i love nyc. even with many of the challenges it provides on a daily basis, i just love ny. ♥ there are however, some things i am still working on coming to peace with; things like the ny dmv, the subway during rush hour and the
inept humane society. other than these few things, i love almost everything about this city.
the other day i made an appointment at a local country vet up here in the woods near susan’s country retreat, where i have spent a good part of the summer so far. for ivan’s monthly rx refill, i generally go to the humane society on e. 59th street. reading this previously blogged post on the humane society will give you a hint as to my feelings about the service they provide. i had an additional visit with them since that post, but i was so upset by it, i chose to work on my anger towards the people who work there (who i am sure are doing the best they can under the circumstances they find themselves in daily, but still. . . ), rather than blog about it. that visit was one month ago and my blood pressure has now returned to it’s normal level and i think i’m ready to compare my last visit at the vet in nyc to my recent visit to woodhill veterinary clinic in upstate ny.
my last appointment at the humane society in the city was scheduled for 2:30 in the afternoon. i arrived on time, signed in and sat down in the 12′x15′ waiting area alongside about 15 other people and their animals. dogs were barking wildly, cats meowing, and 1 guy was standing over by the reception area (approximately 4 feet from the sitting space) with a ferocious pit bull. this dog obviously trained for fighting, was inside a crate, fully muzzled and bucking like a wild boar to escape the crate. the crate was moving around as the owner attempted to hold it still. animals in the waiting area were reacting in fear (as were most of the humans).
ivan is almost 14 ( 98 in dog years ), cannot stand for long periods of time and gets nervous in crowds. after approximately 5 minutes he began to shake and that soon morphed into an all out anxiety attack. at 3:00 i went back to the reception area where i waited 15 minutes for someone to acknowledge me.
me: ”hi, i had an appointment for 2:30 and it’s now 3:15. my dog is having a really hard time and i was wondering how much longer you think we’ll have to wait.”
receptionist: “i don’t know. we’re very busy.”
about 5 minutes later, they called in a patient who had arrived well after ivan and i. then another. at 3:45, i noticed a sign on the wall stating the office closes at 4:00. the agitated woman sitting next to me told me her appointment was for 2:45. i sympathized and let her know mine was at 2:30. i went back to reception to make sure ivan’s file hadn’t fallen through the cracks. as i waited for a human being to come to the reception window, the bucking pitbull managed to separate the top half from the bottom half of his crate and bust out right next to me. he was held back from the crowd by his owner & at that point, the staff thought it would be a good idea to get him out of the public area, and put him in the next available room. following that incident, they called in the woman with the appointment scheduled for 2:45!
i was furious and ivan could barely stand. he had been shaking steadily for more than 1.5 hours when a staff member finally came to the window it was 4:10. before i had the opportunity to inform him of my grievances, he yelled at me.
“i know you’re here! and no, we didn’t lose your chart! there are a lot of sick dogs here!”
this, he says, as i stood with my 98 year old dog who was practically having seizures at that point?
i promptly left. ivan & i stood outside the door on east 59th street wondering how we were going to make it 7 blocks to get home in the condition we were in.
this months vet visit was quite a different experience. we arrived in time for our 1:00 appointment to find one sweet woman with her bouncy 10 month old labrador puppy in the waiting room. a minute or two after our arrival, a woman from the local wildlife conservation society rushed in with a small cat crate under her arm. it contained a baby deer. the animal techs rushed her into a back room right away.
fawn emergency & all, we were seen immediately. dr. susan tanner examined ivan and wrote his rx. as i stood at the reception desk while my bill was being printed, a call came in. the woman kindly apologized for having to take the call. it was for a goat spay.
me: “do you get a lot of people calling for appointments to spay their goat?”
receptionist: “oh yes, we do a lot of that.”
on that note, i smiled and left the office 25 minutes after i had arrived.
thank you dr. tanner & co.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
~ Mother Teresa