Jack McCall column


Last week I wrote of how we found our lost dog, Patsy, after she had been missing for eight days. We caught up with her on Highway 141 S near the community of Centerville north of Lebanon.

She was a good five miles from home. (Last week I wrote “Highway 241 S.” My bad.) The only way she could have gotten there was to cross the bridge north of Hartsville or swim the Cumberland River. It must have been quite an ordeal for her. She looked a bit “shell shocked” when I finally loaded her into my car for the return home.

      Because her dog pen had been destroyed by the falling of a massive hackberry tree, we were forced, temporarily, to house her, and her male companion, Quick Dog, in a 16 ft. cattle trailer.

      Here’s where the story takes a decided turn.

      I wrote last week that Quick Dog is a type “A” personality. When he hears the sound of a 4-wheeler he temporarily loses his mind. He runs and barks and whines, and then, in his utter excitement, he attempts to tears limbs off trees. That’s right. No tree limb under 7 ft. off the ground is safe.

When he launches himself into the air it is like a sail fish clearing the ocean’s surface. When he returns to earth with a mouth-full of leaves, he recovers and goes at it again. Sometimes in his excitement he turns on Patsy.

     Well, the confinement of the cattle trailer must have been too much for him. A few mornings after Patsy’s return I discovered a deep wound on Patsy’s neck. It was ugly and would require the attention of a veterinarian.

      So, off to the veterinarian we went. I digress here to say during the Covid-19 crisis our local veterinarian office was one of the busiest places in town. And things have not slowed down.

      I dropped Patsy off for stitches. Her surgery was delayed until late in the day. She stayed over-night. I picked her up on the next morning.   The wound site required a drain which would need to be removed in a few days.

My friendly vet tech gave me proper instructions on caring for Patsy going forward along with a two- week supply of antibiotics and a month’s supply of pain medication.

      When I returned on the appointed day to have the drain removed I received the bill for services rendered. Ouch!

      My friend, and former college classmate, Dr. Mike Harris, DVM, who grew up in Gladeville, Tenn., graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. He performed his first practice of veterinary medicine in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Mike once told me he quickly learned while in Austin there were three categories of clients who sought his services. Category #1 brought in their pet and said, “If it’s going to cost under $100, fix her.” Category #2 said “If it’s going to cost over $100, put him down.” And then, there was category #3, who came in the office, placed their Gold Master Card on the counter and said “Take care of “Fifi!”

       I do not fall into Category #3. I think I fall somewhere between category #1 and category #2. I know I love my dogs.

       And here I’ve been, for the last few years, fretting over which Medicare supplements I should buy for myself when I should have been looking into pet accident and health insurance for my dogs. Of course, I’ll be wanting a small co-pay and a reasonable deductible.

       When I set the appointment for Patsy to have her stiches taken out, I gave the vet tech the go-ahead to give Patsy a summer haircut. After all she has been through I figured she deserved a little pampering.

       I’ll bet grooming is not covered by pet health insurance.

       Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a “Certified Speaking Professional.” Copyright 2020 by Jack McCall

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