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Madam Ouija's second opinion shouldn't be in the cards
You may be familiar with the bumber sticker "Stuff happens" or something to that effect.
You may be familiar with the bumper sticker "Stuff happens" or something to that effect. With great wisdom, the sticker points out that sometimes things just seem to happen all on their own.
We live in a cause-and-effect world. But sometimes the cause is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint.
Mrs. Howcum does not understand this basic principle of life. She's a nice enough lady, but she's also living proof of one of the basic laws of physics: Light travels faster than sound. That's why she appears bright until you hear her speak.
"I just don't understand, Doctor. If my dogs have this strange new disease, there must be a reason for it. After all, you know what they say, 'Where there's a will, there's a way.'"
Of course this made no sense at all, but I chose to let it go.
Her two dogs, Devil and Rascal, had come to see me because of a strange new behavior. They liked to sit facing each other so that each could watch the other. I would hardly categorize this as a "strange new disease."
"I know it can't be an allergy," she said. "I never give them peanuts. Do you think they need antibiotics? I saw on the Internet that dogs can act strangely from lead poisoning. That can't be it because we don't have any pencils at my house. Is there anything else it could be?"
I had an explanation: Stuff happens. I tried to expound on the principle of bumper-sticker wisdom, but the concept was over her head.
"After all," she explained, "The dogs have been doing this for two whole days. This can't just be a confluence." (She meant to say coincidence.) "At first, I figured they might be constipated. So, I put a drop of mineral in each of their ears. That didn't seem to help at all. Do you think an X-ray would help?"
I advised waiting a few days to see if other symptoms developed.
"It may be too late by then," she said. "Would you be terribly upset with me, Doctor, if I went for a second opinion? After all, you know what they say, 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.'" (She meant to say that two heads are better than one.)
I sent her on her way with my assurance that a second opinion never hurts. I was wrong. She called a week later with the complete diagnosis.
"Doctor, did you ever hear of Madam Ouija, the pet psychic? She is amazing! After a few appointments with her, she was able to explain the whole problem, and she didn't even have to run any tests. It cost a lot of money, but it was worth it."
(There's one born every minute.)
"Apparently, my dogs have ESP. Can you believe it?" (Actually, no.)
"They stare at each other because of an apparition in my house that only they can see. Madam Ouija says that my house has a ghost dog. She understands these things. My boys aren't looking at each other—they're watching the ghost dog who loves to sleep between them. It's a good thing I consulted a psychic. That's all I can say. She was able to sense the situation and rip me off."
She actually meant tip her off, but she was correct this time.
As for me, I was easily able to recognize the entire story as being a huge load of bullstuff.
Dr. Obenski owns Allentown Clinic for Cats in Allentown, Pa.
For a complete list of articles by Dr. Obenski, visit dvm360.com/obenski