I entered the room and introduced myself to the owners, an older couple, he sporting a Tilley hat and she clutching a red notebook with "Count Basie" written boldly on the cover. Smiles and solid handshakes all around. There were two dogs in the room, both rough collies ("Lassie" dogs, in case you're not sure).
"The Count has a friend along for moral support," I said, chuckling lightly. I crouched down and invited them both to sniff me.
"In a manner of speaking," Mrs Simmons replied, also chuckling lightly. "Ella is his teaser."
'Teaser'... My heart dropped. I knew what I was collecting.
Ella and the Count seemed relaxed about the whole thing. Mr and Mrs Simmons smiled at me. Obviously it was my turn to say something.
"So. Um. I am just collecting for analysis then? Or are we... um... using it?"
"To analyze please. He's been a bit of a dud I'm afraid. Such good bloodlines, but no luck so far." Mrs Simmons said this in a pleasant, matter-of-fact tone.
"They said you were good!" Mr Simmons added enthusiastically.
I made a mental note to track down the comedian who told them this. It's not that I am in any way embarrassed by the procedure ("I am a doctor."), it's just that I am not good at it. In fact I am terrible at manually ejaculating dogs.
For example, there was that time with the pretty young woman and her toy poodle stud "Robert"...
But I knew what to do. I excused myself to "get what I need", which in fact was mostly just a few deep breaths and a couple minutes to quickly scan the net and the books for tips. It is not, as the saying goes, rocket science. The procedure is essentially what you imagine it to be. Although a cool dog penis fact, if you didn't know this already, is that they have a long bone in their penis, the "os penis". For real. This makes things easier in some ways. I'll leave the obvious jokes to you.
I stepped back into the room. Gloves, lube, collection vials. Everything ready. I looked at Count Basie and he looked at me. Mr and Mrs Simmons smiled encouragingly. I made sure that Count Basie had sniffed Ella, who was apparently just coming into season, and then he and I began.
(Fade out for the sake of decency and decorum.)
It wasn't working.
Mr Simmons offered, "Maybe the white coat is putting him off?"
I took it off, vowing to myself that that was as far as I would go.
It still wasn't working.
I kept trying, varying rhythm and pressure from time to time, reapplying lube, trying to look relaxed and professional, but the Count just stood there, panting, not even glancing at me. My hand was getting tired.
"Oh dear," Mrs Simmons said, and wrote something in her notebook.
I was determined to succeed this time, but my hand was really beginning to cramp and Count Basie remained as unmoved as a deaf man at a symphony.
"I'm sorry, but this just doesn't seem to be the day," I said weakly.
"Don't feel bad, this happened to the last vet too."
I booked them to try again in a week when Ella was more in season. I knew I'd be away then so they'd have to see my colleague.
"He really is the best at this," I assured them, smiling a wicked little smile to myself.
This xray shows the os penis (running to the left from the point of the arrow,
crossing the femur), and shows that it can be a hazard as well as a convenience.
This poor dog has a bladder stone lodged at the right hand end of his penis bone.