I took our wonderful Willa to the vet yesterday as she has been limping on and off over the past few weeks. The reason i held off in taking her immediately was because there seemed and seems to be no pain. My gut feeling is that her hips are perhaps not quite right but we are going to Xray and find out next week.
Ok, so the point of this little entry is that Willa hates going to the vets. In fact she does not like going anywhere really on her own. Why, because she never really has. Why? Because we have three other dogs, are spoilt to a lovely garden and fields and because when we walk i take them all. And i am not just saying this, but she is a very, very happy dog at home. Yes, I DO need to spend one on one time and that is 2017 as i have re arranged my work so that i am a little more flexible but that is not the story here...
Anyway the experience resulted in a very scared, grumpy Willa. So grumpy that she came across very fierce and had to be muzzled in the vet. NOT a great moment.
Anyway the vet said a few comments... and only doing her job..."oh we hoped she would have calmed down by now - how old is she?" And, " here is a behaviourist number for you." Now as much as i appreciate their input, I walked away feeling judged and sad. Of course those were possibly feelings that i created in my head as i felt like i had failed Willa but what did come out of it was not once, not once did they ask me, 'what do you think would be best for 'your' dog.' " How does she behave at home?" "What do you do to help her nerves." I appreciate there is a time thing but more often than not the owner 'knows' their dog. And once again we leave feeling disempowered.. as if we don't know best. It is time to empower people to believe in themselves again. Not just at the vets either!
I suppose my point here is that in life we are too quick to assume that someone doesn't know or to judge another persons way of doing something. I have in the past. When in fact, everyone is doing their best. Everyone is trying to make the best of what they do and juggle it all around what they do. Yes, I know that Willa will benefit from one on one time and I will put the time in in January but till now i have made sure she is safe, she is happy, she is warm, she has friends and though her hips are not great, i am not sure that is something I could have prevented? She is a very happy, wiggly, wiggly dog! Of course I am hyper sensitive to people in the 'animal' world as I am launching a business that is showing the teachings of animals and their benefit to humans but what i came to realise was that we all do things differently. There is no right or wrong way. The books may say so but really there is not. Of course professionals advice is key and important as they can diagnose and they can offer direction and pain relief and all sorts of amazing things but ultimately our love, our ear and our warmth is what animals respond too. And then we can work out a direction that is Kindest and best for us all.