A corollary to yesterday's post: Today’s teeny-tiny, six-week old teacup pup was a perfect example of what we vets love to hate: people who spend a thousand-plus bucks on a pup and another $300 on a glorified duffel bag to sling it around in, then get all hot and bothered about the price of pet healthcare.

Even worse is when the pet is so ill that nothing short of a lengthy hospital stay is going to make a difference—but all the cash has been used up on pretty collars and fancy food bowls. Why is it that the first stop after the pet shop is…the pet shop?

I get asked all the time about the price of my dog. People assume I’ve spent thousands on this new puppy. Sure I have…on his healthcare (he’s was a “free,” cleft-palate puppy). But all they can grasp is the up-front expense of a French bulldog or a teacup Maltese. They seldom calculate the major expenses that come with any dog—food, healthcare, training, etcetera. All they see is the price tag on the proverbial puppy in the window.

What’s worse, they have the gall to pour their anger out onto our reception desk when they’re told the price of an office visit or provided an estimate for a hospital stay after their new puppy’s been found to have pneumonia, severe dehydration or some congenital abnormality.

“Have you contacted the breeder? The pet store? The shelter?” Usually not. They’re in love and they don’t want to go back to the point of origin—for obvious reasons. Instead, they’re convinced we’re the bad guys lying in wait for their personal tragedy to unfold—not the ones here to pick up the pieces when their bad decisions and poor planning intersect.

One of the most annoying aspects of being a vet is the ignorance of others. Take the example of yesterday’s client: She tells you how much she loves her dog and how she’d do anything in the world for him—but gets all indignant over the price of a high-end procedure she wants for her pet. Sure, she has other, less expensive alternatives, but she demands you come down on your price because he deserves “the best.”

Well, “the best” has a price tag. And “love” is just not enough to pay for it.