Now here's the interesting thing - the vet - the same one I had some issues with yesterday - had kept her word and run Noble's blood tests immediately, was very nice on the phone and seemed genuinely pleased that Noble's results were so good. And then I read something on another blog that got me thinking - the quote that caught my eye and thoughts was "not every story belongs to me." It occurs to me that in every human/human, or for that matter human/horse interaction, that there are two stories, one for each participant, and if you were to ask both to tell their stories, they might give a different perspective on the whole thing.
And thinking about this also made me remember the difficulties I used to have with my farrier. I was having some trouble with him when he was working on Maisie - she was very uncooperative, and we knew that some of this was pain related due to some back issues, and, as we later found out, foot pain. My farrier's approach to this was to manhandle her and even hit her when she wasn't compliant, which didn't improve things. I told him in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable to me. I wasn't sure that I could keep using him (farriers are hard to come by at a small barn like ours) but was willing to give it a try. I also made it clear that I would do everything I could training- and handling-wise to help her behave. He listened to me and figured out some ways to hold her feet that made it easier for her (and him). And after her bout with laminitis, she actually seems to appreciate having her feet done and has been very cooperative. I appreciate his willingness to listen and try to change what he was doing. His story was legitimate - she was being a beast to work with - but my story was legitimate, too - I didn't want my horse hit, both because I don't like my horses treated that way and because I don't think it works very well.
Now, back to that vet. Let's imagine her story for a moment - we may not get it right but it's worth the effort to think about it. She was fairly young and probably not that experienced. She was somewhat abrupt and not calming, but I think that's partly her personality and partly that she hasn't yet learned how to be calm with the horses. She was in a hurry, since Noble had been added to her schedule just the day before - and no one at the vet practice had troubled to write that down on her schedule although they told me they would. He was very uncooperative - he often is for the vet - but I knew I could manage to help him cooperate enough to get the job done and she had no reason to know that and resorted to the short-cut coercive technique she had learned. (Many people do these things, in my opinion, because they don't know how to do anything else.) She was probably frustrated and may have felt that she looked bad for having trouble with him, and worse because I objected to the way she was handling him. She may not have been sure that she could get the job done at that point. At one point I told her that I needed her to work with me on this, and I think she listened to that. When I helped hold his head, she was able to do what needed doing and her judgments weren't bad ones. Next time I see her, on an emergency call or otherwise, I think my best course of action will be to be clear about what is OK in terms of her interactions with the horses, and to be as calm and steady as I can. I will still speak to Dr. Ana about which regular vet we should use, but I'd like to figure out a way to work with this young vet as well - I don't think she's a bad person at heart and her story is her own.