Tag Archives: Dr. G

The Master of the PU

23 Sep

When I was a wee receptionist, I had to be taught what constituted an emergency and what didn’t. For instance, if a client calls and says their pet is having a seizure, and it’s an emergency. It IS an emergency. If a client calls and says their pet sneezed once this morning, that is NOT an emergency.

One of the weird things that is an emergency is a male cat straining in the litter box. Neutered male cats have narrow urethras, and if they get stones or blockages, it can lead to serious complications, even death, due to a ruptured bladder. The condition is painful and can be recurring.

There is a solution. Though it is not a pretty one. It’s a surgery called a Perineal Urethrostomy (in most clinics it’s called a PU). Or in simpler terms, amputating the penis. I happen to work with the leading PU surgeon in the world, Dr. G.

Dr. G estimates he has done over 3000 of these procedures in his life. At one time, he was flown to France to perform the surgery, while it was filmed and broadcast to veterinarians around Europe. Another way in which this man is a total badass. Last Friday I got to help him with one of these procedures on a chronically blocked cat named Cuddles. He came in on his day off to do it as Dr. S was too afraid to perform the surgery himself. I was excited to see the master at work. Although (like a good technician), I spent the majority of the procedure monitoring the patient’s vitals, adjusting anesthesia, and handing Dr. G different surgical instruments, I did get to see a lot of what happened. His hands were quick and nimble and before I knew it, the penis was removed.

Everyone left the surgery suite, except Dr. G and I. He sutured open the new urethral opening and let out a sigh.

“You know, Chris, I’ve done so many of these surgeries.”
“I know! You’re the master.”
“I’ve done it so many times that I have visions, and I have them a lot.”
“About the surgery?”
“Well, I have these visions that in my next life, a cat performs this surgery on me.”

That’s the hardest I’ve ever laughed at work.



26 Jun
Morning in the countryside.

Morning in the countryside.

I have decided upon a new rule for myself when traveling. Up until now, I have always had a ratio of 80% in a major city and 20% off-the-beaten-path. This needs to change. The truly amazing, awe-inspiring, life-changing moments I’ve experienced while traveling usually happen in the middle of nowhere, in a place no one has heard about. Case in point #1: Yoshino. Case in point #2: our road trip through Normandy.

D and our Twingo which we dubbed Amelie.

D and our Twingo which we dubbed Amelie.

A bit of wary of driving in Paris, we decided to take a train to Versailles and rent a car there. Easier said then done. We ended up wandering around in the rain, trying to find a car rental place. We finally found our way to a Hertz station where two French men assisted us in broken English. What we gathered from them, though, was that they had given us their most pink car, since we were ladies and must like that sort of thing. As we prepared to leave the lot, I ran in quickly to ask them which way to the highway. The cute boy with bright, blue eyes looked at me worriedly before rushing into a back room. He brought out a GPS unit and showed me how to work it. “Uh, it’s no charge….um…but that’s…exception for you.” He was truly our hero as we would have been quite lost without it.

View of Honfleur from the Ferris Wheel.

View of Honfleur from the Ferris Wheel.

We had reservations at a bed and breakfast place in a tiny town called Torigni-sur-Vire. But along the way, we made a detour to the north at a small fishing village called Honfleur. Dr. G had recommended it to me as his favorite place he has ever been. Dr G has yet to steer me wrong in life. Honfleur was possibly the highlight of my entire France trip. Everything about it was charming. From the chocolate museum with mechanical beavers making chocolate to the old Ferris Wheel to the old man painting the carousel to the apple brandy liquor to the fresh mussels caught that morning. We would have loved to stay longer, but we didn’t want to be late to check into our B&B.

La Beauconniere

La Beauconniere

After much skillful driving along winding roads, past cows and other speeding French drivers, we found the B&B where we were to stay two nights. As we pulled up, a smiling man waved eagerly at us. This was Dean. He directed us where to park and as we got out of the car, he introduced us to him and his wife, Suzanne. I can’t say enough wonderful things about them. They were two of the warmest people I have ever met. Kind, happy, eager to learn everything about us. We were likewise interested in learning about them. Their story is a tale that proves happiness is possible, and it’s never too late to lead a life you love. They originally owned their own law firm in Manhattan, but they didn’t like the hustle and bustle of city life. Dean is British and had always loved the French countryside. So one day they packed up, moved to France, and opened La Beauconniere. She has a passion for horses and cooking, and he loves history and gardening. They share this with the visitors that pass through. Dean calls himself a collector of stories. He loves to learn about his visitors.

They advised us to get dinner at a small bistro in town. We drove through the tiny town with one streetlight. We drank Calvados (apple brandy made in the region, 40%, not for beginners), and I ordered a Nicoise salad. The lettuce in the salad was so fresh and flavorful. I was in heaven. We went back home and crawled into our big comfy bed with the windows wide open to let fresh air in. We slept like the dead.

American cemetery at Omaha beach

American cemetery at Omaha beach

The next day I had made arrangements to spend the day horseback riding through the countryside with Suzanne. But there were huge gusts of wind, and Suzanne was worried about the horses getting spooked and didn’t want to not be able to communicate with each other. She offered to take me out the next day, but we had to return our rental car by a certain time or face a huge penalty fee. I was disappointed, but Dean promised to map out a good sightseeing day for us.

We headed to the D-Day beaches and in particular Omaha beach where the American cemetery was located. It was fascinating to see what those men had to go through, the long beaches and dunes they had to cross over. It was a moving experience, and I’m so glad we got to see it. There was a quote engraved there that stood out to me.

“If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not for conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries. Here was our only conquest: All we asked…was enough soil in which to bury our gallant dead.”

-General Mark W. Clark

Amazing to see you much of the war came down to that one moment, that final hope to free France, all the countries that worked together to make it possible. USA, England, the French resistance. Astounding.

Afterwards we drove to the small town of Bayeaux to see the Bayeaux tapestry which was made in the 11th century depicting the Norman conquest. A stark contrast between the two wars and what people have fought for over time.

Our next stop was going to be Mont-St-Michel, but our trusty GPS broke, and we were nervous about getting too lost. So we found a convenient store with some maps and made our way back to Torigni sur Vire. Once there we found a little pub that was open, bought some beers (whilst noticing a black cat napping on the bar) and played darts. Naturally.

D proved to be a formidable opponent.

D proved to be a formidable opponent.

Once we started feeling a bit hungry we headed out to wander around the town. We stopped in a bakery to grab fresh baguettes, a liquor store to buy a bottle of cider (apples are big in that region), a grocery store so D could pick out some smelly French cheeses, and a butcher to buy some sausage. Back at La Beauconniere, we ate our humble feast and followed it up with some more Calvados brandy. D fell asleep early while I took a long shower, played with the cat Jake, gazed dreamily at the horses and wrote a little.

Jake resting in a sunbeam.

Jake resting in a sunbeam.

The next morning we said our goodbyes to Dean and Suzanne while they packed up some baguettes, homemade pear bread, and what was left of our stinky cheese, so we could snack on the road. We drove back to Versailles to drop off the car and spend the day at the palace. After our amazing countryside experience, it was difficult to stomach the mass amounts of tourists. The palace was interesting to see, but we ended up rushing through it, trying to get away from the crowds. The gardens were beautiful, and it was good to get fresh air after being herded like cattle from room to room. If I were a wealthy Queen of France, I think I’d rather stay at La Beauconniere as opposed to Versailles.


20 May
Eric Kayser Boulanger treats.

Eric Kayser Boulanger treats.

In a way I have the Upper East Side clientele to thank for my career as a vet tech. I asked to become a tech, because I desperately wanted to leave the front desk. I didn’t know how I’d handle working so closely with the animals, the blood, the death, the illness, etc. But I knew I’d rather do anything than deal with those clients day in and day out.

When some of the horror stories of our clients make their way to me now, I breathe a sigh of relief. My client interaction is at a minimum, and I couldn’t be happier. But nonetheless, I still have to deal with some clients.

One of our most notorious clients of legendary snobbery is a devoted follower of Dr. Z. She is the epitome of Upper East Side old money. She inherited millions upon millions and spends her time breeding Dachshunds for show. They are beautiful dog, many of which have competed in National competitions. They have the softest coats of any dog I know. And they are dead inside. Behind their big black eyes, lies nothing. No personality, no reactions. It makes sense for a show dog to be personality-less, as they’ll trot and hold themselves in a perfect manner, but they make for uninteresting pets. Anyways, back to their owner who we’ll call V. She’s a small, elderly lady, who wears her hair in a short bob with barrettes on the side much like a small girl. The things we have heard her say are legendary. Like (to the dogs), “Jumping is forbidden” or to other clients in reference to their dogs, “You really should have that bitch spayed so it doesn’t reproduce.” Ew!

Luckily I don’t typically work with Dr. Z, so I rarely have to deal with her. But I recently had a run-in with her. I went with Dr. Z into the room to examine the dog. He hands me the blank-stare dog, and I weigh it on the scale. As I do this V looks from me to the doctor and back again before cooing in a childlike voice, “Hmmmmm, can we get someone who’s experienced?”

I wish I could have seen the incredulity wash over my face. Before I could say anything, Dr Z calmly told her, “She’s very experienced.” V shrugged and kept mostly quiet the rest of the visit.

I head back into the treatment area to tell my co-workers who all laugh uproariously. It’s one of the rudest things a client has ever said to me, or more accurately around me, as V seemed oblivious of my ability to hear.
“That woman’s a c***,” says wise Dr. G. “She doesn’t like me either.” It made me feel better, but it’s still amazing how a client has the ability to suck the life out of you in one quick sentence.

But as far as clients go, there’s a flip side.

One of my favorite patients was a sassy, miniature Schnauzer named Juliet. A lot of my love for her is the breed. Their stern eyebrows, teeny ears, terrier bodies. Juliet was such a little lady, and I was always happy to see her come in. She typically came in with her owner Mr. W who is perhaps the nicest client we have. He’s an older man, soft-spoken, eternally patient. When I was a receptionist, I remember how kind he was to me. Never minded waiting a minute, never raised his voice. He was quiet, and he was good. His wife has MS and can’t function well anymore. His daughter (also a client of ours) is mean to her core. Selfish and demanding, it is mind-blowing that they are related. And in this storm of sick wife, difficult daughter is a gentle man with an utter love and devotion to Juliet.

She was an elderly patient with bad eyes, bad knees and diabetes. She required so much home-care, but Mr. W did it all with a smile. For him, she was solace. A quiet soul that he could tend to, away from the problems in his life. He would confide in Dr. L that she was his joy, his project to tend to. That dog had so much fight in her, and I believe it was because she knew how much she meant to him. She lasted a long time, but eventually we all knew it was time. In true, Mr. W fashion, he quietly nodded and agreed to the euthanasia. It was clear the fight had left her, and he knew he had to let go.

Weeks later he walks into the clinic holding boxes of pastries from a boulanger around the corner from us called Eric Kayser. Dr L and I ran to the front to greet him. He shyly smiled at us and told us they were from Juliet. Once we brought the boxes back to treatment we opened them to find a variety of beautiful pastries. We looked at each other, tears welling in our eyes.

The thing is Juliet’s death wasn’t sad. It was her time, and everyone involved understood. But sometimes, like with the bad clients, it isn’t the patients that get to you, it’s the clients. Working with pet owners I’ve seen such beautiful displays of love and devotion for animals. It reminds me of the inherent good in humanity. And sometimes the hardest part isn’t losing the patient, it’s dealing with the broken heart of a person you care about, you respect.

For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Mr. W.

April 2, 2013

4 Apr
Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners

I walk into work and it’s a hectic day already. I run around doing a couple of things before I look over and see that Dr. G needs help with a patient. I go over and hold the dog for him while he talks to Dr. S about a case. I wait until there’s a lull in the conversation.

“So the Yankees lost pretty damn bad last night,” I say.
“5 minutes,” Dr. G cuts me off. “It took you 5 minutes to bring that up. God damn it.”
“You could practically see her bursting at the seams,” Dr. S adds. “I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did.”
“I was trying to not make eye contact with you as soon as I saw that smug smile on your face. So I guess the Mariners won last night?”
“As a matter of fact, they did!” I say. “We officially have the best record in baseball.”
“Watch what you say,” Dr. S says. “It’s only April.”

But, no, I will not watch what I say. And I won’t do it BECAUSE it’s April. I’ve been burdened with falling in love with a team that has not performed well at all in recent memory. I remain faithful nonetheless, but it has brought be much heartbreak and disappointment. It’s April. Anything can happen this season. We could win the World Series! Of course, I’m realistic and don’t think that will happen. But the possibility is there. I’m going to enjoy every win, especially for this moment in time when we are at the top of the standings.

I’m writing this on a Wednesday evening, and by the time this goes onto my site, we could have two losses in contrast to the two wins we have. But we’d still be at .500! In a more optimistic world, we might have swept the Oakland A’s and remain atop the standings. It’s April! It’s baseball season!

Tiggy goes Tee Tee

19 Feb
Fancy Shmancy

Fancy Shmancy

My job is bizarre. I say this not because of what I do all day, but because of the people I deal with. Upper East Side pet owners are a brand of crazy entirely unto themselves. For instance, I was recently cat-sitting for a woman who has a nanny cam. Not to spy on me. It’s so she can watch the cats eat while she’s away.

But that’s nothing. Dogs that only drink Evian. Gucci leashes. Par for the course. This past weekend, I dealt with one of our most extreme clients.

Let’s call her Celia. I cannot use her real name, because a quick google search will turn up one of the most well-known socialites in New York City. Even google images of her with her dog! She has her own tag on Gawker.com where I found out she owns her own line of travel gear for “rich ladies and their pets.” Celia is a Southern belle divorcee, who now runs with the lady who lunches crowd. These ladies are Chanel-suit wearing frenemies who try to out-do one another with which charity luncheons they attend. These lunches are hosted at the most expensive restaurants in the city, which in my opinion is a complete waste, since you know these ladies only eat arugula salads with a slice of lemon on the side.

Her pet is a toy Yorkie named Tigerlily. 16-years-old, blind, deaf, collapsed trachea, unable to walk, dementia. In summation, a shell of a dog. This dog has been in renal failure for about two years now, but somehow clinging to life. She brought the dog in on Friday for a recheck, and it is clear that this is the end. The bloodwork looks horrible, and the dog is barely alive. Amid tears and hysterics, Dr. S explained that the dog had to be hospitalized. She told the doctor she hasn’t been apart from the dog for more than half an hour in 15 years. She doesn’t know how she’ll go on.

My first encounter with her was during a visit. It was after hours, so I greeted her at the door to the clinic and led her to an exam room.
“I’m going to go get Tigerlily now and bring her to you.”
“Chrissy!” she put her hand to her mouth, stifling a sob. “I just have one question for you. Just one!” Tears streaming down her cheeks. “Can she survive off the fluids for the visit. I don’t want my angel to be harmed by my visit.” Heaving sobs. The friend she brought with her rushes to her side.
“Oh, Celia, pull yourself together! Tigerlily is going to be alright. You need to be strong for her. Let this young lady do her job.” They clung to one another in desperation. It was a scene straight out of a day time soap opera.
“Chrissy!” Celia looks at me. “Just (sniffle, sniffle) answer my question for me!”
“Yeah, the dog’ll be fine off fluids for the visit.”
“Oh God! My baby in the hospital. I just can’t take it!”

I brought her the dog and remained calm in the face of such hysterics. Now she has latched on to me. Asking for me, wanting to talk about the dog. She talked the doctors into letting her stay with the dog ALL DAY. She sits with the dog in a far off exam room, talking baby talk to the dog and crying. I stay as far away as possible. But somehow I get sucked in. She hears me walk by.
“Look, Tiggy! It’s your good friend, Chrissy!” she’ll turn to me. “Did you see her tongue, Chrissy? I’m so worried (gasp, sniffle) about my angel. Look! Look!”
“I think that’s just a spit bubble.”
“Would you tell the doctor? I’m just so worried. Look at the way she’s holding her head?!”
“Yeah, I’ll go tell the doctor. Right now. I’ll go right now.” I inch out the door, trying to shut it behind me, pretending to not hear her calling my name.

Back in treatment, Dr. G is once again the voice of reason.
“Can someone please have a real conversation with this woman?” he asks the other doctors.
“Please don’t go in there,” Dr. Z begs. “You don’t understand this lady.”
“Just let me do it! This is a quality of life issue. She needs to snap out of it.”
“What would you tell her?” I ask him.
“Even a train comes to a stop.”

Yesterday, at the end of the day, her friends (you know, the heiresses of New York) convince her that she should go home and shower, try to sleep a little. She places the dog in my arms and follows me back to the treatment area.
“Don’t worry, Tiggy. Your good friend Chrissy is going to stay here with you!” I don’t have the heart to tell her that my shift is over, and as soon as she leaves, I’m out the door as well.
“Oh, Chrissy! I have such good news. Tiggy went Tee Tee!”
“She did a nice Tee Tee!”
“Come again?”
“A Tee Tee! On the paper y’all gave her.”
“Oh, she peed?” Her face scrunched up as if I called her dog a motherfucker.
“Well, she tee teed.”

From what I gather this stands for tinkle tinkle?

The thing is, she’s a very nice woman. She bought us all Magnolia cupcakes on Saturday and last night she gave me a bag of Potpourri. Not just any potpourri, Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella potpourri. Imported from Italy. She told me to place it in a bowl as soon as I get home.
“It smells like heaven! I’ll bring you a different fragrance for tomorrow.”

I said my thank-yous and wished her a good night. I changed into my street clothes and headed home. On the smelly subway, I kept getting a whiff of the potpourri in my bag, the flower petals gathered on a Tuscan hill. I couldn’t stop thinking, “God, my job is strange.”


5 Sep

I have spoken here before about the sage advice of Dr. G. He’s just my favorite. Today I assisted him in a spay while he regaled me with stories of him traveling around the world to do a rare procedure known as a PU for various wealthy people’s pets. During the spay/story time, a receptionist interrupted to let him know that a client was on the phone about her dog’s persistent diarrhea.

“Jesus,” Dr. G muttered. “Tell her to wipe the dog’s ass, and leave me the fuck alone.”


Recently, I found a book that the office manager started of Dr. G-isms. It’s a gold mine. You’ve got the traditional phrases that we hear all the time, like, “I should have been a mortician.” And you’ve got your situational quotes. In reference to expensive makeup: “It’s all just horse piss. Why don’t you buy a gallon of horse piss and put that on your face?”

But there’s one that I found in there that I simply can’t stop thinking about. I think it’s pure genius.

“You can’t just be a whore. You’ve got to be a whore with tricks.”

To me, this is such a good philosophy to life. Dr. G is one of the best veterinarians and the best surgeons in the country. But that’s not the only trick up his sleeve. He loves to cook and cook very gourmet meals. He’s an obsessive Yankees fan. He loves fish. Yep, fish. He has bowls of them in his office that he takes care of every day. He goes to special fish stores and gives them special fish food. Every year, he takes a week to volunteer at a camp in Colorado for terminally sick kids. He has whole other aspects to him besides being a sharp-tongued surgeon.

I guess this is something that has bothered me. My life has been at the vet office the last month or so. I spend all my time there. I’m looking into vet schools, looking into other volunteer options for animals. It’s become all consuming, and that’s not healthy.

I don’t want to just be a veterinarian. I want to be a writer too. I want to write novels (crappy or amazing, I don’t care), I want to see all the baseball stadiums in the country. I want to be a coffee snob all through Western Europe, then a beer snob through all of Eastern Europe. I want to play soccer AND softball. I want so much more out of life that I think I’ve even realized.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in something that seems bigger than yourself: a relationship, a job, even a hobby or a passion. But none of it is bigger than yourself is what I’m starting to realize. I’m not just a whore. I’ve got tricks.


17 May

Obviously Melanie does not have neuticles. OBVIOUSLY.

This post has nothing to do with the cat pictured above. I’m once again luring you in. Did I trick you twice? I play dirty.

Melanie was a heavily matted Persian that I helped one of the techs shave down. I didn’t like her at first, because of the whole trying to kill me thing that happened when I restrained her for the shave. But she quickly grew on me. Every time I looked over to her cage, her cranky face and weird body made me smile. By end of day, I was enamored with this little old lady.

This is about Neuticles, though.

Work has sucked this last week. I have one more week to go, but a lot of the upper management are giving me major ‘tude. Plus we’ve just had difficult clients come in like a parade of neurotic assholes. I feel as though I’m barely holding my sanity together. It’s the brief moments of veterinary oddity and joy that keep me going. Last night I had to stay crazy late at work and was swamped. Dr. R was equally frustrated and upset about having to take on three emergency patients. But to cheer me up, she showed me how Dr. C (our crazy but fun-loving weekend doctor) had written in the chart, “Dog extremely aggressive… must muzzle-tov.” She then clapped her hands and did a little Hora dance. It was pretty uplifting.

Another entertaining moment was when I learned about Neuticles. Neuticles are testicular implants for dogs. Yep. You can read that sentence again, if you feel so inclined. Some people in this world are so wealthy that they have money to spend on testicular implants for their dogs. And one of the doctors at my clinic, Dr. G, is a soft tissue surgeon who has implanted them a couple of times.

“Why, God, why?” you might be asking yourself. So far I have found three reasons. The first one I figured out quickly. Show dogs. In order to compete in shows, a dog must be intact. Leaving a dog intact makes them rather unruly and prone to health issues that make them difficult to show. Plus there is the possibility that he might knock up a bitch and you have a bunch of puppies on your hands. So, some wealthy show dog people neuter their dogs anyways and use the implants to fool the dog show judges. Scandalous!

Reason number two, which is the only reason Dr. G has encountered, is that women want to neuter the dog and their husband/boyfriend/significant other does not want it to happen. Men are so strange about testicles, even when they’re not their own. So the women get the implants for their dogs to hide the fact that they secretly neutered the dog. More scandal!

Reason number three: people are shallow. I did a brief search on the internet for neuticles, because I couldn’t remember the name, and I found the company’s website. Featured on the home page is a picture of Kim Kardashian with her neuticled dog. She apparently got them so he wouldn’t feel emasculated, and he would look intact. I don’t understand the wealthy, and sometimes I’m thankful for that.

So there you go, neuticles. In case you were worried, it’s not just for dogs. The website proudly explains that they have also been implanted into cats, monkeys, water buffaloes, and rats! Your pet rat no longer has to feel less because of his tiny/nonexistent balls.

Quality Advice from Dr. G

27 Apr

SPROUT! I want a Brussels Griffon. I want one real bad.

The above dog has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that I took it at work, and this story also takes place at work. Honestly, I’m just trying to lure you in to read my blog, because I’m sly like that.

So the worst part about working in Veterinary Medicine is the people, the clients that inevitably come with their dogs. Ironic, right? People get into this field, because they want to spend their day with animals. Yet so much of the time is spent dealing with people. And people, in general, aren’t that pleasant.

Some people are wonderful though. Like Dr. G. He’s my favorite doctor at our clinic. He’s older, so a lot of us call him “Pops” which has always been a goal of mine…to have an old man friend whom I call Pops. He’s a lifelong Yankees fans, so we’re always discussing our teams. He continuously attempts to bring me to the dark side, make me a Yankees fan. With other Yankees fans, I find this sort of thing annoying; with Dr. G, it makes me smile.

He’s also the only doctor that doesn’t lose his temper, that doesn’t freak out at clients, never blames any one else if things go wrong. His interactions with clients are legendary. For example:

“Dr. G, is my dog going to die?”
“Well, yeah, one day. We all are. I just don’t know when your dog will die.”
“What am I supposed to do?!!?!”
“Stop worrying about your dog so damn much.”

He’s the only one who can get away with saying this sort of thing.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a client who was persistently calling the front desk, driving us all insane. She was sobbing about how her main vet had left the practice, how someone in her building told her the food she fed the dog was garbage, how she was a single mother and couldn’t afford vet bills. Basically, she called to complain about things that don’t concern me, and I can’t fix. She just wanted someone to whine to.

Finally, she stopped in to the clinic and demanded to speak to a doctor. She was crying and yelling, but she didn’t want an appointment. We only had Dr. R and Dr. G available. Dr. R was doing an emergency emesis, so I approached Dr. G. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, these fucking idiots.” Then he straightened his embroidered scrubs and asked, “So, how do I look?” I gave him the nod of approval, and he headed out there.

20 minutes. This woman ate up 20 minutes of an important man’s time. She ranted. She cried. She whined. He sat there. He nodded. He told her his food recommendations. It did not look like fun.

Eventually she left, and I followed him back into the treatment area.

“That was amazing, Pops. I don’t know how you handled that woman for that long.”
“Let me tell you something I learned a long time ago,” he began. All of treatment turned to listen to the wise, old doctor. “It takes two people to argue. One person can complain and cry and scream all they want, but if you sit there calm, you aren’t in an argument, you aren’t upset. The second you raise your voice and give in to anger, they’ve won. They pulled you into a fight. So I listened to that woman’s crazy rant. And even though I sat there for 20 minutes and could only think, ‘Go fuck yourself, you crazy bitch,’ I didn’t say it, and she didn’t get to win.” All of treatment erupted in laughter and applause.

I lose my temper with clients every once in a while, but I’m really trying the Dr. G method of dealing with it. It really does work. I’m not as good at it as Dr. G is, but I suppose I have 40 odd years to perfect my craft.