MAC: Most Annoying Client
Yesterday, the choice was so easy. A young lady who brought her dog in for the first "official" visit. I had met her once before when she came by with a teeny pup, a million questions, and no money. She is a good friend of one of the kids that works at the clinic. The first time we met, I talked her into spending a couple of dollars on dewormer and flea treatment for her house since the pup was infested. She came in yesterday with the same pup, now grown, still infested with fleas, still no money but with the belief that she can charge since her friend works there. The chart said vaccines. Not so much.
I walked into the room to find the two girls chit-chatting and before I could re-introduce myself was interrupted by the employee. I then squatted down and invited the dog to sniff my hand while talking soothingly to both him and his owner. He approached me and we were becoming friends when I casually commented that his nails could use a trim. His owner responded with "Oh my gosh, is that what's wrong with him?!?" I was struck dumb but only for a second and rallied with "Noooo, but they do need trimming..." The conversation continued as follows:
Owner: Well I read on the internet you shouldn't trim a dog's nails.
MBI: That's not true. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Owner: I also read to give garlic for fleas and that's what we've been doing.
MBI: And clearly it's working so well (highly sarcastic tone). Garlic can actually be dangerous for dogs. There are a LOT of bad internet sites and misinformation. I would suggest that if you don't know how to determine which sites are legitimate (they teach you what to look for in school these days if you chose to listen and apply the information) then I'd suggest you refrain from using the internet as a resource.
Owner: Well we also use flea medicine.
MBI: Which also is clearly NOT working. What kind and did you treat your house like we discussed?
Owner: Yes, several months ago. We use no-good brand that we buy from local big chain store.
MBI: You might as well flush your money down the toilet. You only treated the house once?
Owner: Yes, I didn't know I should do more.
MBI: We talked about repeating in 2-3 weeks to break the life cycle. I'd also strongly recommend that you purchase good veterinary product that actually works for at least three months.
Owner: Which should I do ?
At this point, I have picked up the dog and become friends as well as completing most of an exam. I proceed to begin cutting nails and am through 2.5 feet when employee friend wants to hold dog for me. Performing half-ass restraint, the employee pays no attention as the dog becomes upset then screams and tries to bite me. I tell said employee to get out of the way and finish without help. Turns out the owner brought $35 for an exam (not the correct amount) and no more. I work up a minimal estimate for flea treatment allowing the dog to stay in the clinic while she treats her house. She then asks if she can charge that. Nope, sorry. Miraculously, she produces more money. Included is a rabies vaccination which I intend to give after she leaves but...
Owner: Aren't you going to give his shot?
MBI: Yes, but I thought I'd do it after you leave because he will probably cry.
Owner: Oh no, I'd really rather you gave it now. It's part of my puppy therapy.
Reluctantly I complied and the dog screams and tries to bite and the owner screams. I then pick up the dog to take to the back for his bath and the owner freaks out.
Owner: You're not taking him now?!?
MBI: Yes, I'm taking him for him to get his bath (thinking I have no intention of continuing to visit with you, you gotta leave sometime!)
Owner: But I don't want to leave my baby!
MBI: Well don't. I told you that you could wait and bring him back in the morning.
Owner: But it would be best for him to stay, right?
MBI: The sooner we get rid of the fleas, the sooner he stops itching.
Owner: Oh yeah, I forgot to ask if he might be itching because he's allergic to his food.
MBI: You must be kidding! Look how many fleas are on your dog!!! Do you really think he needs another reason to itch?!?
Owner: Oh...(trailing off)
I take the dog and flee the room then instruct the employee (her friend) to give the dog a flea bath.
Employee: Now? (Incredulous voice.)
MBI: Yes, now. He's miserable and itching and it's not like you are doing anything anyway (ok, so I said it in a very sarcastic tone).
Employee: What kind of bath?
MBI: A flea bath. (Again, very sarcastically).
Employee: How do you do that?
MBI: Speechless and staring open-mouthed. Fortunately, my tech stepped in at that point probably saving me from strangling her and giving me the chance to get some chocolate. As I told a cashier once when a rude comment was made about the amount of chocolate I was purchasing, "Consider it a philanthropic gesture; it keeps me from murdering people that annoy me. People like you..."