It's no wonder I drove around the roundabout 7 times trying to find the Government Vet in Ramla, 40 minutes from my home. I mean, with a Government facility that's this well marked (insert sarcasm here) who wouldn't drive right in? I was looking for a blue gate, next to the electricity company. Yeah.... right.... as if I know what the utility company looks like...
How did I spot this diamond in the rough you ask yourselves? Was it the Government Seals on the gate? The signs on the doors? Israeli flag flying overhead? Sure, I saw the hint of a blue gate, but EVERY gate on this street is blue! Maybe I should have rolled my windows down and listened for the Israeli bureaucratic machine inefficiently grinding within.
Instead, I drove into the least likely place that I would remotely think of placing a Government Vet's office, and voila, there it was, right in front of me. Isn't it normal to have a Government Vet's office attached to 2 exposed port-a-johns?
Government Vet's Office ........... Well Marked Gate and Driveway
I took Libby out of the car and put on her leash. I made sure I had my 31 shekels (in exact change), and documentation of her most recent rabies shot. We knocked on the only door I could find. No answer. We started to walk around the premises in search of anyone who looked like they could help, or who spoke English. Up walks a guy who clearly sees me and my large black dog on a leash. I ask if he speaks English and he responds, "sort of" and continues to walk right by. I yell out to him that I'm looking for the vet, to which he turns his head and responds, "me, I vet." He must have just assumed that I was taking my dog for a nice walk around this run down industrial parking lot/overgrown horse stable, that also doubles as a Government vets office, for the hell of it.
The entire transaction took less than three minutes. He looked at me, he looked at the dog, he pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote down our name, destination, and Libby's age. He then checked her passport (yes Libby has her own doggie passport with the record of all her vaccinations), stamped the piece of paper 3 times with 3 different stamps, collected my money, and sent me on my way. It took me more time to write this here than I spent in his office.
Am I surprised by any of this? No. Yet it still frustrates me that I spent over 2 hours on the road, in traffic, looking for a vet who didn't even bother to evaluate Libby albeit for a cursory glance, in search of lousy piece of paper that gives Libby her freedom from Israel, that probably won't even be looked at in customs.
Am I angry? Maybe a little... more so at myself... for thinking that it would turn out any differently than it did.
More than anything I'm relieved that it's over, that it's one less thing I have to worry about this week. Though who wants to bet that she gets hurt and we end up back at the vet before we leave? I'd almost be willing to play those odds in Vegas. Any takers?