This is what Sway ate this past week:

1. a feather boa
2. my hand
3. eyebrow wax
4. the kitchen floor
5. the southwest corner of my mattress
6. The D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) diffuser still in the wall socket
7. 2 pairs of shoes
8. the mail
9. a bottle of water - the water spilled out onto the couch
10. a pen and a pencil
11. one roll of toilet paper
12. a women's razor
13. Beignet my cat
14. a phone book
15. the cord to the iron
16. a picture of himself
17. a baseball cap
18. a necktie
19. a pair of jeans
20. his halter
21. the other dog's leash
22. a tube of toothpaste
23. three sand bags
24. the back of the remote
25. a coffee filter
26. a set of blinds
27. a pumpkin pinata

Actually, I'll GIVE you $200 to take my dog. God Bless You.

Prince Lovett

Three years ago when I was a 3rd year vet student, I met Lyle Lovett. He brought his Doberman named "Prince" for a recheck at the small animal clinic inside A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine. Prince was diagnosed with Wobbler's disease, a neurological condition in which the vertebrae in the neck compress the spinal cord, causing excruciating pain and paralysis. Prince received corrective surgery for his condition (two of his vertebrae were fused together with a metal plate), and he was recovering well.

My job as a 3rd year student was to shadow a senior student during clinical rotations in the small animal clinic and make coffee for the clinicians. I went out in the lobby to meet Lyle and take him and Prince into the exam room. The lobby was crowded, as usual, but I knew exactly where Lyle was because everyone was staring at him. The pets in the lobby were staring at him too. Even "Barney" the 21-year-old blind cat with hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, hypertension, arthritis, dental disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome was staring at him. I approached Lyle cautiously (I didn't want to appear I was stalking him like everyone else in the lobby). He looked at me and our eyes met. I have to say, Lyle looks alot better in person. He was wearing a bit of makeup that day, but it looked good on him, unlike the blush I crookedly smeared on my face in the car on the way to school that morning.

Lyle and I shook hands. He smiled and said, "Nice to meet you." Yeah, it was nice for him to meet me alright. Lyle, a tour manager, and Prince followed me back to the exam room. WE all crammed into the exam room, and Lyle's body heat intersected mine. First, I took a few minutes to collect a history from Lyle. I could smell his cologne under my nose and decided I could have chosen a better scent for him.

Before taking Prince's rectal temperature, I thought to myself, "I'm about to stick something in Lyle Lovett's dog's anus!" Like a robot, I applied lube (!) to the end of the thermometer and inserted it into Prince's bum. Prince's eyes widened and then Lyle's eyes widened. "100.5", I said to Lyle. "I suppose that's normal, right?", he answered. I wanted to be a smart-ass and say to him, "Actually a temperature of 100.5 is consistent and indicative of metal plate migration from the vertebrae into the brain." Instead I said, "yes, Prince has a normal temperature." I left out the word rectal.

"Is it o.k. if I take Prince down the hall to weight him?", I asked Mr. Lovett. "Of course! Can I go with you?", Lyle begged. "Sure!", I exclaimed. I led Prince and Lyle down the hallway of the small animal clinic, which is a very busy, populated hospital. This meant that my debut with Lyle in the clinic would be well received.

I strutted down the hall like a railway conductor with Prince the freight car and Lyle the caboose. I felt like a rock star. I was Rod Stewart, singing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" to myself as I sacheyed toward the weight scale. The attention was great. I had clinicians and students pointing and mouthing, "Is that Lyle Lovett?" to me. As I sang disco, I inserted the word "yes" at every other beat to keep others informed that indeed it was Lyle Lovett.

After putting Prince on the scale and announcing his weight to Julia Robert's ex-husband, I looked to see if Prince had lost or gained any weight. He had actually gained 2.5 lbs. I wanted to be a smart-ass and say to Lyle, "A gain of over 2 lbs. usually means the metal plate has moved into the brain, causing swelling, fluid build-up and weight gain". Instead I said, "Wow. Prince has already gained back over 2 lbs., which means he's probably gaining muscle mass around his neck again!"

We turned around to exit the scale, and I regrouped the train and we headed back to the exam room. This time I pretended I was the leader of a marching band. Prince was the horn section and Lyle was percussion. I was holding my band hat above my head with my right arm, waving it in the air and pumping my baton at everybody in the clinic. I was full of myself.

I walked Prince and Lyle back to the exam room and said, "The doctor will be with you in a few minutes." Lyle said, "Okay, thanks and have a good day!" I thought about asking him if he wanted my autograph.

I turned around and shut the exam room door behind me. I wonder if Lyle was looking at my butt on my way out. The disco music slowed. I heard the lonely 'clank' of a drumstick hitting a cymbal, and Rod's voice drained from my vocal cords. I no longer had a baton in my hand, either. My affair with Lyle Lovett was over.

I had a dream that night that Rod Stweart got hit by a train while singing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" because Prince was conductor and Lyle was too busy playing the drums to realize his dog's metal plate had migrated into his brain, causing the accident.


This is Sway last night. He got into my eyebrow wax and had splotches of it stuck on his fur. After stripping the wax, he now looks like he has ringworm.


"The Taxi Ride from Hell"

This past weekend, Dr. Filip and I went to an ophthalmology conference (more about what we learned later). We flew Southwest to San Antonio and stayed at the Hyatt on the Riverwalk, where the conference was being held.

After we got off the plane in San Antonio, Dr. F and I hunted down a taxi to take us to the hotel where we were staying. We stumbled across and old, enebriated-looking driver willing to take us as passengers. If he hadn't been standing next to his taxi, I'd have thought he was a wandering homeless man.

We got into his taxi, which was a minivan. It took Dr. F and I six minutes to figure out the seatbelts, and after that six minutes, I was still unbuckled. I had given up. Actually, this shouldn't surprise you since I was the only one who could read in pre-school, however, I was the last 1st-grader to learn how to tie her shoes. And it took 4 more days of holding my foot out to my teacher for her to tie my shoes until I could do it more than one time in a row.

Back to the story...

The taxi driver drove off, and Dr. Filip commented, “Well, I guess we should start making your funeral arrangements.” “That’s not funny”, I replied. So we started out on the highway toward downtown, and 5 minutes into our drive, I turned my head toward the road in front of us. We were approaching 90 mph (well, it seemed like it anyway), and out of the distance appeared a big fat tire right in the middle of our lane coming at us at what seemed 90 mph. The tire advanced rapidly until it was about 10 feet in front of our van. It was then I realized the driver didn’t see the tire in road 10 feet in front of us in the middle of the road approaching us at 90 miles an hour, like I had. I screamed #@$%^&#!!!. When my expletive was complete, the huge thump! caused me to hit my head on the ceiling of the van and Dr. Filip to wake from his drooling slumber.

My neck hurt. Bad. “Oh my God, I’m SO sorry”, the taxi driver said, “I didn’t see the tire!” I looked at a bug-eyed Dr. Filip and we mouthed another expletive to each other. I again tried to fasten my seatbelt, and I reminded Dr. Filip about the comment he’d made about planning my funeral.

The taxi driver slowed down for a few seconds, then sped back up after he thought we had recovered from the tire incident.

Not two minutes later, speeding along at what seemed 90 mph, I saw a car in the lane to the right of us closing in on my side of the van. I believe it was the taxi that had swerved into the next lane right into a late 90’s model Celica. The car struck the side of the van near the front passenger’s side door. Again, an expletive flew out of my mouth, and Dr. Filip finally appeared concerned. Both drivers exited the highway and pulled into a Bank of America parking lot.

I frantically tried again to buckle my seat belt. Successful! The driver then radioed the police to report the accident, and told us that he wasn’t charging us for the ride. Whew! A minute later, the driver radioed another taxi to come pick us up while he exchanged insurance information with the victim. Then the driver turned to us and said, “The total is $18.70.” I turned to Dr. Filip and said, “I thought he wasn’t charging us!” “Yeah, I thought you weren’t charging us!”, Dr. Filip exclaimed. The driver mumbled something as Dr. Filip handed him a twenty. I guess we tipped him too, but only because we didn’t want him touching us with his change.

All of a sudden, another taxi drove up and Ozzy Osbourne leapt out of the driver’s side door, ran up to our taxi, and stuck his head in our heads and said, “Yo, man, sorry for all the drama man!”. I got a close enough look at his face to realize it WASN’T really Ozzy, but just a cheap imitation. My heart sank. He had the blue-tinted round framed glasses, was wearing an Ozzy T-Shirt and black pants, and after sitting in his cab for 2 minutes, signed his business card “Ozzie”, spelled incorrectly.

Yes, I said SITTING in his cab. Ozzie, without our knowledge, radioed ANOTHER taxi driver to finish taking us to our hotel. The 3rd driver pulled up. I looked to see if he looked crazy, and instead, looked like the 1st driver.

This driver was teased the whole way by Dr. Filip, who had to endure this driver’s stories of accidents he’s been in. I stopped paying attention. We arrived safely after pulling up at 90 miles per hour.


Love, Me.


Love and Veterinary Medicine

Yes, it's just like what you see on ER and Grey's Anatomy.


"For the Cat You Love"

For the cat you love I will be kind,
I'll give her kisses to ease her mind.
I'd stroke his head to make him purr,
and brush his tail and call him "sir".

For the cat you love I'll stay all night,
to make him better, to make him right.
I'd hug her close and keep her calm,
and hold her kittens in my palms.

For the cat you love I will be here,
and comfort you when the time is near.
A witness to pain, grief, guilt and despair,
a witness to love and how much you care.

a poem by ME, Dr. C!

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