We had a rough trip to the vet this morning. Maya hates that place and made it very clear by lunging, barking, snarling, and attempting to bite, even after they put the muzzle on her. We hate going too, primarily because of those exact behaviors, but the hundreds of dollars we drop each time doesn’t help much either. Maya has always been a rambunctious dog, but she turns into something else when the vet walks into the room. It’s like she has a sixth sense that makes her go mad. Oddly, the minute the vet takes the leash and walks Maya out of the room, she’s fine. Calm, quiet, back to her fun-loving self, and trotting alongside her no-longer enemy. Perhaps she’s being protective. Perhaps she needs more practice meeting people. Perhaps a quick run before appointments would help.
The specifics of why don’t really matter though. Ian and I left in a daze, mulling over what we’d just seen and reluctantly coming to terms with the implications for our future plans. What happened in that veterinary office today cannot happen abroad. The day seemed to sludge along shadowed by the knowledge that maybe what we want to do isn’t a perfect fit with our dog’s sparkling personality. We didn’t just elect to take the dogs with us blindly. We researched and read and asked ourselves questions. The piece we failed to fully notice or recall was Maya’s severe aversion to being approached by a vet, which may be a repeating issue when visiting local vets for paperwork or potentially when being reviewed by border patrol officers.
We knew we would encounter hurdles along the way, and this one sucks. Tomorrow morning Ian is taking Maya for a run, one of a couple new routines we plan to implement immediately. We’re not sure what we’re going to do or what the right answer is, but in the spirit of keeping our friends and family in the loop, we felt it worthwhile to share the latest obstacle. Our next steps are to re-research border crossings, re-read experienced travelers’ feedback, look into training support, give our best try at keeping her as active as possible, and force ourselves to truly consider what is best for our little family.