Bilbo’s crafty. He snuck through customs with a rotten tooth and a gum infection. Just before we left the U.S., we took Bilbo in for his yearly check-up and to get his travel documents. His vet told us that he was due for a teeth cleaning (we had no idea just how ready, but before you go calling the Humane Society, he’s only 4 years old and another vet had told us a few months prior that his teeth were fine). Thus, just weeks after traveling 15 hours on an airplane, we decided to reward him with a visit to his new vet in Paris.
The bad news: Bilbo had two teeth pulled. The good news: It was half the price it would have cost in the U.S. (Trust me, I know. Only he didn’t have to wear a retainer with a fake tooth that turned purple at the sight of red wine for the better part of a year!) I was curious why this was so. I told Fred that I thought the vet was skimping by not sanitizing instruments or using anesthesia. He defended the vet and said it’s because he doesn’t make a six-figure salary and, therefore, doesn’t have to charge as much. I reminded him that U.S. doctors have to make that much because they have $200-$400k in student loans (which he knows and understands, but I felt like saying it anyway).
Bilbo had to stop eating at 10:00 p.m. the night before his appointment. It was torture watching the little guy come up to us being nice (for a change), purring, and walking toward the empty space where his food and water used to be. In the morning, I waited for Fred to get dressed then I hopped out of bed, grabbed Bilbo, threw him in his travel bag, and pushed them both out the door. I couldn’t stand it. I started to cry.
Fred picked Bilbo up 6 hours later. When he came out of his bag he had a little white rag tied just above his right front paw. He looked just like Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones from Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. It was so cute and made all of the stress worth it, at least from my perspective (of course, Fred removed the bandage before I could get a picture for you! I tried to restage it, but neither Bilbo nor Fred would let me). I threw a piece of cardboard on the ground and put on “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas, but Bilbo was a huge party pooper and wouldn’t perform (apparently the vet did use anesthesia).
P.S. For all of you Bilbo fans (and my sister), don’t worry, Bilbo is all better and eating a ton!