The Doctor is in

18 May

“Hey Ms. Gillespie,” an in-person student called to me one day last week. “What did you want to be when you were our age?”

I thought for a moment before replying,”I don’t remember exactly, but I know that before I went to university, I wanted to be a doctor, a journalist, a politician, a UN interpreter, and a spy.” I chuckled to myself and thought As a teacher, I am really all of those things!

A few days later, I found myself playing doctor.

Richard’s allergy test revealed that he was allergic to a wide range of things, including every tree in the neighborhood, most of the plants, and the yeast he develops on his own skin when he has an allergy flare-up. Based on these results, his serum was whipped up in a lab and the day had finally arrived for me to learn how to administer the shots.

The vet and I talked over his health history, how reactive he is, and decided that once a week, rather than twice a week was the way to go. She gave me a spreadsheet where I was to track each shot. We talked about reactions and I learned that dogs don’t have anaphylactic reactions. They get hives and their faces can swell, but it is extremely rare for a dog’s throat to swell. There’s be no need for an epi-pen but made a plan in case there were hives and swelling.

And then she pulled out the hardware: serum, syringes, and a needle clipper. She explained that we’d practice today with a saline solution, so I could learn how to be gentle, but effective.

I grabbed the massive cowl of flesh that is the nape of Richard’s neck – his basset physique made it easy.

“The needle will go in easily,” the vet explained as I filled the syringe with saline. “TV has given people a false impression. Sometimes they think they have to stab it in, but it is a slips in gently.”

She was right.

Richard didn’t seem to have noticed.He didn’t notice the first shot he had this morning either. As soon as it was over, he made himself comfy on the sofa and did what he does best.

6 Responses to “The Doctor is in”

  1. Tim Gels May 18, 2021 at 3:59 pm #

    Adrienne, I’m glad your doctor was able to whip up a serum to take care of Richard’s allergies, and that it’s something you’ll be able to take care of yourself. I have to say, he does look like an accomplished napper!

  2. arjeha May 18, 2021 at 5:31 pm #

    As someone who doesn’t like getting shots I don’t know if I could give them. Glad you are comfortable with it and that Richard is a trooper. Don’t think any of my cats would stand for it even if it were for their own good.

    • Adrienne May 18, 2021 at 5:38 pm #

      I don’t think Id be as brave if I had to vaccinate a cat.

  3. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write May 18, 2021 at 5:36 pm #

    Oh how I love basset hounds! He is a champion. So are you, Dr. Adrienne!

  4. Lisa Corbett May 18, 2021 at 7:40 pm #

    Interesting! I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever heard of a dog (or any animal) with allergies. Looks like Richard isn’t bothered at all by the fuss.

  5. Beth Bilson May 19, 2021 at 7:35 am #

    Richard is such a good boy and so brave…..he deserves a treat – and so do you.
    I had a diabetic Basset Hound, I would have to stick her twice, once to get the
    glucose reading and then the insulin. Thin slices of hot dog were always at the ready.
    Regards – Beth & Truman

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