Did You Just Ask Me That?

Some people think we don’t have families and just sit at the clinic waiting for emergencies.
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The saying “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers” was obviously coined by a person asking a lot of stupid questions.

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As a person who has to answer many questions, I can guarantee you there are quite a few that fit into the category of “stupid.” Ignorant questions do not bother me. There are lots of things I am ignorant about and you don’t learn if you don’t ask. So clients that are reading this can ask away. But if you see one of your questions below, to borrow the Bill Engvall quote, “Here’s your sign.”

One question that I have heard twice is this: “So you are a vet, huh?” “Yes I am,” I reply. “Do you have to go to school for that?” “No, momma told me I should get my GED but that sounded like too much work, so I decided to be a horse vet instead.” 

The first person to ask me that stated she thought she would be a vet after asking the question. “Sure, come by the clinic tomorrow. We will give you one of those doctor certificates, some drugs, and turn ya loose.” This stupid question still baffles me. I mean, I was about to look at her sick horse and she was not sure whether I had any formal training. You would think that when I introduced myself as Dr. Whitaker, she might have caught on. Maybe she thought it was just something I liked to call myself. Like “Dr. Dre” or “Dr. Pepper”.

Here’s one I hear every few months. I will be sound asleep and the phone rings at 1 a.m. or a similarly inconvenient time. I answer the phone and the client says, “I have an emergency. Are you at the clinic?” “Yes, I don’t sleep and try not to see my family, so I was sitting at the clinic at 1 in the morning hoping you would call.”

I believe some people think we don’t have families and just sit at the clinic waiting for emergencies. A few weeks ago, a lady called with a colic case, but was not sure whether she wanted to bring the horse in or just watch it for awhile, so she asked, “So after you are done working, do you go home or do you stay at the clinic, just in case I decide to bring the horse in later?” I replied, “I actually have a family, children and a life, so no, I will not be waiting just in case you decide to come in later tonight. Here’s your sign.” OK, I did not say the “Here’s your sign” part, but I thought it.

This question I get less and less often as the years go by (funny how that aging thing works): “Are you old enough to be a vet?” Three years ago one lady said, “You can’t be a vet. You don’t look old enough to be out of high school,” as I was working her horse up for colic. I told her that I was a high-school student doing a veterinary work-study program for senior year credit. She said “Oh, OK,” as I proceeded to do a rectal palpation on her horse. I let her believe this to see how far she would let me go and did not tell her otherwise until I finished the nasogastric intubation. I was not sure whether she just did not care much for her horse or perhaps was a relative of the girl who thought vets don’t have to go to school.

I could probably write several blogs about stupid client questions and I probably will. Remember, there are no stupid answers, only stupid questions—or something like that.