Posted by: yogavet | November 7, 2010

Perks of the job

Sometimes I wish I had the kind of career where I wore pretty skirts and necklaces to an office, where I would sip coffee and do some sort of normal work (is there such a thing?).  When 5pm hit, I would close up whatever I was doing and it would wait patiently until the next day.  I would drive away in my little car, and go home to a life that didn’t have anything to do with my job. 

Instead, I wear beat up jeans (I’ve given up on the stained khakies since I’m not required to wear them anymore… jeans show way less dirt!) and boots, and drive a diesel pickup truck with a white vet unit in the back, to barns where I wrestle with horses.  When I’ve run out of scheduled appointments, sometimes I drive to emergency calls.  When there are no more emergency calls, half the time I drive that truck home and keep my phone on me at all times, waiting for more emergencies. 

I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world.  But there are times I wonder what it would be like, if I’d pursued… I dunno… financial planning or something. 

Anyway, this sort of leads me to a funny story.  Stay with me. 

Last Sunday, I was doing some dishes, waiting for Matt to get home from work.  I was not actually on call, but I’d driven the truck home to cover for my boss for a few hours on call the day before.  The doorbell rang, so I dried my hands and went to the door, thinking perhaps Jehova’s Witnesses or Boy Scouts were paying me a visit.  No such luck, turns out.  The man at the door identified himself as my neighbor from down the street. 

“I heard you worked for a vet or something.  Is that right?”  he asked.

Sigh.  This can only go one way.  “Yes, actually, I am a vet,” I say, somewhat reluctantly.

His eyes lit up.  “How would you like some work?”

(Let me stop at this point to say that this is not the first time a neighbor has come to my house, on a day off, to petition me for vet work.  Anyway.)

I aked him what was going on, thinking perhaps he had a horse that was colicking, or some other emergency, and thought I would be the closest help.  In which case, I’d like to think, I would be more than happy to pitch in, regardless of my on-call status.

Nope.  “My dog has a lump on his side.  My regular vet already aspirated it, it’s a lipoma.  I was wondering if you’d take it off for me.”

Sigh.  I spent the next 5 minutes explaining that I was a horse vet, and while I did have anesthetics for large animals on my truck, I really didn’t have the appropriate anesthetic for a small animal.  He complained, saying that while he was in MEDICAL SCHOOL, he used to use the human anesthetics to neuter his friends cats. 

Sir, did you really come to my house on a Sunday afternoon to ask me to remove a lump from your dog which your REGULAR vet already worked up?  Does your salary as  a NEUROSURGEON not pay enough for you to have this surgery done properly?  Really?

Sure, I could have taken the lump off.  I neutered my own cats later that day, after all, the injectable anesthetics work well for simple procedures.  But it’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing.  Not to mention the dog is way better off in the hands of an actual small animal vet, with inhaled anesthetics and IV access, pain meds and antibiotics. 

I’m really tempted to knock on his door this Sunday and tell him I’ve had a headache for 5 days, I’ve already had an MRI but I’d like a consult from him.



  1. Not to mention the PRINCIPLE that he was practicing Veterinary Medicine without a license…which could be a felony depending on the state…

    Imagine if you had neutered HIM with veterinary drugs while you were in veterinary school…you’d have been arrested…

  2. i know, i almost pointed that out to him. 😉

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