2.26.2011

I'm a mama bear... DO NOT mess with me when my cub is around.

So Abby and I just had a traumatic morning... I'm still shaking.

After cleaning the house all morning we decided to hit up Walmart to get a few things that we needed.  When I pulled into the parking spot a man approached my car and started knocking on my window.  I motioned for him to go away and he frantically motioned for me to roll down my window.  Thinking that he might need help, I cracked my window to ask what he wanted and he passed a business card through.  The card said:

"I'm deaf.  Please donate money... any amount you can."

or something like that.  I passed the card back to him and shook my head, motioning for him to leave.  He gave me a dirty look, knocked on my window AGAIN and pointed at the card.  I told him I was going to call 911 and he finally left. 

Look... even if I had cash on me (which I didn't) I would NOT have given this man money.  You don't approach a woman alone with her baby and knock on their car window.  You just don't.  Not to mention the fact that if you have money to have some fancy business cards printed up begging for money, that's a bit hypocritical for my taste.  Plus, I myself have a chronic health condition and you don't see me harassing people in parking lots for spare change! The whole thing just doesn't sit right with me... and the fact that I've read a million urban legends about this kind of thing with the business cards being laced with drugs in an attempt to rob/rape/kidnap/murder/carjack WHATEVER means please don't come near me when I'm alone with my child.

He finally left and after making sure he was a good distance away Abby and I got out of the car and headed into the store.  We went right to customer service, where I let them know what happened.  They sent someone outside (a cart boy? I'm not sure what his job was) and told him to make sure the guy left.

Abby and I continued our shopping and I assumed all was well.  By the time we were getting ready to check out I was feeling really shaky and lightheaded, like I had low blood sugar.  I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast around 7, but it was around 11:30  now and I guess I needed to eat something.  I felt like I was going to pass out and I just wanted to get to the car so that I could sit down and drink an iced tea to feel better.

As I was approaching our car the same man walked around the corner and started power walking towards me.  I made eye contact and shook my head, waving him away.  He kept coming.  I put my hand in my purse and said  "I have mace! Don't come near me!" He kept coming.  At this point another woman who was loading things in her car said to me, "He's deaf. He can't hear you. He just wants a donation."  I said "I don't care! I already told him to leave us alone earlier!"  At this point he was about 10 feet away from me.  I shouted, "DO NOT COME OVER HERE! I'LL MACE YOU!" while waving him away, frantically.  He finally started walking away and I started unloading our car, practically in tears.  The other woman said to me, "I'm calling the police. I can't believe you were treating a deaf man like that." 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

I wasn't about to have her give my license plate number and HER account of the story to the police, so we waited around for them to arrive.  A few minutes later I was telling my story to the officer, explaining that maybe I DID overreact, but I was feeling faint and I had my daughter... which brings out the mama bear in me. The officer insisted that what I did was great and that in his opinion, he wishes more women would overreact instead of becoming victims.  That this man had no right to approach my car and that next time I should immediately try and run back into the store.  (We were at the opposite end of the lot from the store, but that is neither here nor there.) They made sure the man left the property and let us go home.

I don't know what I would have done had the man kept coming.  I didn't actually have mace in my purse. Sometimes I do, but I had switched purses and NOT switched the mace.  I shudder to think about it. :(

Ok... now it's time to shake it off and move on with our day.  Have a great one, everyone!

2.15.2011

Why I Will Never Take My Dog Back to Banfield

As I'm sure you have all figured out, we have a furry family member named Roxie.  She's a shepherd mix, a little over a year old, and we love her dearly.  She's loving, protective, goofy, beautiful, energetic and loyal. We want nothing but the best for her... which is why I am SO ANGRY at Banfield.

According to our regular vet (Flowers Mill... they are great), Roxie was due for her bordatella vaccine.  A vet visit ($45) plus the fee for the shot ($25) is pretty pricey, but necessary.  I remembered that we had a coupon for a free office visit at Banfield, so I figured that since Roxie was in good health, I would use this coupon to get her vaccinated and only pay the shot fee.

If you know me in real life, you know that I'm a researcher.  I educate myself before making important decisions... such as when and if to vaccinate my child.  I admittedly have not put as much research into vaccinating my dog, but I have looked into it.  I decided that she DID need the bordatella vaccine, since she frequently is around other dogs and occasionally boards at the Pet Hotel. However, I noticed in my research that there were less side effects reported when dogs received the injected vaccine as opposed to the intranasal vaccine.

When I called to make our appointment, I specifically asked for the injected vaccine.  I was told that this was no problem, that our office visit would be free, and that we would be responsible for the $25 vaccine fee.  Wonderful!

We arrived for our 5pm appointment at 4:50 and checked in.  Around 5:10 we were shown to exam room and told that a nurse would be with us shortly.  I use the term "exam room" loosely.  This was a CLOSET... with no windows and no ventilation.  The hazardous waste container on the counter had used needles sticking out of it and the floor was dirty.  I was stuck in this dirty stuffy closet with my dog, husband, and two year old daughter for AN ENTIRE HOUR! Finally, after an hour had passed, my husband went out to the desk and asked when we would be seen, as not a single person had checked on us in that entire time.  A few minutes later a nurse rushed in, explained all of the payment plans available if we wanted to become routine customers, asked a few questions, and rushed back out.  I asked her to find out if Banfield carried Sentinal (the heartworm/flea meds our dog takes) and she said she would find out.  I never saw her again.

About ten minutes later the vet came in.  After talking to my daughter and putting her stethescope in my daughters ears without asking me (ewww!) she finally got to my dog.  She whipped out the intranasal vaccination and completely ignored me when I said "that's not what I thought she was getting".  She asked me to help hold Roxie still while she administered the vaccine, effectively dripping it all over my hands. She dissapeared out the door while I was washing my hands and that was the end of that.

When we went to the counter to pay our chart/bill wasn't ready.  We waited another ten minutes for them to enter what was needed and print out a bill.  I was informed that our total would be $71.  I explained to the receptionist that our office visit was supposed to be free.  She made the adjustment, we paid and left.

Fast forward to yesterday... Roxie has a cough and is making a sneezing/gagging sound along with a raspy sounding bark.  My husband mentioned that it may have something to do with the vaccine, so I hopped online and did some research.  Sure enough I found a ton of websites saying that this is a common side effect of the intranasal bordatella vaccine.  People reported that their dogs had these symptoms for 3-4 days and it usually cleared up on it's own.

I called Banfield to let them know and ask if there was anything I should be doing to comfort her.  The woman who answered the phone told me that she needed to ask a vet.  She put me on hold for a few minutes and when she came back she informed me that "the vet said that there is absolutely no way that this was caused by the vaccine."  I said, "Ok, that's not what I've been reading online, but what do you suggest I do?"  She asked me if Roxie was eating (yes) drinking (yes) eliminating (yes) and acting normal (yes).  I told her I would watch the cough for a couple days and bring her to our regular vet after that if she was still suffering or got any worse.  The receptionist told me "The vet said to bring her in tomorrow if she's still coughing.  There is no way this is from our vaccine. Oh and since you aren't on a payment plan, the visit will NOT be free." I said "ok thank you" and hung up.

It was THE WORST experience I have ever had at a vet's office and we will not be going back.  I'm going to write Banfield a letter about our experience and I'm also going to let PetSmart know, since they are housed in their building.  I think that PetSmart is fantastic... we love their store, their grooming salon, and the pet hotel, so I was sad to have such an experience at a vet that they are associated with.

2.07.2011

Weekend Wrap Up!

It's been a while since I posted a weekend wrap up. We were so busy from October through the start of January that we had something exciting to do (and post about) pretty much every weekend. Since then life has (thankfully) slowed down a bit and we spend our weekends relaxing as a family, catching up on chores, going to church (when nobody is sick) and trying to avoid cabin fever.  This weekend things were busy and fun... a welcome distraction from the winter blues. :)

Friday I wasn't feeling well in the morning so I called out of work.  I kept Abby home with me and we spent the day watching movies, making Valentine crafts and having mommy/baby time.

One of Abby's custom made masterpieces. :)

Saturday, Abby and I met up with my friend Karen and her daughter, Madison, for a girls lunch. We went to Red Robin and had a blast.  The girls were so cute together hugging and chatting and it was great to catch up with Karen, who we don't see nearly enough! Regretably, I didn't take any pictures this time. Boo!

After lunch my sister dropped off my nephew, Aiden, and I took both kids to our cousin Tori's 4th birthday party!  It was a paint your own pottery place called Color Me Mine.  The kiddos had a great time and were on their best behavior... I was so proud.


Abby and Aiden painting their car and dinosaur banks. Fun!

My little angel baby made it through the entire busy day with no nap, so she conked out early and husband and I enjoyed a movie and some wine. <3

During the weekend I also made a big pot of chili and some corn muffins, which we all enjoyed while watching the Superbowl on Sunday. Gotta love those commercials!

...and as promised... I'll leave you with some pictures of Roxie in her hilarious new boots.  Have a great week, everyone!