Please Do Not Pet The Managers

, , , , , , , | Right | June 17, 2020

I shop at a dollar store near my house frequently. I know pretty much all the employees, and they know me and my service dog. I’m in one day and the manager happens to be ringing me out.

The customer behind me sees my service dog and leans down to pet him.

Me: “Ma’am, please don’t touch him.”

Customer: “Oh, come on! He’s so cute!”

Me: “Yes, and he’s working. Please leave him alone.”

Customer: “You can’t control me! If I want to pet him, I’ll pet him! I don’t care if he’s working!”

The manager speaks up.

Manager: “I’m cute, too. Will you pet me?

The customer looks at him: a six-foot, heavily-built man.

Customer: “Well… I… Hmph!”

Manager: “Yeah, that’s what I thought. If you ain’t gonna pet me, you ain’t gotta pet a working dog.”

And that’s part of why I always shop there!

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The Cat’s Meow Isn’t Worse Than Its Bite

, , , , , | Healthy | June 15, 2020

I consider myself a bit of a medical disaster; if something goes wrong, it does so in the most spectacular or strange manner. 

This story begins the day before I head to the ER. My indoor cat makes a mad dash for the front door while I am taking rubbish out and disappears for a few minutes. As he is a black cat, and it is 1:00 am, he’s practically invisible.

His presence is made known when he starts getting his a** handed to him by a cat half his size across the road. I sigh, knowing that separating them will get me scratched up, but as a lifelong cat owner, I decide it’s worth it just to get him safely indoors.

What I am not expecting is my cat latching onto my hand, violently. He bites my hand and digs his claws up my arm! I get him back home and begin to clean the wound. It’s deep, but not bad enough for me to realise it needs medical attention. It’s late at night but I wake my parents to let them know what’s happened because I know how dangerous cat bites can be. With copious amounts of disinfectant, and closing up the most suspect scratches, I head to bed. 

During my shift at work the next day, it becomes apparent it needs further attention. I get out of my shift at 9:00 pm, call a nurse hotline, and am told that I really need to be at the hospital within twenty-four hours of the initial bite. Off to the ER I go, much at the dismay of my parents. They’re convinced I’ll be given a prescription of antibiotics and sent home.

Funnily enough, the reception nurse is a lady I assisted at work during the day, and we have a chat while waiting for the doctor. She asks me to take the bandage off my hand, and her face falls. I haven’t really looked at it for a few hours, but it has clearly swollen to almost twice the size of my other hand.

I get taken out back, but there are no beds available. I apologise for taking up valuable time and resources, but they say that they trust my judgment and that it was the right call to come in. The doctor finally makes it in and starts preparing me for an IV. I’m kind of shocked because at this stage I was still just expecting them to clean it and send me home with a prescription. I call my dad, who has been sitting in the car waiting for this “inevitable” outcome, but when he sees the situation, he is shocked, too.

I have terrible veins, which is great fun for all the blood tests I’ve needed in my time. They try to get one into my left arm, the one without injury, and fail. I’m informed it’s really against all best interests to have the injured arm stuck, but they have to go for it anyway. I receive the first round of antibiotics, and some painkillers, too. I’m asked when my last tetanus shot was. I think for a second, and then laugh.

My last tetanus shot was in 2012 when I was hospitalised… for a cat bite that pierced a hole through my skull! (Different cat!)

I’m admitted overnight and placed in the children’s ward, despite being an adult, as they really need to monitor my situation. I also need my arm suspended above my head, which is very uncomfortable with the attached drip. A sleepless night ensues.

The next day, as I’m about to be discharged, four rounds of antibiotics later, I hear the doctor speaking to the patient in the bed beside me. He mentions an animal bite, and I think that he may have the wrong patient.

Nope! The lady beside me, who was admitted mere minutes before me, is there for a snake bite! We end up laughing over it and realise that my situation is actually worse; I am genuinely at risk of losing my hand, but Snake Bite Lady is comparatively fine!

Although I now have a few scars up my hand and arm, it was almost worth the pain when the hilarity of the situation hit realising that my house cat bite was worse than a venomous snake bite!

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Who Is The Fish Out Of Water Here?

, , , , , | Right | June 9, 2020

I’m working in the aquatics department at a popular local pet store when a gentleman carrying a small container with a Betta fish comes up to me.

Customer: “Hi. This is my wife’s fish and she thinks there’s something wrong with it. She’s worried it may be sick.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let me take a look.” 

I observe the fish which is alive but clearly inflicted with fin rot and is floating near the bottom of the container.

Me: “Well, it looks like he has some fin rot going on.”

Customer: “That doesn’t sound good. Is there any medicine I can buy for him?”

Me: “Yes, there is. It’s called [Brand]. It will really help with healing his fins and getting him healthy again. Let me get some for you.” 

I’m about to walk away when the man’s wife calls on his cell phone.

Customer: “Wait! I think you should speak with my wife, since this is her fish.”

Me: “Sure.”

I get on the phone.

Me: “Hello?”

Customer’s Wife: “Hello, my name is [Wife] and I want you to look at my fish and tell me what you think is wrong with him.”

Me: “Well, it looks like his fins are damaged by fin rot and—”

Customer’s Wife: “I don’t understand how he could have gotten that. I change his water all the time and I clean his gravel. I just don’t understand. I’ve had him for a year and he’s like a baby to me. Is there medicine for him?”

Me: “Yes, it’s called [Brand] and—”

Customer’s Wife: *Angrily* “No! No, I do not want to use that. I’m on your website right now and I’m reading reviews about it and it doesn’t seem like a good product. What about [Other Brand]? Would that work?”

Me: “[Other Brand] is for different types of fish. I wouldn’t recommend it. I think you should use [Brand] because it is specifically for the treatment of Betta fish.”

Customer’s Wife: “Okay, fine, whatever you think. You’re the expert!” *Hangs up*

Customer: “What did she say?”

Me: “Well, she is definitely concerned about her fish and she wants me to make sure it’s getting the right medicine. I suggested [Brand] and I think that’s our best option.”

Customer: “Okay, do you think you can treat it for me so I don’t mess it up?” 

Me: “Sure, it’s an easy procedure and I can show you step by step how to do everything.”

Customer: “Wonderful, that would be great.”

Then, his wife calls his cell phone again and asks to speak with me. I get on the phone.

Me: “Hello?”

Customer’s Wife: “So, did you figure out which medicine to give him?”

Me: “Yes, I think [Brand] will be the best medicine for your Betta. Your husband wants me to go ahead and treat him. I will show him the directions for the Betta’s treatment.”

Customer’s Wife: “Well, how much medicine do you have to give him? I’m looking online and I’m trying to figure out the dosage.”

Me: “The bottle for the medicine says twelve drops per pint. How big is the Betta’s container?”

Customer’s Wife: *Angrily* Oh, I don’t know! A gallon? A half-gallon? I don’t know!”

Me: “Unfortunately, I can’t treat him if I don’t know how much water is in his container.”

Customer’s Wife: *Getting frustrated* “Well, you have to treat him! You don’t understand. He is like a baby to me. I’ve lost a lot of loved ones these past couple months and I can not deal with losing my fish. You have to do something!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for your losses and I understand your concern, but I am really limited with what I can do to help your fish since I don’t know how much water is in his container.”

Customer’s Wife: *Getting more frustrated* “Okay, well let’s say he is in a half-gallon container. How many drops would he need then?”

Me: “Umm…” *Trying to calculate*

Customer’s Wife: *Getting impatient* “How about this? How about you get someone else on the phone who is better at math, because I need to know so my fish survives. I don’t mean to insult you, honey, but clearly, you can’t figure it out. In fact, give me your fax number so I can send your manager the calculations.”

I do not know how to respond to the insult so I just politely give her the fax number.

Customer’s Wife: “Thank you. Hopefully, one of you over there can figure it out. This fish is important to me. I bought him at your other store across town, but I won’t hold them accountable for my fish getting sick. However, I am holding you responsible for my fish if he dies from improper medicine dosage.” *Hangs up*

I am in total shock and the man notices.

Customer: “Everything all right?”

Me: “To be honest, sir, I am a little afraid to treat your fish. Your wife was just telling me she is making me responsible if her fish dies. I can’t be held responsible for anything like that. We can try to figure out the dosage, but I can’t treat him for you.”

The customer puts his hand on my shoulder.

Customer: “I understand. I’ll buy the medicine and I’ll figure it out.”

Me: “Thanks, sir. I’m sorry I couldn’t help more. I wish you the best of luck.”

Customer: “It’s all right. You did fine. Have a good night.”

Me: “You, too.”

The man pays for the medicine at the register and comes back to the aquatics department. He is on his cell phone with his wife. And she asks to speak with me. I get on the phone. Again.

Customer’s Wife: “Okay, now I’m getting angry. I did not tell you I was holding you responsible. All I asked for was for you to calculate how many drops of medicine my Betta needed. I need to speak with your manager! Give me her office number immediately!” 

Although I was very confused, I did not argue with her, and I gave her my manager’s office number. She hung up and her husband walked out of the store. My managers never received a call from the man’s wife.

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Dogs Will Make Liars Of You Every Time

, , , , , , | Learning | June 6, 2020

My brother used to have an excruciatingly awful PE teacher. She was absurdly strict and demanding, hated boys, often humiliated students for bad performances, and enjoyed hunting in her free time.

Then, my parents got a puppy. It was not their first one, but this one was special. Imagine a hyperactive, overly curious, excitable, enthusiastically friendly, and loving little furball Hell-bent on becoming his new pack’s alpha. He was the sweetest little doggo you could ever meet but incredibly difficult to train. He tried to be a good boy so hard, he really did, but he couldn’t sit still if his life depended on it. 

My parents took him to an obedience school. The trainer there lasted three lessons and then told them to try somewhere else because he couldn’t handle him. The next one threw in the towel after two lessons. The third school was specialized in training gun dogs, but at this point, my parents didn’t really care as long as someone could make the little guy sit.

When my father and Good Boy arrived at the school, guess who greeted them? My brother’s PE teacher! She was a friend of the trainer and learned to train gun dogs in her free time; she had owned dogs all her life, in fact. Seeing how my dad struggled with his dog, she assumed he just didn’t know what he was doing. 

“Give him to me,” she said. “I’ll show you how it’s done.” Seeing how she was strict but friendly toward the other dogs, my dad handed over our puppy. 

Long story short: the puppy won. By the end of the lesson, he was jumping in circles around his new best friend, madly wagging his tail, and the PE teacher was nearly crying. She apologized to my dad. They started talking and he revealed that my brother was in one of her classes; she was mysteriously friendly for him for the rest of his time with her.

The puppy eventually became a fantastic gun dog. He did calm down a bit when he got older, but even when he was ten years old and started getting grey, people would still ask if he was a puppy — “He’s so energetic!” He died of renal failure last year. We decided not to get another dog since none of us can imagine that any other could live up to him.

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Off The Leash And Out Of Line

, , , , , , , | Friendly | June 2, 2020

In the north-central part of Calgary, Alberta, there is a large park that is kept as close to natural prairie conditions as possible, the only upgrades being surfaced paths to limit where people can walk. A significant portion of it is designated as an off-leash area. Although we had no dogs at the time, we often walked there.

One day, we were on a path that intersected another path at right angles. On our left on the new trail, walking towards the intersection, were a woman and her dog. The animal was perhaps forty pounds, acting in a non-threatening manner and, of course, not on a lead. On the trail to our right, walking in the opposite direction, was a family of four — two boys, ages between six and ten, a small mom in her forties, and the tall, heavyset father.

When the two parties were perhaps fifteen meters apart, the dad yelled, “Put that dog on a leash!” There was no hint of a request in his voice.

The woman replied, “Sir, this is an off-lead area.”

The father responded, “My little guy is afraid of dogs. Leash him!”

I wanted to ask him why he took his kids there, but decided discretion was the better part of valor. The woman did leash the dog and another bully got rewarded.

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