Today was Felix’s first time going to a doctor. He went to the dentist last week, but has never been to a doctor’s office or been with me during an exam.
We walked in and he did an excellent job as usual with the automatic doors. Those things are second nature to him! He lay down as we got checked in.
Then we (Brad, too) headed over to the chairs in the waiting room. I decided that since this doctor’s office is usually very quick, we’d work on stays with the mat but without the chew that he usually uses for long down stays. I was pretty anxious that he would misbehave, so I was giving him a tiny pinch of hotdog about every 15 seconds. I am sure I could have gone longer between treats, but when I get anxious I tend to just shove treats in my dogs’ faces LOL!
We were called back a few minutes later. The nurse took my temperature, and Felix just stood next to me for that. But then as we passed the nurse to walk down the hallway, he went up on his back legs like he wanted to say hi. The leash prevented him from doing a paws up on the nurse (I’ve been working on paws up on me at home, so this is his latest go-to behavior).
We sat down in the room, and I sat in a regular chair with Felix on my right. Felix has never sat on my right before—always on my left or in front of me. But the room was set up so these positions didn’t make sense. He did a good job of staying on his mat while the nurse asked us questions.
Then she wanted to take my blood pressure. I had forgotten about this! So I held Felix’s leash so he couldn’t reach her if he tried, and put him in a sit stay on his mat. Of course the blood pressure cuff made strange noises, so he was interested, broke his stay and went to the end of his leash to try to sniff what was going on. Not wonderful, but not terrible.
When the nurse left, she shut the door. Even though we were JUST talking in my email group about how doctors like to knock on doors before entering exam rooms, somehow I managed to forget about this. So I forgot to ask her to leave the door open so the doctor could just come on in.
Felix was doing a wonderful down when suddenly “KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK” very loudly on the door! It startled me and Felix, but Felix handled it really well! He of course broke his down and got up and was very interested about who was at the door and coming in. But he didn’t bark or anything! I got him back to focusing on me, but he at this point wasn’t interested in being on his mat to my right, and instead wanted to be in front of me on the linoleum floor. So I figured it was OK and just rewarded his downs in this position.
Brad had his appointment first, and got his new parking placard application. The doctor had to leave the room real quick, and when she came back in, she knocked loudly again! Dang it, I had forgotten to leave the door open again! Luckily Felix handled it just the same. He broke his stay and got up and went towards the door a bit to investigate, but no barking! I’ll take that!
Then it was my turn. While I was explaining about the refill I needed, Felix was great! Then she asked if she could listen to me breathe and hear my heart. I thought about leaving him on the floor as I got up on the table, but the distance was too far that I couldn’t reach him to give a treat if he needed it. So I brought him up on my lap, which is where I prefer my dogs to be anyway!
He did a great job hanging out in my lap as the doctor listened to my heart and lungs.
We didn’t need anything else, so we headed out and Felix did a great heel on the way out of the building.
I am quite proud of him! The only things that weren’t great were him trying to do a paws up on the nurse, and him breaking his stay during my blood pressure check. But those are pretty minor things that I know will be easily solved with time. He was not nervous at all about being in a doctor’s office. He acted like he’d smelled these smells before and was not at all worried. Go Felix!
Brad is really tired, so we didn’t get any pictures.