Well, we finally broke down. After several late phone calls to our vet in Madison (who ROCKS, by the way) to find allergy meds at the pharmacy that we could give to Lucy, we made an appointment with a french vet.
You see, Lucy had been having a little "issue"--and I mean that in both senses of the word. Pretty common for older dogs who had been spayed several years ago, as she was in early 2000. She was quite embarrassed about it, and would clean up--even going so far as to lick the pavement in front of our apartment building while we waited for her to be done. Poor baby. It wasn't getting better, so I called a vet that is near us, on the rue Cinq Diamants (5 diamonds) in the 13th.
His receptionist set me at ease right away, telling me that this was very normal. When I gave her my name (with the warning "It's an American name"), she switched into English and reassured me again that it was not a grave situation.
So, Monday bright and early (much to my dismay), we prepared to walk the couple blocks over. The doctor came to greet us in the waiting room, and I am convinced that this is the friendliest person I have met in France. If Docteur Serkine wasn't speaking french, and if he had a beard and cowboy boots on, he could have been Dr. Karlburg from Madison. Phew. I breathed easy.
We went in, he did a quick exam, and took out the medications we'd need to give her. After giving her a quick shot in the rump, he showed me a syringe-like object and explained that I'd have to give this to her every day.
I asked, "where, exactly? In the rump?"
He burst out into laughter, and assured me, "no, this one is oral. Just squirt it in her mouth or in her food."
We are to return in a month to assess her progress. All in all--quite painless! I was amazed at how nice, friendly, kind, etc. the doctor was. Somehow, I picked one out of thin air who is a good one--thank heavens!
I asked Dr. B, "so how come the vet here is super nice, but the 'customer service' people are often jerks?" (This was in reference to a Darty Customer Service Representative who, over the phone, managed to insult me quite effortlessly a few weeks before. He asked if there was anyone here that spoke French. I should have asked if there was anyone there who was intelligent enough to explain the problem simply, rather than using slang and lots of technical jargon. But of course, at the time, I had no idea how to react, and just stammered, "No, it's just me and the dog." He didn't offer to switch to English, I might add, or try to explain anything with simpler words, and just let me keep sinking deeper into the hole of not understanding what the heck I was supposed to do with the washing machine. I am sure he feels like Mr. Big Super Smart Darty Man, too. Gahh!)
Dr. B said, "Well, he's an animal person. Animal people are always nice."
Oh, yeah. Good point.