Yesterday my day didn't start off so well. I couldn't seem to hold off a vain for the life of me on a single animal. Then I did not hold a dog properly or well enough, so my doctor shot a microchip into "never never land." A lot of my days have been going this way lately so I was thinking about how maybe I should quit and things of that nature. Then I was thinking, that I really do rather enjoy this job still, and it was only a few screw ups. One of the things you learn doing theatre is that if you dwell on your screw up you don't keep your mind on the moment, and things will continue to go wrong, so I decided not to let that happen.
Fairly soon afterward we were called to a room. It was an annual so I drew up the vaccines, and got a fecal loop, and as my doctor and I are about to enter the room she stops and says... "I had a dog, that went by the same name and was this same breed a few years ago. The dog was so bad that the owner pinned it to the floor and sat on it while we gave the shots." "So I should get a muzzle?" "No, it might not be necessary." Or something to that effect. This dog was a one of those large breeds I have discussed in previous posts, that is considered aggressive, but I had not seen behave poorly at the clinic, so I was just a little concerned when entering the room.
We get in the room and the dog is sitting next to the owner. The dog stands up slightly excited when we come in. The owner commands it to sit, then lay down, which the dog abruptly obeys. Everything goes incredibly smoothly, we get the dog on the table, where it proceeds to be very friendly and covers my face with kisses, and the doctor check over eyes, ears, teeth, and the whole body, and gives the vaccines. As we are doing this part of the exam the doctor is talking with the owner, and we find out that this lovable dog is in fact the dog that she saw before, after a lot of training. By this point we are getting ready to draw blood. Normally as a technician I would hold the dog's head in the crook of my elbow, and use the other hand to hold off a vain on the dog's leg, however in this case the owner is standing next to the dog and holding it's head so in order to hold off a vain I am standing in front of the dog, and reaching down across it's leg with one hand. (For those you who know better methods at doing this type of thing please tell me as I am new to being a vet tech, and really don't know better.) I was trying my best to get the dog's leg well rolled, and have a good grip when I feel the dog's head hit mine, or so I think. I have had lots of dogs hit my head with theirs lately so I assumed that was what happened, but the doctor backs up quickly, and the owner first hits the dog, then tells it "NO! BAD DOG!" Repeatedly and pins it to the table. The doctor and I move to the back of the dog, and from both the reactions of the other people in the room and thinking about it for a second and sensing that I did in fact feel teeth, and not just a head hit my jaw I realize what must have been very frightening for everyone but me. We draw blood from a back leg, get a fecal sample. The owner asked me if I was okay, and apologized. Then we let the dog down and toss it a cookie as quickly as possible.
It didn't bother me so much when it happened, and in fact I am much more happy that it happened to me than my doctor because that would have frightened me much more, but it made for culmination of my bad day. The rest of my day actually went very smoothly, and one thing's for sure, I am never going to take it for granted if a dog seems friendly, and I'm also very glad that learning my lesson was not as hard as it could have been.