Nov 30, 2012 was the last day of work for Dr Vanessa. I wished her well in her new venture as I had expected that she would be her own boss. She gave me a piece of chocolate cake to celebrate her birthday.
I had promised to send a Jack Russell with skin disease home at Lorong 8 Toa Payoh after treatment and clipping for skin itchiness. The domestic worker would wait at the first floor of the HDB block to take over the dog. I asked my intern (a young man in junior college year one) to put the dog in a crate. Min helped him. The owner had to go overseas and so I volunteered to send the dog back after grooming and bathing for the skin disease.
"It is the wrong dog," Dr Daniel phoned me. "There are 3 Jack Russells in the crates and you have got the one with the bladder stone."
Just a few days ago, the Kandang Kerbau Hospital had given the wrong babies to two mothers. One of the ankle name tags had fallen off and so the baby was given to the wrong mother. One of the two mothers discovered the mistake and there was needless worries and DNA checks. The private hospitals use RFID tags and so had no problem.
I may need to use RFID tags to identify the dogs but this would not be necessary as I don't have more than 10 dogs. Somehow, Min had given me the wrong dog. I asked the domestic worker to get permission from her employer to go back with me in the car to get the dog as the dog would bite. She got the permission via her phone and we went back to the Surgery to get the dogs.
"How long have you worked for the same employer?" I asked her.
"Twelve years," she surprised me as most workers don't stay more than 2 years.
"My employer is good," she said. "The dog is obedient too as he does not lick my face. He would look the other way. My religion does not permit me to touch dog saliva."
She walked the dog but does not feed him medication.
"Why do you work so many years?" I asked.
"To earn money for my children's education. My daughter is now grown up and is married. She will never be working as a maid like me."
Many maids made great sacrifices being away from families and going home 4 weeks every two years.so that the progeny can have a much better life.