, , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(I work reception at a veterinary clinic for small animals. A non-client walks in this morning looking to make a purchase.)

Man: “Do you carry this product?”

Me: “What product are you looking for?”

Man: *holds out cell phone* “This.”

(The cell phone display shows Google translate. The window on the right is in a non-English language, and the left window is set to English, showing two words: “dog” and “donchoengso.”)

Me: “You’re looking for something for your dog. Unfortunately, ‘donchoengso’ isn’t an English word, so I’m not sure what you’re looking for.”

Man: *points to cell phone screen* “I need this. For the dog.”

Me: “Unfortunately, because ‘donchoengso’ isn’t English, I really don’t know what you’re needing.”

Man: *presses button for Google translate to read words*

Google Translate: “Dog. Donchoengso.”

Me: “That’s still not English.”

It’s Getting Warmer In Here

, , , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2018

(My pet cat suddenly stops eating and develops jaundice. His mouth and ears are school-pencil-yellow. I take him to the vet once I realize how bad it is. I’m told he’s developed “fatty liver syndrome,” which is where a cat stops eating for whatever reason, so the liver tries to energize the body off fat reserves, can’t process it, and shuts down. I am told, even if we do everything, my cat has a very low chance of making it. I am a poor student. I’m scared out of my mind, as I just lost my dog of 14 years to cancer a few months ago, and now my cat — which I took from an abusive family situation — is on its deathbed. I tell the vet this, and that I lost one pet this year. I tell him if I had anything to say about it I wouldn’t let this one go, too, but that I am poor and can only do what I can from home. The vet proceeds to stock me up with saline fluid, needles, tubes, syringes, and antibiotics. He’s gambling that this was caused by an infection; if we get rid of that, hydrate him, and stimulate his appetite through meds, he might recover. He instructs me on how to do everything from home, including how to force-feed my cat, inject him with fluids, and take his temperature.)

Vet: “Do you have a thermometer?”

Me: “No, but I can get one.”

(He looks me in the eyes, pulls a thermometer out of a drawer, and slides it across the table.)

Vet: “Oops. I seem to have misplaced my thermometer.”

(Thanks to the understanding and support of this vet, his instruction, tools, and some hard-handed TLC, I can happily say that five years later my cat is doing just fine.)

But Some Humans Don’t Have Brains

, , , , | Healthy | April 5, 2018

(This was heard by my friend who works as a janitor in the vet hospital:)

Customer: “Dogs have lungs?!

Some Business Starts In The Garage

, , , , | Healthy | April 4, 2018

(I am the receptionist of a local vet. We have had a woman come in saying her cat is no longer pooping. We do a check, and the cat doesn’t appear to be uncomfortable, and we can’t feel anything which would indicate a blockage. The woman is insistent that we do an ultrasound, however, and after she pays the fee, she leaves her cat with us, and we give her instructions to call us the next morning.)

Woman: “I’m calling about my cat, [Cat].”

Me: “Yes, I’ll just get the vet. He’s asked to speak to you directly.”

(I hear her sobbing hysterically as I put her on hold. Our lead vet comes out and takes the call.)

Vet: “Mrs. [Woman].”

Woman: *mumbles*

Vet: “Your cat is absolutely fine. We couldn’t find anything wrong.”

Woman: *mumbles*

Vet: “Yes, it is a mystery. However, I wonder if you could tell me: do you own a cat flap by any chance?”

Woman: *shouting* “Yes. Why?”

Vet: “Is there a chance [Cat] could be doing her business outside?”

Woman: *mumbles*

Vet: “Would you mind checking your garage, then, please?”

Woman: *mumbles*

Vet: “And is the cat door locked?”

Woman: *mumbles*

Vet: “Yes, I know you said no one can get in, but if the flap isn’t locked, there is a chance [Cat] could be doing her business in there.”

Woman: *mumbles and then shouts* “OH, MY GOD! THERE’S S*** EVERYWHERE!”

Vet: “Thank you, Mrs. [Woman]. I’ll see you soon.” *hangs up*

Me: “Pooping in the garage?”

Vet: “Pooping in the garage.”

Opposable Definitions

, , , , | Healthy | April 2, 2018

(We are in a mostly rural area. A client has brought in her new dog, a recent adoption from the shelter. The client is a middle-aged, very traditional, southern woman. The doctor is from New England and has found that pretending to be just a dumb Yankee that doesn’t know how things work in Texas is an effective method of calming angry clients.)

Owner: “I’m very disappointed at the shelter; they promised he was already fixed, but I can see that he is not. If you don’t get dogs fixed, they get aggressive and can attack.”

(The vet starts his exam.)

Vet: “His scrotum is empty and there is a surgical scar here; this dog has been castrated.”

Owner: “Well, that’s nice and all, but I’m here to talk about getting him fixed.”

Vet: “Um, he has been fixed.”

Owner: “No, he hasn’t; just look at him!”

Vet: “I did; he has no testicles.”

Owner: “Why are you so focused on his manhood?! That has nothing to do with being fixed!”

Vet: “What does being fixed mean to you?”


Vet: “Ma’am, clearly there has been a misunderstanding, because where I grew up, getting the dog fixed is a euphemism for castration. Clearly that is not the case here, so please, explain what that phrase means in Texas.”

Owner: “It’s where they do a surgery to remove the dog’s thumbs, because thumbs are what separates us from the animals. You have to get them removed so the dog knows it is just an animal. Honestly, you can see his thumbs from here.” *gestures at the dog’s dewclaws*

(The doctor had to excuse himself from the exam room to laugh. He sent in the techs, and after 15 minutes they finally convinced her that she was misinformed. Apparently, when the owner was a young child she was told that definition of the phrase by a parent that didn’t want to explain what castration was, and she never questioned it as she got older. The dog still has his dewclaws.)

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