Occasionally, vet offices get some very interesting clients. That’s fine by me as it makes the day go by so much faster. Some of them are memorable for being overly affectionate, some are not very nice, some have interesting stories to tell. Some, like Lula’s owner are memorable for many different reasons.
First, let me set the scene. It was the first appointment after lunch. We actually had time for lunch that day. A rare occurrence in a busy veterinary clinic. I grabbed the file, located in the backside of the door and started looking at it. The client report (filled out in the waiting room) was detailed, so very detailed. Suddenly I realized something unusual was going on. I was hearing singing. A song that wasn’t much different than a lullaby. Our doors had a small one way window on the back, but I resisted looking in it and just stood there, listening, and wondering, what the heck is going on in there.
“Lula, Lula, I love you my Lula…” The song went on and on. “lulllaaaa..” Ok, I couldn’t handle it anymore and looked in the window. There, in the exam room, I saw the most unusual thing. A thin, middle aged woman, in sports clothes, with a bicycle in the room, was standing there, rocking Lula, a 80# tan colored pit bull, in her arms. Even more shocking, was that Lula had a bonnet on. A bonnet. As in the head dress of the 1800’s and infant christening style.
I, like most professionals, strive to treat everyone with respect, so I decided to do my best to “handle” this odd situation. I took a deep breath, opened the door, and started to talk. Only I couldn’t really. I got a “helllllooo” out that was interrupted by a “shhhh”. She kept on singing.
It was at this point I realized that this was no usual appointment. I guess I should have seen that coming. After she finished her serenade she proceded to tell me about Lula, how important her dental health was and how this all related to her advanced PhD in mathematics of some type that wasn’t geometry. I can’t recall what she brought her in for anymore. I think she may have had a lump and it was growing by exactly measured nanometers. The lady with Lula always remembered me. She requested me specifically every time she came in. She always sang her song, kept holiday themed appropriate bonnets on Lula to cover her head from the hot Florida sun, and always had a bag of takeout with her.
At first, this was an amusing “crazypants” story. After more than 10 years since I met Lula it has become something more. It is a reminder that there are all kinds of people who love their pets. Lula’s person may or may not have had some mental and housing issues, but that really didn’t matter in the big picture. We treated her with respect, played along with her harmless problems, and in the end cared for her friend in the best way we could.
If I remember right, Lula’s owner became very distraught one day when I wasn’t there. I don’t know if that was coincidence or not, but in any case she got over-the-top irate and was removed by police. We never saw her again.