One day last month I saw a large brown and white, mixed-breed dog take part in an event that I am sure was coincident with
similar events in veterinary hospitals all across America. Bruno, a cross between a St. Bernard and a dump truck, was unloading
in the waiting room. Again. His owner, Mrs. Neuron, had an important question: "Why does he always do that?"
"Why do you always let him?" was what I should have said but didn't. You see, the truth is that Bruno, who has the brains
of a snow-cone, cannot be expected to know any better. His owner, on the other hand, should have figured out by now that the
pooch needs a walk outside before coming in.
Michael A. Obenski, VMD
The kennel girl arrived with a mop to begin the cleanup. (Our snow shovel was still in storage awaiting the winter months.)
Later, in the exam room, Mrs. Neuron asked if I could check Bruno for worms. Naturally, she had forgotten to bring a stool
sample and neglected to say anything when the bowwow fortuitously provided us with an ample sample minutes earlier. I sprinted
to the back of the hospital hoping to rescue the parcel of poop, but it was too late.
I somehow began to suspect that it was going to be "one of those days." A little later I found myself on the phone with Mr.
Bolus. I assured him that it would be OK to stop by for a refill on his dog's prescription. However, when I went to count
out the pills, all I found was a half of a tablet lying in the bottom of a large empty jar drifting in a pool of medicated
Some days the clock seems to run slower than others. It's as if Father Time forgot to take his Geritol.
I called my friend Arnie just to tell him I was having a horrible day. I could usually count on him and was hoping for some
"Well, what did you expect, Mike?" he asked. "Don't you know there's a full moon tonight? Things will get worse before they
get better. All the nut jobs will be out in full force."
After telling him that I didn't believe in his silly superstitions, I asked him if I should wear a tinfoil hat to ward off
any evil consequences.
"Go ahead and laugh," he said. "Just wait and see what happens."
As I got back to work, Mrs. Mortem called with an important question. "Doctor, do you remember my dog, Tippy?"
I did remember, because it was a tragic case. Tippy had been killed in a car accident just three days after successful cancer
"I spoke with the pet cemetery," she continued. "They said I should talk to you. Tippy never had his stitches removed after
his operation. Do you think we have to dig him up to remove them? I'm worried that they may do some harm."
She was obviously just confused and upset. I assured her that they would do no harm, and she seemed pleased enough.
Even the slowest of days must end eventually, and this one was finally drawing to a close. Wait! No, it wasn't. I was informed
that Mr. and Mrs. Bundle were already on the way over with their cat, Figment. We would have to stay open late awaiting their
arrival. Twenty minutes later they burst through the door. Mr. Bundle held the cat in a big ball of blankets and towels.
"He's really sick this time, Doc," they announced as we headed for the exam room. The unwrapping of Figment led to a surprising
occurrence. He wasn't in there. He must have run away as they threw the first blanket over him.
"You can still diagnose him, can't you, Doc? If you examine the blanket, maybe you can just figure out the problem and give
us some pills."
I guessed that I could try, but I knew I definitely had a more difficult task to perform first—I had to call Arnie and apologize.
Dr. Michael Obenski owns Allentown Clinic for Cats in Allentown, Pa.