Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Am I being unreasonable?

Asked by Dutchess_III (41750points) 1 month ago

We have had the same vet for 17 years. He knew Dakota and Dutchess well, and the two dogs before them. He’s taken care of all of our cats, too.
At different times in those 15 years a I’ve had more money than others. Sometimes I could pay a bill in full they day of the appointment, other times I asked them to bill me. I always got the bill paid off within 30 days.
Here recently, in the last year or so, he’s started balking at billing me, and I don’t know why. I don’t know if he’s had some bad experiences with some patients so he’s dunning everyone, but it’s starting to piss me off.
Cato has a really bad ear infection and he’s perfectly miserable. I called to make an appointment, and knowing how they feel about billing, I gave them a heads up that I can’t pay them until Friday.
The receptionists (the vets mother) said she’d have to ask him and call me back.
Well, she called back. Said the best they could do is make an appointment for Friday.
WTF?
I said, “No. He can’t wait that long. He is in pain.”
She sounded really regretful and said she understood, but that’s what Johnson said.
Well, he just lost a customer.

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80 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Can you pay with a credit card? The doctor gets his money, and you get three weeks or more to pay.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You may not get another Vet to bill you, they may check where you were last to get records and . . . “Payment at time of service”. is what you;ll hear.
Can you show up with Credit card??

zenvelo's avatar

Not paying at time of service causes extra costs for the provider. And it causes headaches such as unacceptable collection rates. The Vet has to cover the overhead while you may or may not pay on Friday.

Pay with a credit card.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t do credit cards, guys. I don’t have one. I mean, I have credit at places like Wal Mart, Amazon, Best Buy, but as far as credit cards, no.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have owned a business. It only costs marginally more. It just requires sending out an invoice every month. However, I usually got what ever bill paid off before an invoice was sent.
It can turn into a snarled mess though, with collections and crap like that, and I understand that. But that’s what has me so upset. I’m damn good for it and he knows it.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Phone another Vet and check if you could pay later , since the dog is in pain
( should had been the priority of the Vet rather than payment ).
I thought “all” veterinarians were compassionate?
Hmm or phone back and only talk with the Vet? Perhaps the “mother ” decided on her own….?
Go to the source not the mother…or go to another Vet and check out the payment procedures.

This got me thinking what if this was a emergency? ( payment later would be accepted then?)

chyna's avatar

@Inspired_2write Unfortunately where I live, they do have an emergency vet open all night and weekends, but you have to pay 100.00 up front before they will even take your pet in. They will bill you for the rest, but no 100.00, no visit. Sad.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@chyna

Wow, and the poor pet has to suffer?
Priorities mixed up with the veterinarian..I suppose they had been taken advantage of in the past and now paint everyone with the same brush?( try explaining it to them..maybe compassion will take over.

canidmajor's avatar

More and more vets are doing this because people often just don’t pay. I don’t feel you’re being unreasonable, but I feel that a visit to the vet is in order to discuss your long term business connection and the possibility of a payment plan. A plea made in person may result in some success, you never know. I have had some positive results doing this.

Good luck, and I hope the pup is better soon!

LadyMarissa's avatar

With both my Walmart & Amazon credit, I received a Visa or Mastercard that I can also use to pay my vet. I just make sure to pay off the card at the end of the month so there is no interest charged. You might contact Care Credit as they often give credit for medical situations whether it’s human or animal. That way you would have a month to pay it off. IF, by chance, the amount charged is large, they also give you a “same as cash” option which can extend the pay off date for 6 months to 5 years depending on the amount charged. The only time i needed that, I simply paid a double payment every month so I had it paid off in half the time & still not charged any interest.Even the small town I live in, the vets have stopped extending credit to all their customers.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe you should get a credit card. There are plenty of free ones.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s disturbing that your vet and his mother are unwilling to factor your 17 year relationship into this emergency. But like the others here, I must suspect that the vet’s back may be against the wall regarding outstanding or uncollectible bills. But the issue is secondary to say the least to the fact that your dog is suffering. This is not the time to be shopping for a new vet. Your situation is the exact illustration as to why life without a credit card is more or less untenable. Do what it takes. Borrow the money, visit the hock shop, offer the doc the title to your car as ransom.

SEKA's avatar

Talk to your bank about taking out a short-term loan. Often they can be interest free if paid off in less than 30 days

Dutchess_III's avatar

I found a vet who was willing to wait until Friday. As a bonus I like him a lot better than my old vet, who is now dead to me. This guy quickly diagnosed an ear infection and treated it on the spot. My old vet would have said he needs to keep him over night (which is a boarding charge) and then knock him out, then put him in a warm pool of water so the crap will float out of his ears….we went through this with Dakota. The bill was $200+.
This bill at the new vets was $52.00.
Vet expressed strong concern about Cato’s aggression, though. They had to muzzle him to work on him.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Good for you. I’m curious about the old vet though and why the change.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s been ginching about it for a year. Seems like bad business to me, especially with a customer of 17 years who has always faithfully paid.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In addition to finding excuses to overcharge, he is always pushing really expensive pet products. Maybe that’s coming back to bite him.

si3tech's avatar

Not unreasonable at all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you. I have no doubt that he’s got customers who haven’t paid him. I understand that. But it’s ME dude! You spayed our dog back in 2002.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. You can always get diagnostics, from a vet, and buy appropriate medication elsewhere.
You could also make it a habit of cleaning Cato’s ears. That would potentially stop further issues.

Having to use a muzzle, isn’t that uncommon. The dog just knows it’s in pain. It doesn’t necessarily understand that people are trying to help it. Usually, there is a restraining tech, and one doing whatever procedure. If properly restrained, a dog doesn’t need a muzzle.
Restraint technique, is universal. One person puts their arm around the dog’s neck, and another arm, around the area in need. Less, is more. The restraining tech comforts the dog, while protecting the other tech/doctor.
Ear medicine, is often cheap, and effective. If you could get Rick, to restrain Cato. You’re probably good. I used to put an arm around the dog’s neck, the other around it’s shoulder, and a leg over the back end. Typically, I did all of this, on the floor. Dogs don’t like being on a table.
Muzzles, are affordable, and work well. But. They make many dogs, uncomfortable. As you have taken away their main defense.
Try having Rick, restrain Cato. Squirt the necessary meds, into his ears, and massage them gently. Then let the dog go. It will likely shake it’s head a lot. But. Then, it’s done. The head shaking, is beneficial, as it loosens, and clears the ears… But. It works. As long as the infection was properly diagnosed, and treated with the correct ear wash…
It’ll save money, and build the understanding between your dog, and it’s ability to be helped.

Using dog treats, in the process, won’t hurt. The faster you can do it, the better.
If he’ll let you, you can clean his ears, with a paper towel, or something. But, depending on the dog’s ears, he may be susceptible, to ear infections. You can mitigate these infections, by cleaning his ears. Get as much gunk as possible, out of those ears, while he chows down on a snack….

And make sure to rub his ears. Dogs have very sensitive ears. It feels good to them, to rub their ears…

Dutchess_lll's avatar

They have an office visit charge of some odd amount like $42.26. The rest only came up to $14.00. He got an antibiotic shot. That isn’t something I could give the dog. And you can’t get antibiotics OTC.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

It took 2 assistants to hold him down while the doc cleaned and inspected.

jca2's avatar

He was probably aggressive because the vet was hurting him.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

It was before he touched him. Cato started growling and lunging the minute he walked into the room. :[

They muzzled him.

Sagacious's avatar

He can run his practice the way he wants.

You can go to any vet you want.

Beautiful…from sea to shining sea.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@Dutchess_lll
I hope that your dog was not mistreated at your regular vet and now its afraid, thus the response when going to a new vet?

tinyfaery's avatar

Glad it worked out. I’d make sure to call the original vet and tell him that he lost your business.

Also, why would you have store credit cards which have ridiculously high interest rates and not a regular credit card that you could use anywhere with a lower interest rate?

longgone's avatar

While I understand the vet’s perspective to some extent, I would not continue to take my dog to see someone who so obviously lacks compassion.

To me, the deciding factor is the dog’s pain. At the very least, this guy should have gotten on the phone with you and talked about a payment plan or ways to relieve Cato’s pain until he can be taken in. It’s irresponsible of him to simply leave you hanging.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, he’s never mistreated any other dog we’ve had over the last 17 years @Inspired_2write.

(Because I get them paid off in within a couple of months @tinyfaery. I only use them at Christmas time.)

Right @longgone? That is exactly how I felt.

OMG Cato is feeling SO MUCH better. He slept this morning, calmly, without thrashing around.
Yesterday, however, he kept staring at me accusingly!

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’d definitely look into some training help.

longgone's avatar

^ Yes. But a good trainer, not someone who makes it worse by yanking the leash, kicking his flanks, or otherwise continuing to scare Cato.

I’m happy he’s feeling better, @Dutchess_III!

MrGrimm888's avatar

When properly used, a “choke leash,” isn’t cruel. Certainly no yanking, or actual choking involved.
Kicking a dog, is animal abuse. Punishable by fines, or prison time.
I would add. If someone kicked my dog, I’d stomp a puddle, in their ass…

longgone's avatar

@MrGrimm888 It’s as cruel as choking is, in general. It’s a noose around your dog’s neck, and just one lunge can collapse his trachea. Dogs present with whiplash and heightened eye pressure. Would you put a choke collar on a toddler as long as you could make sure it was “properly used”?

Come on. Go with the times. You don’t need to use pain to have a dog who listens to every word, immediately. It’s lazy and sad, especially as dogs are generally joyful learners. Find what motivates yours, and watch him lap it up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The very nature of a choke leash is cruel. Hence the word “choke.”

Your support means every thing to me @longgone. BTW, he does NOT like little green aliens on Mom’s chest. He is such a dork fish. I just don’t feel like I can trust him whole heartedly. I need to watch him around the kids, and that’s a problem when you have 4 or 5 kids in different places around the house and in the yard. And secluding Cato just to keep them away from him is mean, because he loves the kids, and the kids love him. Sigh. He was such an even tempered, cool customer at the pound. He showed NO signs of aggression.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@longgone . When properly used, the lead is positioned around the jaw line. Not the throat. When pulled tight, it keeps the dog’s head up, and usually doesn’t take long to get the best response. I usually get a disciplined reaction, in a day. I’m not talking about one, with metal spikes. And FYI, it was mandatory to have two leads, on a dog, when I worked at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital.

A dog, on a loose slip collar, can pull out, and run into traffic. That isn’t good. Horses, have bits. That’s far more cruel, to me. Once a dog is trained on a choke leash, it doesn’t deviate.
Horses, get it far worse. I don’t like either. But. If you have an animal you have to train, it takes a bit of tough love. Dogs, usually adapt quickly. So. You don’t have to be cruel to them, for long.

I completely understand your concern. But. In the end, it is beneficial to the dog. Just like humans. I needed some similar practices. Or. I’d be a monster…

I didn’t practice reward systems. I tought the dogs, to understand that I was in charge. And had excellent dogs. They did what I asked, because I would be upset. It’s a brief summary of what I trained them to do. In the end, they wanted to do what I commanded. It was how they seemed to like it. It may seem cruel. And, I can’t argue with that. But. They understood that doing what I want, was their mission. And I would award them, with affection, and love.

Maybe, I am wrong. But. All my dogs, were trained to do what I wanted. They didn’t do it, because of a reward system. They did it, because I was the Alpha…
They didn’t disobey, because they wanted a treat. They understood the rank.
They would walk through fire, if I asked. They would protect me, from ANYTHING.
I was the Alpha, and the resource provider. They would die for me. And don’t forget that I would die, for them.
We are a team. They get that. They understand our relationship. It’s symbiotic.

There’s nothing to take from it, than that. IMO…

Again. With all due respect.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: If you can’t afford to hire a dog trainer, maybe you could ask the vet or his employees for some advice. It would be very sad if you had to give Cato up due to something that might be “fixable,” especially since you seem really fond of him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am very, very fond of him, but I must have a dog who doesn’t need to be “fixed”. I’ve had at least half a dozen dogs in my life and I have never encountered anything like this. I mean, if it has to be fixed, no telling when it could break again. Too scary with little kids.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. I have my opinions. But, I can’t argue with Dutch’s statements.
I would hope that if, you get tide of him, you give him to a “no kill” shelter. Sounds like he’s just trying to protect you. But. I completely understand the situation.

My parents had a German Shepherd, that was unpredictable. When I was born, he was given to a LEO agency. Where his temperament, was valuable.
I personally think Cato, is fixable. But. I understand that you have to be able to trust him, not to hurt your family.
I’m sure it isn’t an easy decision too.

I trust your judgement Dutch. Not, that it matters. But. Do what’s best, for your family.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

He has this thing about jumping at your face if you bend down. I guess that’s just dog behavior, playing, but I’m afraid it’ll turn into a snap.
So we’ve been working on me
bending toward him and discouraging the jumping. So finally he didn’t and he got his pecan half because we’re out if dog treats.
If it was just Rick and me I could just push through. But it’s not.
God I miss Dakota.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I would not give him to any shelter. We’d hand select his new home. I’d pay for a background check.
Now I’m starting to cry.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: In my opinion, you’re getting ahead of yourself. You express concern about his behavior but he hasn’t done anything bad yet. You haven’t tried to speak to any professional about his behavior. I think you should talk to the vet about things you can do. Don’t give up yet. Don’t have a defeatist attitude.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The vet I saw on Monday expressed concern about his behavior. He said having kids in the middle while we figure this out can be very bad.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: Did you ask the vet for advice?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Yes. He was pretty adament that this is not a dog to have around small kids.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. The decision, is up to you. .I personally know that some dogs, cab be trained out of this behavior.
He’s just trying to protect you, and his family.
Try some training classes, with him….
I hate to see an animal, given up, because he loves his family.
But, I understand that you have to make decisions about now he could hurt others.
It is sad to get rid of a dog, that just wants to protect it’s family. .Try to get the training down. And move on from there.
Just my opinion. ...

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll When I asked if you asked the vet for advice, I didn’t mean advice about whether it’s a dog to have around kids. I meant advice about the dog’s behavior and ways to modify it. In other words, training tips.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did not specifically ask him for training tips. I was busy trying to help the assistants hold the dog down.
The vet was just adamant that Cato is not a dog that should be around children. He told a story about another assistant who knows dogs. He said she can read their minds. But there was this one dog, his tail was wagging, he seemed perfectly happy, but out of no where the dog jumped and laid her face wide open.
Last year I taught in a tiny district out in the country. There was one little girl and her lower jaw was utterly disfigured and scarred. Her entire face from the jaw down. Dog.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I am not sure why you are missing my point. Maybe you didn’t have time to ask for advice when you were there with your sick dog, but you certainly have time to call the vet or stop by and discuss training with him another time. My point is you can ask the vet for training tips or ask his assistants for training tips on the phone or some other time when you are not with your dog.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I will @jca2. I just didn’t want to take up too much of his time because they were gracious enough to squeeze me in at the last moment.

longgone's avatar

That can be a great idea if the vet has qualifications in canine behaviour. I would check first. From dog trainers in America, I’m hearing that the standard vet’s training doesn’t get into learning theory.

jca2's avatar

@longgone: I’m just looking for some ideas for @Dutchess_III, who I don’t think has a lot of money. I know she is fond of the dog and just trying to come up with some ideas that might help so she doesn’t feel compelled to give the dog away.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m working with @longgone. Speaking of, you said you had a list of trainers to share with me?

longgone's avatar

@jca2 I think that’s really kind and a good idea. Even if your current vet doesn’t have the qualifications I mentioned, @Dutchess_III, it could help to look around for one that does. Not only will he be able to offer advice for you to take home, but he would also have a better idea of how to handle Cato. Muzzles, while maybe necessary, can teach the dog dangerous lessons.

PS: See your PMs, @Dutchess_III.

longgone's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I don’t like the idea of a dog being jerked around by his jawline any better. That’s crazy. It hurts them. And I don’t buy the argument that some people or dogs need pain to stop them from becoming monsters. I think you would have turned out beautifully without any of it.

If you have an animal you have to train, it takes a bit of tough love. Dogs, usually adapt quickly. So. You don’t have to be cruel to them, for long.

I would like to understand this. Why do you think you need to be cruel? What’s your goal? How do you know you can stop being cruel? Is it once they obey?

@Dutchess_III ‘I must have a dog who doesn’t need to be “fixed”. I’ve had at least half a dozen dogs in my life and I have never encountered anything like this. I mean, if it has to be fixed, no telling when it could break again.’

That’s overly pessimistic. It’s like saying that a teenager who has issues with his temper will never be trustworthy. Cato is young. He has fear issues. If you can remove the fear, there is no reason for the aggression to ever resurface. And if you can learn to read him, he might turn out to be your safest dog yet.

For example, a dog wagging his tail is not automatically happy. It matters how fast they wag. How high. The whole tail, or just the tip? It even matters whether they are favouring the left or the right side!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@longgone @MrGrimm888 is just hung up on his idea of macho male dominance as the only way to go. Many men can’t even imagine any other way. They don’t think any other way will work.
Cato respects me, and listens to me (most of the time.) Rick is more macho and aggressive and Cato just ignores him.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@longgone .
First off, I never said anything about yanking them around. I mentioned the word cruel, because I assumed that you would think that it was.
If you hurt a dog, they will vocalize. They don’t vocalize, when you are just holding their heads up.

Dutch. I have nothing but respect for you. But. I often find your comments about men, VERY offensive. Your latest comments, are no different.

For such a kind, and intelligent lady, you sure enjoy bashing ALL males…

Not that you probably care. But, I’m very disappointed with you.

I have offered my advice. Because I know that you love Cato, and I don’t want you to suffer, by giving him away.
I am concerned about your feelings. And I am concerned about your family’s safety, and that of Cato’s.

I will now be leaving this thread. Sorry for caring.

longgone's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Vocalizations are one calming signal, but there are many others. The dogs who wear choke collars lick their lips when their owners touch them. They shake themselves off. They blink, yawn, look away, scratch themselves, and sniff the ground. To another dog, all those little cues mean “Please stop. You’re hurting/scaring me. This is too much.” Most dogs understand this immediately, but humans do not. In fact, they often punish the dog’s calming behaviours. That’s like smacking a child for crying.

Regardless of the pain, I disagree with punishment-based training in general. It seems unethical to me. If I were to start smacking you randomly and chattering at you in Farsi until you happen to understand that I’ll stop whenever you take off your coat, would you enjoy the training sessions with me? Would you like me? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to understand if I taught you what I want you to do, instead of punishing everything I don’t want?

I really wanted to understand your position, but I respect that you’re tired of discussing it. And I sympathize with the frustration you must be feeling from having your position invalidated because you’re male. That does not seem fair. Plenty of women use the exact same methods with their dogs. And I would hate for anyone to say my argument is “typically female”, whatever that is.

@Dutchess_III The article doesn’t show up, but if it states that a dog putting his paw on you is “displaying domincance”, that’s entirely made up. Lifting paws is often play and sometimes an appeasing gesture.

Here’s a good summary on the science of social status in dogs.

hrairoo's avatar

“And I sympathize with the frustration you must be feeling from having your position invalidated because you’re male. That does not seem fair. Plenty of women use the exact same methods with their dogs.”

@longgone and their husbands! though I’ve certainly stumbled into the wrong thread here… I know very little about the mysteries of houndhood aside from a handful of tricks my lady trained me to perform on our nature walks—she’s a lifelong dog devotee.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: You don’t address @longgone‘s comments: @Dutchess_III: ‘I must have a dog who doesn’t need to be “fixed”. I’ve had at least half a dozen dogs in my life and I have never encountered anything like this. I mean, if it has to be fixed, no telling when it could break again.’

That’s overly pessimistic. It’s like saying that a teenager who has issues with his temper will never be trustworthy. Cato is young. He has fear issues. If you can remove the fear, there is no reason for the aggression to ever resurface. And if you can learn to read him, he might turn out to be your safest dog yet.

I agree with her that you are being very pessimistic. It’s almost like you want to give Cato away and are trying to justify it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. That is not it @jca2. I would not have agreed to get him in the first place. I don’t fool myself.
I am pessimistic because I’ve never had a dog who seemed so ready to snap and bite before. We’re taking 4 of the grandkids next Friday, overnight. They are at eye level with Cato. It scares me.

@longgone Thanks for the video. I recognize the signs of stress and concern in dogs. But what was stressing the Border Collie out? That’s what worries me. There is nothing , that I know of, to stress Cato out, but he still stresses.
He freaked out at a door opening yesterday! A door that he punched open! He freaks when things seem to move all by themselves, which actually tells me he’s smart.
I’ll look into trainers today.

chyna's avatar

I had a male boxer that I got from a rescue. He seemed aggressive and I was uncomfortable with him, so I found a woman that trained police dogs. Big mistake. She used a choke chain and was too aggressive towards the dog which made him scared. She was trying to show me how to get him to lay down by having my foot on his leash and hand on his collar. He snapped and bit clear through my hand between my thumb and index finger. She grabbed him by the leash and swung him and then dropped him. She said boxers were too aggressive, but she could train it out of him. Hell no, you are not swinging my dog by the neck to train him! Besides, I had to get back in my car with him. Alone.
They took him back at the rescue and homed him with someone that was more of an “alpha dog” than I am.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How horrible @chyna. What is wrong with some people? Would those same people think that slinging a child into a wall is a fine kind of discipline?

Well, I just got off the phone with Kay9, which is a dog training place in Kay County, OK. They use positive reinforcement techniques. $60 for 7 weeks, which isn’t too bad.

Got both vets PIF too.

Brian1946's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Is that $60 the total for 7 weeks, i.e., about $8.57/week?

About how far do you live from Kay County?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh we go there regularly. It’s Ponca. It’s only about 30 minutes away. Takes about as long as going to Wichita.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The article says if he puts his paw on you it’s sign of affection @longgone. It seems affectionate to.me.

longgone's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ah, good. That is incredibly cheap. I hope they are good enough to help you. The video on resource guarding that I found on their facebook page is promising. Congratulations on taking a good first step! When do you start?

“There is nothing, that I know of, to stress Cato out, but he still stresses.”

There’s two things I can think of. One is Rick. I’m sorry to say this, but from the things you’ve told me, his attitude towards Cato could have a big effect. Watch Cato for those signs of stress when Rick is scolding him or being impatient, then you’ll know for sure. If he’s being swatted (by anyone), that is a guarantee for calming signals and a stressed-out dog. Sudden loud noises and the training techniques using startle effects (like spraying water) have similar effects.

To what extent this affects dogs long-term varies wildly. Some take occasional scares in stride. These are often members of the more stoic breeds like Newfoundlands, Labs, Beagles, Bulldogs. Others need much more time to feel okay again – such as herding dogs, watch dogs (Boxers!) and most small and fluffy breeds. Cato seems to be a very sensitive dog. The levels of stress hormone cortisol have been found to remain increased after an initial situation for up to seven days. That’s why a single incident (like a scary alien) can ruin your week.

The other cause I can think of is lack of stimulation. If he is confined to your house and yard most days, that is not enough mental input for a young dog. I know you play fetch with him, and that’s great – but he needs to see the actual outside world. He needs walks to use his mind. Not only would daily walks lower his stress levels, but they would also aid in getting him more accustomed to changes in the environment. The outside world is always changing. Leaves blow. Trashcans move. There’s squirrels, birds, sudden plastic bags, people’s voices, incredible smells, and even other dogs. Suddenly, an errant alien is not such a big deal anymore.

Victoria Stilwell, a British dog trainer who is mostly force-free, has a good episode on the necessity of stimulation. You can watch it here. It defies the belief that some breeds are just easygoing, by showing two Labradors who are going stir-crazy.

@chyna What a horrible experience. I’m sorry. Dog trainers do so much damage. Very often, it’s the first dog trainer who creates aggression toward humans.

@hrairoo Ha! That’s another story, and probably one I’m not qualified to comment on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you. Yes, I need to take him on walks..but I can’t walk very long. It throws my back out. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

That was weird. I just received a long ass bill from the vet I fired yesterday. Normally, if we even have a bill (which we usually didn’t,) they just sent a small statement it out in a small envelope. This was in a long, full size envelope. It went back a year, to the time we put Dakota down in January of 2019. I don’t know exactly what point he was trying to make, since I paid it off yesterday. Maybe he sent it out before I paid it off? So weird, like, some sort of passive aggressive statement.
Anyway, I’m super happy with my new vet.

longgone's avatar

@Dutchess_III I see. That's a problem. Can it be Rick’s responsibility? Or maybe you can find someone else to help. A neighbour or family member you can repay by doing something you’re more suited to do? The solution can’t be for Cato to stay on the grounds all day. Imagine if you had to do that, and you didn’t have books/TV/chores/Fluther, and every single thing you thought up as entertainment was illegal? How long until you’d start snapping at people? That’s what life is like for too many dogs.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Rick is actually changing too. We’ve had a fewv discussions about modeling behavior. He is trying.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: Can Rick take Cato for walks?

Dutchess_III's avatar

He won’t. I mean, he will, once or twice, but I can’t count on him to do it consistently.
Man, I wish it would warm up!

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: If you explained to Rick that Cato needs some regular walks, and how it would help the situation, do you not think he’d be willing to chip in and help?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

One or two times.

jca2's avatar

Forgive me, but I don’t understand why if you told Rick that this is what the dog needs, and it would help with the situation of the dog’s aggression, why Rick wouldn’t be willing to take the dog for some walks. Stubborn? Selfish?

longgone's avatar

Yes, what are his reasons? Did you guys not know a dog needs walks? Serious question. Or is it more a matter of walks with Cato being very unpleasant? What would Rick give as his reasons?

It’s nice that he’s trying to change. Maybe he can try here, too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Until you pointed out what walks can do, I always assumed it was just for exercise, like for dogs who live in apartments or in the city and stuff. We have a double lot. Huge lot. He runs. He gets plenty of exercise. But I have other reasons for needing to take him on walks now. I’ll just wear my back brace. Wish it would stop raining.

He was amazing this morning. Unbeknownst to me Rick is quite sick. Chris and the kids came over yesterday at about 2:00 and Rick was still in bed…not unheard of on a Saturday. Chris and Rick were going to get the new to us camper up and running, but we were lacking a certain part. Rick got up and got dressed, said “Hi,” then walked out the door saying, “I’m going to Walmart to get an adapter.”
Four year old Cooper cries out “Oh, I LOVE IT!”
My son says, “An ADAPTER, Cooper, not a RAPTOR!” Cooopy loves Dinos
Anyway, Rick came back with no success. We have to order it online. So they left and Rick promptly went back to bed, without saying a word. So I went in and asked what was wrong. He was sick. He was running a fever.
He slept clear through until this morning.
In the mornings Cato tends to run a little wild on the bed for about 10 minutes, after we let him out and back in.
He didn’t do that this morning.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Default training seems to be going well. I had a treat for him ( a fake dog bone thing) which hd couldn’t have until he laid down. We’ve practiced 5 times today.

Actually, since you and I have been talking @longgone I have been rewarding him for lying calmly! That’s from the very, very beginning. This is just an extension of it.

I have another idea for when company comes over. I’m going to get a yummy cow bone from our local butcher. One that still has some pretty good meat on it. I’ll save it in the freezer. When people come over, I’ll give that to him. That should distract him for a while.

Rick is still really sick. :( I imagine I’m next.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I forgot to mention that it takes about 3 days of diligent work to get the meat off, then they start working on the marrow. I am hoping that if I pull the bone out of the freezer and give it to him it would keep him distracted long enough to CTFD! Then, when he decides the kids are more interesting, I’ll put the bone back in the freezer for the next time.

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