Gone to the Dogs

It's after midnight on New Year's Eve and I'm on-call for six doctors. The answering service pages me and claims they have an urgent call. Sure enough, I'm greeted with a frantic male voice: "Brandy keeps having accidents all over the floor. Six times already today. There's poop everywhere. You've got to do something." "Her stools are so runny  she can't make it to the toilet?".

I hear a snicker."The toilet? She doesn't use a toilet. I make her go outside."

In this cold weather?  I didn't know people still used outhouses in this day and age.

But then a more sinister thought crosses my mind. What if the guy is abusive and forces his wife or mother to go outside? Maybe I should report him to Adult Protective Services. I decide to glean more information first. "Is there a reason you make her go to the bathroom outside instead of using the toilet?"

There's a long pause. "Doc, I've never heard of a dog using the toilet before. Is that something new they're teaching in vet school these days?"

I nearly drop the phone. Vet school?  "BRANDY IS A DOG???"

"Yes.  Aren't you Dr. Eubanks, from the Veterinary clinic?

I explain the mix-up and we both laugh. No doubt about it-- the answering service has "gone to the dogs."