Thursday, July 24, 2014

Doggie at the Doctors

For quite a while, I did not like taking Isaac to medical appointments with me.

That was mostly after a couple of bad experiences with him at therapy appointments soon after I got him.  During one visit, he barked so much I had to cut the appointment short.  It was frustrating and embarrassing.  After that, I was worried about taking him to medical appointments.

Sometimes it takes a long time to get in to see certain doctors.  For instance, if I have to cancel an appointment with my psychologist or rheumatologist at the last minute, it's usually a good month before they can get me in again.  I was worried that if Isaac started barking or otherwise behaving in appropriately in the waiting room and I had to leave, it would take a long time to get another appointment.

Also, many doctors seem to charge a fee if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice.  So if I had to leave before actually seeing the doctor, not only might I have to wait several weeks or more to get another appointment, I might also have to pay something.

And when I'm at a doctor's appointment, I need to be able to pay attention to what the doctor is telling me.  I need to remember to ask all my questions and request medication refills and whatever else I need to do there.  It's hard to do that if I am being distracted by a dog that is not behaving the way a well-trained service dog should.  And doctors are usually in a hurry. They don't want to sit quietly, waiting for me to get my dog to lie down, before they ask me questions or examine me or do whatever it is they need to do.

So for a long time, I didn't take him to most appointments.

Recently, I've began taking him a lot more.  We had a very successful appointment with the rheumatologist, in which Isaac behaved beautifully (even though the rheumatologist was afraid of him).  Then I took him to the dentist with me a couple weeks ago and he did great there.

A few days ago, I took him to the hospital with me to get blood drawn.  We went very early in the morning since I couldn't eat before getting the blood drawn, so Isaac was still sleepy.  Typically, he gets up early, I take him out to pee, I feed him, and then we both go back to bed.  But this day, after he finished eating, we went to the hospital.  He spent most of the time there sleeping.  He slept beside my chair while I was at the registration desk, slept at my feet in the waiting room, and slept on the floor near my chair while the phlebotomist was drawing the blood.  He showed absolutely no interest whatsoever in what was going on.

Then yesterday, I took him with me to see the periodontist.  He was absolutely great there, too.  When they took an x-ray, I had Isaac do a down stay right outside the door.  I couldn't hold the leash from that distance, but I could see him and he could see me and hear me.  At one point the x-ray tech walked past him and he stood up then, but he lay back down when I told him to.  As soon as they were done taking the x-ray, I called him and he came right over to me and handed me his leash when I told him to.

He has been a very good doggie at doctors lately.

No comments:

Post a Comment