The assistant came to get me in the office to tell me about a dog with a skin problem on his abdomen. She ended with “…. and the girlfriend thinks he got attacked by spiders.”
Me: “Like in Harry Potter?”
Her: “Just like in Harry Potter except that these spiders didn’t lead him anywhere.”
Me: “It’s a Yorkie. If spiders of that size attacked him they’d have done him in. So, probably unlikely.”
The Boss: “I wish these situations would come up in the exam room so [I’d] start talking about Harry Potter to clients.”
Me: “They do come up but I stifle myself.”
Me: “Yeah, I said that out loud didn’t I?”
Her: “You totally did.”
Me to The Boss: “A client told me that their dog was suddenly afraid to go outside so I said it could be monsters. I’d been watching a lot of Supernatural.”
Today is my last day at my old job. Officially I was supposed to work from 2 to 6. I had a massage and sewing day in the morning.
At my massage I found out that Prize went to a horse show this weekend and took first place in Leadline. Yes, thousands of dollars spent at top trainers so she can rock the leadline circuit. Leadline is just what it sounds like. Kids 6 and under get led into the ring on their horse, walk a few laps, and line up. I’m not sure how it is judged other than falling off is bad. But, my massage therapist’s other horse and other grandkid took 5th so the girls are now arguing over who gets to show Prize next. Prize probably loves not having to work so hard at shows!
Then I went to sewing where we had ice cream sundaes. My one friend kept squirting whipped cream into my mouth. When we finished sewing she drew up straight flashed me a Vulcan salute and said, “Live long and prosper.” We are such geeks.
Then I had to go to my work party. I’ve been the party planner for the 12 years I’ve worked here so I’m not shocked they were rusty on the details of planning one. I found out about it yesterday when I noticed that 12-2 was blocked off for my party. I questioned if I was invited because as you may remember from the first paragraph I don’t work until 2. The party was also being held at a clinic that I don’t work at. Did they think I would just magically appear if they forgot to tell me? I was sewing at that time so I told them I could only be there by one. Point two of party planning – ask if the guest of honor can be there.
I got there and they were very pleased by the cake. It was an ice cream cake with Batman on it because the one with the shark was too small. Obviously. Because they are random like that here. There was pizza and I got my very own veggie one because no one else will eat healthy stuff.
The clinic owner’s brother died. (Not at the party. He died last week.) They had a card for everyone to sign. But one person obviously was confused and thought it was a going away card for me so he wrote, “Get Out!” and signed his name. My boss said that his brother had already gotten as far out as was possible.
To finish off the cluelessness my boss asked if I knew how long it took to drive from my new house to the clinic. “I mean, have you ever done that?” Twice a week since January. Four hours roundtrip. That’s why I’m doing a happy dance when this commuting is over tonight!
Appointment one – Dog came in and immediately pooped on the floor. We took him back and when I touched him he pooped and peed. Managed to get his injection in him with more poop coming out. Then she wanted his toe nails trimmed. I went looking for help.
A canine officer was in the waiting room with a young police dog. He mocked me. Started harassing me about not being able to wrestle a 40 lb dog. “Can’t you just flatten him and sit on him?” Should have made him help.
Three of us tried to restrain the dog. More poop. His blood pressure was up so he bled. Then he got his muzzle off. The first sign of this was the fact that he was attached to my forearm.
Afternoon appointment – 60ish white lady with curly grey hair and dripping layers of turquoise jewelry. Always seemed normal to me. She comes in and says that she doesn’t like coming to this neighborhood anymore because this is where she got busted.
She said that when the cops chased her she “ran up on a porch”. I thought she meant “ran” but apparently “drove” would have been a better verb. She had her dog with her and he went to jail too. He had his own cell. When her sister came to bail her out, she took the dog home first and left her in jail for a while. (I would have too.)
So, she’s going to jail sometime soon so opted out of scheduling a booster appointment for her cat’s vaccine. Hard to argue with that reasoning. She also said her doctor took her off her Xanax and says that “that drug was saving the lives of several people” who she neglected to kill while she was on Xanax.
The SO keeps lecturing me about how now that we’ve moved to a big city I’m not supposed to assume I’m safe like I was in small town/rural areas like this clinic. Right. He’s never met my clients.
I’ve been getting irritated by people bringing in old dogs for euthanasia who have severe arthritis to the point that they can’t walk. At that point I really can’t help them but a year ago I could have. Even if I didn’t extend their life I could have made their last months less painful. I just want to slap people and then withhold health care from them when they are elderly because “It isn’t going to cure anything.”
But today was a new low. A Labrador who was old but not ancient. You could count and name every bone in her body. She quit eating two months ago. The owner was going on about everything she tried to do – mostly changing food. I so badly wanted to say, “Did you consider medical attention at any point?” But, I knew she hadn’t. She just let the dog starve. There may have been a tumor somewhere causing the rapid weight loss. It might not have been fixable but if you didn’t even make an effort I don’t want to listen to you crying about how much you love your dog. You also don’t want to hear my real opinion when you say, “I just don’t want her to suffer.”
I realized I haven’t written about my job situation. This is what has really stressed me about this move. The problem is this:
I hate surgery.
Specifically I hate dog spays. They stress me more than anything else on Earth. On the days I did spays I didn’t eat because of the stress. What is one of the main thing that general practice vets do? Dog spays.
Through the combination of seniority, whining, and manipulation I have finally achieved a surgery-free schedule. I don’t want to give that up. I couldn’t see a way around this problem.
Add to that problem the fact that beggars can’t be choosers. On the AVMA website there are exactly three job listings for my entire state.
I sat down and decided to figure out my ideal job. It went like this.
1. No surgery
2. Wellness and medical visits done in a way that was open to holistic practice
3. Nice people as clients and to work with
So there it was. Put it out to the universe or whatever. I kept checking ads and considered trying to start a housecall practice but that would mean little to no income for a while.
I found a website for a low cost wellness clinic. They didn’t seem to just be peddling vaccines. It reminded me of a human clinic in a drugstore. Quick, good medical care for minor illness. I filled out their request for info. Then I read more and realized that they also did low cost spay/neuter. Crap.
I got a call back from them. I tried to figure out how to politely say that I filled out the form before reading all the info. I decided to say that after considering it more I didn’t think it was a good fit for me. We chatted for a bit and then I decided to segue into turning them down. “Is this more wellness visits or surgical?”
“What do you want to do?”
“Um, no surgeries?”
“That’s fine with us. Whatever makes you happy. By the way, are you looking just to work some shifts here or do you want to have your own clinic?”
That was an unexpected twist. Turns out that they want to open more locations but they need an experienced vet who can run it. It sounds like I’ll work for about a month a few days a week at the current location to learn their ways and to make sure we all get along. They will then open the new location and I’ll take over. They have offered several options for ownership of the clinic. I’ll probably buy in over time so I don’t have to put any money in up front.
I went to the clinic for a while. Part of their mission statement is super friendly service. Get this – the technicians all but trip over themselves to help the vet. Where I work one of the technicians has to be told every time to take the dog’s temperature. That isn’t being told every day – I mean I have to tell her every appointment every day. Over half the time she can’t manage to get it done anyway. She’s lucky I’m just a peon or she’d been fired long ago. I won’t know how to act with helpfulness.
The man I work for likes to leave notes around the office about offenses real and imagined. They range from funny to really nasty. Because of a scheduling change we won’t be working at the same office anymore. I mentioned this morning that I won’t be getting notes anymore. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.
I sent him a text this morning to update him on a dog that may need surgery tomorrow. I asked for cost quote because I said the owners didn’t have a lot of money so that was going to be a factor. His response was, “450, MedVet or euth”
Translation- “$450 for surgery here or send it to the referral hospital or euthanize it” I thought was a bit brusque but he’s snippy because he is opening a new clinic next week. Whatever.
He must have thought he was snippy too. A half hour later I get a text about how he didn’t get paid for his last surgery like this. That wasn’t a normal situation but we worked out a plan for this dog.
The bossman appeared a bit later to take pictures of the exterior for a new brochure. No one saw him come in the building but there was a note on my desk.
“FB dog should have an IV. Xxoo” Translation- Do your %$# job
I texted him back. “FB dog had iv until he got it out this morning. Xxoo” Translation- You’d know this if you read the chart. Kiss my butt.
He must have understood the implied comment because he replied. “He wants a pretty new one to be ready for his surgery tomorrow”
Me: “I will make him a brand new special one.”
A bit later from him: “I hope his pancreas isn’t mad.” Translation – I really don’t want to do this surgery and am grasping at straws to find a reason to call it off.
I texted back the normal pancreas bloodwork results. Translation – You’d know this if you read the chart.
In the meantime I’m fielding this text from the SO. “Dumbkoff kitty got out.”
He’s home today getting a new exterior door installed. I said that when they got there to lock up Riley in the basement so he couldn’t get out. I told Z that under no circumstances was Riley to get outside. Now I’m getting a text that seems to imply that Riley magically grew thumbs and learned to work a lock.
Me: “Are you telling me that you are slower than a crippled cat?”
The SO: “@&?#!” That’s an exact quote.
He better have found my cat by the time I get home. I’m worried that he is too slow to get out of the way of cars and/or that someone will see the poor hurt kitty wandering the streets and pick him up. He has an ID tag and a microchip but someone will think that his horrible owners just don’t take care of him.
In case I was looking for more validation that it was time to move on with my life after the last post, I went to work. It is my day off. But, one of the doctors left this month and we are stretching to cover all the shifts.
I take that back. The other non-owner vet and I are stretching. The owner kept his same schedule. That irked me since we are keeping his practices running for him with no additional effort from him. Again.
So I’m working a day I don’t want to be working and I walk into the office and see notes. The owner likes to leave notes. But these notes were different. They were addressed to “Retards” and “Hey BoneHeads.”
Now, I was not involved in the activities that led to these notes. But, he didn’t know that so I’m sure I’m included in his mind. And, the bonehead note was put somewhere where it was visible to clients.
I was crazy mad. That is disrespectful and rude and a new low even for this place. I went about my business trying not to take my mood out on people. I texted the SO and told him to apply for every job in the continental U.S. I took down the note in the public area.
Then I got another note. This one was from a client. I never get notes from clients. Even on cases that I’ve worked on notes are generally addressed to someone else or the clinic as a whole. It is part of my forgettability and why I should really have a life of crime. No one would ever id me. But this note was to me by name. It was from a couple who were at odds about when to euthanize their cat. He had multiple tumors and was painful and vomiting. For a few weeks I worked on keeping him hydrated, not nauseous, and pain free until his people all came to terms with his pending death. Then I was the one who euthanized him.
The note thanked me for being nice and helpful and caring. I have it set right next to the retard note. It makes a nice juxaposition, I think. I hope he notices. Even if he doesn’t it was perfect timing for me.
Sometimes my weirdness even surprises me. This morning I saw a dog who was very big but she was a wimp. Her owner said that she used to be afraid of her dog bed. I asked the dog if there was monster under it because I’d heard that was a common thing. The dog was throwing herself across my lap and staring at her person like, “See, I told you so!”. The person said that it was just a big pillow with no space under it and she wasn’t afraid of it anymore so there couldn’t be a monster. I stage whispered to the dog. “You ran it off didn’t you?”. She seemed to agree. The owner just rolled her eyes at both of us.