After my third visit to the veterinarian this month and the millionth visit in the lifetime of my dog, I would like to offer the following suggestion: There needs to be two areas for pet owners to check out.
One for owners who have brought their pet in for a standard check-up or a similar non-life-threatening visit and a separate area for people whose pets have died or are dying.
This morning I was standing behind a weeping woman and her confused son as they paid the bill for their dying cat. Huddled in a small box on the counter, the cat apparently has days to live (as the owner just learned), and I was forced to watch her spill tears onto the cat while she waited for the employee behind the counter to prepare her medications and calculate her bill.
It isn’t the first time this has happened. I have watched people collapse to the floor and weep upon learning that their pet has died, and while I might do the same, it would be nice if these displays of sorrow could be done in a more private setting.
Perhaps bring the bill to the examination room rather than asking these poor souls to check out like the rest of us.
This poor woman (and her befuddled boy) didn’t need me or the lady and her three kids waiting behind me staring at her during this moment of sadness, and I did not need to bear witness to this grief.
It hurt my heart.
Adding to my displeasure was a bulletin board to my right, full of cards thanking the veterinarians for helping to ease various pets into a painless death.
I was surrounded by sorrow, and frankly, I didn’t like it one bit.
When the weeping cat owner was forced to contest her bill in between sobs, it all became too much for me, and for a moment, I considered exiting without paying.
The dine-and-dash equivalent of the veterinary world.
Had I not required a follow-up visit and some medication, I might have done just that.
So please, a separate area for grieving pet owners. One far away from us less tortured souls and allowing for the privacy that these pet owners need.
Oh, and to the woman who was standing behind me with her three children:
If your daughter is so frightened of dogs that she literally screams whenever one approaches, perhaps it would be best to not bring her to the veterinarian's office.
Every time my dog even looked in her direction, she screamed.
I wanted to tell the little girl to grow up, but we already had one person crying in line, and I did not want to add another.