Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sookie Goes to the Veterinario (Or, Trying to Say “Anal Gland” in Italian)

We’d been meaning to take the dogs into the vet in Umbertide since we arrived, so that they could get dog passports, which allow them to travel over continental Europe without having to carry reams of paperwork (most of which was talked about way back in a post on bringing dogs to Europe). However, the dolce vita lifestyle seemed to get into the way until recently when Sookie ended up demanding to go to the vet (well, she didn’t demand it, but he body did). Something about the move, or the increase in her cheese intake, or new foliage in the dog yard, caused her to have a flare up in a very delicate spot—her bottom. I won’t take a picture, but we could tell by looking at it that it was bothering her, so we decided to take her in to the vet. First, we tried to ask our super handy and friendly German neighbor Doris (who speaks German, natch, and Italian, and English, and who has two dogs and a horse) how to say “anal gland” in Italian, thinking (as Sookie had an infected anal gland in the past—I just realized that I’ll probably get some very odd traffic to this blog now that I’ve said “anal gland” so many times. Yikes) that we should know the right words going in. After some very odd looks from Doris, though, we stopped, asked if she knew the vet’s hours, and headed out with Sook in tow.
The veterinario is just outside of Umbertide, under a very small and thin tunnel under the train tracks, and located in a sparse, vaguely industrial area/sketchy part of town. At first we were confused—it’s just a house:
but then we saw the sign for a vet named Rebecca and the hours (the sign was falling off a bit, but looked clean):
Once inside, there’s a little waiting area, so small that we left Sookie in the car cause she doesn’t like to be crowded in with cats and such (or, she likes it too much). There’s no check-in desk or receptionist or anything, just some doors off the small waiting room. We didn’t know what to do, exactly, so we peeked in one of the doors and there was a lady (turns out it was Rebecca the wet—we met the other vet, Rudolfo, or Rudy, later) in a white lab coat looking at a cat. We didn’t want to interrupt, so we sat back down and then when the cat (and the cat owner) left, we walked in. At first, we tried to explain (Rebecca the vet has okay English) that we had a dog with an anal gland problem. But she just looked at us weirdly, and so we got smart and just brought Sookie on in to the office. Once we brought Sookie in we could use the international language of pointing to show Rebecca the vet the problem. We had to pick Sookie up and put her on a big metal table, and Sookie had to get a not-very-happy checkup (which I won’t describe, cause you can probably imagine it), and does indeed have an infection, which meant we also took our first trip to the Farmacia to get antibiotics (the pharmacists here dole out doggy drugs, too, as well as acting more like doctors). We did finally (we took Rory and Sookie back together a week or so later) get doggy passports, so if we want to take the dogs to France we can:
though right now they’re pretty happy just running around Italy:


  1. Glad the poochies are doing so well. I feel I must share our Bun's health. She recently had a checkup she passed with flying colors. At 54 years old (that's nine in human years), she's healthier than she has ever been. We're pretty sure she has a portrait of herself hidden somewhere.

  2. It's good to hear that the Bun is doing well--9 years though? Dang, that seems like it's skipped by. I like the idea of her as Bunny Gray (well, except the oogy parts, but hey, she's gotta do what it takes to keep the looks).