Dermadex, flea medicine and feline oral surgery... those are just of the few expenses that have popped up at the veterinary's office this week. Having pets is fantastic and I love them. (Baxter is more of a hate/sorta like situation.) But, damn, they are more expensive than children!
Let's start with Baxter: our red, skittish, retarded dog. I don't give him enough credit, I know. He has improved a lot since we brought him home from the Humane Society in Pittsburgh. Back then, he was peeing all over the house, recovering from worms and whatever else his previous owners had done to him. Now Baxter only pees in the house when fireworks are booming outside... but he still manages to do it in the most inconvenient places to clean up. As if there are convenient places to clean up pee.
From day one, Baxter has had this recurring skin condition. He is red and itchy, which seems only to be controllable through daily medication. He looked fine and handsome when we moved to Buffalo in February and ran out of his medicine. The drugs were an alternative to the very expensive "dips" he was getting at the vet... which seemed to not make much of a difference. Slowly but surely, without his drugs: Baxter went back to his itchy, irritated, haggard looking self.
We knew it was time to update his vaccines and get this pathetic dog some help. So Gregory scheduled the appointment and took him to Petsmart, where we monthly pay for a health insurance plan that is more comprehensive than my own.
Instead of a quick diagnosis, Gregory encountered the most judgmental vet tech on the planet. Can we all agree that we have met this person at some point in our lives? She was obviously better suited to converse with animals than humans, and showed such utter disdain for manners and a quick work ethic. I have found that some people that work with animals lose their humanity when it comes to other people. Not all, but some. I am sure they see a lot of animal cruelty cases and get disgusted with negligent owners. But it all gets a little fuzzy when the lines of what a "negligent owner" really is. We feed the dog, play with him, love him (sorta) and make sure he isn't dying of heartworms. To me, that is responsible. But overzealous vet techs with attitude problems... they tend to treat you like the laziest, most disgusting human because you simply won't buy $100 a bag organic dog food or take your furry beast to doggie slumber parties every weekend. Animals are members of the family, for sure, but they are NOT getting better treatment than most people I know!
This lady was a class act: Threats of mange, that our whole family was infected, and "I see a flea!" (insert disgusted sigh). We knew that Baxter's skin problem had just returned and I had just inspected him for fleas the day before. She even decided to attack Gregory's parenting skills during his three hour wait with Jackson. Our son was yelling, simply because he was trying a new word and Gregory couldn't understand him. She came in the room, asked why he was yelling (hello! HE'S THREE!). When Gregory explained that he was trying to understand a word, she said, "Oh, you must not understand him because you're not home that much." Lady, stick to what you know... which obviously isn't very much about people skills.
Okay, moving on.
Let's end this vet talk with Koko, our beautiful kitty. He was our first pet together, saved from a shelter in Cleveland. Koko is the best cat and other than him jumping on my pillow in the middle of the night, he is cool to hang out and occasionally steal our food from the dinner table.
Gregory discovered the other day that one of Koko's canine teeth is sticking out of his mouth, in the wrong direction. It looks irritated, but he continues to eat and drink and is still a very happy cat. Why then, am I now facing a vet bill that rivals our monthly rent?
The animal hospital at the end of the street was very nice. The vet and her techs were a little less judgmental, but only because we are hesitant about all of the incurred costs. Cat anesthesia, electrocardiograms, painkillers, tooth sealant (my kids aren't even covered for that!)... I love that cat, but come on. I am not a bad pet owner because I don't have an extra $1000 lying around, waiting to be handed over unquestionably to the vet.
Before I get reported to PETA: we are going to get Koko's tooth fixed. I woke up and checked on him in the middle of the night, worried that he was going into some feline dental coma. I am just going to do some shopping around first.