Animal Doctors – not what you’re thinking

I visited the eye doctor today. It had been several years and, until I pulled up in front of the doors, I’d forgotten one of the highlights of my eye doctor’s office. Rosco.

When I arrived, Rosco was sleeping just inside the glass door, basking in the sun, face and tongue flattened against the window pane. Rosco has the run of the office, from the waiting area to the frame boutique and even the exam rooms, if the doors happen to be open. He’s an exceptionally lazy dog. Take a look at the image below. Immediately prior to this photo being taken, Rosco had walked out of the door on the right. He slowly waddled out, got to the space where he is laying in the photo, stopped, fell over onto his side and gave a big ol’ sigh, as though he’d just had the most exhausting day ever. And then he closed his eyes and nodded off. Literally. His head was nodding. One of the assistants lovingly called him a speed bump.

Rosco at Shettle Family Eye

Somewhat related: as I sat in the waiting area, waiting (appropriately enough) for my eyes to dilate, a woman came over, chose to sit directly next to me (we were the only people in the room) and announced, in a very bright, enthusiastic tone, “I love dogs. I hate people.” I laughed, as per general social conventions, and thinking this was just a kooky old lady. But that was the full extent of the conversation. She promptly opened a book, – about dogs, natch – began cooing over the photos, and  paid no more attention to me, the human. The awful, horrible human.

Later, as I showed Adam a photo of Rosco, it got me thinking about my first Florida dentist. He had bunnies.

Is it strange that I tend to find medical professionals with animals at their offices? Or is this a weird Florida thing?

Now, the dentist with the bunnies. The bunnies were not running around his office. No, each of his dental rooms had full glass windows and doors on at least one side. Outside of the rooms, there was a privacy fence about five feet away from the windows/doors. And the bunnies lived there. Between the dental exam rooms and the fence. Multiple bunnies. The dental assistants were amazing – so nice, friendly and professional. The dentist… well.

As per the Laws of Dentistry (I made that up), a regular dentist waits until the last possible minute to come in and see a patient’s teeth. In comes the dentist, asking some question with a personal lean, like how the house remodel is going (which they pulled out of their notes two minutes before, not truly knowing you from the next guy). They allow the patient about five words before diving into the patient’s mouth, still asking questions (that the patient can’t answer because of their mouth being propped open). The dentist looks a little, pokes two to five times and announces the patient looks great and s/he looks forward to seeing them again. It’s not particularly personal, but they fake it and are professional, brisk, efficient. It’s standard.

Not the bunny dentist. When he comes in, he pays no attention to the patient (me) at ALL. He first looks for the bunnies. (Also, to clarify, I’m referring to them as “bunnies,” not rabbits, because that was how the dentist refers to them.) Should any of the bunnies be within view, he remarks about that particular bunny, or bunnies, and chuckles. To himself. These conversations are not for anyone else in the room. Just him. After a time, when I’m pondering whether perhaps his spirit has completely left his body, he sort-of seems to remember that he’s in the company of other people and turns away from the windows. I don’t recall him ever speaking to me. I know the hygienists spoke to him, but I’m not sure he spoke to them, either. He’d sort of look in the vague direction of my mouth for a minute and then he’d just wander off.

I do not make this stuff up. In fact, here’s a photo from that office’s Facebook page.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 6.23.36 PM

Then I began thinking about the doctor that started chain-smoking during one of my appointments but, since it doesn’t involve an animal, that’s another story for another day.

Is it Florida? Or is it me?


  • Carrie
    February 18, 2015

    Hey now. Dr. C let me go out and get a bunny once! Too bad the bunny’s name was Mr. Zipper. That just makes it sound dirty. “Dr. C let me pet Mr. Zipper.” Hmmm.

    • Jeans and a Tank Top
      February 20, 2015

      Yes. That does sound dirty. If you weren’t an adult, I’d be speed-dialing children’s services already.

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