How To: Embarrass Yourself at the Vet

As you know, PuffyFluffy aka Rafferty has been under the weather lately. The boyfriend and I believe he was having an issue with his… anal glands. He also developed a small rash on his private area. (Parenthood. It’s not for everyone. Unless you’re thinking of the show Parenthood. That is for everyone and it’s a great show.)

The decision was made to take Rafferty to a well-known and respected veterinarian in our town. In addition to having his… anal glands and rash checked out, he also needed to get his shots.

Here is a cutesy picture depicting a dog's anal glands. (from
Here is a cutesy picture depicting a dog’s anal glands and how to release them. (from

Tuesday was a holiday for me, Veteran’s Day, (thank you, troops) and I scheduled Rafferty’s appointment for 9:30 in the morning. I am not a morning person. It generally takes me a good hour to completely wake-up and be capable of conversation. Luckily, since I was able to sleep in on my holiday, I woke up at 6am. No alarm set. Just woke right up. 6am. I think the lack of sleep may have been the whole problem.

Rafferty, of course, woke up and hopped off the bed (for the first time in 4 days) and ran outside to the backyard (for the first time in 4 days) and seemed to have somehow made a miraculous, over-night recovery. He still had to get his shots, though, so the vet trip was still going to happen. I think he was trying to convince me we didn’t need to go.

Like that one time, when I was young, and my mom told me if my teeth were really clean the dentist wouldn’t make me bite down on that really gross bite-guard filled with that fluorine stuff. I think she only said that so I would stop complaining about going to the dentist. So I walked around with a toothbrush and a cup, vigorously brushing and spitting, for about 25 minutes until she informed me that, to be honest, I would still have to get my teeth cleaned the next day, no matter what. Damn.

Anyway, the boyfriend left for work and finally, it was time to go. I grabbed Rafferty’s leash and he immediately started running in circles in the house. We have hardwood floors so normally when he runs in circles he skitters about and slips and slides and does what the boyfriend calls “Scooby-Doo’s” everywhere. I know that he equates the leash with a fun adventure, so I tried to explain where we were going, but he was too excited to listen. He then whined the entire car-ride.

We arrived. It was a…trying experience. In case you’d like to recreate it, here are:

4 Ways to Embarrass Yourself at the Vet.

1. Ensure Your Pet Doesn’t Behave

Once we walked into the office, I was informed I needed to fill out paperwork since it was Rafferty’s first visit. I sat down, leash in hand, and immediately Rafferty started tugging and whining and sniffing everywhere and so I dropped the clipboard and my bag and got a stern look from the lady at the front desk.

At least, I thought, there aren’t other any pets in the waiting room with us. He would really go nuts.

The front door opened and another lady walked in with her well-behaved dog strutting behind her.

Rafferty went nuts.

I dropped the pen. My informational paper was getting all scrunched and I had written down one letter.

I started pulling on his leash so he would calm down and sit down, but he started doing that gagging and choking thing that dogs do when they have on a leash. If only he would stop pulling on the leash he would stop choking himself and everyone would stop staring at me.

After about 7 minutes of this, a vet tech peeked around the corner and asked if I’d like to sit in a private room so I could fill out the papers.

Rafferty and I were put in the time-out room.

But not before I glanced at the other woman in the waiting room, said, “This is why I’ll never have kids!” only to have her stare icily at me like I had said, “I steal on a regular basis!” or “I’m not wearing any underwear!”

She was not amused.

2. Don’t Remember Anything AT ALL Once the Vet Arrives

After a short amount of time (really, the office and vet were great), the vet entered and began asking me basic questions about Rafferty.

Now, let me be clear – I had prepared for this. I had prepared for the questions as anyone with social anxiety would do – I had the boyfriend run through everything I would need to know the night before the visit. And I practiced all the facts.

Things I Couldn’t Remember:

  • What type of food does Rafferty eat? (Something with nature in the title, maybe? It comes in flavors like: bison and lamb. It’s a pretty good food. We buy it at Tractor Supply.)
  • What type of flea medication do you use? (We use.. uh. Something from Wal-Mart. Is what we put on him. I don’t remember what it’s called but we definitely use… something.)
  • When were his last shots? (I think last year. An exact month? Oh. Um, last year?)
  • When did the rash start? (He’s having trouble walking, except not anymore. The rash, though. It started last week, on Monday. I mean Thursday. Tuesday it was really bad. Sorry, I mean Friday it was really bad.)

I had a manila folder with all of Rafferty’s papers and information in it. I grabbed it and put it on the exam table and said, “Here’s all I’ve got.” Which elicited a strange look from the vet. She opened the folder and looked through all the papers (that I had studied that morning!) and found all her answers.

In my defense, Rafferty was still pretty uncomfortable and sniffing like a maniac and I was really preoccupied by the tufts of his hair on the floor. Like, how were they already everywhere? I really should vacuum the house more often if they accumulate that quickly.

3. Say Totally Weird Things to Fill the Silences

As the vet examined Rafferty, I found it necessary to ensure that there was not one second of silence in the room. Not one. So, whenever no one was talking, I took it upon myself to talk.

Things I Said:

  • His rash really started around his…8 second pause… groin. (I then pointed to my area. Why? I don’t know.)
  • We just shaved his butt-fluff because we were like, there could be anything in that butt fluff! So, we shaved it.
  • He thought we were visiting his grandma, er, my mom’s house. She comes here, too! Her dog beat heartworms! (I put my fist in the air.)
  • He gets baths like every month. Well, maybe less. Only when he smells. He smells right now.
  • Can he get a bath now? I guess he can, right? Do we need special shampoo? I mean, we have dog shampoo but does he need special dog shampoo? Not because he’s special, I mean he is special, but not like that, I mean.. because of the rash?
  • Is he shedding too much? Oh, it’s normal? Okay, good. At home we call them ‘tumblefluffs’. Wait, we don’t call Rafferty ‘tumblefluffs’. That’s what we call all his hair on the floor. Of our house. ‘Tumblefluffs’.

4. Once the Vet is Done and About to Leave, Remember to Ask her to Do 2 More Things (Like She Isn’t Busy)

After the vet had given Rafferty all his shots and checked out the rash, the vet tech left and the vet was wrapping up. I took that to mean I needed to request two more things from her. I asked her to express his.. anal glands and also if he could get the shot that would allow us to take him to the groomer.

She was a super nice lady, but I recognize an irritated face when I see one. She told me she’d have to find someone to

Here is a picture of a happy FluffPuff.

Here is a picture of a happy FluffPuff.

help, again, and left the room.

The vet tech and the vet returned and she did, indeed, express his… anal glands. A warning: If you’ve never witnessed/smelled this, be prepared. The smell will knock you off your feet.

The vet tech left, again, and the vet turned to me and said, “They are ready for you up front.” I guess that meant this time it was really over. Whoops.

On a positive note, the vet thinks Rafferty just sat on an ant bed, and he didn’t need any sort of medicine! On a more positive note, we don’t have to go back for another year. (Hopefully.)

In case you were wondering, I have lots of tips on how to embarrass yourself in all sorts of situations. I’ll be sure to keep sharing.


7 thoughts on “How To: Embarrass Yourself at the Vet

  1. Hello there,
    As I read your wonderful posts, I was taken back to my pup’s last visit to our beloved vet. She too becomes nervous when in the Vet’s office, probably all of the other animal and human smells that have gone before us. I’ve been told that our pets when they get nervous or excited they begin to lose hair. I’ve experienced this ordeal many times, while in the little room we were put in to wait for the Vet to arrive. Perhaps, 5 minutes later my pet had littered the floor with a blanket of fur. I can relate to your post and feel for you…. Take care & happy blogging to ya….

    Liked by 1 person

    • A blanket of fur! That is a perfect description! I’m glad to hear it’s not just me who struggles at the vet. I think the vet really makes a big difference. We tried a different vet before this one, but Rafferty never calmed down. This vet (despite my constant chatter) got him to relax, which I really appreciated. Happy blogging back at you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, it CAN be worse. Our vet thought Nibbles was so cute until he bit him!! Freckles wet the table and whines like she is going to be abused. I have to hold her eyes so she can’t see them. And, yeah, just like you, I leave and think, oh, my goodness….Did I just ramble on and on about this and that??? Yes, I did!!! At least the fur was on the floor, I wear it home!! LOL!!


  3. Oh BARF. I have a friend w/ 3 Basset Hounds and you can totally tell when it is time for them to have their anal glands expressed so I can only imagine what it’s actually like when it’s happening. SO GROSS!!!


  4. Pingback: National Blog Posting Month Blogroll | Musings of the Average Millenial

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