Under the Bigtop

vet b Taking Waffles to the vet yesterday was a bit of a circus. First, I decided to take Alfie along and get her weighed while I was there so I could figure out how much flea medicine to buy. Bringing Alfie with me automatically doubled the chaos. You would think my dogs never leave the house. At the sound of the leash, Alfie started yipping and yodeling; both she and Waffles spinning in circles around my legs. Waffles began panting in the snuffling/snorting way that only pugs can do. Within seconds she sounded worse than any lifetime smoker and I was sure she would die. Since I hadn't originally planned to bring them both with me, I hadn't put their seats in the car, which meant getting those out of the garage and buckled in while Waffles and Alfie went to work hog-tying me with their leashes. Unraveled and undone, I loaded  the pugs into their seats, making sure to put them on opposite sides to where they sat last time, since the two always manage to crisscross, tangling themselves in the process. By the time I got to the front of the car, they had already made the switch back to their original seating position. I couldn't win. I rolled down the windows to let in some air as Alfie's tongue was already hanging down to her feet and Waffles snorts had become asthmatic gasps. When we got to the vets, the vet tech claimed she could hear them as we drove up.

Surprisingly, the pugs tugged on their leashes and rushed for the door as if they were off on a hunt. Once inside they began barking as loudly as possible at all the other dogs, cats and staff they encountered. I tried to place first Waffles and then Alfie on the scale, but they kept jumping off. Alfie weighed 20 pounds then 19, then 20 again. I couldn't get her to sit her plump little rump down long enough to get an accurate reading. Waffles was much the same, although she looked like she might faint. Once in the office it took two vet techs to hold Waffles down while they clipped her nails. Meanwhile, I got a serious lecture about keeping them cool during the heat. I had a feeling, the techs considered me a careless parent as they listened to the pugs' heavy breathing. "They don't do this at home," I tried to assure, but I'm not sure they could hear me over all the snorts and squeals. As I tried to take Waffles off the table and make the switch so Alfie could get her nails trimmed, the pugs seemed to begin a gymnastic routine, circling and falling all over each other as they practically did somersaults. I expected Alfie to whip out a clown's hat and start squeaking her nose. "They're so well behaved," I joked.

The one good thing about the whole experience is that we caught Waffles hot spot early and were prescribed medicine to dry it up. The vet suggested it may have been caused by taking her swimming in the kiddie's pool the day before. So while the whole event seemed akin to being under the bigtop, the diagnosis at least brought some calm.

No one had informed my pugs, however, that the circus was over. Instead, the two chose to make a dart for the open door in an effort to circulate among the crowds and draw more attention. Although my pugs may never pass  as model patients, I'm sure they could fill the roles of circus barker if anyone should be in the need for one.