WEST CALEDONIA, ND – For co-workers at University of Eastern North Dakota Medical Center (UENDMC), the truth has become too obvious to ignore: after three years of grinding out pet therapy visits on the hospital wards, local springer spaniel “Molly” is utterly burned out.
Staff members have noticed the bitter resentment in her gait and are appalled at her lack of passion for the job.
“That mutt has been half-slopping her way through work for at least 6 months now, and it’s not doing anyone any good. She’s totally just phoning it in,” said Claire Smothers, RN, from the 5th floor oncology ward. “There’s no excuse for the way she’s been dodging patient visits and then wandering off to smell trashcans.”
Other hospital workers take a slightly more understanding view of her predicament.
“I think it’s got a lot to do with patient volume; like all of us, she’s being asked to see 20, even 25 patients a day. And there’s no incentives in it. She gets the same number of biscuits no matter how much work she does, and patients are increasingly demanding. So she’s gotten a bit impatient… I’d probably get toasty too if I was expected to go around posing for pictures and had to cheer up dozens of sick folks every day,” said Jack Untzer, an ICU respiratory therapist.
There are rumors that Molly is just counting down the days until retirement, and her lack of clinical interest in the work is unmistakeable. Whether she is dragging through the geriatric care unit or yawning at bedside in the ICU, the aura of furry boredom in the air is palpable.
“Yesterday I saw her outside the room of a kid with leukemia, just sitting there licking herself; she didn’t even act interested in going in. Two weeks ago, she spent most of the day looking for somewhere to poop in the bushes beside the ER. It’s atrocious. Why even bother showing up?” said nurse Smothers.
There is talk of sending Molly to a weekend corporate rejuvenation retreat, but at press time today, she was still snout-deep in the hospital’s lobby fountain, lapping water while waiting for 5:00PM to roll around.