Humans Aren’t The Only Creatures Capable Of Drama

, , , , , | Healthy | May 8, 2020

The office I work at has a contract with the city police department. We take and treat all sick and injured strays and anything the animal control officers feel needs medical care before going to the shelter. We are open late nights for emergencies, and we get calls fairly regularly from police dispatch saying an officer is bringing in something.

One night, we are running short-staffed due to family emergencies with the people scheduled. Thankfully, it’s a slow night. Then, we get a phone call.

Me: “This is [Clinic]; how can I help you?”

Dispatch: “This is [Police Department] dispatch. We have an officer-involved shooting, officer injured, in route, eta ten minutes.”

Me: “Um, this is the veterinarian.”

Dispatch: “I know; it’s a K9 officer.”

Me: “Oh, um, okay. How bad is he hurt?”

Dispatch: “Unknown. All I know is that they are on their way to you and I was told to call and give you a heads-up.”

Me: “Okay, then, thanks”

I go tell the doctor, he freaks out, thinking this officer has been shot in the chest or something and is going to die on our table because we are really not equipped to handle a gunshot right now. We get the surgery room as ready as we can and wait until they pull up.

The officers all get out of the car. The K9 is limping but walking on his own, and we all let out a sigh of relief.

The K9’s partner can’t tell us much for confidentiality reasons, but this is what he could tell us. There was a suspect with a knife, an officer with a gun, and an officer with a dog. During the capture of the suspect, the dog was released and the gun was fired. While the other officers were booking the suspect, the K9’s partner noticed that the K9’s paw was covered in blood, and the K9 would not let his partner touch his foot. So, they came to us.

We get the officers inside and get the K9 on the exam table, and then it takes a muzzle, his partner, both our techs, and me all holding onto different parts of the dog to keep him on the table while the doctor tries to look at his paw. The paw is soaked in blood. Step one is to pour hydrogen peroxide on it to clean it up and find the wound.  

After a while, the doc asks a question.

Doctor: “Are we sure this isn’t transfer from the suspect?”

Partner: “Suspect was not injured.”

Doctor: “Are you 100% sure about that? I’m not seeing any cuts or anything”

The partner called in over the radio to confirm that the only injury involved was to the K9.  

The doc had a completely clean paw in his hands and was looking between toes and not finding any broken skin. And then, we saw it: a single drop of blood forming midway down a toenail.  

Big brave police dog chipped a nail and acted like his foot had been shot off.

1 Thumbs

That Four-Year-Old Is Braver Than Some Adult Editors…

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 4, 2020

It is spring 2004. A species of cicada emerges as adults every seventeen years in the Washington, DC area — DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland.  

They are everywhere: trees, buildings, roads. And they make an eerie sound because of the billions of them that are trying to find a mate at the same time. When they emerge, they come out of the ground in their nymph stage, dry out, and then molt their exoskeleton one last time. Once they’ve mated, they lay their eggs in the outer twig-like branches of trees. In doing so, the egg takes its nutrition from the tree, killing off the outer twelve inches or so of every branch of the tree.

So, all of the Hitchcockian effects of this insect: little mounds of dirt where each cicada emerges, discarded exoskeletons, cicadas flying everywhere, eerie sound, and many trees’ outer branches dying off.

During this time, I’ve headed to my daughter’s preschool, which is a Montessori school. They’ve taken it upon themselves to make this Biblical insect plague a teachable moment. I’m walking up to the front of the school to check my daughter out for the day. I hear the playful squeals of kids in the back playground. But one little girl, about four years old, is standing out front, looking intently at something in her hands.

The girl holds up her hands to me, showing me the dried leaving of a cicada’s molt, and says, “Look, mister. An exo-skeleton!”

“Why yes,” I say. “That’s exactly right!”

It’s great that instead of being afraid, this girl and all her classmates now have a better appreciation of nature.

1 Thumbs

Stamping Out Bad Bouncer Behavior

, , , , , , , | Working | May 1, 2020

Apologies to nightclub bouncers, but every job has its idiots that make everyone else look bad.

When my youngest son was about twenty or so — legal drinking age — he decided to check out a new night club that had opened about two weeks before. As the establishment was still new, there was a line out the door and about half a block up the sidewalk.

My son wanted to ask what the wait time was, so he asked the bouncer, a big mouth-breather sitting at the entrance, how long the wait would be. The guy told my son to F-off and get to the back of the line.

At that moment, the “bouncer” was called in to the club and left his station. More importantly, he left the hand stamper that allows admission on his little table. My son, a little pissed off by this guy’s attitude and by that point not at all interested in going into the club, grabbed the stamp and very politely made his way along the long line of people waiting to get in.

“You’re in, and you’re in, and you’re in…” He just went through the line on the sidewalk stamping people’s hands and they gratefully charged into the club. As the bouncer had left his post there was nobody to check them, but they had stamps, so the club ended up being full and having at least another fifty people crowded in. 

My son had got about halfway through the line when the idiot came up to him, demanded the stamp back, and informed him he was banned for life from the club. My son laughed, handed over the stamp, and left. The club closed about three months after.

I love my son; he doesn’t get mad but instead uses people’s idiocy for good.

1 Thumbs

Aragog Makes An Unexpected Comeback

, , , , , , | Related | May 1, 2020

My oldest niece is in high school and a bunch of her friends are making fun of her because she has never read the “Harry Potter” books, only seen the movies. I have all of the books in hardback and she asks if she can borrow them and then let her little sister read them next. I say sure, lending them out one at a time.

She gets halfway through the third book when we hear a blood-curdling scream. I go running to her.

Me: “What’s wrong?!”

Oldest Niece: “There’s a huge spider squished in between the pages of this book!”

I started laughing and finally remembered I had been in bed reading when this spider came down in between my nose and the book. I am both scared to death of spiders and allergic to them, so I slammed the book closed on it and then forgot… for a few years.

The best part is, my niece didn’t clean the spider off and when my younger niece got to that same page a week later, there was another blood-curdling scream.

1 Thumbs

Make A Donation With A Reality Check

, , , , , | Right | May 1, 2020

I have been a handyman for many years, doing really complex construction that does not require permits in our area. A neighbor calls me and asks if I would do some work for his church. I say I will consider it and agree to meet him at his church.

First, the pastor of the church knew nothing about this and reluctantly agrees to consider the project. My neighbor gives me a list of things he wants done, saying that this will be his donation to the church instead of money. I proceed to figure up the time, materials, and travel for the job and give him an estimated price.

Me: “Okay, I roughly figure the price to be [amount].”

Neighbor: “Okay, that’s fine; it will be my donation.”

Me: “I will need about half the money up front.”

This is my usual business practice, especially for those for whom I have not worked before.

Neighbor: “No, you don’t understand; this is my donation.”

Me: “That’s fine, but you are entering a contract with me, and I will be charging you [amount], which will be your donation.”

Neighbor: “No, obviously, you don’t understand what a donation is. I’m getting you to do this work for my donation to my church.”

Me: “Let me get this straight; you want me to purchase all the material, make multiple trips here, put in hours of work, and that will be your donation, and I get nothing for it?”

Neighbor: “Now you get it, exactly! What’s so hard to understand? This is my donation.”

Me: “It might be your donation, but it is not mine. No way will I do this.”

Neighbor: “But this is my donation! God won’t be pleased with you.”

For some reason, I decided against this job.

1 Thumbs