What a thrilling day. I’ve spent so much money that anybody looking at debits from my bank account would expect to find me off my nut on class A drugs and champagne down at Mahiki with Wills and Harry.
Sadly the excessive expenditure has not gone towards class A drugs, champagne or even a packet of nurofen and a cheap bottle of white booze. It has gone to our local vet for Eric and Jack’s annual health check and vaccinations. I don’t usually take the boys in on a Saturday, but for some reason this year I didn’t think to take a day off and do it during the relative peace of mid-week. This year I thought it would be a good idea to drive into town on a Saturday and fight my way through the “locals” carrying a cat basket containing a heavy and wriggling lump of howling fluff.
I have to take them in separately so today has consisted of two appointments, the build-up to which has occupied most of my thought and planning. We started with Jack (it was supposed to be Eric but he was having none of it) and, to be honest, he didn’t disgrace himself too much. A couple of scratches and we were in the basket and into the car for him to do his best La Roux impression, screeching all the way into town. The vet (a 12 year old boy from Latvia) called him in straight away. This is always my favourite bit. Qualified medical professional emerges from his consulting room, checks his appointment list and calls out “Father Jack? Father Jack Walshe?” Brilliant. Jack behaved himself with the vet and we were out and home quicker than you can say “that’s £43.50 please”. You’ll be pleased to know that Jack has healthy eyes, ears and teeth and a regular heart-beat and good chest. He also didn’t flinch at the injection, which is more than I did. Sometimes I think the only reason I’m not a heroin addict is my fear of needles.
The afternoon was a little trickier. Eric was not happy at all. After a bit of a fight to get him in the cat basket we got through the obligatory howling all the way into town and got to the surgery. The surgery looked a little bit like an inner city A&E on a Friday night just after England have been knocked out of the World Cup by Germany on a dodgy penalty. Dogs everywhere. I hate dogs. Children running amok. I hate children. And I hate people who run amok. To sort out the hat-trick of misery the only space in the waiting room was overlooking the fish department. Don’t even START me on fish. The receptionist explained there is a bit of a back-log as the vets were dealing with an emergency. A dog had swallowed a toy car and was “in theatre”. Forty minutes later (yes FORTY MINUTES) a harrassed looking vet emerged looking like a medical professional and clinging onto his appointment list … “Eric Cantona? Eric Cantona Walshe?” I almost ignored him so he would ask again but given the queues and number of alsations and bulldogs waiting their turn, I didn’t think it was worth the risk just for the kick of being linked with the great man.
I took Eric into the consulting room. The vet had a look at him, did the injection bit, gave him a bit of a stroke and then offered his professional opinion, “he has a very long body”. Anything else? “No, that’ll be £43.50 please”.
So that was Saturday.
And after all that excitement is it any wonder I am spending the evening lying on the sofa writing this and watching idiots on TV guessing the cost of the world’s most expensive dog kennel on some random BBC1 quiz show.