Friday, January 12, 2007

Tone of Voice

As I said, Fluff had to go to the vet yesterday. Fluff is kind of a nervous, timid little dog in real life. She's not too bad, but she is not a very confident dog.

It's interesting to see how Fluff reacts to tone of voice. If the vet techs or the vet comes in cooing and telling her in soft, sad voices meant to reassure that she's okay, this won't hurt a bit, etc., she becomes much more nervous and uncomfortable. She can tell a lie as well as anyone else.

If, on the other hand, the vet or tech comes in and speaks to her matter-of-factly, "Hi Fluff, this is what we need to do with you today. It may be a little uncomfortable, but I'll try to get this over with as quickly as possible," then she's much better. She is more cooperative and less squirmy than she is with the babytalk folks.

I've started telling the vet's staff this as soon as we go in and as each new person comes in the exam room. It's helped a lot. I still remember one time years ago when a couple of vet techs wanted to take a blood sample and started creeping up on Fluff and cornering her. She threatened to bite until I asked the techs to back off and let her cool down. Once they went to her in a calm, controlled way, she was fine. I think that was one of the last times she felt threatened enough to try to defend herself. These days she will try to dodge the people but her mouth is firmly shut. She never threatens, even on the day she had to have 3 grass seeds removed from one ear. That meant about 6 trips down the ear canal with either the light or the forceps or both. Her ear really isn't big enough for that to be comfortable for her.

3 comments:

Littlemankitty said...

Oh I hope she feels better soon!

ppb said...

Um, I meant to sign that as me. I'm sure littleman hopes the same!

kabbage said...

Fluff thanks the both of you and wishes she could meet you. If she met LMK outside she would try to chase him, but if he chose not to run, she would very respectfully find something near him to sniff. It's too embarrassing to try to chase a cat that won't run. And then she would stretch her neck when he wasn't looking to sniff his butt.

Fluff wonders how she could ever have her own blog when I stole her name for mine.