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.)


Angelica Was No Angel

, , , , , , | Right | July 25, 2018

(One of our new hires is trying to explain to a client that we can’t give a refund on medication he has taken home, used some of, and decided he didn’t need. I come up to help her out.)

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Client: “Like I was telling the new girl here, when I got the medication the girl told me I could bring it back if I didn’t like it, even if I just had one pill left.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that is incorrect; do you remember who it was so I can make sure they are retrained?”

Client: “No, I don’t remember who it was, and I don’t care. I want my money back; she said I could, so I should get it back. Make her give me my money back.”

Me: “Was her name Angelica, by any chance?”

Client: “Yes, that was it.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. Angelica no longer works here; she had a history of giving people false information about our policies. We cannot honor anything Angelica told you.”

(The client is not happy but leaves without a refund.)

New Hire: “So, when did Angelica get fired?”

Me: “That’s a good question. I guess, technically, never. We have never had an Angelica work here, ever.”

New Hire: “But you said—”

Me: “I know. See, whenever a client is trying to pull something over on us, they always claim to have ‘spoken to someone,’ and they can never remember who it was. We could call them a liar and have them get mad at us; instead, we supply a name, they agree, and we tell them that Angelica was a liar. They think that we believe their lie and, while they aren’t happy, they don’t get to scream, ‘Are you calling me a liar?’ So, whenever any of us says that a client spoke to Angelica, that means we know they are making it up but don’t want to say so to their face.”

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Dissuaded With Surgical Precision

, , , , | Working | July 5, 2018

(I work in the office of a veterinary hospital. We get a lot of spam calls of random people trying to sell us stuff. Also, because we’re a vet clinic, I’m in the habit of letting them know the owner/vet has no time to talk to these spam calls because she is with clients or in surgery; sometimes I say this even if she isn’t. Usually, they at least understand this, because we’re a business and it’s what we do. One day I get a caller who apparently doesn’t catch what type of business we are.)

Me: *answering phone* “[My Name], vet hospital. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to speak to the owner, please.”

Me: “She’s in surgery right now; can I take a message?”

Caller: *pauses* “Oh! Oh, dear. Oh, my gosh. I’m so sorry. I’ll call back another time; I hope she’s okay!” *hangs up*

(Best way to get rid of a spammer!)

Some People Don’t Deserve Dogs

, , , , | Healthy | July 5, 2018

(I recently started working as a veterinarian at a clinic. We have one client who has become infamous for not giving his dog the sedative medications we recommended to help keep him comfortable during his visits. His anxiety at the office is so bad, we requested two different medications be used together, though often neither are given. As a result, whenever we have to do anything with the dog, we require the owner to place a muzzle on him, and our technicians have to wrestle with the dog while he is crying out in fear. We expect the client may get some kind of thrill watching these exchanges. The owner and dog are here for their recheck appointment with me, after choosing to try over the counter medications to try to deal with his dog’s problem. It is only me, the owner, and the dog for the exchange.)

Owner: “I think the skin is doing much better! Before, I couldn’t run my hands down his back, but now I can without a problem.”

Me: “That’s great. Is it true he’s still itching?”

Owner: “Yeah, but the scabs have gone away, except for one like this one on his side.”

(He show me one small scab. When I try to touch it, the dog barks and jerks in fear. The owner smirks a bit.)

Me: “Well, that’s good that the scabs have healed, but we’re still left with what to do about the itching. Our options are—”

Owner: *interrupting* “I know, I know, but look how much better it is! Isn’t the belly so much better?” *picks up terrified dog to show me his abdomen, freaking the dog out further*

Me: “It may be, but I can’t touch your dog to see how the skin is really doing.”

(This seems to really annoy the client.)

Owner: “Yeah, you can! I’ll just hold him really tight!”

Me: “But your dog is terrified, and that is not the type of relationship I want with your dog. That is why we want him to be on those medications when he comes in. That way, he can be more comfortable, and I can reward him with treats when he behaves well.”

Owner: “No, really it’s fine!” *hook his arms around the dog to hold him, further scaring the dog* “Here! Doesn’t the belly look so much better?” *lifts the dog again*

Me: “Yes, the belly looks better from what I can see, but I can’t touch him. I’m not going to foster that kind of relationship with your dog. We have two options. Either I can take him in the back with my techs–” *he had previously behaved better away from his owner* “–or you can come back when your dog has had his medications.”

(At this, the owner stormed out of the room, walked past the receptionist, and headed out the door. I zeroed out the re-exam fee, as I didn’t expect to charge him for a visual exam only, and put in a note about our interaction. I just hope he will start giving his dog the medications, rather than trying to force his dog into fearful situations.)

You Can’t Snake Your Way Into Heaven

, , , , | Healthy | July 4, 2018

(A very distraught-looking woman rushes into our emergency vet clinic with a garter snake in a shoebox. It would seem that she accidentally ran it over with her car while backing out of the driveway. The snake was horrifically mangled, but is still somehow unfortunately alive. It becomes instantly clear that it’s not going to make it.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but unfortunately I don’t think we can do anything to help this snake. At the very least, we can put him to sleep so at least he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.”

Woman: “I understand.”

(She looks very upset and begins crying.)

Me: “Just think of it this way. He’ll be chasing mice in Snake Heaven.”

Woman: “But snakes don’t go to Heaven! He’ll be partying down in Hell with the Devil!”

(She then walked out of the clinic, still crying, leaving me with the dying snake in the shoebox. I wish I could say that was the weirdest response that I’ve ever received when trying to comfort someone, but it’s not even close.)

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