Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Special Diet


I had one of those morning where I had meetings non-stop until nearly 1pm, and none of those meetings actually gave me any feeling of getting anything done. Then my boss asked if I had a couple of minutes for something, and I was ready to just put my foot down and say no more meetings, but it turned out he wanted to show me his new Golden Retriever puppy. That made everything better, but now I'm a little jealous.

I've never had a puppy. I adopted the big dog as a 4 year-old, and that's the youngest dog I've ever had. Realistically I know I don't have the time or energy for a puppy, but I still kind of want one. Oh well.

But not for me...

To remind me that I do not need any more animals, I had to contact the vet hospital four times today. 

  1. To set up a refill for the elderly cats' steroids (the cats, in their late teens, are in the lymphoma years), 
  2. To make sure I didn't have a boarding reservation for the dogs for the week after Christmas (which I thought I had set up last year since I always end up on the waiting list), This would have been the same call, but not with the new telephone system.
  3. To find out if they had any extra bags of the elderly cats' special diet (which is usually shipped to my house, but I got an email today saying they'd cancelled the shipment since there's a manufacturer backorder). This diet is the difference between Ripley having normal-ish poop and Ripley having poop that requires me to wipe down the walls. 
  4. To let them know I was in the parking lot to pick up the cat food.

In Case You Didn't Know

December of a normal year is already hard in the veterinary profession. The clients have extra stress which they pass along, the patient volume rises because people have time off and have time to deal with that problem that has been going on for two months, and people with elderly pets either realize how bad their pets actually are, or are trying to get the pets to hang on for just one more holiday and then euthanizing them. It's depressing, even in a normal year.

This is not a normal year. Between everyone getting new puppies to keep them company at home, and everything taking twice as long and needing twice as many staff in order to keep people safe, everyone in the hospital has been severely overworked for nine months. And now the holiday euthanasias are starting. Everyone in the field, from the receptionists to the veterinarians, are ready to quit.

All this is to say that you should be extra-kind to your veterinarian and their staff, especially now. Appointments are going to take a really long time, both the schedule and to get through. Plan for it. If your pet is being seen quickly, it means someone thinks they are dying, possibly in the next ten minutes. Plan your regular appointments far in advance if you can, and let them treat the actually-truly-dying-right-now pets on an emergency basis. If you have an actual emergency, you will appreciate this.

Special Diet

Ripley, of course, has his expensive, hard to get diet, but what he really wants to eat is plastic. So I'm pretty sure I know who chewed a hole in the door blanket. This is why we can't have nice things...
Plastic door blanket in the foreground, with a chewed hole, and the innocent little fluffy dog visible on the other side of the room
The little dog, seen through the hole that Ripley built

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