When Pet Owners Give You Paws For Thought

, , , , | Right | April 26, 2021

I work in a boarding kennel and cattery. I am taking a dog up to reception who visits regularly, so we know his behaviour and personality really well and can tell when something is off. He was only in the kennels with us for a weekend.

Me: “Hi, Mr. & Mrs. [Customer’s Last Name], here’s Hugo! He’s had a good time and made lots of friends as always, but we did notice that he has been a tad lethargic this time around and limping on his left front leg.”

Customer: “Oh, no! His meds are supposed to help with that!”

Alarm bells start ringing because I KNOW Hugo was never given any meds over the weekend.

Me: “Oh, my, I’m so sorry. We never gave him any meds!”

Customer: “Oh, no, we kept them at home; we didn’t want them to get lost here!”

Me: “…”

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It’s A Neighbor-Eat-Neighbor World Out There

, , , , | Friendly | April 25, 2021

Every day, I walk my dog for at least a mile around our neighborhood. We take a different route every day. One day, we are walking down a short street that we rarely take, a few blocks from home. I hear a sharp barking and look up to see a small dog come flying out of a house, through the open gate, and up to my dog. The smaller dog keeps barking, while my dog is quiet, but both do try to bump noses as dogs do when they meet each other. Since I don’t know this dog, I pull my dog away, shouting, “Please get your dog!”

There is a sign, provided by our local government, on their lawn, stating that it is the law that dogs must be on a leash and picked up after.

Eventually, two teenage girls appear, and after a little chasing, they finally catch their dog. I am expecting to have a laugh with them about how silly our dogs are, but instead, they begin scolding me!

Girl: “Why can’t you control your dog?”

Me: “The law requires dogs to be on a leash.”

I point to the sign on their lawn.

Me: “My dog is on a leash.”

I point to my dog’s leash.

Me: “Your dog is off your property without a leash.”

Girl: “But this is our house!”

Me: “Yes. That is your house. But this is the sidewalk. You do not live on the sidewalk. It is public property.”

In the meantime, their parents come out to yell at me, too, and I yell back because I do not allow others to speak to me disrespectfully, especially when they’re the ones in the wrong and I am not. Then, I go home, calm myself, and go on with my day.

My neighborhood is quite the community, and I learn from other neighbors that this particular family is very hostile, believes that they are superior, and tends to act like they own the whole block. They get angry when other animals get anywhere near their property, but they allow their dog to do whatever it likes.

However, one neighbor has this to say.

Neighbor: “I saw the whole thing and your dog was the aggressor! Daily you get dragged down the street by your dog, and you went through their gate into their yard. Your dog was barking the whole time and attacked their dog, and they had to take it to the vet because it was bitten on the leg.”

Me: “My goodness! It sounds like you saw me commit at least three crimes! Why didn’t you call the police?”

Neighbor: *Pauses* “You’re spending too much time on this!”

Since then, I’ve refused to set foot on that block, with or without my dog. Too many crazy people live there.

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Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 8

, , , , | Right | April 22, 2021

I work for a popular coffee chain, and, like most food service establishments, we have a strict policy against non-service pets in the store. State laws allow us to ask if it is a service animal, but it is illegal to ask for documentation; if they say yes, we must take them at their word. 

A man is standing in line with a small dog in his arms.

Me: “Excuse me, sir, but is that a service animal?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I am sorry, sir, but we don’t permit animals in our store unless they are service animals.”

Customer: “But what about [treat we give for free to dogs]?”

Me: “Sir, we are happy to give you one of those for your dog, but someone needs to wait outside with the animal.”

He walks away, looking confused, and returns almost immediately, still holding the dog.

Customer: “You’re breaking the law!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You’re breaking the law! You can’t ask someone if their pet is a service animal!”

Me: “Yes, I can, sir. As I said, that is our policy and it is my job to enforce it.”

Customer: *Getting more irate* “No, you are breaking the law!”

Me: “I only know what I am told, sir. I am not breaking any law.”

Customer: “Yes, you are!”

This whole time, one of our regulars is standing nearby waiting for his coffee. He is one of my favorite customers; he is a very kind, friendly man, and he also happens to be very large and fit. He finally turns exasperatedly toward the irate customer.

Regular: “No, she is not. I know the laws, and she is not breaking them. You are wrong!”

The customer held his tiny dog a little closer, muttered something, and then walked away. My regular got his coffee for free on his next visit!

Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 7
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 6
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 5
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 4
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 3

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We’re Not Kitten; You’re A Hero!

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 19, 2021

I’m a Registered Veterinary Technician running my own pet sitting and dog walking business. I’m on day two of a three-day overnight pet sit at a breeder’s home with cats and dogs and it’s a long weekend for Easter. There are currently three six-and-a-half-week-old kittens running about creating havoc and general kitten mischief.

I have to drive back into town to care for my own pets and take a quick shower. Shortly after returning to the client’s home, I hear faint distressed meowing coming from down the hallway. I go to investigate, opening some of the bedrooms to check to make sure I didn’t lock a kitten in when letting the dogs in and out of their rooms.

I get to the master bedroom and find a bunch of the cats peeking under the bed, and the meowing is coming from underneath it. I get down and look and find one of the kittens wrapped up in some fabric that had been torn from the bottom of the box spring. I reach under to try to unwrap her, but she’s halfway under and I can barely reach or see her and it feels like the fabric is wrapped around a leg. I crawl back out and rush to the kitchen to grab a pair of scissors to try to cut her out with.

On my way back, I hear her give one more strained cry and fall silent. I rush over to the side of the bed and get down, ready to reach back under, only to be face to face with an angry hissing momma cat. Fearing more for the kitten than myself, I plead with her not to scratch my face and reach under. The kitten has gone limp. In a panic, I realize that there is no way I am going to be able to maneuver the scissors to cut the fabric and instead grab a handful of the fabric close to the boxspring and pull. I don’t know if it’s adrenaline or if the fabric is just frayed enough, but I manage to rip the fabric from the bed and pull the kitten out.

She’s still not moving or breathing, and I see that the fabric is wrapped tightly around her little neck. I manage to get the scissors between the fabric and cut it. Even with the fabric removed from her neck, she still is not breathing, and I begin CPR and mouth to mouth. After a minute of compressions and breaths, she starts coughing and moving sluggishly. I scoop her up and rush to put her in a carrier while getting the emergency vet number and also trying to reach my client over the phone.

We don’t have an emergency vet that stays open up here; instead, the clinics rotate who is on call each day and you have to wait for them to call you back. While waiting, I keep monitoring the kitten, and she slowly starts to move around and be aware of her surroundings.

Finally, after twenty minutes, the vet calls me back and we go through an assessment over the phone to determine if I should bring her in. By then, the kitten is acting as if nothing happened beyond being a bit quiet, and it is decided that she will be okay.

And that is how I saved the life of a six-and-a-half-week-old kitten by knowing how to perform CPR on pets. Happy Pet First Aid Month, everyone! If you have pets, please consider enrolling in a class that will teach you Pet CPR and First Aid; you never know when it may save a tiny life.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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This Situation Will Just Snake Along, Part 3

, , , | Right | April 13, 2021

I take my very docile ball python along with me on a trip to the pet store. That goes fine, and on my way home, I remember some things I need at the local thrift store. Now, a reasonable person would go home, drop off the snake, and go back out. But, for brain-no-worky-right reasons, it’s very hard for me to get back out of the house once I’m home. So, I am left with a choice: go home and try to remember to go another day or take my three-foot snake into a retail location that’s not pet-friendly.

I wrap my snake around my neck and pray everyone thinks he’s a particularly chunky necklace. It’s a slow time of day in the off-season, so I make it to the section I need without issue and start browsing. Then, I hear a gasp. I turn around just in time to see a teenage girl run off and, thinking the jig is up, scurry my way deeper into the store to find what I’m looking for and hope they’ll let me buy it before kicking me out.

As I’m frantically searching, I hear a soft “excuse me” from behind me and turn slowly to see the same teenage girl standing about ten feet away, shifting nervously on her feet.

Me: “Yes?”

Teenager: “Is that a real snake?”

Me: “Yes?”

She goes on to tell me that she’s terrified of snakes, but she’s never seen one so relaxed and calm before, and she asks for a picture. Having nothing to lose, I extract my snake’s head, rest it in my palm, and pose. She snaps a photo and thanks me, and I ask her if she would like to try to touch him, which has her going wide-eyed and shaking her head quickly. We say our goodbyes and I find what I need and head to the checkout, my snake having snuggled himself back in around my neck.

I finish paying and the cashier is just handing me my bags when he does a double-take. Welp, you can’t dodge lightning twice, I fear.

Cashier: “Is that a snake?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “That’s awesome. Have a great day!”

Good thing I didn’t need to do anything else that day. I’m pretty sure I used up all my luck in those ten minutes!

This Situation Will Just Snake Along, Part 2
This Situation Will Just Snake Along

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