As I've mentioned before, veterinary medicine may be fundamentally about animals, but it is also far more about people than you might expect. The world is full of all manner of interesting people, but it seems that the "most interesting" ones all own animals. This is why veterinarians make great dinner party guests. If you can prevent them from telling gross-out stories (oh, but the urge is so strong...), they often have some fantastic crazy people stories. Before I tell a few of mine (in point form to keep it light!) I should make a couple disclaimers.
Don't be alarmed. If you are reading this you are almost certainly not featured in the stories below. None involve regular clients. If you think you are crazy you are probably not. The truly crazy generally don't realize it.
The use of the word "crazy" is a shameless and amateurish attempt at click-bait. Most of these people have something else going on like intense grief, or intense anger, or intense stupidity. But some are definitely full-on bat poo.
So, in no particular order, here are the inductees to my Crazy People Hall of Fame:
- The young man who had his beloved dead ferret freeze-dried and mounted on the mantlepiece in what he described as a "heroic pose".
- The elderly woman who kept an astonishingly detailed diary of her perfectly healthy cat's eliminations on reams of loose leaf and then would proceed to try to read two months worth aloud to me. "On March 13 he had one regular sized bowel movement at 6:03 in the morning and then..."
- The man who threatened to punch my partner when he remarked that the man's dog was overweight. The man was seriously going to assault Bob. The dog was seriously obese. Bob calmed him down. The man never came back.
- The man who missed his appointment because the bus driver wouldn't let him on. He had had his sick four foot long ball python draped around his shoulders.
- The woman who came to visit her dead dog the day after the euthanasia in order to groom him before the crematorium picked him up. He was a very large dog. She bathed him, shampooed him, blow-dried him and brushed him out, humming all along. It was heartbreaking.
- The young woman who began to un-button her pants, saying she wanted me to tell her whether the bites she had were from fleas. I declined saying that all bug bites look the same.
- The woman who brought her budgie in wanting to know why it wouldn't sing or eat. It was dead. Cue the Monty Python sketch...
- The couple who were astonished to find out that their young cat was pregnant. "How could that happen? She doesn't go outside and the only male around her is her brother!" (I'm sure every vet has run into this at least once.)
- The woman who phoned and in a very high squeaky voice said, "I have always had the ability to smell cancer. All my friends say I can smell cancer. And I smell it on Billy. I want to bring him in so you can find it and get rid of it."
The last one and one that you may not want to read aloud to the kids:
- The woman who, with an entirely straight face, asked whether venereal diseases are transmissible between humans and dogs.
I have left the very best one off this list because it deserves an entire post of its own, and I'm still wresting with whether to let it out into the public domain yet or not. Let's just say that it involves a teddy bear. Don't even try to guess - you'll be wrong. I apologize for the cruel teaser.
Now you can return to your gin and tonic and the next piece of click-bate.