Dr. Sam Dolan hated Thursdays, long-termed Castration Day at the Hale (CT) Pet Clinic. Wonderful doofy dogs happily came into his office, wreathed in odors, leaving in agony with a hard plastic cone around their necks.
By 1:00 p.m., his receptionist guided the rest of his staff, two nurses and a pet holder, out of the office for an extended boozy lunch at Chilis while he retired to his office, inclined only to guzzle a few shots of brandy, a gift from a St. Bernard.
Not one of his workers had locked the front office door or had adjusted the cardboard clock in the window to read “Closed until 2:00.”
During this planned lunch break Betsy Duvalier and her bichon frise, Bon Bon, barged into the Hale Pet Clinic. Seeing no receptionist or other pet owners milling around Betsy rang the bell at the front desk, clanging away until Dr. Dolan staggered out and brusquely informed her that the office was closed.
“I don’t know how you got in but can’t you read the sign, we do not open again for almost an hour.”
Betsy informed Dolan that no one had locked the door and the sign in the window read “OPEN” and Bon Bon had an emergency and needed help, not condescension.
Reluctantly, Dr. Dolan waved them into his operating room and laid Bon Bon down on the table. Generally chipper, the still very young dog hit the table like Bambi’s mother, lying in a virtually paralytic state.
“I can see why you took Bon Bon in to see me, he looks very sick today. How long has he been like this?”
“Since the late fall, that is when I first started noticing it. Bon Bon didn’t want to eat anymore and stopped enjoying the things he loves, like chasing after his softy toy or humping my right leg.”
Examining Bon Bon Dr. Dolan observed that his patient had never been neutered, hell, he had not even had a circumcision. Why the unhappiness?
The doctor thoroughly tested the dog while his staff members loudly came in and resumed their posts. He called everyone in to the operating room and recited all of Bon Bon’s symptoms and the negative results of all of the tests that he had just conducted. Doctor Dolan never did this, he felt like Dr. House, the grumpy personality-disordered television doc, consulting with his team.
The dog holder asked if Bon Bon had been licking any fire hydrants or trees during daily walks. One of the nurses gently inquired if there had been a death in the family or had someone had moved away. The second nurse conjectured that the dog may be possessed by Satan. No, no, no.
The receptionist guessed the real reason.
“Mrs. Duvalier, you say that Bon Bon has been like this since the late fall, right?”
“Did the symptoms start around Thanksgiving time?”
“Yes, but we only feed Bon Bon a few morsels of liver, to keep his coat shiny.”
“Okay, I am not talking about Thanksgiving, what huge event occurred this fall?”
“Well, that awful Trump man was elected, but Bon Bon, like most dogs, is apolitical.”
Dr. Dolan interjected, “Does Bon Bon watch Fox News or CNN with you?”
Betsy Duvalier replied, “Why yes, I work from home and I keep CNN on in the background all day. I have noticed that when Bon Bon hears Trump’s voice he cowers a bit. That Kellyanne Conway is the worst, when she starts up, Bon Bon runs out of the room.”
Dr. Dolan grabbed a pen and a script pad and wrote, “No more Trump for Bon Bon on it.” He handed it to Mrs. Duvalier and asked her to pay on the way out.
Bon Bon was not an anomaly. Soon German Shepherds, Irish setters and normally formidable Alaskan Malamutes came in for appointments, inexplicably depressed. Chihuahuas exhibited the worst symptoms. Shortly, Castration Thursdays stopped, with too many dogs and cats coming into the office with symptoms of deep depression caused by the election of Trump and the daily news drip of horrors.
Dolan himself wrote the seminal veterinarian paper on the subject, Dog Day Afternoons: Ways for Your Pet to Survive Trump. To his clientele, Dr. Dolan recommended turning off the news any time that Trump or one of his minions intruded upon the airwaves.
Unfortunately, pets do not live in bubbles, some owners insensitively continued buying products from the Ivanka, an oversight sniffed out by even the most impaired dogs. German Shepherds and Korean Jindos in particular, felt the President’s hatred. Only Siberian huskies seemed immune.
Many pets stopped eating, others hoarded food and started migrating to Canada, knocking down walls across the border. Finally, Dr. Dolan developed a vaccine, consisting mainly of the ingredients of a taco salad. Pets regained their health and sanity, coping by participating in marches and growling at Neo-Nazis..
Bon Bon is better now, but many undiagnosed pets and humans continue to suffer needlessly. Be kind to them, counsel them, exhibit charity, show them how their life can improve. Make the Animal Kingdom great again.
Donald Hubbard has written six books, one of which was profiled on Regis and Kelly and another that was a Boston Globebestseller and Amazon (category) top ten. Two books have gone into a second edition and he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as an author in 2015. He has published twenty stories in ten magazines and had a chapter from one of his books published in Notre Dame Magazine.