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  • "I love my job, I love my job, I love my ... " (keep tellin yourself that sister or you'll go crazy).

    Last week was a red letter week. Had to see the doctor for a rash - I knew even before I went in - that it was scabies. Yah - ugh. This isn't my first rodeo with these creatures. The joys of social work! Anyway, took two days off of work, then trip to employee health to get released back to work. I was depressed all week and wishing I was young enough to get some other career. (Don't give me the parachute lecture - no, the ship has left the pier).
  • Fast forward to this week. Ok, new day, new week (never mind I'm still lathering cortisone 10 creme and taking Benadryl lately, wearing long sleeves and patch working band aids to keep myself from scratching).

    This week they gave me a patient completely out of my area. It is sort of a ugh...rough neighborhood. I look on the computer and see the patient isn't returning calls and that the team (not my team) had a case conference. The plan was to do drop bys.

    Drop bys. Ok. I can do that. After two calls not returned. I know this neighborhood. When you have been a social worker for twenty five years - believe me - you get to ALL the neighborhoods. Oh well.

    So...I drop by. I park my car and stand in front of a huge rolling wood fence. I notice the sign, BEWARE OF THE DOG. Ok. Big deal. People with little fluffy dogs have these signs. What? They're going to lick me to death? Yah.

    I start up the driveway until I hear the dog. A grrrrr, then a woof, then barking. I hear it but don't see it. My eyes scan the horizon. I see a dog house. Grrrrrr.

    Ok, I'm done. I head back to the car. I call my patient again - no answer.

    I put a note in the computer to warn the other staff who may also attempt a drop by.
  • Before the day ended my patient called me. We made an appointment for next day. I asked about the dog. He sort of laughs nervously, "Yah, the dog bit my roommate in the butt last night. He got too close to him."

    Ok, now I am nervous. I send an email to staff including supervisors. I don't hear anything from the latter. At least not until the next morning. It seems, they want me to lay down the law. Who me? I haven't even seen the guy. No one seems worried about my safety. I'm like the mailman - I have to deliver the mail.
  • Today I arrive and Cujo is out. The wooden gate is open and he is lying on the driveway out in the sun. He is huge, brown, and furry. My eyes are distracted to a wire line attached to the house and strung across the yard. I notice now the chain going from the dogs collar to the line. Cujo spots me and rises and moves toward me, the chain sliding down the line. But I am outside the gate so he can't go that far.

    I call my patient and he says he will escort me in. He comes out and tells me to walk as close to the fence as I can, and I do. We make it to the house. Later he laughs at me, "You were practically hugging that fence!" I laugh too but tell him, "You said the dog bit your roommates butt and mine can make a pretty good target!" He thought that was funny.

    We finished our meeting inside. He agreed to walk me past Cujo again. As we step outside Cujo heads toward us as I head over to hug the fence. "Oh, by the way, what is the dog's name?" I ask.


    "Snowball!" I say. (I had a Siamese cat named Snowball.)

    "Yah, weird huh?" he snorts.

    As I walk past Cujo, grrrrr, I call his name, "Hey Snowball!" I catch him off guard. I say it again. Suddenly his tail wags. Progress. Still...I hug the fence.

    I have a healthy respect for Cujos, even ones named Snowball.
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