The Peggy Series: Everything I know about going to the doctor, I learned from my dog

Peggy is a nurse; Peggy hates doctors. If I hadn’t coerced her into going to one after months of pain and immobility, she still wouldn’t know that she has De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

Dogs hate doctors too. Peggy and the world’s dog population are alike in this. I’ve gotten many emails about all the things that people learn from their dogs. If I were a space alien and read these emails, I would conclude that dogs are smarter and more virtuous than people. This would be because none of the emails focus on their negative behaviors. If I were to write such an email, I would make it about doctor visits, and here is what I would say. It applies to Peggy almost as much as it does to dogs.

Only go to the doctor under extreme coercion.

Enjoy the ride until the car turns onto the doctor’s street—then whine a little. As the car approaches the doctor’s office, whine a lot. Also, pace back and forth, and jump repetitively from the front seat to the back seat and from the back seat to the front seat.

When the car pulls into the doctor’s parking lot, whine a whole, whole lot. Also, throw yourself violently against the car’s doors, windows, and even the ceiling. If you’re too sick to reach the ceiling, just throw yourself as high as possible. Give the phrase “bouncing off the walls” a whole new meaning.

Force the family member by whom you are being betrayed to pry you from the car.

Whine, tremble, and hyperventilate as you are being dragged into the waiting room. Make sure that everyone within a ten-block radius knows that the Spanish Inquisition has you in its clutches.

Each time a new patient enters the waiting room, make a break for the door. Do the same when a patient leaves. Also do it when no one is around.

If you can’t escape from the building, hide under a chair and hope your tormenters won’t find you.

When called to the examination room, increase all previous resistance measures by a factor of a ten.

Leave a trail of urine that a potential rescuer might follow.

Pray to Saint Lassie to save you. Promise Saint Lassie anything if she will only help you.

Show the doctor your teeth. Do this even if he is trying to examine your ass.

If you’re too frightened to show the doctor your teeth, focus on becoming so small that he can no longer see you.

If he examines you ass, turn your head around and look at him as if to say, “I knew you were a perverted bastard, but I never dreamed you were THIS perverted.”

See how high you can make your fur stand-up.

Growl like five wounded wildebeests and twelve angry grizzly bears who are being tortured in front of the world’s loudest sound system while nuclear bombs explode in the background. Don’t worry about staying in key; you’re not auditioning for The Lettermen.

Continually attempt to jump from the examining table. Do this even if you have three broken legs, have been poisoned, and your throat is cut.

Throw yourself from a window if possible. Don’t worry about whether it is open or how far you will fall.

If the doctor attempts to bribe you with food, take it if you wish, but then return to all out resistance.

When—after ten minutes or ten days—you hear your betrayer say, “It’s time to go home,” run from the building before he changes his mind.

Wag your tail and snuggle during the drive home so that he will know you forgive him. With luck, this will so instill him with guilt that he will never take you to the doctor again.

Footnote: You have just completed the first post in “The Peggy Series.” The following is a partial list of future chapters.

What is wrong with Peggy—an overview.
Life with Peggy—one man’s path to sainthood.
Peggy’s problems—what other people have to say.
How many shoes does a female biped really need?
Peggy’s cookie addiction—is there reason to hope?
Why does Peggy take so long getting ready to go somewhere?
What is this hang-up Peggy has about wanting the toilet flushed?
Why do the best men always seem to end up with the worst women?
Peggy’s spider phobia—do stupid phobias in women prove male superiority?
Why can’t Peggy find her way around a town in which she has lived since 1986?
Why does Peggy try to make me look bad by remaining calm when we’re having a fight?
Why should I have to help out around the house just because Peggy is the only one with a job?
Is Peggy’s hang-up about me slobbering over other women due to selfishness, insecurity, or both?
Why must Peggy clutter the house with knickknacks that have to be dusted and could fall on people’s heads during an earthquake?
When driving, is it really necessary that Peggy wait until the last possible second to apply the brakes, only to laugh at me for pushing my feet through the floorboard?

Stay tuned: there’s much more to come.


kylie said...

F*** you are a funny man, snow!!!

and the moral of the story is:

keep your head above knick knack height in the event of earthquake


LivingDeadNurse said...

muahahahha thanks for the laugh i love it...i have 8 this is great.

Milly said...

Insightful post. You understand the canine mind quite well -- my little Gus says he agrees, especially to the part about racing to the door and cuddling on the way home. Little Luie, however, wonders if both you guys are crazy because going to the vet is just another reason to have people fall in love with you. Thanks for the response on my blog -- and for the chance for me to discover, yet another cool blog that's fun to read. I'll drop in frequently. Milly

smilla4blogs said...

...and finally, laugh your doggy head off when your human companion gets the vet's bill.

Thanks so much for stopping by with your comment!

Lorraina said...

Too funny! This applies to cats and my husband as well.

Bernie said...

Snow you really must get out of the house more, breathe deeply the fresh air and clear your head of all the cobwebs. Hope the dog is better.......:-) Hugs

Rachel Cotterill said...

Hmm, I used to act just like this as a kid, if there was any prospect of a needle in my future...

The Blog Fodder said...

A wonderful laugh. We once had two dogs, Davy and Dez. Davy was the dog you describe. Dez loved going to the vet. Or anywhere she might meet people and dogs.

The difference between God and a doctor? God doesn't think he is a doctor.

Am looking forward to the Peggy series. Will she let you live to finish it?

Mim said...

hey...those are the chapters MY husband was going to write....

Anonymous said...

I dunno, but that pretty much covers the way I already react at the doctor's.

Joe thinks doctors are healers and I just think they're heels who don't know the meaning of "first do no harm".

Our worst situation arrives when Joe tries to pull me through the doctor's portal, whereupon I brace my feet against the door jam and firmly grip the door knob with my sweat lined hands.

While he's paying "up front" I'm offering him everything within the range of "barely legal" if he'll only take me home.

Anonymous said...

..."none of the emails focus on their negative behaviors."

Dogs actually do not have negative behaviors. What you perceive as negative is only due to the fact that we are not tuned in to what their original "clues" were supposed to convey. Then they're only option is to become frustrated, acting out in ways that become our focus instead of the "why" that caused it.

What we have learned from our dogs: Each returning member of the pack is met with great jubilation and rejoicing.

When one member of the pack is wounded, the others step in to administer healing licks and concerned pacing. For when one member is down, the entire pack is weakened.

When the "pack" leaves, the one remaining member must wait in trepidation, for fear they will be permanently abandoned. As a pack, they are programmed to move as one for protection.

Peeing inside? Pared with a human that ignores the subtle signs and lacking thumbs to turn the knob, what else are they to do.

Remember: while expecting them to "HOLD IT IN", the average human visits the bathroom 3 to 4 times.

While becoming angry that the animal is begging for food, the human has visited the refrigerator and the snack drawer non-stop for 8 hours.


rhymeswithplague said...

I need not tell you that this post is absolutely hilarious!! I look forward with great anticipation to each and every chapter in The Peggy Series.

My dog Jethro loves the vet but acts as you describe when he goes to the groomer. We imbeciles have just enough gray matter to have begun wondering whether we should look for another groomer.

You made my morning!

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes said: "I need not tell you that this post is absolutely hilarious!!"

Actually, you do, Rhymes. I know what's funny to me, but I don't know what's funny to other people. I have more trepidation about posting humor than I do about posting anything else for this reason.

Dana said: "Dogs actually do not have negative behaviors."

This would depend upon how you define negative. If you define it as mortally reprehensible, then I would agree because I doubt that dogs have a sense of right and wrong. But if you define it as detrimental to their survival in a given set of circumstances, then they do. They're unfit for the wild, yet they're also unfit for the human world. They are, in effect, perpetual children.

Kylie said: keep your head above knick knack height in the event of earthquake:

Oh, great, then your feet get crushed!

The Blog Fodder said: "Am looking forward to the Peggy series. Will she let you live to finish it?"

Peggy has a pretty good sense of humor about such things. She also knows how important my writing is to me, so she cuts me as much slack as she can when I say things that she thinks are over the top.

The Tusk said...

Very Funny Stuff. I'm sorry I missed your comment when I blogged and Unposted and then reblogged specifically for your Apnea.

My wife and yours are very similar with the knick knack collection. I think Kylie gave good advice to keep your head above Knick Knack height in case of Earthquake. I might even make a little wooden sign to hang in my kitchen with just those sentiments.

Blog again at you soon.
I went to visit Millie's Sight, and commented, its nice to visit someone new on occassion, thank you for that as well.

Snowbrush said...

Thanks to all who wrote. I'm not going to get to every response simply because not every response seems to call for a response.

Bernie said: "Snow you really must get out of the house more, breathe deeply the fresh air and clear your head of all the cobwebs."

Does this mean that you didn't find the post worthwhile, Bernie?

Mim said: "those are the chapters MY husband was going to write...."

Some of us men could collaborate in creating a whole new blog, eh?

Rachel said: "I used to act just like this as a kid, if there was any prospect of a needle in my future..."

I'm that way now about surgery, having found that it harms about as often as it helps, and then there are the horrible things--like staff infections--that destroy or alter the lives of people following even the simplest surgeries.

Dana said: "Joe thinks doctors are healers and I just think they're heels"

I agree that many are heels, Dana, but I think that most of them are simply harried, highly skilled technicians who no longer see a person as a whole but as whatever part a given doctor specializes in. I'm sure it's hard for them to do any better given the pressure they are under from their employers (few doctors around here still own their own practices).

Putz said...

do upu know that my dog duke, or rather my neighbor's dog duke they gave to my son, a lab just got back from the doctor to get >>>believe it<<< allergy medicine>>>i have allergies and just suffer throught them and now this damned dog is getting allergies medicines cause the doctor says it couldn't be fleas>>>.my question"why coul;dn't iot be fleas"?????????????????

Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story said...

I love this post, especially as someone who dislikes doctors and was a Vet Tech for many years. :) Plus, the picture of the schnauzer won my heart. I have one myself. :)

Marion said...

Snow, you should be doing stand up with this good shit. Why is it all nurses I know hate doctors? This frightens me....a lot!! (My husband is a retired nurse...among other things).

I have never, ever thought a negative thought about our Golden Retriever, Cody. How can I when he thinks he's a 90 pound cat and has raised about 6 feral kittens? It's not a great secret that God is Dog spelled backwards.

Glad you're feeling better!! Blessings!

PS: ALL women have a thing for shoes, cookies, etc. Peggy is not unique....

Diana said...

OH MY GOD (said with a tilting back and forth head like a teen from Ca.)
This sounds just like me when I am forced by my husband to go to the doctor. As I was having a stroke, loosing control of the right side of my body, my husband said you must go to the hospital now. I replied "Can't I wait a bit and see if it goes away!". I hate doctors and hospitals. Nothing personal, it's just usually such a waste of time and money.
I am looking forward to your new series Snow! Love Di ♥

Snowbrush said...

Putz said: "i have allergies and just suffer throught them and now this damned dog is getting allergies medicines cause the doctor says it couldn't be fleas>>>.my question"why coul;dn't iot be fleas"

Maybe he flipped the dog over and looked at its belly, or maybe he injected possible allergens, or maybe he went by specific symptoms. I've spent $2,500+ this year on my two elderly dogs. When I adopted them, it was with the knowledge that the quality and the length of their lives was, in large measure, my responsibility. You begrudge this dog the care it needs, so I'm wondering if this means that you're of the opinion that no pet should receive medical care until all humans receive medical care.

I will agree with you that there should be a limit to what we spend on our pets, the question being where that limit lies. I, frankly, can't say, even for myself. I will add that I think there should be a limit on what we spend on humans too. We (in the U.S.) keep some people alive far beyond any conceivable quality to their lives, even while we allow others to die for whom there might have been hope.

Tonyne said: "I love this post, especially as someone who dislikes doctors and was a Vet Tech..."

Oh, thank you. I feel like I've won the approval of an authority in the field.

"Why is it all nurses I know hate doctors?"

Peggy hates doctors because: (1) she sees how often and how disastrously they screw-up; (2) as arrogant and obnoxious as many doctors are to their patients, they're even more arrogant and obnoxious to nurses; (3) she hears the disrespectful and even contemptuous way in which many doctors talk about their patients. It might surprise you to know that she dislikes women doctors even worse than men doctors because she says they're meaner to nurses, Iof course, have presumed to speak for Peggy, so she might want to correct me.

Diana said: " I hate doctors and hospitals. Nothing personal, it's just usually such a waste of time and money."

In many cases, they're the best option we've got though. In the U.S., life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last century despite the fact that we have become a nation of obese couch potatoes. I can't help but think that much of the credit for that must go to modern medicine. I know that I, for one, have a disease (sleep apnea) that made my life miserable and probably would have killed me by now without the medical advances that have come along just since the early '80s. I don't have figures for strokes, but I do know that your best hope lies in early treatment.

Then again, I've had three surgeries that left me even worse off or that, at best, took years to recover from. The more I know of the harm that modern medicine can inflict, the more cautious I am about taking some of its recommendations. And then, as you pointed out, the bills can pile up in a hurry without the patient having received any benefit whatsoever. Doctors can do very little about most problems their patients bring to them.

Anonymous said...

After you're finish with the "Why do I have to help around the house just because Peggy's the one with the job" blog - I guess we won't be hearing from you any more because you won't be able to type with busted fingers - right Peggy??? And that's too bad because you are absolutely hysterical, ha! ha! ha!

This is why I love reading people's blogs...lordy, lordy it's so much fun. ...St. Lassie, yikes!


Vagabonde said...

You have said something that is so true: “When driving, is it really necessary that Peggy wait until the last possible second to apply the brakes, only to laugh at me for pushing my feet through the floorboard?” This applies to my husband, he does this too, then he says “hold on hold on” while he is laughing – and I am not. I am not amused.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I was rolling with laughter reading this.

Funny thing is... my dogs all have LOVED their vet!

If Peggy reads your blog, especially the end, it's a wonder she doesn't have a frying pan that fits your head!

Zuzana said...

Just like when reading Robert Fulghum, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten", I enjoyed reading this. Loved to see the world from a dogs perspective.
My cat hates the vet, he keeps panting and crying the whole drive there.;) I feel so awful every time he has to go for his checkups and i wish I could explain to him that it is for his own good.;).

nollyposh said...

Lol! i'm with Peggy! X:-P

Kerry said...

OH MY GOD. I just found out I might be Peggy. Either that or my dog Reub is. I can't believe it. (Except for the thing about spiders which I think are kind of cool. And Reub doesn't mind them either.)

Kerry said...

Wait. What is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?I hope I don't have that along with all the rest of it.

Rob-bear said...

Ironically, I just had Sadie into our university's Veterinary Hospital overnight. She was in pretty rough shape when she went in, and didn't object to being poked, and prodded, and checked. But even when I take her to our vet, she goes along quite happily.

As to Peggy and doctors, have you seen the Facebook site, "BE KIND TO NURSES. We keep doctors from accidentally killing you."?

And like Sadie, I actually "enjoy" going to my doctor. He's a wonderful human being, listens to what I say (and takes me seriously), gives me good answers to my questions, and is happy to explore various treatment options.

Like dog, like owner?

All Consuming said...

'What is wrong with Peggy'...hahahah I'm falling about here, I bet she speaks well of you too heheheh. x

Anonymous said...

AGAIN I mentioned you on my blog today.....either we've "got something going" (and we don't) or I'm going to have to insist on some kind of payment plan.

Snowbrush said...

I had a terrible night, and am still very much wasted from the narcotics--and the lack of sleep--but I will nonetheless try to respond to your responses since I'm probably no less qualified to do that right now as I am to do anything else.

Haupi, Vagabonde, Creekhiker, and Zuzana, thanks for much for your comments. Like I told Rhymes, I never know whether my humor will be appreciated, and I'm immensely gratified when it is.

Nollyposh said: "X:-P"

If you are walking down the street someday, and someone suddenly starts strangling you, that will be me, Ms Poshy de Nolly. I will have spent the previous two days in the Seattle airport waiting to catch a standby flight to Australia just for that purpose. You often use abbreviations that I don't have a clue as to what they mean, but even if I learned them, a lot of other readers probably wouldn't know what they mean. Could you, would you, use standard English--please? I know that this request must mark me as an evolutionary relict, but humor me if you will be so kind.

Kerry said: "What is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?"

I'm surprised at you, Kerry. It's a kind of hyperlymphmaticorthopathy, of course. Now, to be serious for a moment, it's an irritated tendon in her wrist that causes a great deal of pain and limits her ability to move the wrist. The doctor gave her a steroid shot, and she's feeling almost as good as new--at least for the time being. He also gave her a brace and some exercises.

All Consuming said: "I bet she speaks well of you too"

God only knows. She goes off with her women friends, and as to what happens once their car disappears around the corner, I wouldn't know.

Rob-bear said: "I actually "enjoy" going to my doctor."

I have two main doctors, and I like both of them. As you might recall, I fired four other orthopedists before I found the one who did my last two surgeries. I was willing to go to all that trouble because I know what it's like to have been operated on by a surgeon whom I didn't like and couldn't communicate with. At the same time, doctors here tend to be harried, and then come their bills and the inevitable hassles with insurance; so I wouldn't go so far as to say that I like going to them--any of them.

Rob-bear said...

Snow, I hear you on "doctors here tend to be harried, and then come their bills and the inevitable hassles with insurance; so I wouldn't go so far as to say that I like going to them--any of them."

Since we have medicare for virtually everyone here in Canada, that's one problem we avoid. The downside is that Canadians haven't a clue what their health care costs. I've raised that issue with some of my professional colleagues. (Who? Me? Raise a little H**l? Nah.)

lakeviewer said...

This sounds like a great series of stories, beginning with visiting the doctor a-la-pooch. You have a serious funny bone.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snow, something tells me you know this already, but if you look at nollyposh's abbreviation sideways, you will see Whoopi Goldberg sticking her tongue out at you. I'm just sayin'...

Rita said...

That was pretty funny.
I hope Peggy appreciates your wit & humor. It must make up for some of your other obvious problems.
Ha! Ha!
:P <---(In case you don't know, that is me sticking my tongue out at you)

Snowbrush said...

Dana said: "AGAIN I mentioned you on my blog today....."

I'll be over sometime today.

Rita said: "your wit & humor. It must make up for some of your other obvious problems."

What me, problems?! Well, okay, so I have one or two. For instance, I'm in constant pain; I have a depressive personality; I'm moody; I'm not generally well-liked; and I'm overly sensitive to criticism (from Peggy, especially). I'm not looking forward to Peggy's series on Snowbrush.

Rhymes said: "if you look at nollyposh's abbreviation sideways, you will see Whoopi Goldberg sticking her tongue out at you."

Whoopi Goldberg is so ugly that I wretch just thinking about her. So, do YOU know what all these symbols mean? Nollyposh uses such things frequently, and I'm clueless. Maybe she gets them from teenagers.

Lakeviewer said: "You have a serious funny bone."

Thank you, Lakeviewer.

Rob-bear said: "The downside is that Canadians haven't a clue what their health care costs."

Which no doubt encourages overspending. I shouldn't be in this much pain from the shoulder that I had operated on in December. I'm awake now because of the pain. If I didn't have to pay a penny for it, I would be screaming for an MRI to see if everything looks okay in there, but an MRI costs $1,400, and I would have to pay $280 of that cost (having already paid the $1,000 that I have to pay every year before insurance will pay anything), so I'm choosing to grit my teeth and hope everything is okay until the time comes when I'm certain it's not.

Rob-bear said...

The Canadian issue is not overspending, its timely care, as opposed to delayed care (as in your case and that of many Americans).

Snowbrush said...

Rob-bear said: "The Canadian issue is not overspending..."

I've no doubt but what people would request more medical procedures if they didn't have to personally pay for them, so if the issue in Canada isn't overspending, you must not perform procedures as freely as we do down here. Either that or you have price controls.

As for timely care, I'm aware that it's a problem in Canada and in England, at least. I could most likely call my orthopedist today and get an MRI this weekend (MRIs are performed seven days a week and at odd hours). Then, if I needed another surgery, I could probably get it done within a month if it wasn't urgent.

rhymeswithplague said...

I know they (nollyposh and others) intend their "abbreviations" to be little faces with various facial expressions when viewed at a 90-degree angle. For instance, a semi-colon for eyes represents a wink, a P represents a stuck-out tongue, a right parenthesis is a smile, a left parenthesis is a frown, and an o for a mouth represent surprise. Some of these little figures wear clown hats and some are men with beards. Put a little more fun in your life! View life from a different angle! I think the technical name for these thingies is "emoticons".

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes said: "I know they (nollyposh and others) intend their "abbreviations" to be little faces..."

Is that what they are? Really? I don't get it. Would any two people interpret X:-P the same way? Oh, well.

Just_because_today said...

I do all of that except the showing my teeth and my ass. He is not interested in either. If it could get me out of the visit, you can be sure I would show him either or both depending on the need.

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

This was too funny! I loved the line, "Leave a trail of urine that a potential rescuer might follow." I never really thought of it like that before. Now I won't be able to help it, every time I see a 'trail of urine'!

Winifred said...

Love it Snowbrush but sorry, I'm with Peggy and the dog/cat/gerbil/monkey/meerkat!

I think Peggy should write chapters too. They would be great! Bet she could tell us a thing or two.

Thanks for your comment about Harry O. I loved Banacek too, George Peppard was fabulous. Why couldn't these studios recognise they had great TV series and they just dumped them. Even loved him in the A Team. Used to have to watch that when the kiddiwinks were into it. Bet the new film isn't a patch on the TV series. I like Liam Neeson but he's not a patch on George Peppard!

JOE TODD said...

My wife has a tee shirt that says she is a Teddy Bear Therapist. I bought it for her I think we both need help