Animal Hospital | Nicole M. Hall | The Piltdown Review

Animal Hospital

Animal Hospital

Before my coat is off three lines are ringing.

—Good morning, Animal Hospital, please hold.

—Good morning, Animal Hospital, please hold.

—Good morning, Animal Hospital, this is Nicole, how can I help you?

—My dog has jumped off the bed and I think it has a broken leg!

—We are booked and the walk-in fee is $110 and X-rays will be $209.

—I can’t afford that, what can I do? Please help me.

—I’m sorry but we don’t do payment plans. Try going to the emergency hospital. They may work with you on a payment plan. I’m sorry.

—Thank you for holding, how can I help you?

—My dog has died at home and I don’t know what to do!

—We offer cremation service and the cost will be $400 for private cremation or $250 for general cremation.

—I can’t afford that, what can I do?

—You can surrender your pet at the New York City Animal Shelter.

—I have no way to get there. What can I do?

—I’m sorry, please try to find transportation. I’m sorry we can’t help you.

—Thank you for holding, this is Nicole, how can I help you?

—My cat is lying in a pool of blood! What can I do?

—The walk-in fee is $110. You need to have your pet seen right away.

—I can’t afford that, what can I do?

—I’m sorry, we don’t do payment plans. Try calling the ASPCA or the Humane Society. I’m sorry but we can’t help you.

Door opens to a little boy sobbing with his mother.

—Please look at my rabbit. He jumped from my arms and hit his eye. Can you put his eye back in his head?

—I’m sorry but we don’t treat rabbits here. Please try to go to Avian & Exotics or Animal Medical Center downtown. They can help you.

—I can’t afford that! What can I do?

—I’m sorry but we can’t help you.

King, the vicious pit bull, walks in with a muzzle on.

His ear infection has flared up again.

The owner screams at him and strikes his back to make him sit still.

—Mr. Kirwin, please don’t hit your dog. Would you please consider working with a behaviorist to help King?

—Behaviorists are bullshit! He only understands when I yell at him.

—I’ll give you the number again anyway, Mr. Kirwin. Maybe you can think about it and give them a call at another time.

I’m sorry, King, but I can’t help you.

Shayla, the fifteen-year-old chihuahua, lies in a pool of her own urine as her eyes close for the final time.

I hold her paw until I know her spirit is gone.

Her owner couldn’t stay as she said it was too hard.

I’m sorry, Shayla, but I couldn’t make her stay with you.

A blood trail from the door to the desk. Dog was attacked, wounds bloody and pus-filled.

—Sedation, laceration repair, and antibiotics, $643.

—I can’t afford that, what can I do?

—I’m sorry but we don’t do payment plans.

The owner screams at me.

—You don’t care about animals! Do you have a heart? My dog needs help! You must not have pets of your own! You’re a piece of shit!

—I’m sorry but we can’t help you.

Lights out, alarm on, lock the door.

I walk to the train.

I pass a colorfully lit house where “Jingle Bells” plays on a loop. Oh, what fun it is . . .

The dam breaks as tears stream down my face.

I wonder, who can help them?

            

               

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