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Please Tell Us She Didn’t Take One Of Those “What Dog Are You” Quizzes!

, , , , | Right | March 20, 2021

In the early days of the Internet, the veterinarian I work for has a contract with a local pet store. Anytime someone purchases a puppy from them, they got a coupon for a free exam at our office within one week of purchase. Most new owners call and make an appointment as they leave the store, and sometimes we’ll be able to get them in for a same-day appointment.

This cocker spaniel puppy never even gets to the house before we see it.

Owner: *While checking in* “Oh, I’m just so happy. I went online and the Internet said I needed a female cocker spaniel, and then I went to the pet store, and there she was. She is so friendly and loveable; my girls will be thrilled! The Internet told me I needed a female cocker spaniel and it was right. She is perfect. She loves belly rubs, her ears are so soft…”

She keeps extolling the virtues of this puppy she has known for fifteen minutes now and praising the Internet for telling her to get a “female cocker spaniel.” She finally stops when the veterinarian walks in and introduces himself.

Vet: *Starting the exam* “Well, both his testicles have descended.”

Owner: “What do you mean, his testicles? She’s a she.”

Vet: “No, ma’am, he is a he; you see this is his—”

He starts to point out the puppy’s male anatomy.

Owner: “She had a pink collar on at the pet store! The Internet said I need a female cocker spaniel! I can’t have a male dog!”

She pulls out a cell phone and flips through the paperwork from the pet store to find their number.

The doctor and I make a strategic retreat from the exam room, but we can hear her ripping the poor pet store worker a new one. Several minutes later, she angrily throws open the door and thrusts the phone at me.

Owner: “Here, they want to talk to you.”

Me: “Hello?”

Pet Store: “So we sold her a male dog?”

Me: “The dog she brought is male, and the paperwork says female.”

Pet Store: “Yeah, I guess we put the wrong color collar on him. I found his sister at our other store; we’re going to have someone drive her over to your office. Can you take the male puppy from her to keep him safe, and can our worker come through the back door and trade out the puppies?”

Me: “Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.”

I handed the owner back her phone and told her that the store was going to bring the female here, and that we would call her when the puppy got here. She didn’t like that plan and instead sat in our lobby, calling and ranting at somebody about how the pet store gave her the wrong dog and how horrible it was. Our receptionist started a tally: the phrase “the Internet told me I need a female cocker spaniel” was said twenty-nine times in the hour it took the pet store workers to drive from the other store to us.

The female pup arrived. While they were physically the same except for gender, the boy was an outgoing, hyper thing that wanted to lick you to death, the kind of dog that has never met a stranger and believes all humans want to play with him at all times, whereas the girl was a shy, terrified thing and a submissive urinator that refused to look anyone in the eye, even her brother. They could not have been more different.

But the Internet had told the lady she needed a female cocker spaniel, so that is what she took home. One of our techs called the pet store and bought the male over the phone, so he never went back.

Butch was an office favorite and was used to teach a lot of our new staff until he passed away last year. His sister we never saw again, which is not unusual for pet store pups; the owner probably had an established vet or one closer to her house. I hope she came out of her shell and became a good dog and was everything the Internet told the lady the dog would be.

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