Sunday, November 13, 2011

Utmost discretion

Every night since the spaying, Bisou gets a special treat: a painkiller "dumpling," which involves the half-pill the vet prescribed her hidden in a piece of cheddar. It does not appear that Bisou is in any more pain, and she's back to her usual hyper self... only to become a sedate, affectionate lap dog after the cheddar-drug combo. It does start to become clear why they say that young children are over-prescribed anti-hyperactivity drugs. I hope that when we may finally bring Bisou to socialization classes, now that she's all vaccinated and once the stitches are out, we learn some opiate-free methods of getting her to something approximating this state.


So a big part of having a dog is that which can only be alluded to discreetly. That for which we are forever accumulating baggies - the purpose-specific ones we purchased, but that we're trying not to run through, along with newspaper bags, produce bags, and the like. Anyway, just before Bisou's operation, despite having just gone near our apartment, we'd arrived at the office early and we did what people with a puppy do before entering a building if time allows, which is we took her to a nearby patch of grass. And sure enough.

But what do you then do with this? A vet, you'd think, might have a well-marked receptacle, but no. Then the office opened, and we asked the very nice tech - discreetly, of course - what to... well... here... bag... And he seemed happy to take care of it, but asked us a bizarre question: "Is this from yesterday?" And we were thinking, gee, yes, because we keep weeks' worth of the stuff with us, then load it into a rented (yes, dog permitted in carrier) vehicle just 'cause? We were tired, nervous for Bisou, and I mumbled something about how it was from just now, apologized, I think, explained that Bisou had gone before we'd headed out but these things... yeah.

Turns out we'd been too discreet. At her checkup, a different tech told us cheerily that Bisou's sample had been negative. What sample? Normally with the vet, if a "sample" is required, this is a whole procedure pre-arranged. As in, they ask for one for a particular reason, and provide a container. Neither of these conditions had been met.

It was suddenly clear - well, less unclear - why the first tech had asked that question about the, uh, vintage. But do people just spontaneously provide unsolicited "samples"? I mean, "negative" is what you want to hear, but this wasn't a test she needed. And given that dog ownership is already kind of expensive, especially the week of the spaying, especially the month of the spaying and grooming, we were not looking for add-ons.

At any rate, the vet's office, to their credit, paid us back without any fuss. I mean, I think they may have been slightly annoyed, as if there's some small chance that we in fact run an elaborate scheme to have our dog's waste tested, then not pay for it, then find out the results and go ha!, or more likely they were just embarrassed, or miffed that they'd wasted their time and resources. A miscommunication that could have been entirely avoided if I'd been like, "There is a huge turd in this plastic bag, comically so I realize given the tininess of the dog. Where's the trash?"

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