I don't know about the rest of you, but I actually pause when someone asks me about my profession. Each and every time I'll wage a cerebral war with myself on the pros/cons of telling this complete stranger about what I do, because 75% of the time the next words will be, "So I have this dog...".

Friday, December 24, 2010

just my luck

I've noticed a trend. Some of our most difficult and frustrating clients that we've acquired over the years have come as referrals from other clients of ours. Flattering, yes. There's supposedly no greater compliment for a small business (I prefer tips, but whatever). It seems, when someone tells me that they referred their Aunt, cousin, neighbor, dentist, or local grocery store cashier, he or she will inevitably be a royal pain in the arse.

We've only seen this person twice, but I guarantee that Mrs. Dingleberry and her cat Harry that I saw yesterday will be a prime example.

She was seen for the first time 2 days ago because her cat wasn't defecating and she believed him to be constipated. An associate on duty at the time took radiographs and agreed, but didn't think Harry was in dire need of an enema 30 minutes before close on a Tuesday night. So she gave him some SQ fluids and instructed the owner to give Miralax.

Mrs. Dingleberry called yesterday afternoon to schedule a recheck with me that evening because, "that girl didn't do anything". That was what the receptionist put in the 'reason for appointment' space on the schedule. Not "constipated" or "recheck", but "that girl didn't do anything". So it wasn't a surprise when the owner introduced herself and followed with, "So and so referred me and told me you guys were great, but when Harry and I came in here 2 days ago, that girl doctor didn't do anything. Harry's still not pooping!". And it was equally not surprising that she offered the Miralax, but when Harry refused to eat it on his own, the owner decided to not give anymore.

So this was my introduction to Mrs. Dingleberry, I suspect we will have a lovely (professional) relationship. You see, after agreeing with my plan to keep Harry for the afternoon so we could sedate him and perform the enema, the owner sternly demanded that I return her cat to her alive. It turns out that her last vet killed two of her previous cats, Snowball and Tom. I was aghast too, that was until she told me how. Her first cat Snowball was unfortunately diagnosed with liver cancer several months after coming in for her shots. She believes that it was impossible that they couldn't have known her cat had liver cancer when she got the vaccines. For some weird reason they simply decided to keep that information to themselves and Snowball died without the proper treatment. Her second cat Tom developed diabetes. No, she didn't accuse them of giving it to him, that's what I thought she'd say too. Instead, she accused them of causing the diabetes to put poor Tom into a coma which killed him.

Now, obviously I wasn't present for either of those events, so it is possible that they did know about the liver cancer and didn't say anything. And who knows, it's equally possible that they made the disease put Tom into that diabetic coma.

But I am fairly certain that she'll accuse me of killing Harry because I couldn't perform the enema that we planned on. You see, it appears poor Harry has some form of cancer causing a blockage in his colon. Oh, and his hematocrit was 18%. Last night when we were discussing my findings, I tried to explain to her that without further workup and treatment for the cancer, Harry will most likely die. And unfortunately, depending on the type of cancer and how widespread it is, treatment may not be successful.

Oddly though, even after all of that, the first thing out of her mouth was "You mean you guys STILL didn't perform the enema??"

Poor Harry.