I went to the vets this afternoon. An innocent visit that I thought would take a few minutes, maybe a little longer. I left their rooms feeling robbed. Blatantly. Completely. I drove away a fool.
You see, we are all consumers – receiving goods and services from others who we consider ‘experts’ in their field. But think for a moment. What makes them an ‘expert’? The years spent educating themselves on the way to treat a patient? Or are they an ‘expert’ because we call them that? Probably a little of both, in the end.
But the labelling factor surely has to play its part – big time.
And so I listened intently to the vet as she checked over my dog and told me she had red marks around the lower leg region.
With my response hovering in the breeze that was yet to be felt by the vet, I couldn’t help but wonder about the chicken and the egg. So finally I asked – was it the red marks that had made my pet, Kahlua, scratch and itch incessantly, or was it the incessant scratching that had led to the red marks?
The vet looked at me wisely, though her facial impression told me she really had no idea. She reached for a brochure and handed it to me, as if the brochure knew more about the problem than she did. I read through it – not much to see other than warnings that plants and pets don’t mix. ‘Watch Out!’ it seemed to be saying.
I had three choices, none of which seemed to be a sure fix for Kahlua’s scratching. All dogs scratch, my boss told me at work. Yeah, right, but she’s scratching incessantly, I told him. Obviously something must be done.
I thought of this conversation as I sat there with Kahlua (click on her name if you dare), excited and exuberant, watching the door, as if it would open itself in a jiffy, so that she could escape from the prison that was the vet’s surgery. Four walls with no way out. I went for the medication. Twice a day for 14 days. Seemed somewhat lengthy to me for something that was really a minor ailment. Though Kahlua may have told me otherwise (if she was able).
I went to the counter.
That will be $250.08, the girl told me officiously.
What? There must have been some mistake. No, she said, $70 for the consult and $180 for the meds.
Expletive deleted, you must be kidding me. I checked the date. April Fool’s Day was not for another two months. I asked for the vet but she just provided me with the usual mumbo-jumbo that us consumers are used to hearing from those in positions of power.
My fault? Yes, to be sure. Chalk it up to experience in the world of consumerism and move on, I told myself.
After all, look at the photo attached to this post. That’s my Kahlua!
Ain’t she grande?