Thursday, April 7, 2011

A little comic (and sometimes slightly disturbing) relief

Some phone calls we receive are almost unbelievable.  Trust me, I couldn't make this stuff up.

Caller (slurring speech): "Uhmm Hiiiiiiiiii......... uhmm. my dawwwg uhmm.. well she just you know... uhh... mmm ... I mean,  uh.. what's gunna happen?

Technician: "You're going to have to give me a bit more detail -- what is your question?"

Caller: "Ok... (long pause, some snickering).... what's gunna happen if she ...(snickering) with a boy dog?

Technician: "Are you asking me what happens if she is bred by a male dog?"

Caller: ".... Yes."

Technician: "I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that question -- if they're both intact, then she may get pregnant."

Caller: "Really?"


Caller:  "Can I give anything at home to kill my cat? I don't want to drive all the way in to your clinic."

Technician:  "I REALLY wouldn't recommend that -- it's not humane.  If your kitty is sick, bring him/her in and we'll help you decide what's best."

Caller:  "Can't I just overdose him on something?"

Technician: "Absolutely not."

Caller:  "I just found a (wild) snake in my driveway.  Should I run over it with my car to put it out of its misery?"

Technician: "Is it injured?"

Caller: "No, but I think it's suffering."

Technician: "I really wouldn't recommend that -- if you think the snake is suffering, bring it in and we can evaluate it.  Typically, it's best to let wild animals be, however, if it's injured and you're concerned, bring it in and we can either treat or euthanize."

Caller hung up, and called us back 4 minutes later to berate the technician for "making her feel bad."

Caller:  "Hi, my cat has the swine flu and I need some medications, but I can't afford to pay anything."

Technician: "Unfortunately, we don't do payment plans, but we can offer Care Credit... what exactly is your kitty doing?


Technician: "I'm sorry, sir, but we aren't government funded and receive zero tax dollars, just like the grocery store -- we're a private business.  There's no public funding for pet health care.  We would like to help your kitty, so if you come by, we can provide a triage exam and go from there.  We'll do our best to find an affordable plan for you.

Caller: "That's BULLSHIT and you know it.  You steal my tax money.  Don't lie to me" *Hangs up*

Caller: "My vet gave me some medication in syringes.  You know, the type of medicine in syringes."

Technician: "Okay, so what is your question?"

Caller: "What should I do with it?  It's the kind in syringes."

Technician: "Does it have a name of the medication on the label?"

Caller: "Well, it says my pet's name, and my name, and my phone number, and my doctor's name...."

Technician: "Ma'am, I need the name of the drug or there's no way I can help you.  There are hundreds of medications that could be in a syringe, and guessing is not safe."

Caller:  " I need directions to your location RIGHT NOW!"

Technician: "Okay, where are you coming from?"

Caller: "I don't know, I'm south of something."

Technician: "South of what city? South of what town? What highway are you on?"

Caller: " I have no idea, and also my car is broken down, so I need someone to come get me.... My dog is acting really weird."

Technician: "I'd really like to help you, but if you don't know where you are, I can't give you directions, and if you don't know where you are, how is someone going to pick you up ??  Our clinic is in <town name>, and if you figure out where you are, please call us back."


  1. Awesome, just awesome. I especially like the one about stealing tax dollars.

  2. me too. we have been laughing for months on that one... where does your tax money go??? Definitely not here.!!

  3. Re: home euthanasia

    I've had clients shoot animals vs. pay me to come out, and trust me, I'm not that expensive. Of course, shooting is humane, as long as the client knows what he or she is doing (side issue: would you go out on an emergency call when a distraught client has just told you he has a loaded gun at the ready?).

    Keep writing these gems down. Taxes? WTH?

  4. OMG! Tax dollars? Seriously? Or the "Can I kill my pet at home?" And the directionally impared....

    If you get more of these, please post them. Exactly what I needed before going in to the day job where I deal with customers who I always thought were weird, but after reading this... mine are pretty sane

  5. Outrider -- Sometimes when clients get mad that we can't do treatments for free, the threaten to "just shoot it" which is disturbing because we're in a populated area... Definitely not okay around here. The people that call to inquire about "overdosing" are typically wanting to use one of their own pain drugs or insulin, which probably won't even result in death and if they do, not quickly... ick.

    Karen -- thanks! We were on the phone with the directionally impaired person for FIVE minutes, and they couldn't give us any idea which way / where they were coming from, what town they had just passed on the freeway, nothing. They could have been in a different state -- we had no idea!

  6. I don't like the thought of shooting, but I'm in a rural area and, well, some of my patients are food, either for people or other animals (one guy fed the horse he shot - down with an open tibial fracture - to his hunting dogs).

    The clients who call threatening to shoot don't usually know what they're doing, though; those who do simply get on with it. It's been somewhat disconcerting to find out how many of my clients are armed.

  7. I think people are delusional about half the time! One of the craziest calls I ever took was an elderly woman who was trying to figure out how to "euthanize" her cat at home because she didn't have any money. The last idea she floated to me before I was able to pass her along to a counselor was using an axe. Yikes. (I was the admin assistant who answered the phone, but people usually just dive right in even if you're not the right person to help them!) -Tammy