There’s a certain resemblance between Susanne and me. Switched at birth seems unlikey.


15-year old Susanne wants to be a veteranarian some day. Never mind that she hates biology and chemistry. Those are just minor details. A bigger problem seems to be her grasp of anatomy.

Case in point: Our dog Layla has a few issues this month, of the kind that require monetary investment and complex medication rituals. Complex, but not incomprehensible. Susanne has a tender heart for our pets, so I assigned her the task of the twice-daily medications. This included drops for the ears, salve for the leg, and pills to swallow. Eight drops in each ear, then massage. Salve to leg, spread judiciously. Pill wrapped in bacon, or it is spit out.

After a week, we noticed that the leg wound (a “lick-u-loma,” so called because it is a minor infection from Layla obsessively licking herself until she created a wound — she’s really not all that smart, but she’s sweet) had not healed as well as expected. Coincidentally, I spelled Susanne from the meds-routine one morning and did them myself as Susanne ate a hearty, healthy breakfast of “slutty brownies.” Don’t wander off-topic on me: slutty brownies are a layer of chocolate cookie under a layer of oreos under a layer of brownie, cooked to a nearly raw gooey perfection. Now, back to oozing dog wounds.

“Mom, why are you putting her ear medicine on her leg?” Susanne asked.

“I’m not. These are the ear drops,” I said, as I squeezed one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight drops into Layla’s ear , then raised her ear flap and massaged the drops down into the canal.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, why?”

“Because that’s what I’ve been putting on her leg.”

I stared at my daughter, wondering if she might have been switched at birth. It happens, you know. Or sometimes the stork brings the wrong kid. From all appearances, though, this doesn’t seem possible. Still… “Do you seriously not know the difference between a leg and an ear? A leg attaches to a foot and is used for perambulation. An ear attaches to the head and is used for hearing.”

“Duh, Mom.”

“Then how in the world could you be putting the ear meds on the leg and the leg meds on the ear?”

Parents of teenagers the world over know the answer to this one: “Because I, um, wasn’t listening when you told me how to do it and I didn’t read the label.”

OK, so maybe anatomy isn’t her issue.

So, our dear Susanne may be the dog whisperer, but I fear for the lives of our canine friends should she become the dog veteranarian. Maybe instead, the dog groomer? The dog walker? Or dog sitter? EITHER THAT, OR SHE NEEDS TO LEARN TO READ THE DIRECTIONS!!!



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22 Responses to Mistaken Identity

  1. Oh my gosh so so so funny!!! Reminds me of the time (and I still shudder) that Alpha Son had a brilliant thought – “could he stop the metal blades on the blender with his bare hand?”. At the last second, he decided not to test it and pulled his hand out. I still remember it everytime I use the blender. Sure, he was young but not THAT young. It was another “What were you THINKING?” moment. He grew out of it to be a pretty smart dude – so there is hope yet for the future Vet – really!!

  2. Bill Dorman says:

    I like the way you segued from gooey slutty brownies to oozing dog wound; is it lunch time yet?

    As far as listening to the instructions and totally forgetting them 15 seconds later; my wife accuses me of that all.the.time. What does selective hearing mean anyway?

    Yes, there truly is hope for the future…..:).

  3. Sandy Webb says:

    Oh my word! I can laugh because this happened to you. But if someone were to screw up animal medication in my home I would absolutely go postal on them! Yep, once again I am reminded of my good choice to not have children. I am a good animal parent but human parenting is something I think I would have failed miserably at.

    • Pamela says:

      The vet said luckily these meds are practially interchangeable, which is very often not the case. Layla passed her follow-up visit with flying colors!

  4. aww, poor doggie, yay for kiddo helping out, slutty brownies….blah blah blah, anatomy, blah blah blah…

  5. Vet Tech, Dental Hygienist, Wait where did THAT come from.

  6. Eric says:

    Good thing she doesnt want to be a DR. AND
    The Brownies ARE pretty amazing.

  7. Rhonda says:

    I was eating boring Beanito pinto bean + flax chips when I read this. I stopped mid-chew when I read “Mom, why are you putting her ear medicine on her leg?”. As a mom raising the last two of five teenagers I knew what was coming next. Tooooo funny! (And no, these chips aren’t quite as good as slutty brownies sound…or even oozing legs..haha…I kid)

  8. Fan-Freaking-Tastic!!

    & you were wondering why the dog had wax coming out of his leg!! haaa

  9. Always love the animal stories that come out of your house!

  10. Ally says:

    Directions are good sometimes. :) Slutty brownies sound good always. I’m glad those ingredients are not in my house right now…

  11. […] ate some slutty brownies. I repositioned my tush in its throne, the seat a bit tighter now, but for a good cause. I ground […]

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