That would be: a visit to the Veterinarian. Jekyll and Satan's Familiar go to the 90210 version of veterinary care. High end, coddle and coo, all that. Which comes with a price tag. This clinic is right across the street from John's office and two blocks from the younger kids' school, so convenience matches cost, dollar for dollar.
But sometimes? Consider today, when the Matron took in the two doggies for their annuals. Now, Satan's Familiar is (alas) just two years old. Jekyll? Nearly 16. He is deaf, blind, senile and sometimes tries to hump the footstool, which impresses John.
Veterinarian: "Mary, would you like to shampoo both dogs in a hypoallergenic formula for approximately $233.98 dollars apiece?"
Matron: "No, thank you."
Veterinarian: "How about that chronic itch with Scruffy? His skin looks a little red. Should we test for wheat and dairy allergies? Maybe egg? Better yet, consult the allergist?"
Matron: "Uh, how much is that?"
Vet: "$173.79. Plus tax"
Matron, considered that Satan's Familiar ate an entire bag of fortune cookies, four hard-boiled eggs and one abandoned bowl of ice cream just yesterday with no visible adverse results: "We'll pass."
Veterinarian: "Scruffy's teeth should be cleaned. That's $222.45. What do you think?"
Matron: "Will they get dirty again?"
Small uncomfortable capitalist pause, sort of like the entire nation is currently experiencing.
Matron: "Just kidding! Actually, we'll wait a couple more years. Are we done with the wish list?" (she actually didn't say that but oh that thought crossed her mind)
Veterinarian: "How about Jekyll? I think we should do a full blood panel, considering his age and current inability to see, hear, or hobble more than a few yards. That will be $256.44."
Matron: "What will that assess?"
Veterinarian: "That test shows us if there's anything on the horizon, any health concerns ahead."
Matron: "You mean, like death?"
And with that, she was done.