Pet care: Princess good; voodoo dolls, knives bad - Albuquerque Journal

Pet care: Princess good; voodoo dolls, knives bad

Fifth in a series.

Who doesn’t love reunions? Princess needed to stay quiet the day after her open-chest surgery, but she and her family had never been happier. They gratefully accepted the fishhook she’d swallowed, promising to return the next day to keep their pupster’s spirits up.

Free air was minimal, Princess’ lung sounds were good, her respirations normal. So, I took the plunge on Day 3 and removed her chest tube. She ate well, felt great and went home with strict instructions for minimal activity.

I’d called Dick Tracy for help with my other pressing dilemma but, sadly, his Apple Watch must have lost its charge. I was on my own. It might have been unfair to suspect our new staff member, rather than Amos or Martha, of planting that annoying voodoo doll in my desk, but all doubt evaporated a few weeks later when Kendra displayed a pointed instrument of her purported pagan rituals.

I know I can be a stick-in-the-mud, but show-and-tell with a blood gutter knife – in the workplace? How about weapons or drama of any sort? I didn’t think so, either. Risking a hex, I invited Kendra for an open-door chat in my office. I explained that blades and hidden dummies were not part of our workplace culture. She left in a quiet huff. There was no string of bad luck, although I think there would have been had she stayed.

On a follow-up exam two weeks later, I released Princess to engage in normal poodle activities. Her family’s 5-year-old boy explained that they were planning another crawdad fishing expedition and asked if their dog would have learned her lesson about filching chicken fat from a fishhook. I was kind, but firm: Princess was a true scavenger. No more fishing for her.

I occasionally wondered whether our erstwhile attention-seeking employee would resurface until I received a call from a CIA officer requesting a meeting. I was told about whom, but not why. It did not occur to me to refuse the invitation.

Next week: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful …

• For help with behavior problems, you can sign up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website,

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in person and in groups via Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week, he shares a blog and a video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at Post pet questions on or by mail to 4000 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

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