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Sick As A Dog

, , , , , | Healthy | April 30, 2019

(My roommate works outside of the city, about an hour’s drive away. She decides that she wants to get a dog, and the other two roommates and I agree to help take care of it during the day when she’s away. On Monday, the dog is having some stomach trouble. We watch her closely but determine that she needs to go to the vet on Wednesday. My roommate contacts the vet to let them know that I will be bringing the dog by. I drop the dog off, and then return a few hours later when called to pick her up.)

Me: “Hello, I’m here to pick up [Dog] on behalf of [Roommate].”

Front Desk: “Great! She’ll need to take these pills for nausea.” *hands me the pills, and brings the dog out on a leash*

Me: “Has she had the pill for today? Is there anything I can or cannot feed it to her with?”

Front Desk: “I didn’t handle her case; let me get the vet.” *goes to the back, then returns a few minutes later* “I’m sorry, but the vet is with another patient right now. I’ll pull up her file, instead.” *pulls up the file on the computer* “It says that you need to keep an eye on her.”

Me: “What do you mean by ‘keep an eye on her’? What do I need to watch for? And does it say anything about the pill or the foods she shouldn’t have?”

Front Desk: “I can’t tell you that for privacy reasons. The vet has contacted your roommate; you’ll need to talk to her.”

Me: “My roommate is at work right now and might not be able to respond to calls or texts for a few hours. Could you at least let me know what I need to watch for over the next four hours until she’s home?”

Front Desk: “I can’t tell you about anything else on her file for privacy reasons.”

(Frustrated, I take the dog and start walking to my car. I realize that I have no way of knowing if she’ll be able to handle the ride home without an accident, as the vet hasn’t given me any information about what’s wrong or what they’ve given the dog. I turn around, go back into the clinic, and hand the leash back to the woman at the front desk.)

Me: “Here’s [Dog] back. Without knowing any more than I did when I brought her here, I don’t feel comfortable taking her home. I don’t know what she’s had, how to care for her, or what will happen when we get home. Frankly, I don’t know why you’re even releasing her to me if you don’t feel that I have the right to that information. You’ll need to contact [Roommate] to come and get her, if you can get a hold of her at work.”

(I texted my roommate to give her a heads up about the situation, including the name of the woman that I had dealt with at the front desk. Thankfully, she felt I’d made the right move leaving the dog at the clinic and was able to pick her up after work. She also contacted the clinic to express her anger about how they had handled everything, and had my name along with our other roommates’ added to the account.)

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