Gremlins In The Library

, , , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work the night shift at a large university library that is open 24 hours. There are only three staff members, me included, working this shift, and the library is fairly empty. In order to get into the library in the middle of the night, students have to swipe their student cards to activate the outer doors, and then are required to physically show the card to a staff member as they enter. We take turns checking cards at the door throughout the night, and it is currently my turn to do it. I’ve been sitting at the security podium by the door for about three hours already; it is required that someone remain at the door constantly in order to make sure that no non-students enter the library. As I glance up from the book I’ve been reading, I suddenly notice a small, white dog dart between two study rooms on the opposite side of the floor. Not sure at first if I’ve hallucinated it, I finally decide to radio my coworker.)

Coworker: “Is there a problem?”

Me: “Yeah… Um, you’re not going to believe this… but I think there’s a dog loose in the library.”

Coworker: *after a pause* “You let a dog into the library?”

Me: “No! Nobody’s come through the front doors in at least two hours, and I didn’t see anybody come in with a dog. I don’t know how it got in.”

(Another coworker, who has been listening in on the radio, decides to pipe in:)

Coworker #2: “You let a dog into the library?”

Me: “No! I don’t know how it got in!”

Coworker #1: “Where is it now?”

Me: “I think it’s in Study Room B.”

Coworker #2: “I’ll go check it out.”

Coworker #1: “All right. Radio back when you know what’s going on.”

(The coworker arrives a few minutes later and walks into the study room where I saw the dog enter. I hear her shout something unintelligible, and then her voice comes back on the radio)

Coworker #2: “It s*** all over the place!”

Coworker #1: *on the radio* “The dog did?”

Coworker #2: “Of course it was the dog!”

Me: “We hope it was the dog…”

Coworker #1: “All right, I’m coming down. Where is the dog now?”

Coworker #2: “Not in Study Room B. But he’s been here. He left his mark.”

Me: “I haven’t seen him come back this way, either.”

(My coworkers lock up Study Room B to be cleaned, and then do a sweep of the floor. They can’t find the dog, but they do find more of its feces scattered around the library, mostly in study rooms. Finally, they radio back to me.)

Coworker #1: “You’re sure this is a dog?”

Me: “You think a person is doing this?”

Coworker #1: “I guess not. It’s just…”

(He pauses.)

Me: “Just what?”

Coworker #2: “There’s a lot of s***, [My Name]. So much s***. It’s everywhere. This dog knows what he’s doing.”

(I try not to laugh as my coworkers frantically continue their search. Just as I’m about to radio in for an update, a white blur passes in my periphery, and I turn to see the dog darting beneath the wide central staircase, which is just a few yards from my post by the door.)

Me: *radioing* “Guys! He just went under the stairs! Do you want me to go try to grab him?”

Coworker #1: “No! Stay by the door. You need to watch for students. Just stay where you are; we’re coming to you!”

(They both come bolting down the stairs, and as they turn to duck under the steps to look for the dog, the dog darts back out the other side and goes running for an open study room opposite the stairs.)

Coworker #2: “No! Not in there! That’s one of the only rooms he hasn’t gotten yet!”

(I get up from my post to help give chase, but as [Coworker #1] passes me, he motions for me to sit back down. Begrudgingly, I obey. They chase the dog into the empty study room… and then back out again. They chase him around the floor for several minutes before the dog hops up the stairs and heads to the second floor. My coworkers frantically follow.)

Coworker #2: *on the radio again* “[My Name], watch the stairs. If he comes back your way, you ditch the doors and grab him. It’s time we put an end to this.”

(I suddenly hear someone shouting from the second floor. Concerned, I radio in to ask if everything is okay.)

Coworker #2: “The dog just blasted feces all over the Help Desk. I think there’s something wrong with this dog!”

(At that moment, I see a student swipe his card at the outer doors and enter the library. He walks up to me and shows me his card, as usual, then looks around.)

Student: “Hey, have you seen a little white dog in here?”

Me: “Yes! We’ve been trying to catch him for an hour. Is he yours?”

Student: “Yeah, I dropped him off.”

Me: “You… what?”

Student: “I said I dropped him off. Is he ready to leave?”

(I’m too dumbfounded for a moment to answer, and the student then turns to face the library and begins shouting.)

Student: “Gizmo! Gizmo, c’mere! C’mere, boy!”

(To my astonishment, the dog casually appears at the top of the stairs and makes his way down toward his owner. My coworkers follow, running at first, until they see that the dog is being beckoned by his owner. They slowly head toward us, visibly distraught by the entire experience, as the owner picks up his dog.)

Student: “Hey, Gizmo! Time to go!”

Coworker #1: “Hey, wait a minute!”

Student: “Oh, yeah? What’s up?”

Coworker #1: “That’s your dog?”

Student: “Yes.”

Coworker #1: “You can’t bring a dog into the library.”

Student: “I didn’t. I dropped him off.”

Coworker #1: “Well, he caused a huge disruption and damaged several of our study rooms. We’ve had to close them and they’ll need to be hosed down.”

Student: “I’m sorry. I didn’t think he’d be a problem.”

Coworker #2: “Well, he was! He defecated all over the library.”

Student: “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. But what do you want me to do?”

([Coworker #1], not quite sure how to handle this situation, ultimately decides to take the student’s information in case he may be asked to help pay for the cleaning that will be required. Still seemingly oblivious to the huge disruption that’s been caused by him and his dog, the student leaves, and my coworkers and I stand back for a moment to collect ourselves.)

Coworker #2: “Well, that was different.”

Coworker #1: “What is wrong with people? Did he think this was a doggy daycare or something?”

Me: “Honestly, I’m more concerned about what was wrong with that dog.”

Coworker #2: “Maybe he fed it after midnight.”

Hot Dog Means Sick Dog

, , , , , | Related | August 7, 2018

(My mother-in-law rules her roost, which is fine. Her house, her rules. However, she rarely listens to the rules set in other households, as she believes she knows best. My husband has invited his family over for a BBQ. My dog has a very sensitive stomach and is on prescription food to avoid any digestive issues.)

Mother-In-Law: “Where is [Dog]?”

Me: “Inside.”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, bring her outside.”

Me: “She begs for scraps and then gets sick.”

Mother-In-Law: “But she’s probably hungry, smelling all this food.”

Me: “She has food and water right now. She doesn’t get people food because it encourages begging and, as I just said, she always gets sick.”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, one little burger won’t hurt.”

Me: “Yes. Yes, it will. Please leave her alone.”

Mother-In-Law: *rolls her eyes but says nothing*

(Not long after this exchange, I see my dog wandering the yard, trying to snitch food from abandoned plates.)

Me: “How did [Dog] get out?”

Mother-In-Law: “She was hungry!”

Me: “I gave her food!”

Mother-In-Law: “Well, she obviously didn’t like it. Look: she wants hot dogs!”

(She tosses a fully loaded hot dog to my dog, who scarfs it down and comes over for more.)

Me: “[Mother-In-Law], I’m serious. Do not feed [Dog], or you will not be welcome back here for a long time.”

Mother-In-Law: “Don’t talk to me like that! [My Husband], is your wife always so disrespectful?”

Me: “Respect my rules and I’ll respect you.”

Mother-In-Law: “You’ll respect me because I am your mother-in-law.”

Me: “Do not feed my dog.”

Mother-In-Law: “She’s starving!”

Husband: “She is not, Mom. We don’t want her having people food. She has a sensitive stomach. You know this.”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, it’s fine. Don’t be so uptight.”

(I took my dog back inside… where she threw up. Luckily, it wasn’t on the carpet so it was easy enough to clean up. I told my mother-in-law that she should clean it up, as she was the one who fed the dog. She refused and insisted it was something I did. She has not been invited to any other functions at our house since, and she’s quite snippy with me when we do see each other.)

This Policy Has Gone To The Dogs

, , , , , , , | Working | July 31, 2018

(I’m at common, nationwide pharmacy and grocery store when I see a woman walking a small dog down one of the aisles. While the woman is distracted, I watch the dog pee on a shelf filled with cereal boxes. The woman never seems to notice, so as I am heading to the cash, anyway, I decide to tell the cashiers about the dog. There are two cashiers and a supervisor at the front when I get up there.)

Me: “Hi, do you guys know you have a lady in here walking around with a dog?”

Supervisor: “Yeah, it’s fine.”

Me: “Really? So, I can bring my dog in with me next time?”

(Pointing at my dog sitting outside the glass window watching for me.)

Supervisor: “Ah, no. She’s just a friend, so it’s okay.”

Me: “Not really. Your company policy says no dogs except service dogs, so I should be allowed to bring my dog in if that woman can; it’s clearly not a service dog.”

Supervisor: “No, but it’s a really good dog! So, it’s okay for her, but uh, your dog can’t come in. “

(I see nothing wrong with dogs in stores as long as the owners are responsible, clean up if there’s an accident, and carefully watch them. I also have this view of parents with kids. My dog loves her pet store and hardware store walking trips, but this attitude annoyed me. Guess what I didn’t tell them?)

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Suffering Bad Pet Owners

, , , , , | Healthy | July 30, 2018

(I work the front desk in a highly recommended vet hospital that has both appointments with doctors and a walk-in emergency service. Emergency visits are always a trip. A young man walks in, carrying his dachshund mix. He tells me that his dog is having respiratory distress, so I take her back to see the doctor first before getting his information. It turns out that the dog has been having breathing troubles for two days. The doctor is not impressed with that info and, with client approval, takes some x-rays to see what might be going on internally. It’s cancer, a lot of cancer in all of the places. The dog is not comfortable outside of oxygen, so the vet goes to talk to the owner to explain that euthanasia is the only humane option. By this point, the owner’s father has come to join him and has brought his own dog. He is handling the dog very roughly and occasionally whacks the dog lightly with the end of the leash when he thinks the dog is misbehaving.)

Father: “Vets just want to take your money! Don’t worry, [Dog], they’re not going to see you. This is where dogs come to die.”

(He is making other clients uncomfortable, so I warn the ER doctor as she goes in to speak with them. The client is understandably shocked and upset, but the father is whole other matter.)

Father: “We’re not ready to put her down yet. Can you give us meds to keep her comfortable for another week?”

Vet: “Sir, she isn’t comfortable at all outside of oxygen. It would be against medical advice to take her out of oxygen and take her home.”

Father: “I’ll take her out of oxygen if I want to! It’s not like she’s suffering!”

(The vet was literally so angry she had to leave the room because yes, this dog was suffering! The father continued to be resistant, but the client agreed that it was in her best interest to euthanize her immediately, and handled the rest of the visit like a rational adult.)



, , , , , , | Related | July 27, 2018

(We are having a family dinner for my mom’s birthday. Towards the end of the meal, the conversation turns to my sister-in-law’s VERY elderly and sickly dog.)

Brother: “…and she insists on buying the forty-pound-bags of food for him, and every time, I tell her that the food will outlast the dog.”

Grandma: “You know, that’s how I feel every time I buy green bananas.”

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