aisles, trying to figure out what was going on. Some looked terrified. I think some even left the store. I felt like an embarrassed mother being judged for having a screaming toddler in public.
“This is why my husband usually comes to the vet with us,” I told the front desk assistant apologetically.
She laughed, tossing 2 treats in front of him, “Baby, you don’t even sound like a dog. Are you trying to be a seal?”
Boyd didn’t flinch, and continued his tantrum of wailing, floor scratching, and falling on his face.
The other assistant looked up from the computer.
“Is that a dog?!” she exclaimed.
“Um, yeah. He gets a little excited,” I replied, realizing I was stating (or understating) the obvious.
“I’ve never heard anything like that in my life. It doesn’t even sound like a dog.”
I finished paying while the other dog was taken into a room, then un-clipped Boyd’s leash so we could go. During his antics, he had twisted his harness around and it was pulling on his front leg. He limped awkwardly, but I ignored it, trying to get out of the store as quickly as possible. Besides, the limping was nice; it meant he couldn’t yank his leash so much.
We finally reached the car and I opened the door, instructing him to get in. He stared at me blankly.
“Boyd, sometimes I don’t like you,” I grumbled as I put his front paws on the seat. Then I grabbed his back legs and found the strength to shove all 75 pounds of him in the car.
The Dog Whisperer would be so unimpressed.