Visiting Veterinarian

And the winner is ...

By Michele Gerhard Jasny V.M.D. - September 13, 2007

It's time for Dr. Jasny's More-or-Less-Annual Labor Day All Creatures Great and Small Awards. This year our theme is Current Events. As usual, last names are omitted to protect the innocent and avoid embarrassing the guilty.

In the Republican Primary Category we begin with the John McCain Old Timers Trying To Stay in the Game Award. Third to Riley, BW, Al, Rocky, Tash, Mini, Bebe, Sweetie, Annie, Hector, Thorin, and Bilbo. Second to Kouza, the Maine Coon with cardiac and tick-borne disease, to Bear, the beagle in congestive heart failure, and to Luigi. First place to Shel, the old Samoyed who could barely walk but responded to steroids. He's on his feet again. And to Molly - we made a house call in July to euthanize her but she got a reprieve. Her staggering was a benign balance disorder and not life-threatening.

The Mitt Romney Big Bucks Awards go to all the pets whose owners spent a good chunk of change in hopes of achieving their desired outcome. Ribbons to Shlomi, Kelsey, Penelope, Oliver, Woody, Mattie, Angel, Angie, Niko, Grover, Jelly and Tucker. Their people invested in diagnostics, treatment, and consultations with specialists when needed.

You Get What You Pay For Big Dig consolation prizes go to all the folks who continually hounded me to cut corners while demanding that I diagnose their pets' complex problems. I do my best but I'm not psychic.

The Mike Huckabee Rudy Guiliani Funny Names Award Goes to Vercingetorix, a cat named after the man who led a revolt against Julius Caesar (or a French comic strip character for the less literary among us). We also give a Huckabee Weight Loss Award to all pets who have been dieting successfully.

In the Democratic arena, The John Edwards' Four Hundred Dollar Haircut Award goes to Mr. Magoo, the white standard poodle who was clipped and dyed to look like Uncle Sam for the Fourth of July Parade.

The more serious Elizabeth Edwards Awards for courage in the face of cancer go to many pets, including Sparky and Sadie, who have mast cell cancer, Morgan, the boxer with a brain tumor, Feather and Missy, with oral tumors, and many others. We wish you all strength. And to those we have lost to cancer including Nadia, Marmalade, Divot, Woofer, Rascal, Molly, Lil, Chantelle, Doozer, Peanut Butter, Chester, a different Sadie, and Harris.

The Hilary Clinton Award for Fabulous Feisty Females goes third place to Misty, Phoebe, and Charlotte; second to Tulip (she knows why); and first to Tahoe who needs to be anesthetized to clip her nails.

The Bill Clinton Supportive Partner Awards for pets who help their owners through challenging times go to Skipper, Shayna, Angel and Dolly, Charlie, Kodiak, Red and Bear, Sabu, and Tank.

The Frontrunner Award for animals whose owners have done the best lobbying with the vet, third goes to Katie whose owner brought us blueberry pie after her spay. Second to Clio, Lars, and Velvet, whose owners still hug me at every visit. First goes to Kelsey and Chloe. Their owner made my day with her appreciation of my veterinary skills (in spite of the fact that I was in a cranky, impatient mood). Thank you for reminding me why I do this.

The I Got A Crush On Obama Awards for smart, good-looking newcomers go to Xochi, Stella, Trixie, Dakota, Dolan, Leroy Brown, Tyrone, Claudia, O'Malley, Molly, Coco, Teddie, Francis, Willa, Otis, and all recent additions.

In the related Yes, We're Black Enough Category, the blue ribbon goes to Zoe the black lab who had ten perfect black lab pups.

The Kucinich Scrappy Underdog Award goes to Sparky, the Yorkie who survived first a case of garlic toxicity, and then an attack by a larger dog that resulted in a punctured lung.

Rubber, plastic and tin

In other news, we have the Matell Toy Recall for Ingestion of Dangerous Substances. The Polly Pocket What Did You Eat Awards go third to Heffer, who we worried might have swallowed a rubber ball, and to Bear who eventually passed the plastic bag he ate. Second to Lucy who ate a whole wad of tin foil. First to Shadow the cat. We surgically removed an unidentified piece of hardware from her intestines.

The Chinese Pharmaceuticals Award for potentially deadly encounters with medications goes to the three (count 'em, three) Brittany spaniels who together devoured a potentially lethal number of arthritis pills.

I-Smell-A-Rat Awards go to all our rat poison cases. Third place to many summer renters whose dogs found and ate rat poison the moment they entered their vacation homes. Caretakers, take note! Don't leave accessible bait in rentals. Second to Sophie the cat, whose landlord put loose poison under the porch. Landlords, get exterminators to use pet-safe "black boxes" for rodenticides. First to Ginger. Her owners did not seek veterinary attention initially because she seemed fine after eating the poison. Several days later Ginger ended up needing a plasma transfusion to prevent her from bleeding to death. Pet owners, take note! Rat poison does not cause clinical signs for three days or more. Call your veterinarian immediately!

The Dick Cheney Accidental injury Award goes to Sushi, and every other pet inadvertently cut with scissors by their grooming owners.

The Senator Craig Trouble In The Bathroom Awards go third to Naga, second to constipated cats Bouhaki, The Girl, and Screamer. First to Tofu, who always seems to need an enema on Friday afternoons.

The Where Is Al Gore When We Need Him Global Warming Award goes to Kippy for a whopping case of heat stroke.

The Lame Duck Award to Jill and her limping chicken.

The George W. Bush Really Bad Plan Award goes to the family that let their elderly dog chase their bikes several miles on a hot Saturday afternoon, then asked me to examine her, gratis, at the Cornapalooza festival on my day off, when I was supposed to be doing the corn maze with my kids. Next time Old Yeller chases your bikes, stop. Turn around. Take him home. Please. Everyone we love should be safe at home, not doing foolish things in sweltering weather. Same thing goes for our troops in Iraq. Bring 'em home. Please.

Belated recognition

The Fred Thompson Better Late Than Never Awards go to all those animals I planned to mention earlier but was waiting to get on the Jay Leno Show. Barkmulch and her bladder stones, Mai-Mai, with her eyes and jaw, Pip who bit the electric cord, Harold's sore paws, Sulkie's mosquito bite allergy, diabetics Flik, Tweakers, Tulip, and Calhoun... and Mousie, Obie, Tally, Visa, Simon, Delilah, Dozer, and Maho. In the interest of bipartisanship, Congressional Medals of Honor go to all the pets I don't know because you use other veterinarians.

The Alberto Gonzales Memory Lapse Award goes to animals I forget to mention. You are all special and deserve to have your names in the paper. I just can't recall who you are.

Our final Winds of War Category is a sorrowful one. Yellow Ribbons to those missing in action like Quincy. May they return home safely, like Grover did. A Yellow Ribbon to Tito, too. He's not missing, but last I heard, his owner was in Iraq. And finally, Purple Hearts to all that have passed away, including Dooby, Terra, Ewah, Horatio, Kitty, Pistol, Tiger, Grizzly, Cove, Hannah, Jin-Jin, Molly, Rosie, Olympia, Patches, Panda, Jackson, Lily, Acadia, Chester, Chilly, Puddles, Olivia, Player, Brewster, Murphy, AJ, Merfy, Wolf, Buddy, Nikki, Otis, Harvest, Bobby, Zoe, Frodo, Aiko, Holly, Obidos, Bob, Elmo, Flan, Dakota, Dillie, Phil, Max, Red, Smokey, Meana, Boy, Clementine, Felix, Keeta, BB, Alexander, and many more.