Waiting Room Behavior

Today is Pollyanna’s day for her annual trip to the veterinarian. She is one of those exuberantly happy Golden Retrievers who is so busy being thrilled with everything that she doesn’t even notice that the vet’s office is a scary place. Pollyanna has never met a person or an animal she doesn’t instantly love, and knowing her sweet nature her owner feels that it would be unnecessary and unkind to restrain her joyful spirit in any way. He always brings her in without a leash an lets her make the rounds while he checks in and picks up medications and food at the front desk.

Right off Mr. Bandaid comes in carrying his cat Fang in his arms. Mr. Bandaid would have liked to have brought his cat in a carrier rather than having Fang sitting on his head and howling while he tried not to crash his car on the way in, but the last time he tried putting Fang in the carrier Mr. Bandaid’s subsequent trip to the emergency center ended up eating up the rest of his day as well as a tidy bundle of cash. Pollyanna can tell that Fang would be a great new acquaintance so she lopes over to Mr. Bandaid and jumps up to poke her nose in friendly greeting to Fang. Fang does not reciprocate the sentiment and instead claws inch by inch up Mr. Bandaid’s face until he reaches the summit of his head. With a mighty leap Fang hurls himself at the door, trying to squeeze out on to Academy Boulevard before it closes, but the door swings shut just in time. After he rebounds off the glass he turns and launches to the top of the file cabinets, where he stays for the next six hours before anyone can get him down.

With her new friend out of sniffing range Pollyanna decides to see who else there is to meet. Mrs. Wobbles is just coming out of an exam room with her poodle, Tiny. Pollyanna bounds over to say hello and Tiny immediately circles around to hide behind her mom’s legs, tangling her in the leash in the process. Mrs. Wobbles had a small stroke last year and she is still a little unsteady on her feet, so when Pollyanna doesn’t quite stop in time to keep from knocking into her, Mrs. Wobbles only avoids falling and cracking her head open because the wall was directly behind her. She has some harsh words for Pollyanna, and Pollyanna’s dad shoots the lady a dirty look from the front counter. How could someone be so crochety as to not love his eighty pound bundle of joy?

Feeling unfairly chastised Pollyanna swings to the other side of the waiting room. There sits Mr. Goodman with his new dog Sniffles, whom he just adopted from the Humane Society. Sniffles wags his tail enthusiastically when she comes over, and between coughing spasms he licks her face and jumps up and down with her. Unfortunately it is soon Sniffles’ turn to be seen and he is called into the exam room. Pollyanna’s dad doesn’t know it yet, but he is going to have her back to the clinic next week for a mysterious hacking cough.

Now there is only one other person to meet in the waiting room. Mrs. Cower is smashed in the very far corner with her gigantic mixed breed dog Jaws. Mrs. Cower weighs all of ninety pounds, and Jaws weighs at least one hundred and twenty. The Cowers joke that they could save a lot of money on dog food if they just let Jaws out at the dog park and allow him to graze on small dogs every day. Because they know that Jaws will actively try to consume any other animal that comes within his visual range, the Cowers go to great lengths to keep Jaws away from everyone else when they come to the veterinarian‘s. Pollyanna spies Jaws and immediately recognizes the opportunity to make another friend. Before she gets there Jaws yanks Mrs. Cower off the bench and drags her face down, holding on to the leash, until he meets up with Pollyanna. Fortunately the weight of Mrs. Cower, who has quite a tenacious grip, keeps Jaws from being able to do any more than rip a gash in Pollyanna’s neck. Pollyanna’s dad comes rushing over and screams angrily at Mrs. Cower before rushing his bleeding dog to the back to get the laceration repaired. Some people are just so irresponsible about controlling their pets in the waiting room!