A Funny Misunderstanding
By Glenn Kalick DVM / August 1, 2015
I was at a family function spending some time with some relatives that I haven't seen for a while when my elderly aunt told me that she overheard a couple at our table talking about hot spots. In veterinary medicine, a hot spot is an area on a dog that he or she cannot stop scratching. Eventually the skin becomes irritated, inflamed, and infected. The most common spot for infections on a dog is the side of the face below the ear, foot and flanks. The couple was not currently sitting at the table and I told my aunt that I would talk to them when they came back.
My aunt owns a poodle that I take care of. She told me that her favorite dog, Sarge, was the first poodle that she has owned that doesn't have allergies or tear stains on the face. He was also the best trained dog that she has ever had. He is probably better behaved then some of the small children that were at the function. I did need to remind her that Sarge was taking allergy medicine, as well as a supplement that prevents him from making tear stains. I also had to remind her that Sarge was put into a boot camp by a friend of mine who is a dog trainer, simply because I did not want him to jump on her. She claimed that all those things might be so, but Sarge is the most popular dog at the condo. My aunt is great. The apocalypse could be here and she would still talk about her dogs.
While we were talking and waiting for the couple to return, my aunt told me that she and Sarge went to the mall in Boca Raton for dinner the other night. She and three other women met at one of the outside restaurants with their dogs. They had appetizers and wine, while the dogs sat in their strollers. My aunt loves her dog. The canine has been a great addition and companion to her life. But I just don't know when the stroller and mall became the modern day dog park.
My aunt showed me the couple and told me to talk to them, considering that they didn't seem to be coming back to the table. I asked her to tell me exactly what they said so that I could help them. She explained that she overheard them say their dogs, Timothy and Virginia, each had a hot spot. Meanwhile, their third dog, Willie, didn't have one. They had no idea why. Apparently, the dogs belonged to the kids of her sister's cousin. I realized that the day was not going to get better until I had the conversation, so we approached the couple.
My aunt introduced me as her nephew and her veterinarian who could help with their hot spot problem. They each had an interesting expression, but told me that they don't own a dog, but if they did they would be happy to bring him to me. I apologized for the miscommunication, claiming that my aunt said they own three dogs. She said that she heard Timothy and Virginia had hot spots and that Willie did not. The young man said that my aunt misunderstood. He explained that he has T-Mobile, and in Virginia they needed a mobile hot spot, but here they had Wi-Fi.
My aunt blushed and told me that she should have brought her hearing aids. Then told me that she and I are dog people and we can make any conversation about our precious pets. Probably true.
Glenn Kalick DVM is the owner of Brookside Animal Hospital of Coral Springs. www.Brooksidevet.com
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