Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I had one appointment on my calendar today and that was to take Midge into a vaccination clinic at PetCo.  I mentioned in a previous post that since I got laid off from my job, I don't want to pay $300 for the obligatory wellness exam that the vet forces on me when I bring her in to renew her vaccinations.  Some readers advised me to keep my eyes out for vaccination clinics.  I called PetCo and they said they have clinics between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM on the first Saturday of each month. 

My husband wanted to run some errands first thing in the morning, and on the way home we saw a sign pointing out a flu vaccination clinic at our local middle school.  I suggested we stop there.  We were amazed by the number of police officers directing vehicle and foot traffic, and we figured we'd be standing in line for a few hours.  However, this clinic was so well organized that my husband, my son, and I were in and out of there within five minutes and we didn't have to pay a thing!  I was amazed.  All these years I've been paying doctors and pharmacies for our flu vaccinations, not knowing we could get them for free.  This was one giant step forward for me, because I did not plan to get vaccinations for the humans in my family today and got them.  Not only that but we got them quickly and got them for free.  We usually struggle just to find the time for each of us to vaccinated most years.

When it came time to drive Midge to PetCo for her vaccinations, she was very excited.  It turned out that they were having an adoption clinic in addition to the vaccination clinic, so there were animals everywhere.  Midge is a shy girl, so she kept trying to hide behind my legs.  The line for the vaccinations was so long that I couldn't even find the end of it.  I was hoping to get in and out, but when I saw the length of the line and all the paperwork that needed to be filled out, I had to abandon my efforts.  Midge couldn't possibly hold her bladder that long and I was feeling ill from my flu shot.

I wanted to get a fleece jacket for Scrappy since it's supposed to be pretty cold next week.  I was trying to figure out what size to get him by holding the jackets up to Midge, knowing that Scrappy is considerably smaller than her.  A little girl walked up to me and started chatting with me about Midge.  She was obviously a child prodigy -- ten times brighter than most kids her age and very articulate.  She told me all about her miniature Dachshund who wears a size XXS.  Scrappy is part Dachshund and part Chihuahua, so I picked out a size M, thinking I would have to put it in the dryer to shrink it.

A woman in line in front of me turned around, looked at Midge, looked at the jacket I was buying, turned back to the man who was with her and said, "She's going to have to return that.  It's too small for that dog."

I rolled my eyes over her assumption that I was buying the jacket for Midge -- that and the fact that I can't seem to escape nosy people in my community.  When I got to the register, a ferret popped out of a drawer behind the counter.  The cashier said the ferret was hers and she brought it in for vaccinations.  She said that ferrets get to go to the front of the line, so he already had his shots.  I talked with her about the crowd, and she said there usually is that many people at the clinics, and those who are experienced show up at opening time with fold-up chairs and camp out for hours waiting for their pets' vaccinations.  I was shocked.  It's like a concert scene.

So, I had to head for home, because I don't have that kind of time to spare.  Midge and I would have been in line for hours.  My Plan B is to call around until I find a vet who is willing to just give the vaccinations without the wellness exam -- AND, here's the key, not lay a guilt trip on me for not being able to afford the wellness exam.  If my dog were sick, I'd find some way to pay for her health care, but when I know she's fine, I don't want to be charged an arm and a leg to be told that she's fine.  I have never gone in for a wellness exam and had a vet find anything wrong other than that the dog needs a teeth cleaning, which of course costs another $650. 

When we got home, I tried the jacket on Scrappy and discovered that I couldn't even get the Velcro straps around his chest.  Even though he is a petite, short, lightweight dog, he is very barrel-chested, so it turns out that he'll probably need an XL jacket or at least a different brand.  So, my two steps back involve still needing to get Midge her vaccinations and having the added errand of returning to the city to exchange the doggie jacket.  I'm not kidding when I say that my To Do List just keeps getting longer and longer.


duffylou said...

Midge is such a pretty girl. At least she got to spend some quality time with her Mommy today.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh man, I wish I would have bucked up and got a flu shot. I've been so ill this week. I see offers of flue shots for free all the time at our local Walgreens, Walmart, and even the grocery store pharmacy. I'vew not been sick with the flu or even a cold for years. You just never know. Oy!

Too bad about the pet vax. I've never been to PetCo or PetSmart vax clinics, but I've had some spaying and neutering done there. We always get our pet vax from clinics put on by the county with private vets offering their services. $20 bucks for everything and they are usually held in the community center over the weekend and never have a long wait.

Dobbie is doxie/chi, too. She wears a med usually because her measuresment from tail to base of neck is 15". Scrappy does look a little chunkier than Dobbie, though, probably because he's much older (Dobbie's only 3 yrs old).

Hope you're feeling better now after your flu vax.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

I guess that lady knew what she was talking about- some things run really small.

That's too bad about the clinic at Petco being so crowded. I got a notice from my "shots" vet about the clinics being hosted at the local feed stores 4x over the next couple of months. Hopefully, I can make one of them for Buddha and the cats. Sandy got her shots when she had the porcupine quills taken out and she got spayed too, all for $130. Not too bad, I guess. She didn't even have an actual examination so, no fee.

I don't get flu shots, free or not.

Jeni said...

NuzzMuzz... you can get all the vacs and give them yourself EXCEPT rabies. You should check into that. I do it for my horses and dogs.

My horsie vet gives me the vacs for the horses and dogs. I just pay for the vac and not the "office call/farm visit"

Paint Girl said...

I hope you can find a vet to do Midge's vaccinations. I can't believe the line at the pet store! That is crazy.
At least you were able to get your flu shots, quickly and for free! That's great!

Stacey said...

Kinda like taking your car in huh? I took one of my Jeeps for brakes because I KNOW they were shot. They wanted to charge me $100 for a brake inspection when you could tell the Jeep needed brakes by just LOOKING at the rotors.

Good luck with getting Midge her vaccinations!

Breathe said...

Animal shelter sometimes sponsor low cost clinics too . At least they do in our area. It's amazing how much money you can save when you have too.

I've had the same experience with sweaters. It's gotten to the point that if I don't have the dog I don't buy anything. It's as bad as buying shoes!

fernvalley01 said...

Forgive me if I am totally off base here,there are different rules in Canada than the US, but,if Midge is upt to date on rabies(there is a 2 yr vaccine here) you could just buy the remaining vaccines (Allivet?) and do them your self.Many breeders do that here to save vet costs DHPL&parvo come in a combi dose .Also if she is an older dog there is some schools of though that, esp if she is in a closed/safe environment (not exposed to other dogs ) you could actually skip a year (check with your vet on this as each have a differing opinion)

Anonymous said...

I waited until my vet had a weekday clinic. I waited maybe 20 minutes as opposed to the 2 1/2 hours I had waited on a Saturday with another dog.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The main shot that Midge needs is the Rabies shot. I used to give vaccinations to my horses myself to save money until I accidentally stabbed myself twice and lost all feeling in my hand for several days. I have an essential tremor, so me giving shots is not a good idea. You must have fine motor skills.

Rising Rainbow said...

Yupe fine motor skills are important when giving shots and sticking yourself with the needle sucks.

Hope you're feeling better, being sick from getting the flu shot sucks too.

Cheryl Ann said...

I guess I'm lucky because our local spay/neauter clinic does low-cost shots. In fact, they just sent me my reminder notice for Ripley! By the way, I had my last flu shot 33 years ago. I was never so sick in my life! That was IT for me!

achieve1dream said...

Wow that sucks. Yeah in my experience dog clothes look bigger than they are. My mom has had a lot of luck with cotton, crocheted sweaters that are stretchy for her Yorkie. It may not seem as warm as the heavy duty jackets but it actually is. It's also easier to clean and put on. Good luck finding something that fits him!

I hope you feel better from your flu shot. I've never had the guts to get one because everyone says it makes them sick. Feel better soon.