It’s always a crapshoot going into our small-spaced vet’s office. It could be completely empty or it could be like running the dog gauntlet. Today, it was the latter. Pongo and I walked up to the door and saw a woman with her dog standing at the front counter, which is right smack as you walk in the door. Pongo saw the dog and seemed to just shrug it off–no reaction whatsoever.
We didn’t want to take any chances of an incident, so we decided to take a few minutes outside to give them some time and give Pongo some space. After a drawn out potty break, we walked into an empty waiting room. I grabbed some scrumptious looking treats out of the jar on the counter and chose a seat the farthest away from the front door and exam room doors as possible, which is only like 5 feet.
Pongo knew there were dogs in both of the exam rooms; he could hear their little tags a tinkling. The sound of dog tags usually riles him up but he was too focused on those soft, meaty treats I was holding in my hand…basically torturing him with so he would pay more attention to me. He was actually being a REALLY good boy.
Then it happened…I heard the doctors finishing up with their respective patients and knew the perfect storm was brewing. Both dogs came out of their exam room at the same time. I was trying to keep Pongo focused on me and not on the two, big dogs that had just exited and were basically invading his very large space bubble.
Pongo looked at the dogs then looked back at me. “Good boy!” and treats galore poured from the sky.
Look at the dogs…look back at me. TREATS!!!
Look at the dogs…look back at me. MORE TREATS!!!
As I am praising and stuffing treats into my dog’s face, one of the owners asked the other if their dogs could meet. “Oh yes! He’s SO friendly.” The dogs greet each other politely as Pongo and I look on. All of sudden, I see this woman and her dog turn around and walk the 3 feet we had between us. I immediately knew her intentions and gave her a firm, “No.” It didn’t register, so I said it again with a little more oomph, “NO!” Then, the lightbulb turned on: she gave me this eat-you-know-what look and said something to the effect of-Oh, I guess your dog isn’t friendly as she walked off. Really?!? I’m the bad guy?!? You just assumed my dog wanted to meet your dog without even getting my permission! She was the classic case of a My Dog Is Friendly owner, and there were a few choice words I would have loved to have said to her but I kept my mouth shut.
This whole time, while a dog slowly invaded his personal space, Pongo sat quietly watching for more treats to come his way. No snarling. No growling. No barking. No lunging. Not a single peep out of him. I was dumbfounded that this was my dog attached to the end of the leash I was holding!
I am SO proud of our boy for keeping his cool under some pretty severe pressure for a dog in need of space (DINOS)!
Way to go, Pongo!!!
We are so very proud of him! I wish though I could get inside his brain and understand why he chooses to react or not react in different situations. It’s all a mystery that we hope to one day figure out.
One of my dog walking clients just had this happen to them at the vet last week too. People are just so mean sometimes – who needs it?! More importantly…Yahoo Pongo! Nice job buddy!!
Thanks for reading and posting about experiences in vet offices. I think people who don’t have a DINOS just don’t get it. I am so thankful you have started the movement in attempts to educate people. My biggest fear was Pongo getting nasty because another dog was in his face and he had no other way of communicating, “BACK OFF!” Ironically, our vet is in the process of moving to a larger office this week. We love them to death so have put up with the tight quarters; I am super excited though to have some more space.
Pingback: The Vet’s Office: Waiting Room or Dog Park? | notes from a dog walker
Go Team Pongo! It must have been so hard for him to hold it together like that in such an intense environment.
I wish other dog owners would just get it already. Not every dog needs to say hello to every dog. Ugh!
That’s so funny! I had put a “team” theme into my post but decided against it. It was something to the effect of Team Buchanan= 7 Other People In The Vet’s Office= 0. :+) He was pretty exhausted after we left the vet–I’m sure most of the exhaustion was from just trying to maintain.
From one DINOS mom to another – way to go! It can sometimes be tough for me to keep a MDIF away without adding potential negative energy with my own voice, so you are obviously quite skilled at it. Congrats!
Thanks, it was hard to keep things peaceful but I have lots of practice as it’s something I have to do everyday in my job as an Elementary school counselor. :+)
I have a DINOS too, and we go to the Petsmart Banfield vet (we love them, their followup is just awesome). Of course Petsmart is a minefield (and a great place to do some training for our little rescue Boston mix when we have the time). A time or two ago, the bug just went CRAZY barking near the vet counter like 15 feet away from the other dogs, and it was all I could do to drag him away, firmly voice correct, get him under control, etc. It’s like having a toddler meltdown in a grocery store, you think – people are judging me a bad parent…when in reality, you are doing everything in your power to retrain a rescue dog that has come so far and done so well and is so sweet except for a few circumstances…
I know how you feel about being judged. I really try to let that go and think about helping Pongo get through the situation with as little stress as possible. People can think what they want. We know our dogs and know that 98% of the time they are super sweet and the other 2% just need some helping in maintaining composure.
Pingback: Please do not treat my vet's waiting room like a dog park | TheDogs: A blog for pet lovers
Pingback: The Vet’s Office: Waiting Room or Dog Park? « Dogs in Need of Space