See, I TOLD you we didn't lose your dog's corpse

Oh, our poor receptionists and my poor boss. They spent most of yesterday and a goodly chunk of today dealing with a woman who insists we lost her dog’s corpse, when in point of fact, some well-meaning relatives picked up the body so she wouldn’t have to deal with it.

We euthanized the dog on the surgery table Saturday night, and at that time the owner was too distraught to decide what she wanted to with the remains. That’s a pretty common situation for us, where the owner hasn’t previously made a decision and is too upset to think about it right now. Our standard procedure for such cases is to label the body bag with the animal’s name and the word “HOLD” and put it in what we euphemistically tell the clients is “our cooler.” (It’s actually a standard-size deep-freeze known as “the corpse freezer.”) That’s what happened with little Poochie. I personally bagged and tagged the dog and put her in the freezer myself.

Someone calls later and says that they want to bury the dog at home, and someone will be coming to pick it up on Sunday. Later, I’m told that the owners are at the beach for the weekend, and the father-in-law will be coming to pick the dog up around 6:30 in the morning. Okay, all well and good. Before I leave, I make up a coffin so the overnight techs won’t have to deal with it when they’re slammed with the Sunday morning chaos. Hmm, the freezer’s too full to put the coffin in and still have the lid shut. Okay, there’s the dog right on top, label up, and the coffin right next to the freezer. Not ideal, but the best I can do under the circumstances. I tell the overnighters about it, and off I go.

When my boss called me in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I thought they were slammed and needed me to come in early. After all, holidays are like that a lot of times. No, she wanted to see if I knew where Poochie’s body was. Evidently, the woman had come to pick the dog up, and they couldn’t find it anywhere. They’d been through the corpse freezer, they’d been through the lab freezer, they’d even been through the break-room freezer. :eek: They’d gone through every single bag in the dumpster, and they’d sent someone over to the pet cemetary/crematorium to go through every single bag in their freezers, since they’d come and done a pickup that morning. No Poochie anywhere. So I told her what I knew, and since there was no coffin by the freezer when she came in that morning, she asked the owner to check with her relatives and see if anyone had picked it up while she was out of town.

That evening, she called back to insist that none of her relatives had picked up the dog, and that we must have lost the body somehow. Since it’s not in the dumpster, and it’s not at the crematorium (that was a hellacious long-shot, anyway; if it doesn’t have a big orange group cremation tag or a big yellow private cramation tag on it, he’s not putting it in his hearse), and the coffin is gone, too, someone must have come to pick this dog up for her. When the midnight people came in, I asked them about it. Sure enough, the father and brother came a little after 7 yesterday morning to pick the dog up. Since that had been the plan as they understood it, they didn’t bother to tell the day staff that the dog had been picked up. Hence, the confusion when the owner showed up and the dog wasn’t in the freezer.

I called the clinic to make sure that this had been cleared up. Lo and behold, this woman has called a couple more times today, still insisting that we’ve lost her dog. The fil couldn’t have picked the body up, because she doesn’t have a father-in-law, and her son doesn’t even know where the place is. Okay, fine, but have you checked with all of your male relatives like we asked you to? I think perhaps you haven’t.

So there are three possibilities here. 1) Some sick fuck has somehow found out that the dog died (between 8 Saturday night and 7 Sunday morning) and impersonated her father in order to illicitly obtain the corpse. This strikes me as incredibly unlikely for a variety of reasons. 2) Her father picked up the dog and for some reason hasn’t told her that he did so. He could think she’s still at the beach, he could be a sick fuck who’s playing a horrid practical joke on her, I don’t know. If he picked up the dog, I hope like hell he’s buried it by now, though. I mean, it was frozen when he picked it up and all, but it’s July in North Carolina. That thing’s got to be, um, not so fresh by now. 3) The owner arranged with someone to come pick the dog up and has “forgotten” that she did so. She is either crazy as hell, or she’s pulling the veterinary equivalent of planting hair in your food so you’ll get your meal comped.

I don’t have any idea which of these scenarios is what’s actually happened. All I know is that we did NOT lose her dog’s corpse.

Maybe her father is having it stuffed as a surprise for her. I know I’d sure be suprised.

At least one more possibility. Father and son came by for Pooch X and were given Pooch Y by mistake. So you might check the freezer to see if you have a pupsicle that you thought should have been picked up already.

Let me be the first to congratulate you on this one. :smiley:

No, Fin, the only other dog we had waiting for owner pickup was 50# heavier and male. Even if someone didn’t notice those sorts of differences, I’m pretty sure they would have noticed the tag with another dog’s name across the top of the box. Besides, those owners came last night. Everything else was a cremation, complete with tag bearing name, breed, sex, owner’s name, weight, and age. And yes, all the tags match the animals in the bag, because we opened every single one of them to make sure. They even opened the other coffin, just to double check. Everybody’s accounted for. Whoever came by yesterday morning asked for Poochie, and whoever they were they got Poochie.

I hope he uses onions, caraway seeds & white bread whilst making the stuffing.

Wheat bread stuffing tastes terrible.

Whatever the outcome, I feel for that poor woman. I was once in her shoes. And I still force myself to believe that the ashes on my piano are indeed those of Miss Emily. The alternative I cannot contemplate.

I hope the situation is resolved as soon as possible.

Oh, dear. It seems we may have lost her dog after all, or at least sent it home with some other owner. Our receptionist called the owner, and apparently her father is dead and her brother lives out of state. So scratch possibility number two and enter possibility number four, proposed by one of the receptionists: Maybe there was another Poochie about the same size who died some time ago, and the owners didn’t come to pick it up, and whoever took the calls and dealt with these two men didn’t check the last names. Except we can’t find any Poochies about that size who died within the last month or so, and AFAIK we haven’t had any unidentified or unclaimed corpses in the freezer.

Man, when we get to the bottom of this mess, somebody’s ass is going to be grass.

Curiouser & curiouser.

What possible reason would there be to ‘steal’ the corpse of a dog? I really hope some reasonable explanation surfaces on this one.

Is there another animal clinic in town? Is it possible that the family members that called to pick up a dog contacted the wrong place, and Poochie just happened to fit their description?

It may be some big weird coincidence, and now they have the dog from your place when they where supposed to pick up “their” dog from someplace else. Being how they are family, and not the actual owner, I could see how they could possibly make this mistake.

Did the man sign the dog out with the nameHerbert West? ? If so I would leave town now.

CrazyCatLady, I absolutely love your vet threads.

I know it’s still going on, so it’s a little early to look back on this and laugh, but I hope you don’t mind if I get an early start. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, there is another emergency clinic in town, but I have no idea how long they hold dead animals, or even if they hold them. It might be worth asking, though.

We don’t have a system in place for signing out bodies, but I guess I should suggest that we implement one. We’ve never needed it before, though. The bulk of the time the owner takes the animal home at the time of death, and most of the rest of the time the owner picks up in the next day or so. When someone else picks up the animal, the owner is generally the one who calls to tell us about it. Sometimes, though, when the owner is as torn up as this lady sounded Saturday night, whoever is going to pick up the dog will call to make the arrangements.

The more I think about the situation, the more fucked-up it seems, and the gladder I am that there is no possible way for anyone to pin this mess on me. Not that I think any of my current coworkers would try something that weasely, but I’ve worked with plenty of folks who would.

Chastain, go on and laugh. It is funny, in a sick and confusing sort of way. Not as funny as me chasing an escaped horse down the highway and hoping neither of us gets run over, but funny.


May I be the first to say: Eww.

I’m not even going to that link… I just wanted to pop in here to quote John Irving, because this thread has me wanting to go read Hotel New Hampshire again.

“Sorrow floats…”

If a very close friend of mine hadn’t just lost his dog not even a week ago, I’d be laughing hysterically at this thread. Since he did… :frowning:

Call me bitter and cynical, but I’m really thinking this is the answer. I’d prepare myself for being sued for pain and suffering…

Please let us know what happened!

GOTCHA YA! :wink: