Heather takes us on daily walks. We generally set the direction but then she determines the destination and speed, pulling on the leash and glancing back to make sure that both of us are keeping up. Since she’s not fond of loud noises we often go along the river where she gets to sniff to her heart’s content, we get glimpses of snow-capped mountains and the occasional passenger train zipping to or from the Mediterranean Sea, and we all three enjoy the tranquility. As long as she’s pulling us along then we keep going. But then on an outing last week she stopped pulling.
The market is open three days a week and while Saturdays are far too busy for a little dog, she does enjoy the people interaction on the much quieter Tuesdays or Thursdays. With fewer vendors and much smaller crowds, Heather gets the attention she loves from people who stop their buying and selling long enough for a quick pet and a soothing word. It was on the way there last Thursday after we had crossed the bridge into town that she just stopped walking and looked at us saying that she couldn’t go any further. We carried her back home and everything calmed down.
But then after a sleepless Friday night for all three of us, we took a chance and just showed up at the veterinarian’s office that friends, Tracy & Alan, used for their dogs when they lived in Carcassonne. To just show up, on a Saturday morning with no appointment at an office we’d never been to, we didn’t know what to expect. The receptionist took our details, asked us to sit in the waiting area, and literally before we could get settled the vet asked us to follow her into the examination room. After a thorough head to tail exam, including dozens of questions about her current condition and earlier history (all in perfect English, I should add) we then went to the x-ray room. From there it was into the ultrasound room where she performed one survey, asked another vet to look at different organs, and then took us back to the original exam room to explain what they had found.
We were in that office for over an hour, most of which was “active” professional time and the total cost was 90 euro (about 100 dollars). Two prescriptions that we filled at a pharmacy on the walk home added another 6 euro and only 5 more minutes to the process—no waiting. The three of us take much shorter walks together now, but Heather is still in the lead.
Update: The vet called last night to see how Heather was doing. We were scheduled for a follow-up visit for this morning but because the medication seems to be working, we can go to the market instead. I think we’re all happy about that!