Wishing This Was A Shaggy Dog Story

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 19, 2018

(My husband and I are returning to our apartment after picking up some dinner when a large dog runs up the car. We park and get out of the car with the dog jumping up on us excitedly. We see someone standing there watching from in front of the apartment building’s security door.)

Husband: “Is this your dog?”

Random Guy: “No.”

Husband: *trying to calm dog down* “Let’s see your tag, girl…”

(The dog has a very chewed-up, plastic tag on her collar, listing a number. He goes to call on his cell phone while I try to keep the dog calm and with us, as she keeps racing around and I’m afraid she’ll run off.)

Husband: “I’m on hold.”

(Five minutes later.)

Husband: “I’m still on hold.”

(A few more minutes later:)

Husband: “Hello. I found this strange dog running around our street and— Okay, I’ll get a pen.” *writes down number*

Me: “What’s up?”

Husband: “The number on the tag is the tag’s manufacturer. They sold it to [Local Vet Clinic]. They’re giving me the clinic’s number so I can call them to get the owner’s number.”

(He then dials the vet clinic, who puts him on hold for another five minutes before looking up the owner’s number. Keep in mind we’ve got a rambunctious, strange dog and it is below freezing outside where we are.)

Husband: *on phone* “Hello, I’ve found a— The phone disconnected.”

(He redials and get’s the owner’s voicemail. During this, the dog is getting more and more impatient, and she suddenly lunges at me, jaws open. I freak a bit and let go of her collar, and she takes off running.)

Husband: *on phone* “Hello. I think I found your dog at [Street]; please give me a call back.”

(He hangs up and sees that the dog has run off.)

Husband: “You want to look for her?”

Me: “Yeah… It’s freezing out and I’ll worry all night if we don’t try. Did the clinic give you her address?”

Husband: “Yeah, it’s only a few blocks from here; let’s start looking that way.”

(We troop along that way, and after a block or two the dog comes back bounding up to us. This time both of us grab her collar, and my husband tries calling the owner again and again. No one picks up. Finally we get to the dog’s supposed address. The lights are all on, and the door is open, although the screen door is shut and locked. We knock, no answer. We knock again, loudly. No answer. Pissed off by now, we start loudly yelling into the house, “Anyone home? Anyone here lose a dog?” Finally, a middle-aged woman comes and opens the door and stares at us.)

Me: “Um, is this your dog?”

Woman: “Oh. Yeah. My kids let her out. My daughter is out looking for her.”

(She abruptly grabs the dog and disappears back into the house.)

Me: “Wow. You’re welcome I guess.”

(We walked home to our very cold dinner, happy we found the dog’s home, and incredibly annoyed at the owners.)


Dear readers,

We would like to issue a retraction on the original title to this story. In short, we really messed up here, and we’re sorry.

Some of you felt that we were mocking people who genuinely suffer from anxiety, or taunting readers who have asked for trigger warnings for potentially upsetting stories. We would like to explicitly state that this was not our intention.

The original title was a reference to a Hollywood trope where no harm comes to animals, and it was very poorly crafted. Adding “Trigger Warning” in front, and the unfortunate reality that there are other stories we have posted where animals are in distress makes it clear how bad this was. There’s simply no other way this title could have been construed but as totally awful. Looking back now, we are horrified at the result, and we are so, so sorry for how tasteless and insensitive this was to you.

You deserve better, and we promise to begin enforcing, in earnest, the following steps to prevent this from happening again:

Trigger warnings will only be used in a serious and respectful way. This was not done consistently in the past, and we’re sorry for this. Moving forward, we’ll be issuing Content Warnings which will serve as a warning to protect readers, and never to demean them. We absolutely respect that for some readers, certain types of content are difficult and distressing to read.

To this end, we will also begin tagging any stories about animal cruelty or abuse with the tag “Animal Abuse” – regardless of the outcome of the story. We will attempt to go through our archives and retroactively tag stories that are appropriate for this tag, but please do message us if you feel we have missed any.

Thank you for calling us out on this mistake, and our sincere appreciation for your support. Please let us know if you have any additional feedback. We deeply wish to make Not Always Right a better experience for you, and hope you can continue to enjoy our site.

Sincerely & humbly,
The Not Always Right editors

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Groomed For Mental Illness

, , , , , , | Legal | November 17, 2018

(I work at a pet shop as a dog groomer. This exchange happens between me and a unpleasant customer one afternoon.)

Me: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

Customer: “I had my dog groomed here, and you charged $3 extra for her haircut. I want to know why.”

(I look her up.)

Me: “After looking at her info, I see she got a special coat treatment and was charged extra.”

Customer: “I know she got special treatment. What I want to know is why I was charged extra for it. I only wanted it on one part of her body.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, we charge for extras. It even says so on our board, and we just can’t treat just one spot, so the groomer charged you.”

(The customer started screaming about how incompetent we all were and how she wanted a full refund for upsetting her. She grabbed some scissors on the desk and threatened to slash her dog’s throat if we didn’t do as she said. I yelled at my coworkers to call 911 because she had flipped and was scaring everyone in the shop. She ran out the door and drove off before the cops showed up. About two weeks later, I was walking across the parking lot of the vet next door to our shop when I heard a car start up. It was the customer, driving towards me, sticking her head out of the car, and shrieking. She drove right at me, and I had to jump out of the way before I got hit! She was screaming about how I owed her $3! I called the cops and gave them her name. When they entered her home later, they found that she had gutted her home and booby-trapped the inside so that “they couldn’t get to her.” She had binoculars trained at all the windows, watching her neighborhood. And she killed her poor dog. She got locked up for a very long time.)

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Pet Owners Are Barking Mad

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 23, 2018

(The UK has been struggling with a heatwave. We’ve just finished a lunch rush and things are a little quieter. We just cleaning up the bar area while people finish up their food when my coworker and I hear the most awful, rasping panting from a dog entering the door. An older couple enter with their small dog, who is barely able to to walk in a straight line, and sit themselves down at a table. The woman approaches us.)

Woman: “Hi, are you still serving food?

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Would you like some water for your dog before you order? We want to make all of our guests to be comfortable.”

(I ask this because I’m increasingly concerned for the dog’s wellbeing — its panting is sounding significantly worse and it is drooling excessively for a small dog — but I don’t want to sound too nosey.)

Woman: “Oh, no, he’s fine. He’s just tired from our walk up [Popular Tourist Cliff Walk about 2.5 miles long]. We have some water, anyway.”

Me: “No problem, ma’am.”

(I take her order and serve their drinks quickly, watching the dog drink almost half a litre of water rapidly with no change in comfort. Just as I go to check on another table, the dog gets briefly to its feet to vomit violently, only to collapse into the vomit. I quickly try to keep my other customers, including children, calm while the dog’s owners seem oblivious to the severity of its condition, which is now clearly heatstroke.)

Woman: “Oh, dear, someone’s drank too quickly and is tired!” *to my coworker and myself* “Will you be dears and help us clean up?”

(My coworker goes to clean up the vomit while I swiftly go into the kitchen to explain the situation to my boss, who is also the chef.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], I think we have a dog with heatstroke out there. Is there anything we can do? I’m willing to call [Friend of mine who is a veterinary nurse], if you’d like.”

Boss: “There’s not much we can do, [My Name]; it’s not our dog. Offer to call [Vet a few miles up the road] for them and try to get them to go there; otherwise, you just have to continue as normal. I’m sorry.”

(I go back out and do as I’ve been told to do, offering help as much as I can.)

Woman: “I’m sure he’s fine. We’ll consider it if he doesn’t improve by the time our food comes out.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. No problem.”

(I try to continue with my other tasks while still watching for any change in the dog. A few minutes later, the food is ready and I take it out to them. The dog is still severely panting, and the owners have now taken the water away to stop him from vomiting it up again. I have to bite my tongue and say nothing, cleaning dirty glasses behind the bar so I can listen to them talking and be ready to do something if the dog ends up going into shock or a seizure.)

Woman: *to a concerned customer* “Oh, he didn’t make it to the top of [Cliff Walk], but luckily we had a deck chair with us and we used that as a stretcher to carry him there! It was beautiful up there, you know? The sun and the heat was warming up all of our old bones wonderfully! There weren’t any other dogs, either, so we had most of the cliff to ourselves! It really was fantastic.”

(The couple left with their dog after an agonisingly long time eating their food, with all of us encouraging them to go to the vet again before they left. Several hours later when my shift ended, I went to the vets to pick up some wormers for my own pets only to find out the couple hadn’t come in. It wasn’t until the next morning my friend texted me to let me know they ended up coming in during the night. They had found the dog unresponsive in its own vomit again shortly after coming back to their caravan after visiting friends. The poor little thing died of heatstroke less than an hour later. I can’t help wishing I could have done more, and that the owners had not been so stupid as to take their dog for a walk in that heat.)

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Taking Catty Behavior To A Whole New Level

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | July 8, 2018

When I was a child, my dad had a bunch of friends from work over. Our elderly cat is friendly and likes to come out and say hi to new people, which wasn’t a problem until he jumped up onto the couch to come and sit with me, his favorite person. One of Dad’s coworkers then proceeded to grab my cat by the neck — not even the skin on the back of his neck, his actual neck — and slam him onto the hardwood floor and shout at him, “Animals do not belong on the couch!”

There was an awkward silence as everyone processed what she’d just done. The cat ran and hid, and was in so much pain afterwards that we had to get him checked out by a vet. Turns out she slammed him onto the ground so hard that she broke two of his ribs, which never healed properly because he was so old. She was ordered to get out right away, and anytime she tried to get a word in, my dad would shout, “GET OUT!” over her until she left. I’d never seen him so angry in my life.

She later got fired from her job because she acted like my dad had been unreasonable and kept trying to start drama with him until their boss got sick of it.

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The Great Fish Massacre of 2008

, , | Right | December 22, 2008

Customer: “I bought ten fish and they all DIED. The customer service desk said you would get me new ones. Here’s my receipt.”

Me: “It looks like you had ten feeder goldfish?”

Customer: “Yes, and they all DIED. I want new ones.”

Me: “That’s unusual. Goldfish are pretty hardy. Did they have any little white spots, or anything like that before they died?”

Customer: “No, I went to feed them and they were all dead in the bowl!”

Me: Wait… you had ten goldfish in a bowl? What size?”

Customer: “Like this!” *points to a small bowl on the shelf*

Me: “Ma’am, that bowl only holds a gallon of water. The general rule for fish is ‘a gallon of water per inch of fish’. So for these goldfish at the size they’re now, you would need a tank larger then ten gallons to accommodate them.”

Customer: “I want them in a bowl! Maybe I’ll get smaller fish. How much are these?” *pointing*

Me: “Those are fancy guppies; they’re two dollars.”

Customer: “EACH?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “What about those?

Me: “Those are angelfish; they’re four dollars.”

Customer: “EACH?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Just give me the ten fish to replace my other ones! Those are only 39 cents each!”

Me: “Fine… but if you put them all in the same bowl, they’re all going to die again, and I don’t want to hear about it when they do!”

Customer: *pause* “Get me my fish!”

(She got her new fish. No idea what the death toll was.)

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