Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Plug for Cheapo-Veterinary!

The second I saw this website,  I thought to myself, "How appropriate!"  Such a great idea and I suspect we will start seeing more and more of these types of spoofs, given the declining state of the profession and the frustrations felt amongst my colleagues.

Plus, we get tired of having to defend ourselves for, oh, I don't know, things like...  earning a living, supporting our families, having lives, etc. to the cheap ass public who thinks vets should do everything for free.

But otherwise this is just some funny stuff.  :)

Cheapo Vet

To my friends who invented this wonderful idea that is still making me laugh, kudos to you and your great idea!

Friday, March 29, 2013

He likes WHAT?

We get all types at VBB Animal Hospital. Today's 10:00 was a new patient of the feline persuasion, and he was hunkered down in his top-opening-carrier. I reached in to take him out, gripping the scruff of the neck firmly with one hand, and using my other hand to support his body weight under the thorax, with his abdomen resting on my arm. The 20something female client was amazed!

Client: WOW! You can pick him up like that?
Me: Yep!
Client: I've heard people talk about grabbing the scruff, but I've never tried it.
Me: well, it works well for us. I find that sometimes it even causes the cat to relax a little.
Client: That makes sense, because, you know - he likes being choked.
Me: [glances at TBB, looks at client] What was that?
Client: You know, he likes being choked. Not, like, to cut off his breathing or anything! just, you know, kind of gently.
Me: Oh. Well, generally choking is not something we recommend, I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding or-
Client: Oh, this is coming out all wrong. I just mean, you know, he likes it if I squeeze him around the neck, just gently, you know.
Me: well, I'm not sure that I do know, but, as long as he seems to tolerate whatever it is you are doing, and isn't resisting in any way, or having any trouble breathing at any time, I guess it's ok.
Client: Good, because he really likes it.

I hope this cat doesn't come in with evidence of upper respiratory obstruction any time soon. But the owner really didn't seem like a crazy weirdo. She seemed like a totally normal person - aside from the strange remarks.

Of course as soon as she left, everyone started wondering if she had any chickens. Ba dum dum (ching).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Please pass the alprazolam.

Lately things have been kind of getting on my nerves.

First of all, I do not believe it is ok for anything that has lungs to ride in the trunk of a car. Call me crazy, but this is my strong opinion. So, you know, I found it pretty shocking when my client came to pick up her in-heat bitch, and asked a staff member to carry the dog out to the car and *put her in the trunk*. I'm pleased that my staff member responded appropriately and refused to do this. So the client came inside and asked to speak to me, and told me she didn't understand what the problem was. Her mom's car, you see, has white upholstery, and she was afraid of getting blood on it. I honestly don't really remember the rest of the conversation we had, but in the end one of our towels went home with this lady and her dog, and the dog sat on the towel, and all was good (at least until they were out of the parking lot. For all I know she moved the dog into the trunk around the corner, but I hope not).

Second of all, there is the issue of names. Now, I'm not an idiot (shut UP!). I understand the concept of nicknames. Hell, I even have a few myself. But, in general, for official documents such as medical records, consistency in naming is important. If you, Dear Client, have a pet named Butterscotch, and call him Buddy for short - I totally understand, and that's just fine. However - if you have a pet named Butterscotch, and you register him with my clinic as "Butterscotch Smith," but then you take him to a cardiologist and register him as "Buddy Jones," because you got married or divorced and changed your dog's last name accordingly but never mentioned it to us, then I am going to get a referral letter from Dr. Cardio in regard to our mutual patient, Buddy Jones. And then I am going to search my database for a Buddy Jones, and I may or may not find one - and if I do find one it may or my not be the same age/breed/sex. And I will pull out my hair if I do find a matching signalment because hey - there's nothing in the notes about heart disease! And I will pull out my hair if I do not find one because hey, what WAS the name of the last dog I referred to Dr. Cardio? It's just all very frustrating. PLEASE, Dear Client - be consistent.

Third of all, we have the issue of emergencies. We all know that sometimes emergencies happen. When you roll into my parking lot while I'm walking out the door to head home to my family, and your dog is gasping for breath, guess what? I am going to run over and start helping you. If you walk in during my lunch break and your cat has blood pouring out of its rectum, I'm going to put down my quinoa salad and start working the case. HOWEVER -- if you walk in during my busiest appointment time and DEMAND that we see your dog RIGHT NOW because he has been licking a red spot on his foot for three weeks and it is now an EMERGENCY because you have to leave to get to the airport in 20 minutes or you will miss your cruise, well, GUESS WHAT? That is not, in fact, an emergency according to the Laws of the House of VBB! That is what we call a "client emergency," and if you are very very lucky, and I'm in a good mood and the stars are aligned, I'll accomodate you. But if I am busy with people who thought ahead and made appointments for their pets, I'm not going to make them wait past their scheduled time because you were thoughtless. Sorry. Just the way it is!

Tell me - what's been getting on YOUR nerves lately? And please pass the alprazolam - this chamomile tea isn't helping at all.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Penny and Ed

Penny was 6 weeks old when she first visited, back in 1996. Sounds like a century ago, and yeah, it’s been a while. A little red dachshund, Penny showed personality already, which meant she fit in with the gentleman who brought her by. She looked around my office as if deciding whether it met her expectations. Yes, you may pet me, but no…I’d rather you not look into my mouth nor touch my feet. Assertiveness training would not be needed to complete her package.

Her person was a man older than I but how old was a bit difficult to divine. Neither tall nor overweight, I guess you’d call him wiry. Whoever chiseled his face out of that rock had cleverly lined it with the wrinkles of both wisdom and laughter. His dress was as casual as the old pickup truck in which he arrived. The truck sported a stained formerly white camper shell that looked like it was actually used for camping, and I had no problem visualizing a spot under a large pine, lake over there and white granite boulders here, an old fire ring and a comfortable chair, with books to read and sunsets to ponder. And at one time a glass of something to help with the memories, the ones you really don’t need to remember. Did get the impression that the man was comfortable alone.

I don’t believe he worked. I hope he wrote, but I never asked. Always seemed he had something to say worth listening to, but you would have to start before he joined in. Below the cuff of his left pant leg lived the wooden leg. It was exquisitely stained a deep reddish brown and then lacquered to a mirror finish, with a black round rubber “foot”. A peg leg. Ed could have passed for a pirate direct from central casting had he so wished.

Penny stopped by for her puppy vaccines right on schedule, endured the hysterectomy at six months, and then periodically over the last 17 years, we’d cut her toenails. Nobody else could. She wouldn’t allow this. Not an uncommon trait in the wiener beast. We always managed to get the job done with only the minimal amount of persuasion. She didn’t like it, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for her. And it gave me a chance to get to know Ed better. He always saw that Penny got whatever she needed.

Eventually, we got around to that wooden leg.

War is not healthy for people and other living things. I knew all about that, I thought, except for that where I actually learned first hand. I skipped that part. Ed didn’t.

His war was Korea. If it were not for the MASH TV series, no one around here would remember Korea. It was the first war we fought to a draw, on purpose. And like soccer, that made little sense to Americans. Likely that accounts in large part for our amnesia. We’ve grown accustomed to this now, since apparently that’s the new proper way of doing war. But unless you talk to one of that war’s veterans, you probably missed it. Ed remembered.

I kinda walked Ed into this discussion with both feet in my mouth. I probably mentioned his leg, and then I pried a little too far. He got the far away look in his eyes, the eyes that suddenly lost their sparkle. Real quiet filled the room. Even Penny stood still, eyes on her person. I felt it in the pit of my stomach. I went to change the subject, but he stopped me. I guess he felt like talking that day.

Much of that war involved fighting over hilltops with numbers. No features, just numbers. You generally want to be fighting downhill in war, so this made some sense. Ed’s unit was entrenched upon such a hill, and when the other side showed up in the middle of the night they did it with thousands more men. The usual mess ensued; the position was overrun and then retaken later in the day. Just another hill with a number.

When things settled down, they made a pile of the Chinese bodies over there, and the American bodies over here. Somebody was having a smoke when he saw a finger twitch on one of the American bodies deep in that pile. That was Ed’s finger.

Anyway, that’s how Ed got the wooden leg, and presumably this exerted some influence over the next 45 years of his life before I met him. He was a neat guy, but I wouldn’t have traded places with him.

Ed was married, sorta. His wife Vivian was also an interesting person. I believe he said they met over a bottle, or maybe at one of those meetings on the rebound after the love affair with a bottle ended. After Ed passed she brought Penny in, mostly for toe nail trims. Got to know her well too, and liked her. But then she also grew sickly, and so an adult son began bringing Penny in.

He got the house and dog when she left. Dan wasn’t near as interesting as his mother or Ed, but he got by. And for years more I saw Penny infrequently, took care of the things Dan would let me do, and cut her nails. There were other things that could have been done for Penny, should have been done, but as these things sometimes go, we didn’t get the chance.

Dan met me outside the clinic when I unlocked the doors after lunch on Monday. He looked like heck. I’d seen the appointment on the schedule, five o’clock, euthanasia, Penny, age 17. He didn’t have any money, but would I still put Penny to sleep that afternoon? He’d pay me later.

Sometimes you break the rules, the rules you force yourself to follow because of how easy you can make it for people to steal from you if you don’t. But for Penny the rules don’t apply, so yeah I’ll do it.

Penny looked pretty bad. She was fat as usual, and those various large growths were still poking out of her like they had for the last few years. Her mouth was horrid, thanks to Dan postponing all those suggestions to deal with that. But she was still in there, and her personality still filled the room. So why are we putting Penny to sleep this afternoon?

Well, Dan finally lost the house, and he has nowhere to live. Nowhere. He has no place for Penny anymore.

Life puts you into situations, sometimes. It put Ed on that hill once, and Penny on my table many times, and now it put her fate into my hands. And the best thing I could do for Penny, and for Ed’s memory, and for Vivian’s sweetness, was to let Penny go. I didn’t do it for Dan, for although I’d known him for years I felt no connection there. He followed his own path, because of or despite whatever Vivian and Ed had done for him. I owed him nothing.

But if there is one simple sentence that sums up why we humanely end some lives, it would be this. If it genuinely feels like you are doing a beloved pet a favor by letting them go, you are. 

And so, I did.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Please Hire a Proofreader!!

Sent to VBB by a fan.

Other than "what a prime example of where the profession is going", there are no words for this.  What a shame and an embarrassment to this profession.

You have 5 minutes to come up with as many comments as possible.   Okay more than 5 minutes.  Rip it apart.  This doctor should be ashamed of sending this out to the public. 

**Names and phone numbers are blocked out to protect the innocent, although we at VBB think this doctor's name should be printed as well.  If you're gonna put this out there, prepare to defend it to your colleagues!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Someone Else's Eyes

As with most veterinarians, I was away this past week on "vacation", which really means I went to a continuing education class and took a few days off before it so I could have some down time.   Vets don't take real vacations - you know, the two weeks off where you get to really decompress and start to realize maybe you have a good life, the ones where you actually are excited to return home?

Yeah.  It wasn't one of those. 

Now, granted, I will admit that the location of the CE class was pretty stellar.  It was held in Yosemite National Park, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Still, there's something wrong about sitting in a classroom, staring out the window at the granite mountains, wishing you weren't having to learn anything.  In fact, cashiering at the gift shop or working the flat top grill seemed more appealing to me than returning to my life as a vet.  At least, for a few minutes, that is....


I did squeeze in two days of super duper fun in the....  snow.  Downhill skiing.  A good friend of mine told me that the only way she was ever really able to decompress was to do something that completely took her mind off of her practice and of being a veterinarian.  For her it was extreme sports.

It's kinda like that for me, too, in that I have to do things that completely exhaust me, that have nothing to do with veterinary medicine.  Thus, downhill skiing and scuba diving are my two favorite pasttimes.

So I downhill skied for two days and forgot all about being a veterinarian.

That is, after the first two hours of Day One.

See, I took some refresher lessons, and while riding the lift up to the sissy little bunny slope, the cute, nice ski instructor (are they defined any other way?) said to me:

"Your husband told me that you have my Dream Job.  You're a veterinarian!"

To which I replied,


That was it.  That was about all that I said.  I did manage to mutter out a few words that said something along the lines of, "it's a really difficult job to be a vet" while the instructor was talking to me about various things related to animals.  I barely heard anything he said because - to be honest - I hadn't skied in a while and I was trying not to piss my pants before getting off the lift!

So the scary part did distract me.

Later on though, I realized how rude I must have sounded.  It may have been partially because I was trying to focus on not dying while downhill skiing, but...  the hard truth was that I had no positivity to offer about my profession, I didn't say much about my practice and I never once said, "Oh yeah, it's a GREAT JOB!"  I didn't even THINK that.

To him, I hold a high position, a dream position, and he was excited about it and envious.

But what I thought was, "wow, I have his dream job, and he has mine...  a ski instructor in Yosemite."

Could we switch places please?

I guess what has lingered in my mind about this interaction is my question to myself of when did I lose that feeling of ambassadorship for my profession?  When did I start rolling my eyes to myself when someone mentions that it's their dream job?  When did I start screaming in my head to people (that they never hear) that it's NOT a dream, but rather a NIGHTMARE job on some days?

There are theories that those of us who are the kindest, the most sensitive, most emotional types of people suffer the most of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  I just never, ever, in my entire life, thought that my choice of career would worsen that for me.  But it does.

I have no idea how to break that cycle other than to continue to find and develop my life outside of vet med.  If anybody has any other advice, not just for me, but for our readers who might be experiencing the same thing...  please chime in.

Till then, I'll keep pursuing the things that make me happy that have absolutely nothing to do with being a veterinarian, and I'll keep going on vacation, pretending I'm living a different life, if only for a few weeks a year.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bourbon and Bandages

Today I ran out of Band-Aids. Actually, they were some off brand from the chain of drug stores. But I ran out of them, anyway. The last two days have not been a celebration of intact integument. Sorry. For those of you without medical training, integument means skin. Don’t mean to be huffy and disrespectful of those without a medical education. Far from it. You all know the joy of skin poked through with sharp objects, and torn asunder with similar implements. Of this is what I speak. So please pardon the big words. My skin has been rent full of holes, so I used up all the Band-Aids in the place. 

Yesterday, the penetrators were the usual six month old cat, immersed deeply in the brat stage of cat development, and a joy filled young pit bull who just wanted to love me to death.  The little kitty simply drove a few claws into my arm during a moment of indecision. And the joyous pit bull was merely overcome by the moment, because she thought I might pet her. The dog claws torn off a much larger piece of my skin, or integument, than the cat could manage. She didn’t mean to. But this put a dent in the Band-Aid box.

Today’s animals weren’t so well intentioned. When I first met the German Shepherd, she was only eleven weeks old, and she should have been delighted to meet some strange bearded man who approached her across the exam room table. But no, she wasn’t all that well adjusted, and she was pure freaky scared and dangerous at eleven weeks of age that I could not even pet her. I remember thinking that by the time she was a year old, I wouldn’t be able to enter the room with her.

And the little one, the Chihuahua mix…..well she nearly screamed when I tried to touch her when she was only eight weeks old. I remember wondering just what it takes to completely ruin a darling little puppy at this tender age. What horrors can you expose it to that will take an animal that wants nothing more than to love total strangers, and turn it into a cowering snarling vicious totally harmed puppy monster. So now that she is five months old and a huge nine pounds, she is actually a dangerous dog that should be killed for its own good, for the terror it lives every day is intolerable torture. But you cannot say a word, for we must respect the culture that destroyed her, because that’s the politically correct thing these days.

So tonight I sport five Band-Aids on my arms and fingers. I was wrong about the German Shepherd, for she did let me touch her, but when I touched her chest with my stethoscope, she launched into the air, wild eyed with terror and rage, and the left hand of mine on her collar held her tight. She raked my arms with her claws, and thus my blood tumbled to the floor as I auscultated her heart prior to admitting her for the anesthetic and surgery. The mop cleaned the floor, and the bandages stemmed the flow of blood, and we spayed her so thank the Lord she will never have puppies condemned by genetics and a mother’s teaching to a life of terror and violence. 

The Chihuahua cross showed up scheduled for a vaccine, but once here the man who translated the other language into English for my benefit told me that the puppy had been vomiting and now would not eat. So I thought some version of a physical examination was in order for this puppy. She now was five months old, and she trembled on the exam table. She squirmed when I touched her. Her tummy seemed OK, and so I thought a peek at her eyes and mouth in order. Well, that was not to be. My blood flowed again as the puppy’s claws tore into my wrist, and when I wrenched my arm free, I carelessly left my finger available for the sinking of those tiny teeth we call needle teeth. I might have mentioned to the owner that such behavior was a tad inappropriate in a puppy that should run unabated to any stranger for hugs and pets. But such was a waste of breath and effort. I did mention that I hoped the disease present was the self-limiting version, for if the puppy needed more care, it was going to die, for no one could help the nasty little, ah, creature.

So tonight I wear the five Band-Aids, and I wonder why.

Last week was one of those times you hate when you are the veterinarian. I spent the week telling wonderful owners of wonderful pets that we were dealing with incurable painful diseases, and the only thing of value I could offer was the quiet and humane ending of miserable life. We had too many such last week, and we thought we could not possibly cry any more.

So tonight, after stopping by the drug store for more Band-Aids and some more bourbon, I wondered aloud….. just what is worse, the killing of wonderful pets for wonderful people when that was all we had to offer, or the dealing with the dregs of humanity who have destroyed their animals with neglect and cruelty, whose animals leave me bleeding and hurt, and they could not care less. And I had no answer to my own question. 

So I opened and then destroyed the bourbon, and tried to type this. And I have no clue right now why I do this silly thing with my life.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Diagnosis: idiot!

From the VBB mailbag, I bring you Dr. Happyvet's tale of woe:

Joe Doglover has a dog named Mutt. Mutt has had a few health problems for a while, so Joe takes Mutt to Dr. Happyvet.  Using her powerful diagnostic skills, Dr. Happyvet determines that Mutt suffers from “sickdogosis,” and requires continued treatment.   Treatment is prescribed, but sadly the Mutt does not improve, as Joe either decides not to treat Mutt, or forgets to give the medication. Instead, Mutt gets worse. 
Chart review reveals that sickdogosis  has been noted three times in the file. The last time Mutt was seen, sickdogosis was "discussed extensively with owner". Specifically, a treatment plan was laid out, with appropriate diet and medication sent home. Prices to further work up sickdogosis at external labs were relayed to the owner - the record contains copies of these estimates. A few articles regarding possible underlying diagnoses, additional medical treatments, management methods and possible outcomes of sickdogosis were sent home with Joe on multiple occasions. These articles were discussed while sitting next to Joe, and relevant points were highlighted in front of him. A summary was written on another sheet of paper and given to Joe, with a copy retained for inclusion in the medical record.   
After a while, Joe stopped coming in, and there were no additional updates on Mutt. A few weeks later, a records transfer request arrives at the clinic. Reason given?  "Dr. Happyvet is incompetent for failing to recognize that Mutt had sickdogosis."
          I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oh, Cable Guy!

So, this isn't meant as a "poor me" post, or a husband bashing post, or anything other than a "take a minute and think about this" post. 
I'm a full-time small animal veterinarian. My husband works for a large cable company as an installer. We both work our butts off to be good at our jobs.  
I was paying bills the other day and realized: 
  • I spent 4 years in graduate school to be able to do what I do. My husband was on the job trained. 
  • I graduated with ~$115K in loans (all from grad school). My husband has none. 
  • I paid for my school. My husband's company paid him to attend school. 
  • I pay for my health insurance, have my own retirement plan since my clinic does not offer one, and get no money for continuing education, uniforms, dues for professional organizations, etc. My husband gets full medical, dental, vision, retirement plan, weekly paid training sessions, a work vehicle, and paid for uniform shirts. 
  • I work, on average, about 60-65 hours per week. If there are emergencies, I have a patient in hospital that needs care, or we are busy, it's significantly more than that. My husband works about 50 hours a week. 
  • I do not get any paid time off for sick days or vacation. He accrues paid time off every week, and is guaranteed sick days. 
So, all of this adds up to a significant difference in the bottom line, right?
Well, I suppose it does.....the past few months, he's made more than I do. 
In essence: with less training, less debt, fewer hours, better pay, and better benefits, it makes more sense for me to go work for a cable company than it does for me to a be a practicing doctor. Kinda makes me stop and think - next time I have a bright eyed young person look up at me and tell me they want to be a vet, too... It's sad.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Walk softly & carry a large tranquilizer gun

This story from the remote VBB outpost known as VBB Ambulatory Service illustrates part of the problem our farm-call colleagues have every day. Small animal vets may recognize the archetypal Mr. Nopay in this dramatization of a routine inquiry by phone:

VBBAS: Good morning, VBB Ambulatory Service.  How can I help you?

Mr. Nopay: I wanted to make an appointment for spring shots for my horse.  How much will that cost?

VBBAS: That depends upon what vaccinations your horse needs.  How old is your horse?

Mr. Nopay: He's three.  Is it too late for his boosters?

VBBAS: Do you mean annual vaccinations?

Mr. Nopay: No, his boosters.  The other veterinarian said I needed to make an appointment for his boosters.

VBBAS: Okay.  When was this?

Mr. Nopay: I don't think I should have to pay to start over.

VBBAS: When was your horse last vaccinated?

Mr. Nopay: The veterinarian gave him the five-way when he was six months old.

VBBAS: Has your horse received any other vaccinations?

Mr. Nopay: My horse doesn't like men.  That's why I thought I'd try VBB Ambulatory Service.

VBBAS: When was your horse last seen by a veterinarian?

Mr. Nopay: I hope you're better than the other veterinarians.

VBBAS: Who is your regular veterinarian?

Mr. Nopay: Well, I use Dr. Doesitall for my dogs, and he gave my horse the five-way, but now my horse is afraid of male veterinarians.  He is very rough.  The last time he vaccinated my horse he broke the pasture fence.

VBBAS: Was this last spring?

Mr. Nopay: No, when he gave him the five-way.  He said I need to make an appointment for a booster, but I didn't want to make it with him because after the last time my horse is afraid of male veterinarians.

VBBAS: Did your horse receive any vaccinations after the first shot?

Mr. Nopay: No, that's what I've been trying to tell you.  Dr. Doesitall doesn't travel with a technician.  Do you have a technician?

VBBAS: We can schedule the appointment on a day when the technician is with me.

Mr. Nopay: You shouldn't need one.  My horse is very well-trained.  He works at liberty.  I've taught him to rear.  Have you ever seen a horse rear at liberty?  He's so beautiful.  I'll have to show you the photo I used for my Christmas cards last year.

VBBAS: Let me make sure I understand.  Your horse received his first five-way when he was six months old...

Mr. Nopay: Yes.  Do you do castrations?  Dr. Doesitall doesn't do castrations.  Neither does Dr. Newgrad.  Dr. Deathwish wanted me to bring my horse to his hospital, but his hospital is expensive and my horse is afraid of men, anyhow.

VBBAS: I see.  Yes, I perform castrations.

Mr. Nopay: My horse only has one testicle.  Would there be a discount?

VBBAS: Actually, I don't perform cryptorchid castrations in the field, but we can talk more about that when I come out to your farm.  Now, your horse needs all of his vaccinations, and it sounds like he will need both the primary and the boosters because he didn't receive the full series originally.  I can work up an estimate for you so there won't be any surprises when I arrive for the appointment...

Mr. Nopay: Last spring Dr. Newgrad didn't bring her tranquilizer gun.  Do you have a tranquilizer gun?

VBBAS: ...Let me give you the phone number for Dr. Wild.

Mr. Nopay: But he's a man.  My horse doesn't like men...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

One of these things is not like the other..

So, one of our DBB is a big fan of Sam's Yams. Are you familiar with them? They are dried sweet potato slices. They are really expensive. You may have heard that vets aren't actually raking it in right now... so, you know, I figured maybe I could recreate these slices of heaven for DBB using the tools I have on hand in my kitchen - the oven, a knife, and some sweet potatoes. How hard can it be?

Well, it turns out it doesn't seem to be that hard. I read this article and I'm hoping that I can give this a try later today. I just have to get some sweet potatoes. But anyway, when I got down to the bottom, there was one of those "more articles like this" sections. Here's a screenshot:

One of these things just isn't the same...

Dude. The one on the right.  WTF?? Not about sweet potatoes! Not about food preparation or storage! Not in any way similar to the original article. Also, not particularly enlightening, if you go there and click through.... but honestly I wouldn't bother.

Anyway - anyone reading this ever made home-prepared dried sweet potato slices for his or her pooch? Any other healthy snacks your DBB loves? VBB Home Base could use some inspiration. Drop me a comment, or tweet@me!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Not cheaper by the dozen!

Sitting in my office, I can hear the receptionist out front on the phone with a caller. This is what I heard just now:

[ring, ring]

Receptionist: Hello, VBB Animal Hospital, how can I help you? [pause] Yes, we do boarding. [pause] Absolutely we do. Hang on let me see - yes, there's room that week. [pause] How many cats? NINE cats? Well that would be $22/cat/night. Yes. Yes, that's $198/night inclusive. No, there's no group discount. So have we seen these cats before? [pause] Oh you just moved to the area a year ago, I understand, but has any veterinarian seen these cats before? [pause] Well, we can't board them unless they are up to date on their vaccines. No, no. We cannot sell you the vaccines. Yes, even if they are indoors only, they can't stay here if they aren't up to date on their vaccines. [pause] Well they would need an examination so the veterinarian is sure they are healthy and free from infectious disease and parasites, and then they would need vaccines, and if you hang on I can get you an estimate - ah, yeah, that's what I thought. Well, pets are expensive. I know. I'm sorry. [pause] Actually I do know. Actually I take off one day a week to watch my grandson exactly because daycare is so expensive. But, the cost of daycare isn't really something that we take into account when we set our fees. [pause] You might have better luck finding a petsitter to come to your house. [pause] I don't know what else to tell you. [pause] Well you have a nice day too, maybe someone can call you at work and curse you out for doing your job. Thanks for your inquiry. Goodbye.

[slams down phone]

Is it any wonder people burn out in these jobs?