From Scared to Happy: Inara’s Story

Following is a testimonial about the effectiveness of Happy Visits from Inara’s mom and dad:

When we adopted Inara, we were told that she was severely afraid of going to the vet. The humane society would have such a hard time keeping her still that often times Inara would be sedated for examinations. We were also told that she had “no touch zones.” Specifically, she did not like others touching her butt, feet, belly, or tail. Being first time dog owners, we were nervous about what this meant for taking our dog to the vet. I had called a different vet in town, and when I expressed concerns about my dog’s “vet aggression” I was told that “we won’t know until your dog gets here.” I wasn’t comfortable with that response and decided to call Oakview. When I called and explained my situation I was greeted with empathy and understanding. The kind person on the other end of the phone explained to me that we could bring Inara by the day before so that she could be introduced to all of the smells of a new place. This was our first happy visit. We walked her around the building, brought her inside, and were even allowed to bring her into an examination room, all the while getting treats and attention from everyone who met her. The next day for the official examination, we ended up having an accidental happy visit. We were supposed to meet with the vet, but his dog happened to get out that afternoon and so we had a makeshift happy visit instead. That’s when we met Emily and got to ask all of our first time dog owner questions, and Inara received attention, praise, and many treats. After this, in the first few months of owning Inara we were trying to manage her weight, so we would regularly bring her into the vet to get weighed. And of course, every time she went she would get lots of attention and a few treats. After a few months of doing this, we could see Inara getting excited when we would pull into the Oakview parking lot. She was associating it with good things, which made her first annual check-up go very well. We couldn’t believe at how well she handled the examination. She sat still for the vet, let others touch her feet, butt, and belly, and even allowed blood to be taken with almost no reaction. In a year, our dog went from not wanting to be touched in certain areas, nipping at the vet, and having to be sedated, to being excited about going to the vet, getting up on the table on her own, and sitting still (for the most part) during her examination. Happy visits were not only good for Inara, but also for us as well. We are able to ask all of our questions that we may have, follow up on concerns or behaviors we have noticed, all the while our dog is conditioned to having the vet be a happy, positive, and safe place to be. We will be eternally grateful for the care that Oakview has provided our four legged family member and the kindness and support they also provided us.

Oakview Veterinary Medical Center is a progressive clinic located in Plover, WI. Our veterinarians and staff have lots of wisdom and personal stories to share. We are friendly, compassionate, and engaged with all species!

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