May. 26th, 2008

grrgoyl: (Office Stanley)
Tery and I dislike the general wisdom that pitbulls are an inherently dangerous breed of dog. No such thing as a bad dog, only bad dog owners, she'd always say. Any animal can be aggressive if raised that way, she'd say. I tended to agree with this, until last weekend and this I had to care for two victims of pitbull attacks. These dogs were torn UP, one of whom was in its own yard when a pitbull jumped the fence and turned it into so much meatloaf. They'll both recover, thanks to emergency surgery and massive expanses of skin stapled together. It's a little hard to defend the poor, maligned pitbull population when you see wounds like these.

Then last night I had a pitbull boarder, Jito. He was a bit wary of me after I'd spent the first ten minutes of my shift screaming at Jake and Shadow (more later), but I eventually got him outside. He was about 70 pounds of solid muscle, unneutered, with nails as long as tweezers and a thick spike-studded leather collar. Putting a spike collar on a pitbull is like painting a skull and crossbones on a nuclear warhead in the overkill department, if you ask me. And in Jito's case, perhaps a bit ironic; he was well-behaved enough, though I wasn't about to let him lick my face or anything. I also wasn't going to see if he wanted to play with Sissy the min-pin.

Jake and Shadow. I've had Jake before, he was actually the white German shepherd in my terribly boring video of the hospital. He was a very, very bad dog then, and hasn't improved now that he has a baby brother, a 7-month-old black German shepherd with freaky beady orange eyes. I don't understand the logic of dog owners, who think the solution to one uncontrollable dog is to get another who is worse. Jake and Shadow both bark constantly, even when you're standing an inch away from them looking at them. Shadow in addition is terribly excitable, and when released from his kennel tries repeatedly to get your hand into his mouth. Bad, bad, bad.

Then there are poor dogs like Weeza, who are trying desperately to return to their happy place:

Blair Witch Dog

Unfortunately my co-workers aren't getting any smarter, and have taken exception to some notes I left. With Parvo season well underway, there's a lot of activity in the Isolation Ward. Iso has two bins, a short one to the left for garbage and a tall one to the right for laundry. The position of these has never changed, and furthermore they both have large labels on the walls next to them with arrows pointing to each respective receptacle. There's really no way to make it any simpler. Still, despite numerous notes being left by others, the laundry continues to be intermixed with garbage, which sometimes includes the clean-up of vomit/diarrhea. It's a most unpleasant surprise to encounter when trying to load the washing machine, and considering the multiple, multiple attempts to clarify which bin is which, I felt a little snarkiness was called for.

So in the communication log book I drew a large diagram, labeling each bin as well as indicating the size, and the location of the door to Iso just to make sure there was no possible confusion. Underneath it, I wrote in all caps, "MEMORIZE IT PLEASE!" Yes, I freely admit this note was meant to be insulting. But in the face of such staggering stupidity, I really, really can't control myself.

I guess then I shouldn't be surprised that my other note was completely misconstrued. I arrived to my shift only to discover there wasn't a drop of dish soap to be found anywhere downstairs, because rather than letting someone know we need more, the day shift blithely go about their business waiting for the soap fairy to pay a visit (this weekend they were waiting for the cat litter fairy to drop by). Like laundry, if you don't wash dishes constantly the backlog starts building up very, very quickly. On Tery's suggestion I foraged up in the lab, cleverly filling a cough syrup prescription bottle about halfway to tide us over until more was delivered. I labeled it with some bandage tape, adding a second piece which read, "A little goes a long way!" to make sure it lasted.

This was mistakenly read by the day shift as sarcastic. From now on I'm going to carry a tube of lipstick and sign every message with a kiss, so as not to hurt the fragile, hypersensitive feelings of the day shift. Honestly.

Tery used to hate when I called her to complain about these people, but she's finally starting to see what I'm talking about. A few weeks ago the ancient clothes dryer finally gave up the ghost. Rather than fall behind in the laundry (as I said, doesn't take long for it to become disastrous), and rather than interrupt all the hard work of her employees (yeah, whatever), Tery took it upon herself to spend the entire day personally schlepping piles of wet blankets to the laundromat across the street to dry. Never once got to her desk to do her own work. Great boss, right?

Then she found out at the end of the day that not one but TWO workers decided it was a good day to give their own dogs baths, adding about three towels each to Tery's load, then snuck out at the end of their shift before she realized. She called me angry enough to spit, and I can't say I blamed her. "I've been TELLING you this," I commiserated with her. "These people are stupid. Stupid and selfish and with their heads stuck firmly up their asses." She finally had to admit I might have something there.

(But I was the hero of the weekend when, rather than ignore the massive pile still present after her efforts, I realized we had hundreds of dog leashes and a myriad of hooks on practically every wall. I spent the entire night devising a series of efficient clotheslines. They must have liked them, as they were still in use when I returned the following night.)


But I must admit, it amuses me highly when the lack of respect carries over to our home, to our animals. Malcolm Reynolds is a good ferret, except socked feet confuse him and he attacks them. Well, used to attack mine, before a couple of well-placed kicks set him straight. Tery unfortunately continues to suffer from these assaults to this day. I suspect she doesn't kick as hard.

Kitten Mitten of course adores me, follows me around all day like a puppy, lets me sling her over my shoulder like a sack of kitteh potatoes (like this ). On the few occasions I need to discipline her, like after she takes her crazy pills and tears around the house at 1 in the morning, she instantly straightens up and forgives me after a few minutes (basically all I do is scruff her and say "reLAX" repeatedly until she goes limp). On the other hand, sometimes Tery will walk past her and without warning Mitten will swipe at her, sometimes even draw blood. In her defense, it's usually just after Tery has brushed all her fur the wrong way, which she loves to do for some perverse reason.

But the best is the bird. According to Tery, sometimes she'll spend up to 30 minutes coaxing and cajoling her to step up so Tery can put her to bed. Sometimes Tery gets exhausted and lies down, waking in the wee hours of the morning to try again. Needless to say, the bird comes right to me immediately, and if Tery is trying unsuccessfully, all I have to do is walk around the corner and the bird suddenly trips over herself in her haste to obey.

"I don't understand," she complains. "How do you do that?"

"This is the attitude that enables me to ignore WILL BITE stickers at the hospital," I tell her. And it's true.

I had more to say, but this is long enough as it is.


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