What the h---! Is there a full moon out tonight or have my coping skills been thoroughly depleted by my holiday’s permanent party smile? After a day dealing with relatives and crying (wailing!) children (complete with video game loss due to suspected inter-child thievery) I must have sprung some sort of emotional leak. (Did they change my prescription at the pharmacy without my consent?)

Today has been thoroughly fraught with tearful euthanasias, ranting clients and indignant walk-ins angry at the prolonged wait-time. (If you’d care to make an appointment I’m sure Dr. Khuly could see you promptly. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait with your new Maltese who simply needs a physical and a stool check while she attends to the client in room one with the dog who’s turning blue.)

Meanwhile, I’m suffering the attitude of a woman who asserts that the reason her dog can’t breathe (and is turning blue from lack of oxygen) is because it has fluid accumulating in its lungs due to heart failure. At least that’s what the nice doctor at the emergency clinic told her and that’s the story she’s sticking to regardless of the contradicting revelations provided by the X-rays and my physical exam. (Do you want me to help your dog or do you want to remain convinced of what you’re sure is the truth while he dies? Your choice.)

I guess I have the disadvantage today of simply not being nice. In my defense, it didn’t help my mood any when I overheard her at the front desk refuse to see the “lady doctor.” (Well she’s the only one here so you’ll have to see her if you want Fido to be examined by a veterinarian at this hospital today.)

I always try to present my suggestions in the positive direction: “We can do X we can do Y. Armed with than information we can then get to Z. It’s your decision and I’ll support any approach you choose.” Today it wasn’t working. She was convinced she wanted to see the cardiologist. (OK, then, why did you not go there first? I guess she thought a “man doctor” would solve her problems without having to spend another $1,000.)

For once I was unmoved when she burst into tears claiming “this old lady” had no money to continue her dog’s care. (Sell the Mercedes and pawn the diamonds, Ma’am. I can’t help you any more than I already have. You need a surgeon not a miracle worker.)

This is not my normal hyper-pleasing self. I had no patience today for the bullheaded or the entitled. This dog ended up at the surgeon’s where she refused the recommended life-saving surgical procedure, opting instead for a temporary solution to the dog’s spontaneous pneumothorax (air in the chest—presumably leaking from a broken bit of lung and making simple breathing a complicated affair).

Next came Forrest, my broken leg, hit-by-car Kitty (recall the previous post) whose owner has no funds with which to have the definitive surgery required to save her leg. I offered to make her a three-legged wonder at a reasonable price and she refused—at my expense of course. I placed an artfully engineered fiberglass splint to bring the multiple pieces of broken bone in as close proximity to one another as my little hands could muster.

Will she heal? We’ll know in a few weeks after the pain and unpaid expenses accumulate in the wake of her decision. I hope I did the right thing. IMHO, there’s nothing worse than inadvisably inflicting pain for a truly tenuous medical approach (which I’ll have to shoulder the cost for anyway). I love this cat so I guess I thought I’d give her a chance for four-leggedness in spite of the incredible cost of the fentanyl patches I’ll feel obligated to apply every 72 hours for a couple of weeks.

Enough. I’m home now and looking forward to a night of pizza and movies and Legos. There’s no full moon out. (I just checked.) Tomorrow I’ll hit the pharmacy first chance I get to make sure they got my meds straight.