The dreaded vet appointment was as dreadful as dreaded but we are recovering (Skye faster than me!).
We wake up at 6am, couldn't sleep anymore, stressed by what we were going to do to Skye. We stay in bed until 7, no point in getting her stressed sooner that needed. At 7, I get out of bed, go greet her in the living room as usual, she wags her tail, stretches, and stays on her bed as usual. I go in the office, close the door to the yard, and casually prepare her breakfast. She comes, pauses when she sees the door closed, but decides to eat her breakfast anyway. I empty the dishwasher to stay a bit longer in the kitchen and observe her. Then go to our bedroom to get dressed. Our routine is broken. She comes in the bedroom wondering what we are doing, checks the other door that goes to the yard and sees it's also closed. Now it's time. Peter stays in the bedroom as he would just stress her more. I go in the laundry room where the crate is. We assembled it yesterday and hid it there. Skye follows me. She sees the crate, and cautiously sniffs it out. I attempt to push her in it, but she resists and starts panicking. I hold her as best as I can, close the laundry door with my foot, and put her in the crate. I close the door of the crate. Step 1 accomplished. I feel crappy. I am not very proud of using her trust to trick her in the crate, but I don't think I could have done it any other way :(
We put the crate in the car and drive to the vet. Because of covid, we have to stay in our car. We check in on the phone. The doctor calls us back. We explain that we are here for her vaccine and that our dog is not an ordinary dog and that she needs special handling. (We unfortunately weren't able to get an appointment with our primary vet in the time frame required by animal control...) Fifteen minutes later, he comes out with a vet tech (we told him that 2 persons were required to carry the crate). We explain again Skye's background, that she is under socialized and fearful and that they should be careful to not let her out of the crate. We even explain how the other doctor gave her injections 10 months ago: unscrew the crate, place a blanket on her head, hold her through the blanket, remove the top of the crate, do the injection, and close everything back. He acknowledges everything and carry Skye and her crate inside.
We wait for 30 minutes. We were so stressed that we didn't even touch the breakfast we brought along. After what seemed an eternity, they brought her back out and loaded her crate in the car. She had blood on her face! (*) The vet was very red and sweaty. He wasn't happy. He told us that she got out of her crate, they tried to catch her, put a leash around her neck and choke her... He continues telling how dangerous she is, she almost bit him and the vet tech... He asks us if we have kids because she is definitely dangerous, feral dogs like her that can never be "normal"... My heart sank. He hurts my dog and criticizes her and us! I was sad and furious. Good I wasn't the one driving. I was mad. Mad at myself for having made the wrong choice of bringing her here, and mad at the vet. And of course very worried about the impact of that new trauma we inflicted on Skye.
(*) The blood came from her bitting her tongue... I don't even want to think about it!
At home, we open the crate. Skye goes to her water bowl for a long drink and then goes outside to lay on her mat. She isn't showing any signs of stress. She lets me pet her, takes many treats, and acts as she nothing happened. She comes inside without thinking twice about the door. She is napping next to me in the living room as I am writing this.
I am impressed. I know dogs are very good at contextualizing, but wow! I am impressed. Impressed and relieved. I am also relieved because we don't have to see a vet for 3 more years (fingers crossed).
PS: Note that Skye didn't bite anyone in that vet office. She may have scared them by putting her mouth around their arms and hands but she didn't close it. She didn't even leave marks. Her bite inhibition is actually pretty amazing regarding the circumstances. I think that says a lot about her.