I used to be a veterinary assistant.
I snuggled puppies, put kitten on my shoulders, and got lots of licks and kisses from sweet dogs.
I also cleaned a lot of shit, dealt with a lot of sadness, and gave Willie Nelson an enema.
You see, he had eaten a rock. Munchies, man. Luckily for him, the rock had gotten almost all the way through before it got stuck. Unluckily for me, I had to take Willie Nelson into the yard and try to help him get the rock out. 20 years old with a tube in Willie Nelson’s butt made me question a few life choices, to say the least. I had to wait around to watch Willie Nelson poop out this rock, which sounds like some sort of prison thing, but was actually much less glamorous. We were successful, for what it’s worth.
One time I found myself trying to spoon feed charcoal to a squirmy black lab that had eaten a bunch of chocolate. Have you ever tried to feed charcoal to a dog? With a motherducking spoon? I can’t remember why the vet wanted me to use a spoon instead of a syringe, but I can promise it made no sense whatsoever. This dog was all excited to see a spoon. With something that looked like more chocolate! And then he tasted it and was like, whoa, I do not think this is very good chocolate. Perhaps you should get me some Guittard or at least some Ghirardelli. I persisted, spooning what amounted to charcoal soup into the mouth of a big goofy dog who shook his head until we both resembled a Jackson Pollock painting.
We had a groundhog named Tilly. She loved Dandelion greens, Nilla wafers, and Bojangles biscuits. If you were eating she would come stand on her back legs and tug at your pants to get your attention. Sometimes we would let her roam around the clinic, and she would go to the small trashcan behind the front desk and take all the paper back to her cage and make a nest for herself.
She lived with us because she lost her top teeth in an accident, which meant that without regular trimming her bottom teeth would grow unchecked into her top gums and eventually kill her. We cut her teeth with dog nail clippers.
Happy (belated) Groundhog day, Tills. I miss you. I do not miss your smell.