Has your client scanner gone haywire?
Mrs. Haywire is dead set against having one of those identification chips inserted in her dog's neck.
"You know, Doctor," she said, "those things have been associated with a long list of serious problems. How can you recommend them, when they have caused trouble for so many people?"
I had no idea what she was talking about. However, I was about to be educated."My dog goes everywhere with me," she continued. "He likes to ride with his head sticking out of the car window, and he even goes into some stores with me, if they allow dogs. So, obviously he can't have one of those radio things in his neck."
I was still in the dark. The situation called for some fact finding on my part.
"What the heck are you talking about?" I asked.
Her explanation went something like this.
"My car has one of those Zoom-Pass things on the windshield. You know, one of those devices that lets you drive right through the toll booth and it charges your credit card. Well, I heard that if your dog has one of those chips and has his head out of the window, you'll get charged twice."
I would have laughed out loud, but that would have kept me from hearing the second part of her anti-chip reasoning.
"The same problem can occur in retail stores," she continued. "When you try to leave, the shoplifter alarm may go off. That could be very embarrassing."
I was forced to admit that I had never heard of those problems. It made me wonder if waving my dog in front of an ATM machine would get me free cash. I decided instead to experiment by holding my dog close to the gas pump the next time I filled up to see if he would fool Exxon/Mobil.
I called my friend Arnie to ask if he had heard these myths.
"You've called at just the right time, Mike," he said. "Can you see an office call with me tomorrow morning? It's one you won't want to miss. Believe me."
I asked what it was about, but he said it was a surprise. "Just be sure to bring your pet identification scanner," he said.
The office call in question turned out to be with Mr. Orbit, who doesn't actually own any pets. He was surprised to see that I was joining Arnie for his appointment.
"An interesting case like yours deserves extra attention," Arnie explained. "Besides, you know what they say, two heads are better than one. That's true even if Mike's head is one of them." (Very funny!)
Mr. Orbit proceeded to outline his problem. After having been abducted by aliens several times, he was becoming frustrated with people's skepticism.
"You doctors are my last hope," he announced. "I'm sure those aliens planted some sort of mind control chip in my brain. My doctor doesn't believe me, and he refused to X-ray my head. I figured that you vets could use those pet ID things you have to scan my brain."
He showed us the proof that brain surgery was done on him. It was a little inflamed area resembling a mosquito bite. We were not impressed.
Naturally, the scanners showed that there was nothing in his head. (I could have told you that.)
"I know there's something in there," he said. "What am I going to do? Do you two have any advice?"
Arnie drew a blank stare, but I had a useful suggestion for him:
"When going through a toll booth, don't stick your head out the window."
Dr. Obenski owns Allentown Clinic for Cats in Allentown, Pa.
For a complete list of articles by Dr. Obenski, visit http://dvm360.com/obenski