The Price of Saving Money

The Price of Saving Money

So, I have a horrible confession…we haven’t given Liam heartworm medicine for almost 6 months. I know, that’s pretty bad. We keep him up-to-date on his shots and we love our dog, but it was pure economics. After Christmas, we were really broke. To get Liam heartworm medicine, our vet requires he have his annual check-up in order to purchase another year of medication. So, it ends up being $130+ once you pay for the visit fee, the test, and the medicine. Quite frankly, we just didn’t have that much extra money, considering we are still paying the vet for Liam’s hospitalization last year.

We kept saying that once we had the extra summer school money, we were gonna get Liam all squared away. Then, I realized that we could take Liam to one of the non-profit animal wellness clinics in Austin and save some money on the office fees. So, Friday we took Liam to get tested for heartworm (he’s negative, yeah!!) and purchase a year’s worth of meds. Everything cost us $55, so we saved at least $60-80, by not going to our regular vet (whom we actually really like).

But, here’s the price we did have to pay. Apparently the day we went must have been the training day for their volunteers, because the waiting room had more volunteers in it than pet owners. They proceeded to make small talk with the owners, and made their rounds around the room, as I am sure they were instructed to do in their volunteer training. People asked us what our dogs name was, if they could pet him, etc.

But, here is the annoying part. Not one, not two, but five different individuals came to talk to us with almost this same script:

Superhelpful volunteer: So what are you here for?

Me: Oh, we are getting him heartworm medicine.

Superhelpful and suddenly annoying volunteeer: Oh, that is so great what you doing. It’s so important to give them heartworm medicine.  Good for you.

Me: ———

I know that wasn’t an accurate reenactment, but it was very patronizing. I wish I could convey the tone of condescention. I know they intended to be helpful and encouraging, but the implication was to go to this place, you must be poor, uneducated about animal wellness, and maybe even a lazy owner.  They also wanted to point out that Jude didn’t have shoes on, like he was some ghetto-baby.

It was a weird feeling. I wonder if people who get public assistance get treated like that? I certainly hope that I don’t treat the families I work with like that. It just made me feel stupid and irritated. I don’t think I should have to explain to strangers why I am there. But, in the end Liam is fine and I think I will continue to buy our medication there, since it is cheaper than the vet.


5 thoughts on “The Price of Saving Money

  1. That is really obnoxious. People love to comment about things though, it’s in our nature. It annoys me to when people tell me that Zachary isn’t wearing socks. He never wears socks because he gets really warm and sweaty feet when he wears them and pulls them right off, it’s pointless! I don’t plan on putting shoes on him until he is starting to cruise.

  2. That conservative, narrow-minded mind-set is what was annoying to me when I lived in Texas. Of course it’s not a regional thing, there are idiots like that who abound in all parts of this country. People like that who assume you’re a lower SES are idiots who perpetuate cycles and believe anyone who is just being practical and/or resourceful in their mind “has no initiative” to “pull themselves up” so to speak. There are people like that, just relish the fact that you, like me, are not one of them. Granted, I’m being pretty judgmental now but only because I trust your judgment and know that if they came on with that kind of tone, believe me, you WEREN’T imagining it. I think I used to take Callie and Pablo to the same clinic, loved it! Hey, here I used to take Pablo to a vet at the Affordable Animal Clinic. He was condescending but I bit my tongue because like you said, it’s about the furry one in your lap! Glad Liam is good. I just had Pablo’s test and he was negative too. He’s all better from his surgery too! 🙂

  3. Just wanted to be clear that when I said, “people like that” I meant the ones who were judging you…I’m tired and I almost had a heat stroke today, seriously!

  4. Sometimes you get penalized for actually taking care of things, or taking your pet/child to be seen, whereas some people are ignoring their responsibilities completely. Clearly, you were there to take care of your dog! The vet gives me the death look when I decline some of the optional bloodwork/tests.

    I feel the same way with human healthcare. I’m tired of being talked down to, etc, as if I’m not paying for the care I’m receiving. We have private health ins. w/ a very high deductible, so we basically pay everything out-of-pocket until we meet the deductible. I just called Cameron’s pedi about what I think is a plantar wart on her foot. I asked if they suggest I make an appt. with a dermatologist or a podiatrist. I explained that I could not afford to come in there for a $100 office visit, only for them to direct me to a specialist. I kindly asked to please just let me know where to take her off the bat, b/c I can’t pay for (2) office visits. And these people have the nerve to get a “tone” with you. It makes me livid!

    When I was at the Dr. getting my allergy shot this morning, I saw this older women spend 20+ minutes on her cell phone trying to figure out why her health savings card was being declined. I felt so bad for her.

    People just need to be nicer… and the people that work in these customer service positions really need to be happy to work with other people & treat everyone kindly.

    Ok, I’m done… 😉

  5. “Let me help you help yourself”, B/c people love people who love themselves…lol saw this in a movie, it was just as condescending, just like the clinic. I wish I was a fly on a wall that day to see your faces. So what Liam had no socks, he’s a baby and they have cute feet! Jude would look cute even in just a diaper..LOL!

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