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.
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.