Dinner with clients - Veterinary Practice
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now



Dinner with clients

continues her
series on client
behaviour, under
the heading
‘Challenging clients: from the
weird to the wonderful’, with a
case of relentless hospitality

TOM SHOULD HAVE PREDICTED that the Fortesques would spend the entire evening regaling him with stories about their menagerie. The entrée saw Flossie the Beagle’s whelping replayed in gory detail, right down to the runty still-born strangled in its own umbilical cord. The main course was all about mining Tom’s lore of veterinary advice, from how to castrate a cat in a wellie (Mr Fortesque is old-school and would love to have a go. Tom, attempting to explain current RVC legislation, inwardly prays that Mr Fortesque’s dream won’t find its feet in reality) to how best to treat the downer cow. Dessert spawned a couple of closeto- the-belt anecdotes about some of Tom’s less successful escapades with the Fortesques’ ancient Cob, Dobbin. Foolishly, Tom had hoped for an evening off work. When would he learn? Meanwhile, as the port makes its rounds, Rupert the Irish Wolfhound rests his head in the gravy boat and Bertie the Persian selects Tom’s lap for a scratching post, a gesture that Mr Fortesque relishes as, “Pure adulation, Thomas! One should consider oneself officially honoured!” Just then the distant sound of smashing china propels Mrs Fortesque to the kitchens – Mildred the Manx is having a spat with Harold the House Rabbit. Mrs F. returns in time to shoo Jasper the Jack Russell out of the triple-baked cheesecake on the hostess trolley: “Off, Jaspy! Off! You’ll burn your little pawsy-wawsies!” Exuding garlic breath, Mrs F. leans into Tom and expounds, “Those heated trolleys are downright dangerous to puppy paws. I shall write a stiff e-mail to Harvey Nichs!” By the time they’ve withdrawn for coffee (Tom had half-hoped for cigars: he’s never tried one, but thought now might be a good time to start) Tom is clock-watching and surreptitiously picking feline fluff out of his woefully inappropriate woollen sleeve and hoping that the wet patch up his trouser leg isn’t what he thinks it is. But Mr and Mrs Fortesque are, if nothing else, relentless in their hospitality. “Stay the night!” Mrs F. urges, as, at eleven forty-five, Tom makes a dash for the door. “The spare room’s quite delightful if a little draughty. If it’s too chilly one can always put an extra dog on the bed!” This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with those of the author.

Have you heard about our
IVP Membership?

A wide range of veterinary CPD and resources by leading veterinary professionals.

Stress-free CPD tracking and certification, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.

Discover more