How far do you expect your doctor to go to make you feel comfortable? Veterinarian Mike Ferrell will dress up like a furry little animal if his clients insist.
When Rupert the Dalmatian came into Ferrell’s office, he was quite skittish. Ferrell had a hard time even approaching the dog, Metro reports.
Then, owner Sonya Schiff had an idea.
Rupert usually sleeps on a one-piece mouse costume, so why not use it in the vet’s office?
Ferrell donned the plushy gray costume, straightening his mouse nose before returning to diagnose his doggy patient. Rupert was pleased, and Ferrell was allowed to carry on with his work.
“When I adopted Rupert from Dogs Trust a couple of years back he had some quite serious guarding issues and aggression, which we believe were pain associated,” Schiff told Metro. “It took a year for him to bond with me after his rehoming, at which point he developed separation anxiety if I left him.”
Rupert was suffering from hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament problems which only surgery could fix. His temperament was previously a deterrent for any sort of interaction with doctors, but Rupert thought Ferrell’s new look was quite fetching.
It calmed Rupert down enough while Ferrell took a look at her leg.
“As dogs have a superior sense of smell and ability to smell between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than people, their brain processes information in a very short period of time,” said Monika Kafno, a dog behaviorist at the surgery. “This triggers an association of the smell with a particular experience or event in their life.”
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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