What could possibly go wrong with a 3 year old chocolate lab running around on a boat full of fishing gear? 😑🙃
Her latest fishing trip ended in a surprise visit to NAAH because believe it or not, she didn’t listen. As she roamed the boat scanning the water for a dead fish to bless the deck of the boat, she spotted a shiny, plastic fishing lure connected to two treble hooks instead. Ignoring every “NO” and “STAY”, she dove off of the deck and bit down onto the biggest lesson she’s learned in a while. Luckily for her, I clock in every week to an animal hospital full doctors that have dealt with far worse. Dr. Bonner was the lucky savior of the day this time (hopefully for the last time 😅.) Seeing my sweet “bad dog” as I always call her, in such a stressful situation was hard. I’ve been with my NAAH team for almost a year. It’s not always puppies and rainbows in “the back.” We’ve worked through some not so fun things in the short time I’ve been a part of the team. We have helped numerous pets and their owners through their own emergencies, and I think knowing what to expect played a significant part in how I handled my own pet’s mini emergency. I knew she would have to be under sedation in order to cut the hooks out. I knew the medications she was given for sedation. I held off her vein for Dr. Bonner to administer them. I ran her wet ears through my fingers while she was snoozing and I talked her through the entire process. I told her next time to maybe be smarter and that real fish don’t have any hooks connected to them 🤣🤪. She got a couple sutures, a week’s worth of antibiotics, and a couple cans of food for her sore mouth. The entire visit lasted 30 minutes max.
Initially, as soon as I saw her frantic eyes I panicked. Then I realized that I don’t need to because I know I can trust our staff and doctors. Crazily enough, I kept thinking throughout this hook cutting, smelly, wet dog mess of a situation that I am so fortunate for this to have happened under these circumstances because I am able to calmly stand with her from start to finish. I thought of every big or small emergency that I’ve been a part of at NAAH. To me, the hit by car, or attacked by dog appointment is a typical day to work through. Bring it on, let’s fix it! Whether those pet owners were existing clients or people we had never seen before, they chose our staff with their pets care when they were in a panic. After dealing with my own situation, I can appreciate how difficult it is to hand over their pet to us when they are so full of worry and uncertainty. Maybe they are familiar with all of our faces or maybe they’ve never laid eyes on any of us before. Either way, I’ll always ask “Is it okay if I take your pet to our treatment area and have a doctor look at them?” Usually the answer is (sometimes reluctantly) yes. We may sedate, x-ray, or shave and clean puncture wounds on your pet… all while you wait worriedly in your exam room. Maybe you also share a pillow and the occasional fork with your pet. Maybe you wholeheartedly believe they hung the moon and gave the reluctant “yes” when I asked to borrow them. In some circumstances, we may have had to keep your pet overnight or even for a couple nights. Whatever the case, we understand. We understand the worry, the questions, the phone calls asking how Fluffy is doing every hour, and the anxiety that can come with having a sick or injured pet. We always will treat them exactly as we would want our own to be treated because most likely, they did help hang the moon ❤️🐶🐱.
-Emilee, NAAH Veterinary Technician
June (L) and Walker (R) Poor June!