A Skunk By Any Other Name Is Still a Skunk…

So it’s dental “month” at AMCOP.  The term “month” is used loosely as the special runs from February ’til (it’s rumored) the end of April.  Thus, work has been inordinately busy with a frenzy of teeth cleaning.  Subsequently, between that and various home obligations, blogging time has been whittled down to zero (I am, however,  ecstatic because somebody out there actually noticed and actually missed me…that just about totally made my day)

I feel like maybe I set a personal record for most 4th upper premolars and molars pulled during dental month.  For sure I set a record for most pulled in one day (5…these are teeth that actually need surgical intervention to get them out;  the ones that are so lose that you can just shuck them out like corn on the cob don’t count).  Frankly,  I’m sick and tired of extracting teeth; so do your part and brush them so they don’t get loose/infected and need pulling.

I’m actually on the road right now on my way to Galveston with the family (including Mia) for spring break (the Husband is driving…in case you were wondering).    As a matter of fact, there is a partial family sing-along going on right now to that Taylor Swift song about the nerdy girl who wants her high-heel-short-skirt-wearer loving best bud to want her back.  Aidan’s got a pretty nice falsetto and knows all the words.

Uh oh, just caught a blast of the smell we never seem to be able to escape on road trips:  the sweet scent of skunk.  When we used to make this trip when Aidan was maybe two or three, he would drive us absolutely nuts every time we smelled skunk.  Literally for MILES he would ask us where the skunk was.  It went something like this: 

Aidan:  What’s that smell?

 Mom:  “Skunk”

 Aidan:  “Where is it?” 

Mom: “I dunno, behind us, out in a field somewhere maybe a mile back or so.”. 

One minute later: 

Aidan: “Where’s the skunk?” 

Mom:  “I dunno, maybe two miles away”. 

Two minutes later: 

Aidan: “Where’s the skunk now?” 

This would go on and on ad nauseum for a very, very long time.  Once it happened during what must have been skunk mating season or something because when he’d FINALLY get sick of asking and I’d heave a sigh of relief and pat myself on the back for not losing it and screaming at him; we’d suddenly hit an all new patch of skunk smell and it would start all over again. 

Hmm…must be that time of year again because we just hit another patch of it. 

I can’t help but wonder what happened to the skunk.  Is he dead?  Did he get chased by a dog?  Trying to attract that black and white girl cat with his alluring odor? 

You guys know that anal sacs on dogs and cats are just a vestigial skunk gland, right?  Particularly dogs like to shoot the contents of the sacs during times of great stress.  It’s not unusual for us in the veterinary profession to get “anal glanded” in the line of duty.  If you haven’t smelled it, it is by far one of the foulest substances on the planet.  Carmen, one of my techs who possess very astute scent characterization skills described it as smelling like “rotten pennies”. 

In practice, everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.  One of my weaknesses involves expressing anal glands (technically they’re not glands because they don’t secrete a hormone, but bear with me).  I have no problem getting the job done; I can accomplish the goal of getting the stinky stuff out of the sac.  However, I am profoundly deficient in my ability to “aim”. 

You see, Drs. Sharp and Rogers can daintily express the glands into a paper towel with great ease and precision.  I, on the other hand, no matter how hard I try, and how much paper towel/gauze I use, and how carefully I squeeze, more often than not, the foul substance always manages to shoot off in some random direction. 

The staff knows to steer clear whenever I do the job. 

I want to put a target on the wall behind the dog, you know, make it a little more challenging. 

No one is safe.  I’ve squirted Dr. Sharp, who never, ever gets dirty.  He was somewhat displeased.

 I’ve defied physics and made streams of anal gland material shoot 20 feet to the front of the dog.  Cleaning up after my anal gland adventures can be challenging.  I try to help, but it’s a bit like a deranged treasure hunt to find all the random odiferous squirts across the room. 

Oh well, Superman has his Kryptonite.

I have my anal glands. 

Well, not literally, but you know what I’m trying to say….

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