Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fun on the Radio

Whenever I am in my car I listen to WOGL. It's a nice oldies station (kind of sad that "music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s" -- my music -- is considered "oldies") with an affable morning crew. In addition to music, news, weather, and so on they have assorted games that people can call in to play. One of them is called "Buck-a-Bark," and (no surprise, I would hope) requires that the caller have a dog. The goal is to get your dog to bark as many times as you can in 15 seconds, and they then send you the corresponding dollar amount.

What fun. I listen to it regularly on Thursday mornings. Usually the dog barks like crazy before the timer starts, then won't make a sound for the critical 15 seconds. Other times it won't bark at all. Occasionally, the dog goes on at the right time. The most I've ever heard was a Pomeranian who got in 44 barks.

The best part is watching the Rolling Peke react to the dog barking on the radio. Since she adores d-o-g-g-i-e-s (I have to spell it out; just hearing the word sets her off) she goes nuts during the feature. I have to stroke her and tell her that there really aren't any d-o-g-g-i-e-s out there, and she should shut up already.

Ever since her surgery almost five years ago, RP has come to the office with me. For a small dog, she is unusually quiet. Most patients and visitors to the office are amazed that there's a dog there at all. Most of the time, that is.

For some truly unfathomable reason, there are certain people who drive her crazy. She barks like crazy at them from the instant they walk in the door until the moment they finally leave. Sometimes she sits at the door after they've left and barks a few more times, as if to say, "And STAY out!" These people have nothing in common. For a while, I thought it might just be old people; but not always. Or smokers; nope. Dog-haters? Not at all. Dog-lovers? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It's random! But once you're on her "bark" list, you stay there.

A few weeks back, a patient of mine was burned in an awkward location on his back. He lives alone and was having some trouble changing his bandage. Because I've known him such a long time, I started having him come in every morning right before the first patient so I could dress the wound for him. (It's healing beautifully, by the way.) As it happens, he's one of those people who drives the dog nuts. Every morning. All I have to do as I pull into the parking lot is say to her, "He's here!" She sits up and starts the little huffing noises dogs make before they burst into full-throated barking. She runs after him, barking her fool head off. She follows us into the exam room where she finally shuts up. Then as he's leaving, she chases him out. It's hilarious.

So this morning, they invited folks to call in for Buck-a-Bark just as I was heading out to work. It occurred to me that if I called in, I'd end up arriving at the office just as they'd be getting us on air. Assuming my patient was there (he's only failed to beat me in once), my 15 seconds of fame could very well coincide with the RP's giving him a very vocal piece of her mind.

So I did it.

And it worked!!

I'm bummed beyond all words that I can't find a way to podcast the piece, but the Rolling Peke let loose right when they started the timer. She barked like a champ as the mean, nasty man my patient goaded her.

The official Counter of the Barks, Mr. Bill Zimpfer, declared that the RP had barked 19 times. Frank Lewis (the weird guy) rounded it up to 22 (I said he was weird), and I had the time of my life chatting with Ross Brittain and Valerie Knight.

Thanks for making my day, WOGL's Breakfast Club!


At Sun Jan 10, 01:26:00 AM, Blogger Herbie said...

I love WOGL; I listen to it up here in the Lehigh Valley.


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