Violation of innocence

By Mir
September 15, 2009

So I took Licorice to the new vet today. I wanted to get her checked out, establish care, and in general just make sure that my little snuzzy wuzzy snookums was doing okay.

Because Licorice came from a local rescue organization, she is “fully vetted” already, which means she’d been to their vet (who is fine, but is not the vet we chose) and dewormed and everything. Of course, AFTER I made her an appointment with the NEW vet, her foster mom mailed to say that, Oops! She needs another set of booster shots! And she can get those for free at the old vet, they will cover it!

After some consideration, I decided to just go ahead with the new vet appointment, even though I’d then be paying for something I could get for free. No on ever accused me of being the brightest bulb on the marquee.

But oh, poor Licorice. I had no idea what she was in for.

The thing you have to understand about Licorice is that she loves everyone. She loves you very much, really, and she is sorry about… well, whatever. She is sorry and she loves you and could you just… maybe… pet her… just a little? Yes? OH! LOVE! And to show her gratitude, she would be happy to coat your face in saliva. Really, it’s no bother. On account of the LOVE.

So she was perfectly happy at the vet’s office (the smells! the sounds! the SMELLS!) and basking in the love the tech was showing her, right up until the tech tried to take her temperature.

If there is a way to tell a dog “Hey, I’m just going to stick this thermometer in your butt for a second,” I don’t think anyone has figured it out yet. And Licorice’s response to having said thermometer inserted into that particular orifice was to actually go a little bit Tazmanian Devil and try to bite. Which surprised the heck out of both of us. (I have never seen her so much as growl.)

This resulted in the vet bringing in a teeny, tiny muzzle for my teeny, tiny now extremely freaked out dog, and the muzzle, of course, froze her mouth in a permanent rictus that was sort of terrifying, and once she was muzzled, I realized I was just as freaked out as she was, and I sat down in the corner while the very nice tech and very nice vet proceeded to violate my poor puppy.

They gave up on taking her temperature, but she did get her shot (unhappy dog) and have her anal glands expressed (very unhappy dog) and then—the crowning indignation—it turned out that her ears were infected, so she had to have them both irrigated and then treated, and SHE WAS NOT PLEASED.

Periodically Licorice would look over at me, sitting in the corner being all helpful by repeating, “It’s okay, you’re alright, good dog, good dog,” and give me a look like WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? GET THEM OFF ME!

When the vet took the super-long Q-tip thing and put it far enough into the dog’s ear that I was sure it would come out the other side, Licorice made a terrible sound and my heart broke and I was sure she would never love me again, because I had let that mean person hurt her.

But when it was all said and done and the muzzle came off, Licorice was very! happy! to be off the table and prancing around, and she had a treat (although I swear she gave the tech a dirty look while taking it from her) and she was all wags in the car and then we came home and she was all, “Oh! HOME! I LIVE HERE! AND NO ONE SWABS MY BRAIN! I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!”

Five minutes later she was asleep, because it’s been a hard day and she would like to put this nightmare behind her.

Unfortunately, I now need to irrigate and treat her ears here at home, TWICE A DAY FOR TWO WEEKS. And I am terrified she’s going to fuss and I am going to wimp out. In an email to her foster mom, I said that really the ointment should come with vodka, but clarified that I meant for me, because I was also traumatized, and added that I had no idea if Licorice even likes vodka.

After sending it, I remembered that not everyone has the same sense of humor that I do, and that maybe I should try not making alcohol jokes here in the south where so many people still regard it as the devil’s water.

Thank goodness she mailed back to say that Licorice prefers gin. Really, after the morning she’s had, I think she deserves it.


  1. JennyM

    Devil’s water? Shoot. Those people are just the ones that don’t want you to tell the Regulators about the still out back.

    I feel you — our big sweetie has big floppy ears and the attendant tendency towards infection, so I have to keep his ears clean and he *hates* it. Of course, he’s so big I have to insert my entire forearm into each ear to reach his brain for the swabbing, and he makes noises like I’m ripping his brain out with my fingernails instead of just giving it a nice rubdown with the ear wash. Afterwards, he retreats to the closet to sulk and eat a Greenie in private, and mama has a glass of wine.

  2. Dawn

    Gin, eh? Clearly, Licorice is a lady with class.

    With 3 cats and a dog, I spent half my life cleaning ears.

    So glad Licorice is working out!

  3. Randi

    I’m glad that you guys are getting along with her so well, but you may want to do a little research into dog behavior. The fact that she wants to love you up may not be her just wanting love, and may, instead, be her trying to be the center of attention/leader/ect. The snapping in the vets office is not a good thing and is something that you should definitely work with her on. We have three large dogs and believe me, training is a CONSTANT, not something that just happens once and then is over.

    I’m sure that with training and love, she’ll turn out to be a great dog for you guys!

  4. Lori N


    About the gin & vodka, not poor Licorice’s experience (or your own). I feel the same way when I take my kids in for shots or allergy testing. They do not forgive as easily anymore! (And flu shots, they are a’comin’)

    I needed a laugh today. Thanks!

  5. Kathy

    I am never sure who I feel worse for in this situation. It is like taking your kids to get their innoculations. It hurts a mommy too.

    P.S. My dog prefers Kahlua – can empty a glass sitting on the table without spilling a drop. :) NAUGHTY DOG!

  6. Katie in MA

    Paying for shots that were already paid for? Ooooh, that crazy cool chick over at Want Not would have words with you. ;)

    Also? I *LOVE* how your Love-Me!Licorice voice is the same as your Excited!Monkey voice. :) Too cute!

  7. Megan

    Seems the vet tech has earned a nip of vodka as well! Both the dogs I’ve had loooved the vet – loved it. It smelled so good! And there were people! To give love and attention! The sweetheart mutt accepted shots (and even surgery to remove her girly bits) as the price required by these wonderful if slightly odd people. The purebred rescue irish setter was too dim to realize that the prodding going on at one end was anything to do with him although now and then he’d get a curious look on his face like, ‘ang on, wait a minute, there’s… OOOH! A SMELL!!”

    However this description brought back memories of the first ever vaccination for Child 1 which I spent cowering in the hall with my hands over my ears (for the record, Child 1 only cried because it wanted to grab the needle and the evil, evil nurse wouldn’t allow that).

  8. Beth R

    The best thing about dogs, though? Tomorrow? She won’t remember any of it. Cats, on the other hand… my cat never did forgive the vet who had to express her infected anal glands. And we went to the same vet for 5 years after that.

    I can’t wait to hear how the kids are doing with Licorice!!

  9. meghann

    Just wait till you have to watch her get the bordetella vaccine. They have to hold them down and squirt it up their nose.

  10. Pam

    We have a cat with ear issues, and my husband used to have a dog with ear issues. Upon discovering the cat’s issues, my husband kindly informed me that they used to use douche to keep the dog’s ears cleaned and dried out. Ladies’ bits’ douche. After blinking at him a good few minutes, I kindly informed him that he could be the one to go to the store for cat ear lady bit douche.

  11. Half Assed Kitchen

    Irrigating ears is better than expressing anal glands. I’m pretty sure.

  12. Nelson's Mama

    Randi sounds like a very wise dog owner – that’s some really fine advise that she’s passed along.

    You can make all the alcohol jokes you want around these parts; as the saying goes “it smells like money”!

  13. Sarah G.

    So apparently dachshunds, or at the least all the ones we have had, are weird. Mine love to have their ears cleaned. They moan and groan as you swab their brains and if you get just the right spot they do the hind leg thing.

  14. Nicki

    We, too, were at the vet yesterday with our new beastie! Bishop (our Great Dane puppy) was shockingly perfect. I know I was more traumatized by the shot than he was.

    In my defense, had they distracted me with the food the way they did him, I would have survived it better. On the other hand…giving me a shot of say…any hard liquor, would have been sufficient, as well.

  15. MomCat

    Liquor and medical care of any kind seems such a natural combination. Guess that’s why they have to put DO NOT TAKE WITH ALCOHOL on so many prescription labels.

  16. Em

    Well I do not blame her one bit for nipping, do you? I hope you both got a nap after all of that. Can I please offer you a bit of advice (just a bit, and maybe it is common knowledge, I just learned it the hard way)? When you treat her ears, do it outside. My German Shepherd needed to have her ears cleaned regularly and treated occasionally and she would shake her head violently after the medicine was in there. Without getting graphic it was a really REALLY gross lesson to learn in my kitchen.

  17. Aimee

    Well at least now you know. You can make her a nice sloe gin fizz before each treatment, and I’m sure she’ll be as docile as a lamb. A pissed off, drunk lamb. ;)

  18. Heidi D.

    Poor Licorice. Poor Mir. Howver, you sure do know how to tell a story. :)
    Not too long ago I had to take my (scaredy) cat to the vet to get his wounds looked at. He’s not a social cat, so he definitely wasn’t happy – but he did stay quiet…. Right up until he had HIS temperature taken. He gave the saddest meow I’ve ever heard. I had to hold him down on the table and I’m surprised he didn’t pee everywhere.
    He did get me back by getting cat hair ALL over my dark blue t-shirt.

  19. Jackie Hall

    OMG poor baby and poor mama having to sit there and watch it all. I think I would have left the room. I’m a wimp like that. The upside is she is getting what she needs so you did the right thing by taking her in to your Dr. of choice. I think I would have tride to bite someone as well if they tried to take my temp that way! haha

  20. liz

    Really, Licorice prefers sambuca. And deserves it.

  21. Tracy

    I don’t blame you at all for bringing her to your choice of vet. I would have done the same thing. And poor Licorice…being violated and all…it’s just not right. I always beg and plead with my Chuck to bring my boys for shots and stuff. I just can’t stand it (even though, I know it’s for the best). I’m so happy Licorice loves everyone…but mostly, you! =)

  22. Mandee

    My 70 pound weimaraner loves the vet. Right up to the point in time when someone wearing scrubs speaks to her. At that point, she would like to (a) sit in my lap or (b) sit behind me on the tiny little bench in the vet’s office. Makes for interesting visits, I can assure you.

  23. Ann

    Isn’t there a licorice flavored liquor that has anise or something in it, maybe little Licorice would like a licorice flavored drink?
    Get thee, Otto and thy kids to a training class without haste. You have nothing else to do on a Sat. morning.
    The ears for now, get as much ear meds in each one as you can without getting you hand, wrist, entire arm bitten!!! and of course, treats if she’s a good little Licorice.

  24. mama speak

    You know, they invented the thermometers for ears for humans, couldn’t they have a version for pets? Makes me think the vets secretly enjoy violating the poor animals. Sounds like they’re up in their ears half the time anyway.

    Licorice strikes me as more of a foofy drink kinda girl. Perhaps a Ramos Fizz would be more to her liking? I’m thinking you need to have a welcome party for her and test all the cocktails. :-)

  25. Neil

    I remember not liking getting my temperature taken either, so I can definitely relate. I think you should go to a different vet next time, one who can better relate to Licorice. It’s the same as finding a good therapist. There has to be the right fit.

  26. Kristi

    I love your sense of humor! And perhaps to show my gratitude, I’d be happy to coat your face in sal…….No, never mind. I’m glad she got over the trauma!

  27. Flea

    Poor wee Licorice. Too bad there’s not catnip for dogs. Bacon might help. Bacon always helps everything.

  28. Debbi

    Good lord! What a day. Congrats on the new dog and sorry you went through all of this! Enjoy that vodka! :-)

  29. queenie

    I can not picture “that face” in (1) a snarl or (2) a muzzle. . . . poor lil girl. . . . (both of you). I’m sure the drinks helped. Next time, do that first.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest