So today was my last day at work until after Christmas, and I’d known since Friday that it was going to be really booked… all the clients that wanted to get in to see me rather than my wonderfully competent relief veterinarian. I had several surgeries and dental procedures to do, then a morning and afternoon line-up of appointments. I also had to pay last-minute bills, get the Christmas bonuses out, and clean up my Christmas-Chaos of an office. One of the dentals had a slab fractured molar, which translates into horrendous, hellish extraction which took about 45 minutes and caused me no end of frustration.
And to top it off, the 11:30am appointment, the last one before lunch, sounded like a real winner. It was a new client, had been on the schedule since the beginning of last week, and sounded like something that should have been SEEN last week, rather than postponed until today. “15yo dog, vomiting and diarrhea, not eating or drinking, may have gotten into the cat litter, financial constraints” was what it said on the schedule. Now I won’t go into all the ways this didn’t delight me, but suffice it to say that it’s tough to bring one back when it’s been this sick for this long… especially if it’s elderly, without some pretty intensive diagnostic work-up and probable hospitalization and IV fluids, none of which works well when the client has financial constraints. Of course it would also have to be a new client, with whom we have no relationship or basis of trust in order to work out a payment plan. Sigh.
I was a bit behind schedule due to the extraction from hell, and starting to get really hungry. One of my receptionists is pregnant, and at about 11:15, I noticed that there was a wonderful aroma coming from the front office. Unfortunately it looked like I was going to be late to lunch, myself, but I figured that being pregnant and entitled to cravings, she’d just heated up her lunch early while she was still on the clock. Having been pregnant twice myself, I completely understood. I just wished it didn’t smell so good. The office manager came in at 11:35 and said the new client was in Exam Room 1, and she whispered, “He’s weird!”
“How?” I whispered back.
“Just weird! He’s super short but really burly and he’s dressed in some kind of medieval outfit. He doesn’t smile. He just stares daggers at you and hardly says one word!”
This was just getting better and better. “How does the dog look?”
“He’s got it hidden in his big furry coat! I can’t tell!”
Even better. She handed me the chart and retreated to the front. I looked at the client information. Francis Richards. The dog was an intact female named “Lucky” (never a good sign… name them “Lucky” and they will be the un-luckiest poor animal in the neighborhood.) My technician handed me the fecal loop. It was time to meet Francis Richards of the medieval clothing and the dagger eyes. We both sighed, then headed into the room.
And that’s when….
Well played, ladies! Here I was dreading the 11:30 appointment for all kinds of reasons… the last thing I expected was a going away early birthday surprise party!
They’d smuggled in the whole staff, a potluck lunch, Thorin himself (bearing 3 balloons for me!) and…. cake!
To be more specific… it was the oh-so-unappetizing Kitty Litter Cake! Something I’ve long wanted to try! (Veterinary humor. We’re the worst!) I know it looks just awful, but our office manager assured us she’d disinfected the litter box and pooper-scooper really carefully before assembling the cake. (I told you… we’re the worst!)
Oh, how surprised I was! I doubled over laughing and I’m pretty sure I shrieked with excitement when I saw Francis Richards standing there, a little shorter than the rest!
It was awesome!
My crew is the best!!! And they must love me! We had a lovely time enjoying our hot lunch and our kitty litter cake with ice cream for dessert.
“May have gotten into cat litter” indeed!
What a send-off! #FeelingBlessed
And he’s holding balloons.
Life doesn’t get much better than this!
And now… It’s Disney Time! =)