Thursday, September 12, 2013

Freezer Balls

If I've learned anything in my career, it's to pay attention when the client uses the word "crazy."  Doesn't matter who or what they are talking about.  Doesn't matter if it doesn't turn out to be true or relevant.  When they say it, tune in and pay extra attention.

My first call today was a simple one.  Go neuter a 2 month old pygmy goat for a new client.  That is an awesomely easy start to any day.  Got the farm, introduced myself to the client and met George the Goat who was getting a bit too familiar with his sister.  Everything was completely fine and routine.  George was sleeping peacefully with no idea what was about to happen and I was about to begin the procedure when his owner said, "Now you're going to think I'm crazy but... I need you to save the testicles for me."

I haven't had a single person ask me to save testicles since I left southwest Virginia and I've been quite happy about that.  But, she said the magic word so I carefully replied, "Okay, that's not a problem... any particular reason?"

"Well, I know you're going to think I'm crazy but I save them until the animal dies, then bury them with the rest of the body.  I've always done that for my animals.  You can just wrap them in a glove for me and I'll take them to get cleaned up and put in their special bag."

I took a slight pause, which I felt was reasonable under the circumstances.  Then I replied, "Alright, that's an easy enough thing for me to do."  And she kept talking, and it just got better.

"When the power goes out there is always a bit of a frenzy... you know, save the balls!  It's a priority in this house."

Naturally, I had a LOT of questions, NONE of which were appropriate to ask a woman I had known for less than 15 minutes in a professional capacity.  In no particular order...
  • Are you shitting me?
  • How many sets do you have?
  • Do you realize that horses can live for over 30 years? Goats over 15?
  • Do your family and friends know you have testicles in your freezer?
  • How do you plan to explain this to your children?
  • What exactly is the special bag?
  • What if the power goes out when you are on vacation?  Do your farm/house sitters have instructions?
  • Is freezer burn a problem?
  • Where exactly in the freezer to you keep them? Hidden in the back? Tucked in the door? Front and center like a shrine? 
  • Do you thaw them out before burial?
  • Have you ever forgotten to throw them in the hole and have to dig again?
  • Do you have the pieces of your female animals too?
  • What have your other vets had to say about this?

In the end I stuck with just one, pertinent question. I began the procedure and after I cut off the bottom of the scrotum, I held it up for her to see and asked, "Do you need this part too?"

She replied, "No no, only the parts he would care about, but thanks for asking!"

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