Advocating for Our Dogs

Below is a post that I read on the Puppy Culture Discussion Group that I’m a part of. It was then re-posted on the Puppy Culture Facebook page, where everyone can benefit from it. This is so, so important, and I'm thankful that Jane made this post shareable.

Puppy Culture is part of our puppy raising program, and we trust all of our puppy parents to dutifully advocate for their puppies.

Earlier this year, Shani & Mieke went to a holistic vet to have their titer tests done. Mieke did well with the neck blood draw, but I told them Shani would be much more wary and asked if I could hold her. They said no, and I complied.

Then, while they were drawing blood, Shani panicked and started trying to flop over & flee. The vet & her tech literally raised her into the air with one hand each, so that she was even more afraid. I rushed over to grab her, and the vet yelled at me, "stay back, she's gonna bite you!" I grabbed her anyway and said, "no she's not" while I pulled her to my chest. I'm not sure what would have happened next if I had "stayed back" and let them "protect" me from my pet.

Finally, they suggested another blood test, and mentioned that she'd need a muzzle. (It's a great idea to muzzle-train your dog, but it MUST be done slowly and in a way that creates a "positive conditioned emotional response" or +CER.) I told them, "we're not doing any more today."

We will never return to that office. If this had been a young dog or puppy, the damage could have had a permanent impact on the way she sees vets & scary experiences. Our dogs count on us to be their protector and to advocate for their mental health, in addition to their physical needs. We owe it to ourselves and our pets not to allow another person, regardless of their position, to choose far-reaching consequences for us.