Today was Hank's monthly acupuncture appointment. Hank and I sat on
the floor In a tiny room with the vet, Becky, and her tech, Patricia.
Sharing the room was a woman who's mini pincher stood shivering on the
exam table, already pierced and throbbing with healing current.
Hank has grown used to the drill. We walk in, she gets on a padded
matt, they stick needles into her, hook them up to electrodes and she
either stands or lays down for a 1/2 hour while I chat it up with
Patricia, or Becky, or the other tech, who likes cats. Hank is relaxed
while receiving her treatment. This is huge for Hank, an Australian
Cattle Dog mix, who is mostly raw neurotic energy, even at the
approximate age of 13.
The min pin was shaking and panting. We were mid-discussion on cat
hydro-therapy and what sort of deranged failed CIA operative came up
with that idea, when the min pin stopped panting, lay down, and, though still
looking ill at
ease, seemed decidedly less terrorized.
"OH!" exclaimed the dog's owner, a
nice young woman with a charming smile and irrelevantly silly shoes,
(they looked like twin velvet speedboats, with a bow where the drivers should be.)
"THE AROMA THERAPY IS WORKING!"
One of the things I love about WestVet, besides the people, is that
they are always trying new things. LIke cats in whirlpools and
…aromatherapy! Scented oil that is calming and soothing to your
pet. (It smelled not unlike an old ladies living room, thermastat set
to 76, magazines from the 70's, heavy layer of lavender furniture
polish. Hint of hard candies from Easters long ago.) I'm not
surprised it worked on the min pin, who looked like Shelly Winters
(Poseidon Adventure era) but it PROBABLY wasn't the soothing scent I'd
choose for Hank, who might do better with cat vomit or the smell of a
vehicle overheating. (Not currently available)
I'm pretty sure Hank's emotions can't be bought with lavender.
Briefly when we had the room to ourselves, the woman with the min
pin asked me if the aroma therapy wasn't the most amazing thing I'd
ever seen. I kept looking at her shoes, imagining the sort of drivers
they should have, and shrugged. I gave a non-committal, "Your dog seems
I really wondered if having another calm dog present might also have
been a factor. Or that we were talking about sticking cats in whirring
tanks of water.
I used to have really strong opinions. I should say, I would opine
strongly; my opinions were strong like an odor is strong, not like
steel or a bear. Actually, maybe a bear. A smelly bear. I would raid
campgrounds with my opinions, steal people's picnic basket joy.
I get, the more often I find that the more vocally certain I am, the
more likely I am to be very publicly wrong. My opinions have morphed
into preferences or strong leanings. For instance, I lean strongly
toward believing that Country Music sucks the backside of sweaty truck
drivers. Although, many of my friends LOVE that shi….uh musical
genre. So, I try to keep an open mind. In the OLDEN DAYS of KATY, I
would have droned on and on about how country music makes me feel like
stabbing at my ears with pruning shears, and why just because 'truck'
and 'beer' are easy to rhyme doesn't mean that doing so illuminates a
universal truth. Why, FIGURATIVELY, supporting CW is EXACTLY the same
as encouraging Special People to breed. Then I'd find out my real
father was Merle Haggard or something. That's the sort of luck I
have. Only not so potentially interesting or profitable. My real
father would be in a Merle Haggard cover band. Merle and the Haggies
or something. Scottish Country. Anyway. I'm more careful.
"I'd like to try the aroma therapy on my dogs sometime," I said, full of my open minded goodness.
Becky came in the door just then, went to her cupboard, took out a
big q tip, dipped it in her little vial of Old Lady Concentrate and
wiped a big smear across Hank's stoic forehead. I had to drive home
with all the windows open, and even then I didn't exceed 20 MPH and my
right blinker was on the entire time.