with this client
, you can guess how incredibly thrilled I was when they called at closing last night. My enthusiasm was only amplified by the fact that I was already a sleep-dep zombie after being called at both 2:45 AM and 4:45 AM by Mrs Miller, and getting to the clinic at 5:30 AM to actually deal with Mrs Miller in person that morning.
So it seems that Sue Happy here decided to breed one of her other dogs, to get that litter of puppies that she's been wanting for 15 years or something. She did not, of course, have the dog x-rayed to get a puppy count prior to whelping. Dog whelped 2 days ago, and now has foul smelling vaginal discharge, decreased appetite, and doesn't seem to be making much milk. Sue is very concerned that it took 5 hours to have 4 pups. I tell her the time frame is normal but the number of pups is small. I am concerned that either the dog has a uterine infection, or the dog has retained puppies. We agree that the dog should be seen as soon as possible due to the risks of retained pups (you know, cool stuff like dead pups rotting inside, ruptured uterine walls, peritonitis, and death). And at this point things just get fun.
She says she wants to bring the dog in, but her car's transmission is going out and it can only be driven in second gear now. It'll thus take her over an hour and a half to get here. I point out that she will be driving past 2 much closer clinics and especially if the car is that unreliable, perhaps she should consider going to the clinic 33 miles closer, or the one 25 miles closer to her. She says the people at clinic one have already left (like I'm trying to? no worries asking me to wait late for you, but can't ask them to come back?) and she "had a bad experience once" at the other clinic and doesn't want to go back there. ("Well, lady" I do not say, "I had a bad experience with you once, so I don't particularly want you to come back here!")
So I reluctantly agree to meet her at the clinic in an hour and a half.
An hour and a quarter later, she calls back. Says she can't get the car started. She's "going through some marital difficulties right now" and doesn't "want to accuse anybody," but she is pretty sure that her car "has been sabotaged". The only vehicle she has that will start is blowing exhaust fumes into the car and she's worried that this will kill the puppies. Can she bring the dog in tomorrow instead? Once again, I point out that there are clinics MUCH closer to her, and the logical solution is to take this other car (perhaps with the windows rolled down?) to the the MUCH CLOSER clinic to have the dog seen tonight, since if she does have retained puppies, 18 hours may be the difference between sick and dead. Somehow, her response does not give me confidence that she will do this.
She does not (I confess that I am surprised) call me back in the middle of the night to tell me that the dog is worse, or that she has suddenly acquired a car. Nor did she ask if I could come get her and the dogs. (Bruce agreed that if she did ask, he would do so for sufficient cash.)
Instead, she shows up without warning this morning (after my first surgery is sedated, of course). She says she tried to take the dog's temperature last night, but "took it in the wrong place" because didn't realize she was supposed to use "you know, that thing". I assume this means she took a temp in the vulvar fold instead of the rectum, but decide I don't care enough to ask for clarification. Owner's idea of restraining the dog so I can check her temperature is to hunch over the dog's head sobbing. I go get a technician, both to hold the dog, and to insert herself between me and the owner, as I would really like to smack her upside the head just on general principles. We end up taking a radiograph of the abdomen, and find no retained pups. Whoo!
Send dog home on antibiotics, warn owner that this may cause diarrhea in the pups, and if it does, they need to be taken off of mom and bottle fed.
I ask what she feeds the dog, and she replies "chicken soup and Caesar's" and goes off about how she won't feed anything with corn in it, because corn is clearly evil, and practically the worst thing you can ever do to a dog (besides leaving them ill for months on end before taking them to a doctor, I guess?). So, I'm hazarding that by "chicken soup" she means Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
brand, and not chicken soup
. I could be wrong though. Either way, I'm not impressed with Caesar's as nutrition for a lactating bitch, and recommend she switch to a puppy food, for the higher calcium and calorie content. I make a point of telling her at what age we want to start vaccinating the puppies, so that 5 months from now I'm not stuck dealing with all 4 of these pups dying of parvo, and send her on her way, so that I can go start the 4 spays I've got lined up for the morning.
Her half of the entire conversation is held at a volume which really doesn't make my head happy, and is frequently interrupted with alternating crying and prayer. Guess I should just be thankful there was no screaming today.
So in pulling up the links for my previous encounter with Sue Happy, I realize that I somehow did not detail the wonderful phone conversation which occurred when I notified her that the dog had died. I don't know why I never shared this story with you, it's a good one.
I called with the bad news (I'm sure you've figured that part out, but anyway), and her reaction was to throw the phone to the floor /crash, thud/ and go storming through the house screaming and slamming doors. I hear a steady stream of curse words (not terribly inventive, mostly just "fuck" and "shit" repeated over and over) and then she finds a victim to take things out on: her unlucky brother-in-law, who is apparently sleeping. She drags him out of bed with curses and thuds, and lays into him about how it's his
fault the dog died, because he went to visit her at the clinic, and if he hadn't gone in and taken that bitch his girlfriend, the dog wouldn't have used up all her energy interacting with them, and she'd still be alive, and how fucking dare he kill her dog, what a son of a bitch he is... and about this time, bro-in-law's girl picks up the discarded phone, apologizes, says someone will call back about what to do with the body when they get Sue Happy calmed down, and hangs up. I think if it was me, I'd have calmed her down with a garden hose, but then I've never really dealt with raving hysterics well.