Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nikki's Check-Up PLUS Dr. M's Take on Mel Gibson

Nikki, my golden retriever, went in to the vet yesterday for her "well-baby check-up" and to get her shots. Yep, it's already time to renew her dog license! Luckily, it was a fairly cool day so I didn't have too much of an ordeal getting her into the car. This does not mean it was trouble-free, but it could have been worse. I bounced her favorite ball into the car and eventually it worked. She hopped in.

The vet is only a few minutes away, and normally she enjoys going there. However, I think the last time she went there, she had been induced to throw up her diet of electrical cords and what-have-you, plus she had to spend the night, so I wasn't sure what her reaction was going to be. She got very excited when we pulled into the parking lot and happily went inside. I was afraid that it was going to be crowded since we arrived around 5 PM, but we were in luck. There were only a few people waiting and they all had little, tiny dogs.

Nikki happily put her paws on the counter and peered over it, letting the staff know that she had arrived and that they should pet her! They obliged willingly and even Bart (the vet’s huge mastiff) came to check out my very cute, excitable teenager. I was surprised that he came over to check her out, as he never does that! Usually, he just lies on the floor with his tongue hanging out.

I took Nikki to the end of the waiting room so we could sit away from the other dogs. To my amazement, Nikki sat down next to me, leaning sweetly on me. A waiting couple remarked on how well behaved she was and how pretty she was. They asked me her age—15 months, I replied—and then they told me that they had a Golden also, but that their dog was 7 years old. I then said what all Golden owners have often remarked to me, "Great dogs, aren't they?" They agreed. Later, I heard them whispering to each other about Nikki—how she was blonder than their dog, that she was adorable and well behaved.

Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well behaved Nikki was! She sat when she was told and was very good. Stephanie, who is on the staff and has looked after her for me in the past, remarked on how she was calming down. Of course, when Stephanie finally called us in to see the doctor, Nikki balked. She was lying on the floor by this time and refused to get up. I pulled on the leash, and because she was lying on linoleum, she slid beautifully. Everyone in the waiting room burst into laughter at this—oh, dear! Guess she's not so well behaved after all! Somehow Stephanie and I coaxed her to her feet and we went into the room to wait for Dr. M (whom I'll call Mark in this post), the vet.

Stephanie gave Nikki a treat, but she only ate half, as she was too excited. Nikki and I had to wait for a while, which afforded her plenty of opportunity to sniff everything in the room. When the tech came in to get her so he could weigh her and give her shots, she balked again. Yep, the kid lay on the floor. He told me to walk to the door, which would make her get up. I did and it worked. The big news is that Nikki now weighs 74.6 pounds! Big girl!

Afterwards, Dr. Mark came in and joked, "How's the meanest cat in the world?" referring to my Max kitty.

I smiled and replied that he was doing fine, making sure to add that he wasn't really mean, he just didn't like going there. (See previous posts for the back-story.)

"Maybe he doesn't like Jews!" he laughed.

I laughed, too, and pointed at him, as if to say, "Yeah, that's it," but I was a little confused by his remark. Then it dawned on me what he meant, and I said, "Mel Gibson."

Mark told me that it's all he's heard about from clients for the last 2 days...that they ask him what he thinks about this whole brouhaha as he's usually the only Jew that they know. I hadn't realized he was Jewish, but now it explained his joke about Max Cat not liking Jews!

He said he'd have much more respect for Mel Gibson if he just admitted the truth about his feelings for Jews instead of trying to backpedal and make amends with the Jewish community. Alcohol lets down barriers and you usually end up saying things you truly believe, so Mel should just confess that this is what he really thinks, he said. He also said that there were more Jews in Hollywood than in Tel Aviv and that Mel should just come out and say that he's worked with many Jews in Hollywood, that he thought they were pushy and that he didn't like them! Mark sure wouldn't like him for his beliefs, but he'd have a lot more respect for him. For Mel to apologize for what he obviously thinks about Jews, and to try to pretend that he doesn't really believe this —that it was the booze talking—well, Mark felt this was insulting his intelligence. Mark said that there was a tape out there with Mel’s remarks, which I didn’t know. Then we talked about Mel’s dad, who is a bit of a nut. I mean he must be a nut to believe that the Jewish population went up during WWII. Anyway, enough about Gibson!

The examination was over but because Mark had talked only about Mel Gibson, I felt I better ask him how Miz Pup was doing.

"Fabulous!" he said.

“So she's not overweight?” I asked.

"No, not at all!

I then told him that so many people have told me that she was overweight and he basically told me to ignore them. "This dog is fabulous!" he exclaimed.

Isn't it great to have a healthy pup?

As Nikki and I were checking out, the staff was talking to another client who said how terrific Mark was. Boy, the girls behind the desk sure sang his praises, saying he was the best boss ever and how understanding he is when personal issues crop up. They all love him and it's so wonderful to see that! They are lucky people to have such a nice boss. Believe me, I've had many lousy bosses, so it was enjoyable to hear.

I don't recall how the next part came about (my memory is hazy here)...maybe it was when they were talking about how they loved him, but Mark came back up to the desk, and apropos of the conversation, pointed to me and said, "You—I love!" Cute! Stephanie then teased him that she had a key to my house but that he didn't! I, of course, told him he could have a key to my house anytime! (And just so that there’s no misunderstanding, Mark is a happily married man who just had his third child.)

It was time for Nikki and me to go home, but as I feared, she would not get into the car. I tried everything. Nothing worked. She lay down on the ground and balked. I really wish she wouldn't do that! It sure isn’t the safest thing in the world to do. I finally gave up and knocked on the office door (they were closed by now) and had to ask one of the girls if she could help me get her into the car. Luckily she agreed or otherwise we'd still be there!

Nikki and I went on a walk after we got home and she had even more fun. One of the dogs that lives down on the cul-de-sac, Bear, lumbered up to her with tail wagging. He was off-leash and I couldn't see his owner, so I was a little nervous. But I realized that Bear was an old, overweight, possibly arthritic Lab and all he wanted to do was say hi to Nikki. They sweetly sniffed noses. Very cute indeed.

When we got home, I grabbed the camera and took pictures of the Nikkster. I told her to Sit/Stay and she did! Maybe she was too tired to disobey, but I shot 48 photos of her as she posed for me!

Nikki is Sometimes a Very Good Girl


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