Benji the Labrador is collapsed on the consulting room floor, his gums are white, his blood pressure is not registering on the fancy machine and he needs surgery to remove a ruptured spleen or he will die because his abdomen is filling up with blood and he is bleeding out.
Mrs Smith, Benji's owner has had the procedure explained. She has signed the consent form. The atmosphere is tense. There is no time to waste. Just as she is about to leave Mrs Smith turns to me and says in a bright and breasy voice 'Oh, and while he is under do you think you could clip his toe nails?'
Just one example of some of the many irritating and trivial requests I have had prior to performing life saving surgery. Others include:
'Could you give his teeth a quick clean?'
'Perhaps you could empty his anal glands?'
'Do you think you could clip the matts out from behind his ears? He hates it when I try to brush them out.'
And 'I don't suppose you could spay her while you are in there?'
I just nod with a thin smile.
'Mrs Smith, I am just phoning to tell you that Benji survived the surgery.' I say happily to hours later.
'Did you manage to get his nails done dear?' She asks.
'Yes.' I reply curtly.
'Oh that is a relief.' She says.