Busy time and I did not fancy a 40-minute (each-way) run to our usual (and trusted) vets in Pembroke. Though we do not travel that stretch of Rte 11 often we had seen ‘Cocheco Veterinary Hospital’ a few times on the rare occasions we do sail by. Definitely closer. So, we called and made an appointment.
Sure glad we did. Very positive, uplifting experience from start-to-finish. Very friendly, very professional, very caring. All good. Decent (not outlandish) prices too. That was a bonus. I am sold. No reason to hike to Pembroke — and they, when required, will make house calls. That is good to know.
Very impressed with Dr. Ring. The epitome of what you expect a dream vet to be! She took her time. Let Braxton get used to her.
Braxton LIKED the place. Did not growl. Let them touch him. Never seen him that mellow and trusting with strangers. The place has good vibes. You can see that they have thought things out. The reception area is HUGE — very open and uncluttered. Puts dogs at ease. They can look around and see empty, unthreatening space. Very clever.
Well, you probably worked it out. Definitely two thumbs and two paws up. We will be going back — but, hopefully, not too soon and not too often.
But, if you need a local vet, sure give them a try. You will not regret it.
.by Anura Guruge
Deanna kind of had a hunch that I would not wait too long before I got another puppy. I did the same last time around when we tragically lost our dear Monty. I said I didn’t want to get another puppy but within 24 hours I was all over the Web desperately looking for another Golden puppy. That is how we got Maya. We checked out maybe 8 litters, in person, all around NH, in 2 days! It was the best thing I could have done. It was cathartic. Everybody stopped mopping around though Monty was never forgotten.
With Ulysses it was different. We knew it was coming. We had talked about ‘life after Ulysses’. The plan was always that we would get another dog. The only question was when.
A new puppy will be good. Deanna misses Ulysses and I still can’t get used to the house without my ‘Boy‘. I am so used to calling or talking to ‘the Boy‘ as I mostly referred to him. It was ‘The Boy‘ and ‘The Girl‘ — and they knew those terms too. So I needed a new Boy.
Yes, I violated most of my precepts BUT I am noted for being able to turn on a dime. I am very much a dyed in the wool Golden person. Maya was my 6th. I like Golden. They fit my personality. But, I do have a Golden, Maya — and she does go running with me.
Though I got my first Golden, a huge, hulking, very alpha example who was named ‘Shamrock‘ at the shelter, I am not known to be partial to rescue dogs. I like them as young as possible. We got Maya the day she turned 8 weeks. So, I am violating that rule too.
Wednesday and Thursday I was IDLY looking through PetFinder.com for Goldens and other BIG dogs. I was also seriously considering an Australian Shepherd. I check with Deanna but she wants me to pick the dog because she will have any of them or all of them. I also saw a white border collie. I have had a border collie before. I would have got that. Then I saw this litter of beagles. I called Deanna over. She was more than happy. So, I called. I was going to get a GIRL because that was the first one of the litter that I saw. See, I am flexible when it comes to dogs.
The lady, Janice, as nice as can be (and in love with my accent) asked me IF I wanted a BOY. Only one answer to that. She then pointed me to ‘Benny‘ — and then immediately told me that he was adopted!
I immediately liked Benny. To me there is only one Benny and that is ‘Benny Hill‘. A dog named after Benny Hill appealed to me though Deanna had already decided years ago that the next boy will be ‘Braxton’, though I no know Braxtons and have no idea if there were any famous Braxtons. But, it meets a naming requirement. We have been told that dogs are more receptive to names that have ‘Y’, ‘O’ and ‘X’ — hence Ulysses and Maya.
I dragged the story out of her. She had been taken BUT had not been paid for. The person was actually late. I pointed out that I will pay over the phone. She said she will contact the ‘pending’, give him a deadline, and then get back to me. The deadline was supposed to be this morning. I called. She said that he still hadn’t send her the funds via PayPal. Then to my chagrin she said she was going to give him till ‘tonight’. I wasn’t happy with that. She agreed that that was not fair since he was already more than 48 hours behind due. So she was going to give him till 4 pm today.
At 2:38 she had called and left a message (we were at an audition) that Benny was ours!
I had the funds to her within 15 minutes of getting home.
We are supposed to pick him up from Kittery, Maine next Saturday — at noon.
Suffice to say the kids are delighted. Deanna is happy. I will have a new puppy to call ‘Boy’ and play with.
Not sure how he will do on the running front. That could be an issue. My dogs have to run! That is our thing.
You know that you will be hearing more about Braxton and the pictures will flow.
.by Anura Guruge
We started going to Pembroke, despite the distance, in February. We have been very impressed and happy and our respect and gratitude continues to grow.
They had helped Deanna out on the phone a number of times.
Then this last Monday, Deanna had to make ‘the call’ regarding our ‘Ulysses‘. Though Ulysses loved his drives and would always hop into the van (though getting him out was not as easy over the last 3 weeks), even doing so on Sunday, I was not willing to drive him to a vets (and even worse drive him back).
I wanted him to be at home without any stress.
When Deanna explained our needs they obliged. They had one vet, Dr. Peck, who does make house calls.
Dr. Donna Peck arrived — a few minutes ahead of the ‘noon to 2’ timeframe we had been given.
She was beyond wonderful; an obvious dog lover (who has a lot of dogs).
She immediately sat on the floor and Ulysses, always a ladies man, immediately schooched over to her and put his head on her lap.
Though she must have had a busy schedule she did not rush us. She gave us all the time we needed. She just sat on the floor with Ulysses right there.
She checked him out and assured us, multiple times, that the time was right. He had to leave when he still had some dignity left.
She was so gentle and caring. It was very peaceful. There was no drama, no trauma.
I am so glad we did what we did, at home, with Dr. Peck. We feel good that Ulysses, as was invariably the case, got the best that we could provide him.
We have nothing but good to say about Dr. Peck and the Pembroke Animal Hospital.
Glad we switched to them in February.
The house call wasn’t expensive. Very reasonable given the distance and time involved.
IF you are ever in the situation we were in on Monday, and you like around here, you should DEFINITELY call Pembroke at 603-227-1199 and ask whether Dr. Peck could help you. She is the vet that makes house calls. As we now know she will come to Alton.
.by Anura Guruge
March 11, 2011 to September 16, 2013.
He was one heck of a dog. A golden’s golden; the quintessential ‘everybody loves me and I love everybody’, no-care-in-the-world, tail wagging, tongue lolling, friendly as can be ‘show’ golden.
I have had him just as he was turning 8 weeks. The breeder, from whom I had bought two previous goldens, called me up the day he got his last tests, last shots and got a certificate of release from the vet. I drove to Surry, NH, right away to pick him up. I happened to get him in the only (albeit brief) period of my adult life, i.e., since I was 18, when I was encumbered and living by myself. So it was just Ulysses, named after ‘Grant‘, and me in this big house, by the water on Winnipesaukee. As I still do now, I was running six days a week then. Ulysses started running with me the next day though he only managed about 100 yards. I carried him back. But, he ran again that afternoon. Within three months he could do the whole 2.5 mile loop with me, around Varney Point, Gilford, along with the elevation. He loved to run. To be fair he didn’t know any other life. Running with me, in the mornings, was what he did. suffice to say he was one heck of a fit dog, especially as I would also walk him in the evenings and take him swimming. He ran with me, without fail, until I he was 10. Then Deanna started walking him and he became Deanna’s dog.
All that running did him well. He never had any hip problems. Even yesterday, when he came with us to the dump and was slowly walking around, people were admiring him and were hard pressed to believe that he was 12.5 years old. Yesterday we knew.
I had known for about 3 weeks. Deanna did not, understandably, want to let go and he was still happy though in discomfort and rapidly losing strength. His appetite, and he always took after me, was healthy till the very end. He had two slices of cheese and as a treat macaroni and cheese right before the end. He associated me with food and treats. If I was in the kitchen he assumed he would get a treat. So even this morning, though we tried to stop him, when he saw me in the kitchen, he got up, painfully, and ambled over, tail slowly wagging, waiting for a treat. I gave him more cheese than I normally do. The macaroni cheese, left over from Devanee, was a bonus. Over the last three weeks he had trouble dealing with rawhide treats or anything too hard. So I would give him soft treats while Maya had the rawhide and pig’s ears.
We were ‘lucky’. The Pembroke Animal Hospital, our new vet, yet again did us proud and impressed us no end (and I will write about that later). They sent an OUTSTANDING vet, Dr. Donna Peck, for a house call! That was good. We wanted Ulysses to be at home. We did not want to drag him to a vet’s office. She was amazing. We really lucked out. She spent over an hour with us, seated on the floor, with Ulysses. She assured us that we were doing the right thing. This morning he couldn’t stand up to begin with, though he overcame that once the pain medication we were giving him kicked in. But, he was not doing well. He had a lot of growths and his spine was bothering him though he never cried.
He had a good life. He was a happy dog. No cares in the world. He knew that he would be fed (and get treats from me) and that somebody would walk him whenever he wanted to go out. I think he missed his runs. He would watch me going running with Maya. He didn’t try to come though a few times he would trot with me — just like the old days.
He was an elegant, stately trotter. Just like a show horse. No running. He would trot. It was very precise.
We will miss him. Before I met Deanna I used to say that he, indubitably, was the best blonde I had ever had. He was my fourth golden.
Click to ENLARGE.
.by Anura Guruge
>> The Alton Vets … — Jan. 31, 2013.
After I stormed out, in high high dudgeon, from the Alton Vets, on January 31, stating ‘never coming back here again‘, we had to find a new vet.
I had heard about Pembroke, I think from the farm/stable, ‘ClearView‘ in Barnstead where Devanee took horse riding lessons for awhile. Deanna checked it out on Facebook. All she heard was glowing praise. Number of folks we knew in Alton appeared to be using them.
Deanna called up and enrolled with them. Then she sent a letter to the vets at Alton asking for the records to be sent to Pembroke. To their credit they did that promptly.
We had our first appointment today. It is on the far side of Concord. Not hard to get to. I think it took us 35 minutes. We got there just before 11:10 am, for a 11:15 appointment.
Here is the AMAZING thing, we were out of there, in the van, both Goldens having got their shots, a total of 7, and both having blood drawn for flea-borne disease testing (at $45 a pop). 30 minutes, in-and-out! At Alton we will still be twiddling our thumbs in the waiting room.
Not sure whether we got preferential, atypical service because it was our first visit and they wanted to create a good impression. They seem slick enough and very friendly.
We saw Dr. Christina Murdock. She is young and obviously loves dogs. She kissed ours on their heads. I was impressed. Good kennel side manners, I guess.
I was kind of shell shocked by the bill, but Deanna assures me that it is par for course — though it sure sounds like an expensive course to me. 7 shots, $90 for tests (that I was not that keen on though I relented). It came to $293 or $294. I know keeping two Goldens is an expensive hobby, but how do people manage to pay vets bills like this?
But, we were happy with the service. If we factor in the minimum one hour we are usually kept waiting at Alton, time wise this was not bad. We had to go to Concord anyway. Nice day. Got a few things done.