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On Shih-Corgis, their ?breeders? and the politics of vet lobby dog fights

Posted Oct 14 2008 4:48am

"Shih-Corgis." Ever heard of ‘em? They’re a cross between a Shih-tzu and a Corgi. As in, all that blowout fuzz and big-dog personality in a smaller package—with less shedding.

Now, don’t laugh. After all, a Shih-Corgi ("Shorgi"?) makes about as much sense as a Puggle—with a less catchy name. (But then, mixing any breed’s name with “Shih-tzu” is bound to be fraught with some difficulties.)

I raise the issue of this nascent hybrid breed because a “breeder” of this canine varietal sauntered into our practice a couple of days ago for the first time. But it wasn’t the appropriately-crated puppies (there for health certificates, of course) who raised Cain and sentenced me to two hours of surgery…without pay.

Instead, it was the stressed out Corgi mom (who, incidentally, had no reason to be present) who pounced on the poodle in the waiting room, slicing him to shreds in a matter of seconds.

When the dust settled, the poodle was bleeding profusely from five wounds, one of them a deep, tendon-exposing flap on the lower third of a hind limb. The poodle’s owner fared better with a bruise to her fingernail. (Why is it that the attackee’s owner always manages the bite wound?)

But I guess it could’ve been worse.

Our general policy? It’s the hospital’s responsibility to cover the damages for altercations that occur on our property.

Sure, if it came right down to it a judge would likely rule that the Corgi’s owner held the lion’s share of the responsibility (“shared responsibility” is a common legal outcome of hospital lobby inter-dog clashes).

But if the cost of our repair amounts to less than $1,000 (our cost) it’s definitely not worth fighting over. I mean, who wants to hire a lawyer and waste precious time (not to mention their sanity) fighting it out?

Do I hope that the attacking dog’s owner coughs up some money? Yeah, sure I do. It’s only civil for them to offer. This one didn’t.

So I spent one hour talking the client of the attacked dog down of a ledge and another two in surgery fixing up her poor, innocent dog (as sweet as they come, incidentally). And it’ll take another few visits for rebandagings, drain removals and wound checks before my work is done.

No, I never did get to meet the Corgi. Just a “hi” and a “bye” and a “hope-your-owner-never-comes-back” uttered under my breath as her tail flounced out of sight.

Harsh, I know. But do you blame me?
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