Top five emergency vet experiences (only in South Beach and NYC)
While in New York last weekend (I know, the stories from my trips never seem to end, right?) all the vets involved in the K-9 Down course got together for a friendly vegan dinner in Midtown Manhattan (funny…none of us are vegans).
At dinner, I was lucky enough to find myself seated near a decidedly extroverted fellow blogging veterinarian by the name of Dr. David Bessler. Like me, he’s a GP. Difference is, he spends all his working hours in one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City.
I always feel like something of an impostor when I’m around all these rockstar vets. Sure, I can hold a conversation about anything medical with the best of ‘em—but it’s nonetheless daunting to know your “peers” best you when it comes to every clinical skill you might possess.
OK, so they probably can’t knit or cook…so there!
But I digress…
Like Dr. Bessler, I spent a few years working the ER beat, finding it exciting, challenging and just my speed. With a child, however, the hours became unworkable—hence my exit into the real world of day-to-day vet medicine.
Between courses of vegetables and fungi, Dr. Bressler and I dished about our most entertaining ER experiences. In so doing, we managed to put together some interesting stories of after-hours madness—usually involving those pesky humans our patients arrive attached to. Here are our top five, sometimes sourced from other vets we know:
1-The Insult: Yeah, pet owners can get angry—especially when they’re in a highly charged emotional situation. We understand that life and death scenarios are tough spots to find yourself in—more so when your regular vet isn’t there to hold your hand. Here are the best insults leveled against us:
Dr. Bessler’s client: “Great. That’s all I needed. Another short f----- Jew.” (Ouch!—Double ouch since he’s not really short.)
Dr. Khuly’s client: “Where’d you get your degree? Some f------ Cracker Jack Box? You don’t even look old enough to have a f------ clue what you’re doing.” (That was four years ago when I was already in my mid-thirties.)
2-Ugly client behavior: Here’s where mine bests Dr. Bressler’s: I had a famous rock star (to remain unnamed) urinate in a potted plant in the lobby of a South Beach hospital. Alcohol and drugs were believed to be a factor.
3-Skanky model behavior: A supermodel with a penchant for undressing removed her clothing when faced with the prospect of leaving her tiny dog after hours bereft of any other object bearing her own scent. I was told she walked out wearing scrubs she never returned.
4-Most inappropriate client behavior: Imagine…a glass-paned exam room in a large New York City hospital…a male veterinarian trying his damnedest to remain utterly professional …in front of a masturbating woman holding her dog…yuck!
5-Saddest client experience: An elderly homeless woman with no pet asks to speak with a veterinarian privately. The reluctant veterinarian arrives in the exam room wondering what a no-pet situation might entail. She’s then entreated to euthanize “this stray dog. Needless to say, the cops took her away. Anything can happen in New York City…
I’ve got plenty more but none so brutal, shocking, salacious or depressing. If you’ve got any more I’d love to add them to my arsenal.