Hard to eat lunch and blog, but this is when the Blogathon is supposed to wrap up. But I’m not DONE yet! So, this may be the “time” ending of the Blogathon but it’s not the “posting” ending, for me anyway. Here is a throwback from the 2010 Blogathon when I submitted a guest post for Riley and James and my good friend and co-Blogathoner Dr. Finch posted it. Why it’s still in my phone I’m not sure, but here it is. If you have enjoyed this Blogathon, please support one of the causes we’ve been representing. To support some animal affected by the Texas wildfires, visit Pawsitivelytexas.com
Repetition, Redundancy and Routine
Sometimes when I’m talking to a client I hear myself saying something I’ve said a blue million times a purple million ways and wonder, “Is the glazed look in this owner’s eye just my imagination?” I try to be considerate and not keep telling people things they know, no matter how important it is to remember what our ancestors passed down to us–stock phrases to throw at our children like “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “A stitch in time saves nine.”
The reason I am saying this is because it is sometimes in these “Why do I bother?” moments that a big “THAT’S why!” slaps me in the face. Today was such a moment. Here’s how it happened.
For a winter day it was pretty hopping. I like to whine about how busy we get but I really do enjoy working up front when it’s hustle time. Not only did we have four new clients bring in animals (which takes more time and concentration but what fun!) but had the full run of appointments and purchases and emergency surgeries and of course BOARDERS! While so many things that happened today were so very bloggable, from the vet almost being eaten whole (“Not sure I can hold him down, Doc!” to vaccination allergy (“…her nose is swollen…” “Please bring her back *right now*!”), this mundane tale is about a boarder: a perfectly healthy little dog being dropped off for a few nights with us.
For dogs to board with us, we require three vaccinations: some kind of DHP combination vaccination, the legally-required veterinarian-administered rabies vaccination, and this little trick of a vaccination known as bordetella (AKA Kennel Cough). The client wasn’t complaining about her otherwise up-to-date dog needing to be vaccinated for KC (as our whiteboard shorthand calls it) but simply had that classic, “Why?” look on her face. I launched into my standard spiel about KC being airborne and very contagious in a kennel environment and how it’s not typically life-threatening but is a total pain to treat. I even threw in my old story about how I was ready to throw my dog out the window when she caught it and kept me up night after night quacking like a hoarse duck. The “That’s enough” nods began as I was explaining that we hadn’t seen a case in a while, but that they do pop up on occasion.
As she left I had that “Why did I ramble on about a disease that pampered pup will probably never encounter when I could have been entering these other clients into the computer or filing or something?” let-down. An appointment was next in line and I went back to see about an empty exam room. A tech said, “Room One is empty but don’t put anybody in there yet. I have to clean it really well first.” Of course I’m thinking parvo or an expelling of some egregious bodily something, but she says, “Kennel Cough.”
I’m sure I babbled something incoherent about just having talked to a client about that but I was really thinking, “For real? I’m not just talking and talking for no reason?” and of course “I’d better get them checked out and out of here fast!”
It’s not like we don’t see these diseases and parasites we babble about in our sleep. We really do. Some are more rare than others, though, and we begin to think, “Is that really something I need to push?” and suddenly there it is, staring us in the face saying, “That’s exactly for what I was waiting.” (No dangling preposition, Dr. Finch!) We stop emphasizing that heartworm prevention isn’t just a one-time deal and BANG! three positive heartworm tests in one week. We stop reminding people that their dog is at risk for leptospirosis and POW! a report of a kennel tech dying from caring for a lepto-positive pet.
So, if I begin one of my spiels about something you’re totally savvy on, it won’t hurt my feelings if you say, “I’m familiar with that.” But if there’s something you don’t understand or aren’t sure you heard correctly, please ask me! If I don’t know I will find somebody who does! I want to help you keep your pet safe and happy. If you have lettuce between your teeth, I’ll tell you that, too!
[I’m going back to sleep now, Dr. Finch. I woke up and realized I’d nodded off on proofread. I guess that’s how counting sheep works: Repetition, Redundancy and Routine. LOL]