Whenever I write about our vet, Dr. Larry Venezia, my readers go into overdrive with accolades about Larry. Everyone loves this guy, and I can see why. He’s not only a brilliant diagnostician, he’s beyond compassionate, and not just for the pets he treats, but for their owners as well.
I’ll tell you, though, in spite of his universal appeal, there is one thing he is totally clueless about. Me.
When Bob placed Jordy on the examining table, Larry looked over at me, and ever-so-unfortunately said, “You’ve rounded out.”
“Yes,” he smiled. “You look better since you’ve put on a few.”
Look — I know we’re all into gender fluidity, but you’ve got to trust me on this one; no woman wants to hear she’s put on weight.
“Larry,” I was steaming. “I’m going to tell everyone who reads my March 6th Cape Cod Times column that you said I’m fat.”
Laughing, he said, “I didn’t say that!”
“Well,” I sulked, “you may as well have.”
“I was just worried about you when you were too skinny,” he said, stepping as far away from me that he could feasibly do. He began to examine Jordy.
I whispered to Bob, “I told you I was fat; even Larry says so.”
He whispered back. “He did not say that. You’re twisting his words. Larry wouldn’t say that even if it was true.”
Oh, poor, poor Bob. He should never have added that last part.
“So it’s true?”
He refused to answer.
Then Larry asked about Jordy.
Still inwardly fuming, I said, “He’s aggressive. He’ll be sitting next to me on the couch, then suddenly he’ll jump on my shoulder and stick his teeth in my neck.”
Larry did not win any points with me by coming to Jordy’s defense: “He’s a good boy. But he thinks you’re alpha, and he wants to be in charge instead.”
“But he does this with all of our cats.”
The little devil (I mean Jordy, not Larry — at the moment) acted like a timid, sweet, innocent kitty. Larry cooed to him, “We can’t have you being so aggressive, now can we?”
So, Larry put Jordy on — wait for it — Prozac. It has made a big difference in Jordy. (If only he prescribed it for me.)
The second we got back to our car, I started in on my poor husband. “Do you think I’m fat?”
Now, even if he did think that, you know I’d chop off his head if he said, “Yes.”
“Saralee, you look wonderful.”
“You mean with the extra weight.”
“No — well yes. Larry was right. You were too thin.”
“So now I’m pleasingly plump?”
“You’re not pleasingly plump.”
“Just plump, then?”
Bob wisely knew to stop talking.
And so, Jordy has finally calmed down.
But obviously I haven’t.
However, this past Monday, I met Larry to have our picture taken. His parting words to me? “You look great.”
I teased him. “That’s better to hear than I’ve rounded out.”
“I didn’t mean that in a derogatory way.”
I thought for a moment. And saw the truth. My genuinely heartfelt response? “I know you didn’t, Larry.”
Larry is honest because it’s in his character; he’s also honest because he has to be. Can you imagine having to tell pet owners the saddest news a pet “parent” could hear? I’ve heard those words. Everyone who has a pet has heard those words. If there’s one person who I would trust to communicate with me from the vastness of his kind heart, from the depths of his genius mind, and especially from the goodness of his intentions, it’s Larry Venezia.
Award-winning columnist, Saralee Perel, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website: www.SaraleePerel.com. Her column runs the first Friday of each month.