That Reminds Me: On Being a Vet Tech

I have to confess that this post was generated entirely by my inability to tell an off-the-cuff anecdote in one tweet. I’m working, I haven’t time for a post, but I thought the story was both funny and gross (a win-win story in my opinion) so I had to tell it.

It’s probably a good thing that I thought of this, as I haven’t posted in donkey’s years. And just what the hell does that saying mean, anyway?

Anyway, amongst all of the jobs that I’ve held (and I did a LOT of different things before doing techy jobs exclusively), one of my favourites was being a vet tech for a large small-animal veterinary practice in Los Angeles. The practice specialised in various things including hip/elbow replacements for dogs, canine and feline dental work and also was the main practice to handle the LAPD K9 units. It was heartbreaking at times, hilarious at others, and I have quite a few stories from that job.

The first one involves people not wanting to spend the money to take their animal to the vet – understandable when times are rough, but unavoidable. The ones who were really hoping to not bring their animals in would call for advice, as follows:

“Hi, I have a question to ask you. My German shepherd was playing with my chihuahua and he grabbed the back of his neck, and well…one of his eyes popped out.”

“Come right down, we’ll see him as soon as you get here. Just stay calm.”

“Well, he might be okay…I mean, I kind of pushed it back in and it looks ok, he’s running around and everything. Do I have to come in?”

*speechless* I mean, what did he expect me to say? “No, dude, it’s fine. Just dust that little sucker off real good and pop it back in, he’ll be right as rain.” Seriously?


When the vet I worked for decided to start offering dentistry and teeth cleaning as a service, he did some training with a people dentist. I’m assuming this was a friend, but hell, maybe he took classes – it’s been a long time. :) Anyway, he once put braces on a dog’s teeth. Yep, I’ve personally seen one of the top show dobermans at the time sporting a set of braces.

Definitely one of my favourite jobs.

2 thoughts on “That Reminds Me: On Being a Vet Tech”

  1. I can just imagine the poor dog, going to obedience training with braces and head-gear.

    “Shut up, guys! I’m a tough doberman! Grrrr…”

    “Nobody takes you seriously, Jerry.”

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