Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Charly and I Were Itching for That First Visit to the Vet

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Charly and I Were Itching for That First Visit to the Vet

Article excerpt

"We need some blood."

Bad enough when they want yours. Even worse when they want your dog's. Which they did, on Wednesday, when I took Charly for her first vet appointment.

This operation involved four humans -- me, the vet and two assistants -- one syringe and one neck.

"You take it from her neck?" I asked, as the four of us tried to keep Charly from bolting for the border.

"Yes," my vet -- who's actually a rather charming vet-ress -- replied. "This is for her heartworm test."

Ah.

"We also need a stool sample," Dr. B. noted. "Did you bring any with you?"

I checked my pockets.

Then I shrugged.

"Usually, I never leave home without a stool sample. But I was in such a hurry..."

I did bring Charly's medical records with me -- courtesy of the Granville Country Animal Shelter in North Carolina. The papers said, among other things, that Charly weighed 44.8 pounds three months ago.

Today she weighs 39 pounds, which astounded me since she eats like four pigs and a horse.

"What do you feed her?" asked Dr. B.

"I give her Science Diet (dry) in the morning. Then chicken, brown rice, peas and carrots in the afternoon. And treats, but only healthy ones. Except when she finds bread in the back of the house."

"Bread?"

"Yes! Dinner rolls, usually. I'm not sure where they come from. I think one of my neighbors must put them out for the birds or the bears or whoever she's trying to feed. Then the raccoons probably bring them into my yard to eat. Then, I don't know what happens to the raccoons, since the rolls are still there in the morning. Maybe they're scared off by the alligators."

I hate, hate, hate when my dog finds food outside, especially bread, since I try to keep a gluten-free backyard.

"Any other concerns?" Dr. B. asked.

"Well, there's the car sickness," I said. "At least, I think it's car sickness. She's petrified of the car. I have to pick her up and put her in there, which is getting a little tiresome. Then, she hyper-salivates, which is weird. She looks like that dog in 'Cujo.' I put a sheet down and by the time I get behind the wheel the sheet is soaking wet."

"Sounds like car sickness," said Dr. B., with a nod. …

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