Friday, September 12, 2008

Fridays are Golden

Lucy and Ellie went to the doctor this week. No, they weren't sick. It was time for their annual physicals. We moved to the mountains two years ago, and well before we sought new doctors for ourselves we looked for a veterinarian for our girls. We have always taken our dogs for annual physicals.

So their physicals were due again this week. When we called for the appointment, the assistant misunderstood and thought we only wanted to come in for their immunizations. "No," I told her, "we want them to see the doctor as well." Apparently, it is rather unusual in this area for people to bring their dogs to see the doctor when there isn't a problem.

So, they saw their doctor (whom we adore) who examined them thoroughly and pronounced both of them in excellent condition. They had gained a little bit of weight which is not surprising. We've had a hot summer and they haven't done as much trail running. But the doctor advised us not to be concerned; that each of them was "within a pound of perfection."

Although we have a nice trail in our backyard, our dogs get their best exercise on a little-used trail in our community. Almost every day during fall, winter, and early spring we hike and they run the trail. We don't take them there during the summer, because there are copperheads around. We have boots and stay on the trail---the girls do not. If they are going to get bitten, we want it to be in our yard and not so far away from the house.

Here they were last winter:

Lucy is a sprinter. She takes off like a rocket and does not pace herself at all. As a result, she is exhausted by the time we get into the car. Sometimes we even have to stop for a breather on the trail.

Ellie is a marathoner. She paces herself quite well, running along at a steady clip. She could keep going for a long while.

Here's what they have done most of the summer. Lying around in an air-conditioned house. We take them for two long walks every day and let them run on our little trail, but it's nothing like the REAL trail.
The total bill for the exams, including lab testing and two immunizations each, was over $250.00. Why, you may ask, would anyone pay that much for two healthy dogs to be seen? We are not veterinarians and the health of our dogs is very important to us. We see our own physicians yearly, why would we not do the same for our dogs?
-----Veterinarians may be the most under-appreciated doctors around except in times of crisis. We saw two different ones to talk with them before we selected one for our dogs. We feel blessed to have a veterinarian who is so capable and reasonable. If you have a good veterinarian you are lucky indeed, and so are your animals. Let him or her know how much you appreciate their wonderful care.
On this Friday, we are having some rain. For that we are extremely grateful. (Although I really did want to go to the fair today.) We are grateful for our healthy dogs and wonderful veterinarian and so many other blessings in life. Spend a few minutes this weekend to think about the things for which you are grateful. And have a wonderful, fun-filled and safe weekend.


Dog_geek said...

Glad to hear that everyone is in great shape! We always take our animals in for yearly checkups, too. (Twice a year for S once he was over 10 years old.) One of my close friends is a vet, and she has a bumper sticker that says "real doctors treat more than one species."

Shelley said...

Gosh your dogs are so beautiful! Their shiny coats and smiling faces are a good indicator of being healthy! I agree with preventitive as opposed to reactive medicine - great idea for them to have an annual.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Great shots of the pets, I enjoy your stories and photos.

Kathi said...





Will you please stand on a street corner and preach to people about the value of annual health exams for their pets? You so "get it." It isn't about putting shots in the dog, it is the physical exam and lab work that is important.

To be fair, for years, vets charged $30-40 for a $2 vaccination, and "threw in" the exam. Now that so many of us vets are going with three year vaccine protocols for the core vaccinations (Distemper/parvo for dogs, Distemper/upper respiratory for cats) a lot of my colleagues are scrambling for ways to keep in contact with their clients regularly.

We have always promoted annual
"Wellness Exams" and oh, yeah, whatever vaccines you might be due for. We are also doing more "well pet" blood and urine screenings, and you might be surprised at the number of things we are finding, in apparently healthy pets, that need attention. Not anything life-threatening, usually, but things better found and addressed early rather than waiting for a crisis.

Sorry to take up so much space in your comments sections, but you got me all excited with this lovely post. Is it OK if I link to it on my blog?


NCmountainwoman said...

Kathi - Yes, you certainly may link. I hope it opens more eyes. As for the street corner...I'll try to find a spot.

The Birdlady said...

Again, they made me smile. They are wonderful "kids."

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: I left an award on my site for you.

Jayne said...

It just shows how much you love your pets and that they are important members of your family, as it should be. :c) They give us so much joy and expect so little in return. Why wouldn't people invest in their health indeed!

KGMom said...

100% agree on your sentiments re. vets. We have gone to the same vet practice for 30 years--through a succession of dogs and cats who have enriched our lives.
I do love the photos of the girls running. Such lovely animals.

carolr said...

I love your dogs! Dogs are one of my most favorite things in the world. I have always had one, but maybe when I retire ( in about 6 yrs.) we'll get 2. I kind of want 2 dachsunds. We had one when I was growing up. My h. and I have always had mutts, but...

Thistlebrooms said...

Just wanted to say that I love checking into your blog and especially on Fridays!!!I used to work for a wonderful vet and I do so appreciate your advice to people for checkups...I also had a wonderful Golden that passed away after 14 years who was my shadow and the Love of My Life...Never be another like her for me...Thank You for sharing your 'Golden' Life...

100 Thoughts of Love said...

Okay, its almost time for me to start bugging you about the leaves. I realize knowing the current color saturation state, will not affect whether or not I time my annual NC visit right...but maybe it will take some of the dissapoinment away if I arrive to a world of colorless trees...Visit planned for Oct 18...what do you think, will the view be a bowl of trix or shredded wheat?

Mary said...

Carolyn, I love your dogs. And kuddos to you for having a thorough exam for them. My vet is high-priced but we love him, his associates, and the entire staff. On Saturday, my daughter took her English Bulldog for his yearly exam and shots, etc. Including expensive ear medication, ear cleaner, and an anti-inflammaory drug for a hurting knee, the bill was $265 for one dog! But, Gina winced and took the hit because we love our vet.

Soon, Lucy and Ellie will be on the trails again - off lead (never will I have that pleasure with my dogs).

Glad you had rain. Looks like NC might be out of a drought in a few months if the trend continues :o)


NCmountainwoman said...

dog geek - I love the bumper sticker.

Shelley - Thanks. We brush them daily, brush their teeth 3xwk and use ear cleanser every other day. I think the shiny coats are the partially the result of 1 teaspoon of olive oil over their food 3xwk.

Fishing Guy - Thanks for the comments and for the award.

Helen - We do love these girls.

Jayne - Many people around here see their dogs and cats as property and not members of the family.

Donna - I find it interesting that Lucy's sprinting is just like her personality, and Ellie's pacing is just like hers.

Carol - Our neighbors have three miniature dachsunds. They are great little dogs.

Thistlebroom - when we lost our Springer at age 15, I knew I could never love another dog as much. Ellie proved me wrong.

Pat - I responded on your blog.

Mary - Thanks. We haven't had as much rain as your area, so we are still in severe drought. We need lots more rain to head into the winter. But we are thankful for every drop we get.