Working in the Service Industry

One of the difficult things about working in an Animal Clinic is that the pets brought in are often like their children. But there is a huge difference between a child misbehaving and an animal misbehaving. Imagine being a kindergarten teacher, of course you have a few students every year that are the bullies, that may bite or kick another child. Of course you can talk to the parents about this behavior, and you can also give them an honest evaluation (and let their future teachers know about your experiences with the kid) in the form of grades. Sometimes the parents will just blow you off, thinking that their child either isn't actually like that, or that the behavior is completely acceptable.
Now think of that kindergarten kid as a 100 pound dog, or worse a 30 pound crazy paranoid one. Now imagine not being able to give the parents any sort of evaluation. Even if the thing bites you this is something that we are not suppose to tell the owner. I really appreciate the owners who know if their animal has a history of biting, or just know that the animal can be difficult and are straight forward in telling us. I think the ones who insist that Teddy did not destroy his bed, because he never behaves like that at home are pretty funny (there is a reason we try to keep at least some of the shredded remains.) The owners that drive me up the wall though, are the ones who seem to think it is cute when their animal becomes aggressive toward us, and blame everything on us.
Okay, I admit not only does the giving them shots not help at all, but sometimes the animal might just hate one person in particular, or a group. Some dogs hate men because they were beaten by a man when they were little, or they will just hate one person in the whole clinic, unfortunately with those cases some times we figure out the trends after the fact. I really appreciate the owners who tell us their animals habits, it helps to make my job much easier.

This post was edited for content on 10/6/06. It became too specific, and was rather unfair to someone I have gotten to know better.


Kristen Davis said...

That's how I started my day today. Someone brought a cat in, basically swimming in piss, and then was unsuccessful in getting him out. So I had to reach into the cesspool and yank the sucker out. He was literally drenched so before we could clean the untreated infected bite wound (that she claimed was scabbed over yesterday), we had to hose down cat and carrier. The cat at least was a gentleman, and the owner had the decency to be embarrassed about the state of things when she arrived, but still, not the best start to a 12 hr day. Just thought I'd let you know I feel your pain.

cupritte said...

I was reading myspace, and it seems like you've actually got the more difficult job at home. I wouldn't even know where to start when it comes to a bird much less a horse, so I am very glad the largest animal we see is a Dane.