A to Z of how pets and owners behave; RECORD PETS.
LIKE most vets, we have a simple system for drawing attention to our quirkier patients.
Our computer system lists each animal by name and, to avoid offence, some are followed by a cryptic letter or two. So you might find Midge W. This simply means Midge is one to be watched.
It may be because he will spring off the table without warning or he hates needles. His full notes will provide more information.
Others are more obvious. Jet A is, as you may have guessed, A for aggressive. And, on this occasion, we do mean a capital A.
Bonny N is nervous and fearful. Billy B bites and Meg S is so submissive she will wet the floor if you go to clap her.
Many of our animals have double-barrelled names.
Max NS is both nervous and submissive and Blaze WB is watch he will bite.
Lying on a beach last week, my mind began to wander.
Could we use a similar system for our clients? Would it be frowned upon to categorise our cat owners or label our canine clients with unfair dogma? Given the free time I had, it was easy to run the whole alphabet.
Could we have A for absolutely gorgeous? B for bad debt? C for creepy? D for duh? E for emotional? F for forever phoning? G for gee, did I forget my wallet again? H for halitosis? I for not the brightest? J for joy to treat? K for kannot spell? L for likely to faint at sight of needle? M for must be seen quickly or becomes N for narky? O for over-anxious? P for probable B? Q for queries every account? R for regularly vaccinates? S for show dog owner? T for trouble? U for unbelievable trouble? V for very likely to cause trouble? W for will cause trouble? X for xtremely likely to cause trouble? Y for yes, I've lost my vaccination certificate and Z for zzz I have fallen asleep in the sun.
But, of course, the trouble with all these labels is that they are usually based on assumption rather than observation.
They are made by us at times of other people's stress and therefore are inherently unfair.
Just as one dog may be aggressive to one vet but nice with another, so some clients clash with some vets but get on readily with others. Which is why this is still a very personable profession and not something you can learn from A to Z.
Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29
Scottish Kennel Clubs Championship Show, Ingliston Showground.
Saturday, August 28
Poodle Club of Scotland Championship Show, Lanark Auction Mart 10am. Lhasa Apso Club of Scotland Championship Show, Bo'ness Recreation Centre, 10am. Scottish Siberian Husky Championship Show, Lanark Agricultural Centre. German Shepherd Dog Club of Scotland Championship Show, Strathclyde Park, 10am. Scottish Dobermann Club Championship Show, Pivot Centre, Moodiesburn, 10am. Papillon Club of Scotland Open Show, Cochrane Hall, Alva.
Sunday, August 29
North of Scotland Staffordshire Bull Terrier Clubs Championship Show, Bettridge Centre, Newton Hill. Afghan Hound Club of Scotland Championship Show, Scottish National Equestrian Centre, Oatridge. Scottish Terrier Club Championship Show, Cochrane Hall, Alva.
Sunday, September 19
Boston Terrier Club of Scotland Open Show, Lesmahagow. Schedules from Philip Martin, Middlegill House, Moffat, DG10 9SW (01683 300181). Closing date for entries August 30.