Saturday, December 15, 2012


I did not know when I went in to work today what the theme would be. There is always a theme when you work nights in emergency, not always good, but usually there. There are Cat Nights, Large Breed Dog Nights, Hit By Car Nights, and Oh God Will Something Please Come In Nights.

Tonight’s theme was not along the lines I was expecting.

See, I wasn’t expecting “Boobies Night.”

True, one client flashed Dr. Aardvark a boob one night when digging for her wallet in the foothills of her chest. It just popped right out –-pop!— This was seen as the lesser evil when the selfsame doctor reported that the client lacked any undergarments, confirmed with her own eyes, much to her chagrin.

And Dr. Fish told of a time when she worked emergency on the east coast how a well endowed woman came into the ER with a bird that needed care. She plunged her hand ‘neath the plunging neckline and produced a small bird from between the pressing sides of cleavage.

“My bird!” She cried, all aflutter, “My bird needs CARE!”

Observing the crushed state of its feathers and the breathless nature of its wee body, Dr. Fish replied, “No, it’s already gone.”

“No!” she screeched, “He was alive in the car! He needs CARE!”

Dr. Fish gave her a pointed look. “Your bird needs a cardboard box and an owner who knows how to dig a hole in the ground,” or words to that effect that would allow her to retain her job.

Tonight’s tales, however, are a little more direct with their references.

Cue the woman who came in to discuss financing options for a pit bull that her daughter was trying to “rescue.” (Ah, after that last post, it’s all I can do to keep a straight face around that word.)

I suggested Care Credit as an option.

If you don’t know about Care Credit and are trying to finance veterinary or even your own medical needs, this is a great thing; look it up in advance.

The woman paused, then said:

“Yes, she has Care Credit. She used it to pay for her boob job last year.”

Picture Redgirl quirking a small smile, thinking this was something the woman would join her in. Alas, the woman was merely relaying it in the spirit of sharing information, not a laugh.

But it was the phone call an hour later that did it in.

Her: My dog just had puppies three weeks ago. Now she’s like whining and doesn’t want to get up and the puppies only nurse a little bit and her titties are swollen and sore.

CoWorker: One moment.

(Puts call on hold, lets me in on the scoop, and we both try to compose ourselves. I call ER to find out the symptoms of a “retained puppy”, a puppy that never came out and is rotting in the womb. Note: doc on tonight is Dr. Bat, the doctor who made the comment about people who play fetch with rocks with their dogs.)

Me: Does she have any vaginal discharge?

Them: What discharge?

Me: (Must. Keep. Composure.) Vaginal discharge.

Them: Where would that come from?


Them: (to friend) Any vaginal discharge? No.

Me: That’s good.

Them: But what about her titties? They are all sore. Should I rub the stuff they put on cow’s udders on them?

Me: Well, the puppies not nursing aren’t going to help matters…maybe if you came in –

Them: I could just try the cream on her titties first, see how that does. What age can puppies have dog food?

Me: (sigh) Let me check. (I call to ER) Hello? Hi, yeah, we have some first time parents here who really 
don’t know anything.

Dr. Bat: Is this the dog you just asked about?

Me: Yup. Also, quote, “her titties are swollen and sore,” unquote.

Dr. Bat: Well tell her to get down there, he dog might have a titty infection.

Me: You slay me.

Dr. Bat: You have to speak to these people in their vernacular. Those titties need to be looked at.

Me: By a titty inspector.

Dr. Bat: I’m open for business.

Dr. Bat is one of the fun ones, for sure. And as a woman, is in possession, if I may say, of her very own set.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


So I realize this is my own humor here, but I really just crack myself up:

Coworker: So...Mrs Smith called, she's coming in tomorrow on ER. Dog has vomiting, lethargic, and a loose stool. She can't come in tomorrow for an appoint because it's packed. The schedule is packed!

Me: I bet she wishes the same could be said of her dog's stool.


Bragging Rights

One of the things I've come to love is the client who feels the need to impart a certain fact about a dog or cat they are bringing in that really doesn't matter.

Take, for example, this familiar scene from an ER visit. The client has handed over paperwork, and Fluffy has been taken to the back.

Me: Ma'am? About how old is Fluffy?

Her: We don't really know.

Me: Do you have an idea, roughly?

Her: He's a RESCUE dog. Our vet said between seven and nine years old.

Or how about this:
Such-and-such client is checking out

Me: Who's this cute little one?

Them: Zumba....she's a rescue dog.

I guess it's not difficult to figure out why people do this.

First off, they may be trying to make conversation, maybe hoping for the following:

Me: Oh, a rescue dog? Fascinating! Do tell me the particulars, as I am doing absolutely nothing else at this time!

Them: Well, it all started one day in the ghettos of Auburn (Does Auburn even have ghettos?)...

Possibly, this is their reasoning:

Ohmygawd I'd better tell them it's a rescue dog, otherwise, they'll think that *I'm* the reason he has a broken leg and an oozing contusion on his rump when that's not the case. I FOUND him like that, and they'll think I'm a horrible person if I don't clear that up right away!

Don't worry. We don't judge.


Honestly though? Most of the time? I think this is what they're looking for:

Me: Oh, a rescue dog? You rescued this poor unfortunate? Good for you! You must be a fantastic person, full of goodness and rainbows! You deserve an award of some type!

I realize that I may be simplifying or putting things way over the top, but attend:

There are reasons people actually rescue dogs (and cats), and those are perfectly valid. What I want to know is the motivations for mentioning it constantly for no discernible reason.

Me: Do you have pets?

Them: Yes! Our poodle, Stevie. He's a rescue dog.

Why did you add that? The dog is still just as rescued without you telling the world that you did it, and in my field, everyone can claim to have a rescue dog. Lets pull the definition of rescue, shall we?

1) To free from confinement, danger, or evil.

Hmmm. Okay. This one makes sense. At the pound in danger of being euthanized works. Moving on.

2) To take (as prisoner) forcibly from custody.

This could be stealing your neighbor's dog. Look! Here's Fifi, our new cockapoo!

Them: Hey! But that's our dog!

Them: We rescued him....

3) To recover (as a prize) by force.

You just finished winning the "Greenest lawn in a drought, by golly" contest, and have decided that your prize is the loser's Brittany Spaniel. Good luck convincing the Home Owner's Association of the spoils of war there.

4) To deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force.

This just goes to show that a "rescue" dog can be saved or wrested with the help of canons and land mines from anyone you feel is undeserving. Your mother-in-law. Those neighborhood kids who never fessed up to denting your car with that baseball.

So go forth, rescuers! Go forth and rescue dogs! For how else to make yourself feel good this holiday season but to obtain an animal and then announce to the world your good deeds....


You can stop now.

I mean it.


I need a raise.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I am a fool.

Here I am, bemoaning my lack of creative outlet when I have all the necessary ingredients for success! What ingredients, you say? No, not hours of boredom with access to a computer (Though that would be nice). Not handfuls of cash to pay a better, more prolific writer than I to lure more readers and actually post once in a blue moon.

Instead, I will utilize the brief period of time between six hours of failing at school and eight hours of charging seemingly exorbitant amounts of money for procedures at the vet hospital only to have owners discover they have to put the family dog down. I will use this time to record work exploits mixed with school exploits, and a pinch of woes I now own having newly joined the commuter wagon train.

Let’s start this new age with a little quiz:
1: My ________ (dog breed) ate _________ (insert something strange).

2: My poor little _________ (dog breed) is TREMBLing! Not like normal. I think something’s WRONG.

3: My __________ (dog breed) has back problems and can hardly walk. I think he needs and MRI.

4: My dog was attacked by a ________(dog breed) at a _______(location).

5: My __________(dog breed) is vomiting and has diarrhea. I have no money; what can I do?

6: My dog is so lethargic, I can’t wake him up! He just lays there, trembles, and pees himself. What could possibly be wrong?

Got those answers all written down?


1: Lab. Labs eat anything. Observe the following:

Caller: I think my lab ate a rock!

Me: Why do you think that?

Caller: She brought me a rock about the size of a silver dollar, and I threw the rock away. She went and got it and brought it back (Labrador….retriever anyone?). She had it in her mouth, and then, all of the sudden, she didn't, and it wasn't anywhere on the ground.

Me: (calling back to ER, gives story in dry voice) Would a rock that size be a concern for a 70lb dog?

ER Doc: She probably has no money. Anyone who would play fetch with a rock is an idiot.

2: Chihuahua. I have actually had this happen, people bringing their small dog, especially Chihuahuas in for “trembling.” Maybe the reason I’m so O_o over it is that, to me, that’s a necessary evil with small dogs.

3: Dachshund. Hmm, I don’t know. How could a dog 3 times as long as it is tall *possibly* have back problems?

4: Pit bull, dog park. Caveat here: A lot of people love pits. I have met a number of wonderful, friendly pits. This doesn't change the fact that the physical nature of a pit (larger, muscled, strong) necessitate that people who want to turn those things in their favor and encourage aggressive behavior will exploit this. Police Departments import their German Shepherds from France and other countries because it’s next to impossible to find a suitable strain in the US anymore. Same thing is starting to happen with Malinois (pronounced mal-en-wahs), the dogs that were part of the Osama take-down. People decide they want in on that and start screwing with the breed.

Dog parks are horrible places. It’s like someone said, “Hmm….what would make the worst environment for dogs? How about if we fence a small area, bring dogs in from all over the city who have a range of diseases who don’t know each other, unleash them all and see what happens?” If you don’t live in the country, I guess you need an outlet, but this one kind of sucks.

5: Pit bull or Chihuahua. I realize it looks like I’m stereotyping here, but it’s not stereotyping if it’s true. Most, if not all, of the cases of parvo virus we see are people from the poorer classes of society who have gotten themselves a puppy from a “breeder” and didn't get it vaccinated. It’s ridiculous! At the most, you’re looking at 100 bucks to get the thing vaccinated, and parvo, which can’t be treated, can run you in the thousands. What do your thousands get you? It gets us monitoring your dog and keeping an IV of fluids running for a week or so in isolation. It does NOT get medicine to make the parvo go away. Why? Virus. They just run their course while you stand there hoping your dog will pull through…while we do the same thing.

6: I really wish I could post a video of a dog with this problem. They’re very calm, blink a lot and may be trembling. They also can’t control their bladder. A convo with the ER tech looks a little like this:

ER: Is there anything he could have gotten into?

Them: No! Nothing!

ER: I’m going to ask this question for medical purposes only. Is there a chance that he could have gotten access to any marijuana, medical or otherwise?

Them: I’m going to kill my boyfriend!

Ah, people! I do want to say upfront with respect to future posts a word of caution. When I worked at the Hotel, it was easier to share stories of humorous people and their crazy antics with respect to requests etc. At a pet hospital, it’s a bit more complicated. The devil’s advocate personality I have forces me to see a hysterical person acting out and bad behavior as a person being concerned about their pet. At the heart of it, that really isn't funny, and to make snarky comments about it would be in poor taste. The same as if some poor pet has to be euthanized. I ask you, therefore, to look at things from a new prospective: the prospective of that, in life, things happen. Not all of them are sunshiny and happiness all the time.

For those who know me online or on the outside, you know that I sometimes have to get creative to find a way to keep my head out of these dark places. So, if I cavalierly speak of special parking spaces for people who are euthanizing for a different approach on breaking the bad news (“I’m sorry sir….I’m going to have to ask you to move your car….) and doing a special on cremations for the holiday season, that’s the nature of the business.

Carry on.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to the Bench

Found this and realized I hadn't posted it yet.

I give you my most recent court observation write-up!

Picking a floor at random, I stroll down the hall hoping to catch whiffs of interesting legal material. Outside of Department 28, a uniformed police officer sits conversing with a suited man. Both direct me to a preliminary trial going on inside that they will be testifying in. Score! I settle into my plush chair and wait for the games to begin.

I enjoy coming into a case cold – half the fun is figuring out what happened. First thing I notice is that the witnesses had obviously never seen a court show in their lives to know what the deal is as far as the swearing in process. Very similar to depo introductions, the lawyers counsel the witness on the fact that the court reporter cannot take down uh-huhs and hu-uhs…which the court reporter promptly takes down for the record. I find it interesting that the lawyers made a point of finding out that the child (14) understood the difference between the truth and a lie, but such conversation is never had with adults. I’m thinking some adults could use it.

Seeing/hearing that the witness seemed to lack adequate vocal chords for a room of that size, Prosecution asks that the microphone be turned on. Before he is done with the second syllable, Madame Court Reporter is in action. I’m sure she has been waiting for the chance.

Witness is asked if he recognizes someone in the room. I realize that it might be like that in all cases we hear in class…there is only one person in the room besides counsel, clerk, et cetera. How awkward t’would be if the witness recognizes someone they weren’t supposed to!

The witness continues shyly and inaudibly answering questions, hesitating before each “yes” or “no” and I’m thinking that this sounds easy. I pull my air writer out and throw down a few practice strokes. Piece of cake. I’m confused, though, because presumably, the kid had been asked these questions before, yet he seemed to be hearing them for the first time now. Prosecution pulls out his phone while hurriedly saying, “Your Honor, just using the phone for the calendar.” Well played, well played.

I lean forward with anticipation as the story begins to become clear. We have John and Jane. Jane has two kids from a previous relationship (Son 1 and Son 2). John gets together with Jane and they live at Jane’s parents and subsequently produce offspring (Son 3 and Baby). They then move to a house to themselves. Our alleged altercation begins when, around1:30am, John comes in and wakes up Son 1 and 2 to “help clean” the kitchen. His demeanor? “Acting dumb and complaining.”

Prosecution tries to extract the story, but Son 2 doesn’t seem to remember ANY of the events that night…except for the fact that it involved sitting on the couch at some point. Thereafter, the police report states that Son 2 alleged the night in question that the John was pacing and yelling (and acting dumb) about their lack of respect and that Son 2 was “the weak one.” Son 2 then says to back off of the family. John subsequently takes a kitchen knife and holds it to Son 2’s neck and says he will kill them all. There is a scuffle, Son 2 escapes out the door into the street, followed by a large pot thrown by John which subsequently shatters in the street.

Areas of contention seem to be the ownership of the knife recovered by police at the scene. None of the witnesses recognize the knife in question as even coming from their kitchen. Photograph exhibits showing red scratches and marks alleged at the time to have been caused by the knife were from a “skating accident.”

DEFENSE: You told him to sit down. Was he standing up or sitting down?

WITNESS: I don’t remember.

Q: was he walking around?

A: I don’t remember.

Q: Would you tell someone who was sitting down to sit down?

A: I don’t know.

Q: When you walked out the door, did you take a frying pan with you?

A: No.

Q: Do you normally walk out of the house with a frying pan?

A: No.

Q: So you would remember if you had?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Did the defendant throw a frying pan at you?

A: No.

Q: Do you remember telling the officers that your step-dad was swinging a knife around in the air yelling, “I’m going to kill you all!”?

A: No.

I think that Prosecution is getting a little miffed with the witness, and I know for certain when he says:

Q: Do you routinely come up with stories to get people arrested?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Do you normally spend time making up stories to get the police involved?

A: I don’t remember….

When the next witness is called (Jane), I really wonder if there is TV in the house to familiarize the witnesses with the swearing in process. At least Jane seems to want to answer the questions. Too bad she doesn’t remember anything about the night in question except for what John didn’t do and that she and the offspring sat around while she coached them with a story to get John arrested…the details of which are hazy at best.

A: I don’t remember anything that happened that night.

Q: You don’t remember anything from that night?

A: Well, I remember some, but not very much.

Q: You were awake when you woke them up, correct?

A: Yes.

Well, if she hadn’t been, that would answer a lot of questions.

The story appearing to be the one that the witnesses want to spin (possibly with help from the defendant) is that Son 2 got into a physical altercation with the John in the same period of time that he, Son 2, had a case open in court. To avoid getting slapped into Juvie, he fabricated a story about John that was convincing enough that two police officers showed up in court and lied their heads off about how realistic it was.

The bench really heats up when the suited police officer was asked about things that Son 2 had told uniformed police officer (still in the hallway). Defense didn’t like that one bit and put on his objecting pants.

DFNS: Hearsay within hearsay under 115.

COURT: Overruled.

DFNS: Your Honor, that’s TWO LAYERS of hearsay!

PRSC: It was in the police report, Your Honor. Under 115.

COURT: Overruled.

His Honor decides to break for lunch, as it is noon. Both lawyers, having heard I am there for observing, approach me and ask if I have any questions (to my surprise). I clarify what 115* is and Defense tells me that he still didn’t think it should be allowed. Prosecutions confides to both of us that he didn’t think it should either and that he was surprised it worked. When Defense walks off, Prosecution asks me if I think the defendant is guilty.

“Well,” I say, “I doubt it went down exactly like the kid originally said it did, but something happened, and it’s not what they’re saying.”

He gives a shark grin. “They’re all lying right now. It’ll go to trial.”

Conclusion: Domestic abuse cases must be really frustrating for the lawyers and the judge.

*115 has to do with hearsay rules and that police officers are allowed to recount things other officers have said, like a verbal report or something.

Filling the Gap...and Onward!

Greetings, fellow lurkers!

Bursting forth through the twilight of a semi-jobless state, I return to the battlefield of customer service, ready to gather stories into the basket of plenty.

I abandoned the homestead after obtaining the job of *gasp* phone surveyor. Gotta use that sexy phone voice, right? A few things about that job didn't quite stack up to expectation.

I found that I really didn't enjoy calling in every day at 2:30 to see if I had work at 4:30. That may have just been me. I was allowed to have my sense of long as it wasn't on the phone. Can't be biasing those surveys. And really? Those surveys were either:

A) So ridiculous they were funny
B) So boring my brain found a way to make them funny

Whether you reached your call quota was mostly luck. My last day, I was expected to reach a quota...all while calling elderly woman in their 90s. The very last survey I did was an 18 minute survey with a 96-year-old woman that took over an hour to complete because we needed to fill that age/area quota.

And finally, I didn't relish suddenly having no income for over a week because there wasn't a survey going when I had to pay rent.

Cue: new job search!

My deal is that if I can just land the interview, I can get the job. I don't know if it's that I'm lucky, that I've had crap jobs all my life (oh, wait, no, that's not the case), or that I put on a great show of sparkly competent charisma, but that's my experience. But, there's the key. (lol @ pic = bad pun)

I began applying right and left, flailing about the Intenets for jobs. I stopped keeping track of what I was applying for. Finally, one day coming back from lunch:

Friend A: You're phone was vibrating like crazy.

Me: Really?

Friend B (yes, I have more than one): Like crazy.

Me: Ha...maybe it's a job offer.

Them: (Pitying smirks)

Me: (listens) actually is.

Well, it was an interview offer at least. It was for a Customer Service Rep at a Vet hospital.

Her: ....are yous still looking?

Me: (HELL) yes :)

One of the questions asked was, "Why do you want to work at a veterinary hospital?

Me: Ummm...well, because I like the professional aspect of running a hospital, but enjoy the atmosphere of helping animals and all that junk.

Just kidding. I left the last part out. I enjoy working around animals, especially now that I don't have a pet of my own and can't see to get one in the near future. The next hurdle was that the job she was offering was full time...during the day. I told her about school, and it basically came down to that, if they liked me, they would put a night person on day shift and give me the night.

Interview went very well, was there for over two hours and started hearing the "when you work here" phrase. Queue forward to the working interview (make sure the rest of the team doesn't hate my guts on sight/I don't run screaming out the door), and we're back to "we'll let you know in a few days."

I don't mind saying I really wanted the job at this point. REALLY wanted it, and thought I was on my way to getting it. But oh well.

Then, as I'm chatting in pharmacy, the call comes from ... let's call her Diane, to see her in her office. First words out of her mouth: "I've been waiting to hear from my boss so I can hire you."

Oh yeah.

So here we go, Readers! Jump on the train leaving the station, making stops at awkward faux pas with customers, irritating co-workers, sub-intelligent phone conversations, and overbearing clients! I, Redgirl will head to the trenches and take one (or more) for the team to bring you the goods.

To start you off:

Man is standing by check out.

Me: Have you been helped?

Him: Yes, picking up.

Me: Animate or inanimate? (Like, you know, prescriptions or your pet after surgery or something)

Him: Inanimate (<---pleasant expression)

Two minutes later, see coworker come 'round corner with ... a box of ashes. Apparently, "pet" and "inanimate" are not discrete categories.

*Mentally updating personal venn diagram references*

Ah, well, that one's on me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ok: My problem with cupcakes is that they can’t help being messy.

Come on people! The cupcake doesn’t enter a shrink-field as soon as it passes beneath the nose! Also, cake has sugar. It follows, then, that a cake in a cup will have sugar. Sugar is sticky. So, the evil plan of cupcakes is to make us look ridiculous with frosting on our faces and make our hands sticky so we don’t dare touch anything important.

And I really wanted to eat my cupcake :*(

Bus Rides Are a Psyche Experiment

I noticed *this* on the seat in front of me, and took a picture for your amusement:

It's like little mini-Phineas Gages. Do you see something different?