Our Hachi didn't have the easiest week last week. It was time for his annual exam and vaccines. And, you know how fearful he is. He hasn't been to the vet since he was neutered about 9 months ago.
Prior to the appointment, we gave him meds to calm him. Moreover, our vet is certified "fear-free", meaning that she has special training for treating a dog like Hachi. She was really good with him and with letting us tell her how to best handle him.
Despite all of that, Hachi was absolutely terrified. His pupils dilated (a sign of severe fear), and he huddled up against our legs. The good part was that he actually seemed to get better as the appointment went on because our vet handled him so sensitively.
We now know that we need to get started on "happy visits" to the vet. We'll just take him into the lobby, feed him treats, and leave. Then, after a few weeks, he'll actually go into an exam room, get treats, and then leave. We need to do this regularly to help him to be able to handle vet visits with less fear. We should have done this a long time ago but all of his needs have overwhelmed us.
No worries, Hachi. We've got your back. We will be here for you as you continue to learn about this world that can scare you so much.