Sunday, October 4, 2015

Coffee, Cheese, and Vets

It was time to return to the vet this weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary, just an exam and senior blood panel. Cody isn't a huge fan of the vet, but thanks to the incredible staff at Urban Animal we always have a great visit.

We arrived Saturday morning about 15 minutes before they opened. Already a line had formed. In front of us was a beautiful black shepherd and a charming brindle girl. Their mom and dad told me that the shepherd, Colby Jack, was named for her cheesy grin and was there for a microchip. The little brindle was named Chai, and she was 7 months old and just adopted. During Chai's adoption they realized Colby wasn't chipped! I asked them if I could work Cody close to them and mentioned he is nervous around larger dogs.

Chai and Colby Jack.
They obliged, eager to help out a fellow rescue pup, and Cody and I practiced being close to big dogs without interaction, and going in close and then moving away before anything got scary. Normally not something I get to work on at the vet, but Colby and Chai were great sports as long as their got their share of the treats!

Once inside, Cody hopped on the scale - a svelte 18.8 lbs, a weight he's held steady at.

Onto the exam room! As soon as we got inside it was time to do the most important thing to do at the vet - have fun and PLAY!

 Cody can get pretty nervous at the vet, so anytime we aren't directly interacting with the staff I try to engage him. Sometimes its simple things like asking him to sit in chairs or put his paws up on something and hold it there for me .

Sometimes it's giving him cuddles when he needs touch and reassurance that things are ok.

Or simply looking at him and giving him a sense of connection. Cody relies heavily on his person to feel safe, so even eye contact and a soft face can mean security for him.

Found it!

 Sometimes it's games such as tossing food around the room for him to seek. I think this might be his favorite game, between you and me.

I hear you....

And sometimes just letting him be - like when he's listening and waiting for the vet to arrive.

His patience paid off and he had a fantastic exam. A lot of practice visits have created a vet visit where Cody still gets nervous but with some treats and gentle staff he had a full exam (including tummy to teeth!) without a single growl or incident of reflux - and of course, no muzzle!

Aren't they coming?

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