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Ziva had her annual exam today. She has a less than stellar temperament. She runs from fearful and shy to fearful and aggressive depending on the situation. Usually at the vet she is just an anxiety filled whining hot mess but not aggressive with staff. However, encounters with strange dogs have to be avoided.

Today, although very shy with the vet and staff she was such a dream. We entered the waiting area. There was a man with an a yorkie. Ziva was so good. She ignored the dog and laid down by my feet for a good 15 minutes. No whining, pacing or fussing. Just heavy panting (although it was very hot out and walked around before we went in). She did great with all the staff, blood draw and all. We left the exam room and there was no one around but we had to wait to get our heart worm meds and paperwork to be updated. A woman came in with a dachshund. She was interested but minded my leave it command. Then the Yorkie came out of another exam room. Yorkie growled at the dachshund and the dachshund snapped back. My girl looked but didn't react at all. Then the big temptation came. A family came from yet another exam room to the waiting area with a border collie mix and an uncrated, no collar/leash cat being held by a child. Ziva hates cats. She really, really hates cats. For a hot second I thought it was going to be ugly as I was trying to figure out how to get past them and take her outside until they left without fur flying and a child being emotionally scarred for life. She didn't see the cat at first but quickly could smell it. She got up, turned and I thought oh boy her we go. I gave her a quiet but firm "leave it". To my surprise she looked at me (focus) and I said "down" "be good" and she did as I asked. We sat there for another good 5 minutes and she totally ignored the cat. I was floored. When we were called to the counter to get our meds and pay I put myself between her and the cat and although she tried to get by me toward the cat she minded a gentle correction and kept moving away. We got outside and did a happy dance. Home brought her favorite treats. :grin2:

I'm so proud of my girl. No heavy anxiety, no whining, no lunging at other dogs, didn't try to kill the cat.

On a side note: Who brings a cat to a wellness exam not in a carrier. :frown2:
 

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Wow! just reading all of those distractions that she passed with flying colors made me fill with pride. You had a good day!
Indeed we did. It was so out of character for her to be so docile and well behaved. Usually I'm mentally exhausted by vet visits just trying to get her to stop pacing and whining and settle. Keeping her from lunging and barking at other dogs can be an issue as well. Always seem to depend on what she feels about the aura of the other dog. Always a guessing game with her. This vet has a small poorly set up waiting area which made me even more proud of her. All of the other animals were less then 6 ft. from her. She made me very proud today!
 

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That is really good! Hats off to you and your girl. Your confidence and calm has helped her a lot, I am sure. Hard work pays off. Lucky Ziva. Vet clinics are the ultimate challenge with stressed owners and stressed dogs/cats or whatever is in these boxes.
 

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I used to own a cat that could break out of just about any cat carrier. I put him in a figure of 8 harness for vet visits. Having the cat unrestrained, and in the arms of a child - that's beyond stupid!!
I couldn't believe it myself. Wasn't something I expected to encounter. I was just happy to get out with a mauling happening.
 

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I am impressed and envious!

My vet would probably be missing a finger if she tried to do a blood draw without Rumo being muzzled. ugh.
It's hard to tell, he may be all Growl and no Bite, but we're not taking chances.

Good for your dog!!

And yes, weird to not have cat in a carrier.
The carriers are so common and not expensive, and a panicked cat can scratch your arms and leap out in a flash...they are so quick..not a good idea in a vet's office with dogs around.
Even when I picked up our little kitten from the shelter long ago, they gave him a ventilated cardboard carrier to go home in (kind of like the ones from Build-A-Bear :)
 

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Thankfully I have never had to muzzle her. I always tell my vets her calming spot is to be gently stroked on her cheek and offer to stay at her head and stroke her spot. If anyone is ever going to get bit at a routine vet visit it's me. I've been very fortunate to have vet's that all work with GSD's. For health issue/immediate care she goes to the vet that cares for local PD K9 dogs. For wellness checks we go to a military vet clinic that also serves base K9's. Having them very familiar with the breed has been a blessing.
Vet notes were "shy but friendly" C:
 

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WOW, this is great, congrats. Are you in Salt Lake City...because my regular vet is set up exactly the same way, it's chaos in there but the vet is so good and patient with my girl I won't change. Korra has yet to allow the vet to fully examine her and never touch her without a muzzle. After a harrowing vet visit (a completely different vet) when she was 4 mos old and the vet hurting her little bottom so badly, she has never allowed anyone to get near her butt again, it took ME months and I can do anything to her. She always acts like an ass at the vet but I attribute that to my husband who always thinks she will do something (even though she has not ever) she protects him like nothing I have seen before. I take her to an animal eye doc for her pannus and she behaved perfectly but I was by myself with her, she let the vet do the exam, (no temp) without a grumble. These GSD's never forget!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Steveb I'm in VA. I'm sorry your girl had such a bad experience at such a young age. You are right that they don't forget the bad experiences when they very young. I'm glad you found a better vet.
As for acting differently at visits when your husband is around. Your girl might be picking up on his uneasiness and apprehension. His fear she is going to bite or act out might be travelling down the leash. Puts her in a heightened sense of awareness, makes her hypervigiliant. Maybe you could try not having your husband go with you to the next vet visit if he doesn't have to and see how it goes.
 
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