D. E. Larsen, DVM
One of the most enjoyable things about veterinary medicine is the people you get to know and the trusting relationships that develop with those clients.
One young man was telling me about the first few weeks of his marriage. He was a logger, a choker setter to be exact. Anyone who knows anything about logging knows that these young choker setters work for a living. They burn a lot of calories during their day’s work, and they need a good meal to replace those calories in the evening.
Anyway, this young man was in love with this gal. They got married and took a few days off work for a short honeymoon on the coast. A few days was probably more than he could afford, but that is what happened.
A few days later, he brings his cat for shots. After the exam, he asks, “Doc, do you have a few minutes to talk,”
I have never understood how veterinarians become counselors. Still, people often seek our advice of problems far removed from veterinary medicine.
“Sure, I have some time, just don’t ask for marriage advice,” I reply.
And then he starts in on a long story.
“We got home to our new apartment on Sunday afternoon last week,” he said. “We had it pretty well ready to live in, but we needed to go to the grocery store. I needed lunch stuff for the morning, and we needed food for breakfast and dinner.”
“I was a little concerned when Susie filled the shopping cart with items from the freezer case,” he said. “Mostly justTV dinner type stuff. But, you know, Doc, I had a lot else on my mind, and I just figured she was going to make things easy for a few days.”
“I got up early on Monday morning, I made my lunch. Look in the refrigerator, there were no eggs or bacon. I just figured I would stop at Molley’s for a breakfast sandwich,” he explained.
“I got home in the middle of the afternoon. showered and shaved,” the young man continued. “I greeted Susie when she came through the door.”
“I am as hungry as a bear,” I said.
“She acts a little alarmed,” he said, ” but with that little twinkle in her eye, she says, “Okay, I will get dinner going right away””
“Doc, I sat on the couch and turned on the TV as she was busy in the kitchen,” he said. “In what seemed like no time at all, she is back from the kitchen and curls up beside me.”
“The timer is set,” she said. “My grandmother said it would be easy.”
“That seemed like a strange comment,” he said, “but I was engrossed in other thoughts.”
“It wasn’t very long, and the smoke detector goes off,” he said.
“Those new things were more of an annoyance than anything. We ignored it for the moment. Then there was real smoke billowing out of the kitchen.”
“I jumped up and ran to the kitchen,” he said. “Susie called the fire department.”
“They said they were only a couple blocks away and would be there in a moment,” he continued.
“When I got to the kitchen, there was one hell of a fire in the oven,” he said. “I looked for a fire extinguisher. Hell, I didn’t know what to do.”
“All of a sudden couple of firemen burst through the door,” he said. “They opened the oven and doused the flames.”
“What the hell were you cooking?” the fireman asked.
“Sue was peeking around the corner,” he said. “She says to the fireman, ‘Just a couple of TV dinners.'”
“Doc, the fireman looks in the oven and then he looks back at Sue,” the young man explained, “with as straight of a face as he could muster, he says to Sue, “You are supposed to take them out of the box before you put them in the oven!”, I thought I would die.”
“I tell you, Doc,” the young man said, “she can’t boil water.”
“Well, you obviously didn’t marry her to have a cook,” I replied. “That old wive’s tale, about the way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach, that was made up to use in polite company. I guess you already know that you are going to be doing the cooking.”