Friday I saw my rheumatologist. This was only my second appointment with her. The first time I saw her, I got a friend to go with me. This time, I took Isaac.
I usually don't take Isaac to medical appointments. When I first got him, we had a couple of not so good experiences at therapy appointments, when Isaac barked a lot and was generally disruptive. I don't know why, really. He was still young and didn't have enough experience doing lengthy down-stays, I think.
Back then, he could generally only handle a half hour under a table in a restaurant, and that was with repeated redirection from me. Now, he easily does an hour-long down-stay in a restaurant and can do longer, though he may need a bit of redirection from me to do longer. And that's probably only because we haven't really practiced longer down-stays.
Anyway. I've taken him to a couple of other appointments besides those ill-fated therapy appointments, including an appointment for a mammogram, but usually I leave him at home when I have medical appointments. I don't want to be distracted or worried about his behavior, or how he's going to behave, when I'm already anxious enough about the appointment. When I can, I generally take a friend to appointments with me. But that's not always possible. Often, I go alone.
But I decided to take him to my rheumatologist appointment Friday. I expected the appointment to be a pretty quick one and Isaac's been doing so incredibly well lately and I thought it would really be nice to have him with me.
He did great. Unless you count the fact that, as he seated himself in the very quiet waiting room, he farted. Really loudly. He looked quite dignified about it, though. And it didn't stink. It was just loud.
Well, when the rheumatologist came into the exam room, she seemed surprised to see Isaac. Which I guess is understandable. She probably does not have many patients with service dogs.
Isaac was in a down-stay beside my chair. The doctor sat at the desk on the other side of my chair. So I was between her and Isaac.
And she proceeded to tell me she is uncomfortable around dogs and asked if I could not bring him to future appointments.
I quickly pointed out that legally, I am allowed to bring him.
She said yes, she understands that, but she's not talking about legally. She said I can bring him if I need to. But she is afraid of dogs and is very uncomfortable with him there and would prefer I not bring him if possible.
I was taken aback. I wasn't sure how to respond.
I understand some people are really afraid of dogs. It may not be logical - Isaac could not have been any less threatening - but fear isn't always logical. Often it's not. I'm afraid of doctors. That's not logical, either, really. But it is what it is.
The rest of the appointment went OK. It was quick. She increased my gabapentin from 100 mg twice a day to 200 mg twice a day. I see her again in four months.
But what about her request that I not bring Isaac?
I'll write about that in another post.