What’s Up, Doc?

I got a phone call yesterday that had me all sorts of confused.

“This is Dr. Richardson calling,” the voice on the other end of the line said when I answered.

“What’s up, doc?” I replied, and immediately had to bite my tongue. Because…

All the while, I’m scratching my head, trying to figure out who Dr. Richardson is. Now, it just so happens that my company has partnered with the regional medical center to produce a new quarterly health care magazine and I am heavily involved in the content process. A day earlier, I’d traveled up to the Spearfish clinic to interview an Orthopedic Surgeon for an article on winter sports injuries, so I assumed this was another doctor from the same organization. Until he said, “I’m calling about the urine sample you dropped off yesterday.”

Oh, great!
Wait a second.
The what now?!?!

I’m pretty sure I’d remember peeing into a cup if I’d done so. I assumed ol’ Doc Richardson was barking up the wrong pee and had misdialed, except for the fact that he’d called me by name.

“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to be as polite as humanly possible. “But who the hell are you?!”

“Dr. Richardson,” he answered. Well, duh. That much I knew. But then he went on to add, “A veterinarian with the animal clinic. You dropped off a urine sample for your cat yesterday?”

Suddenly, it all made sense…except for two key points:

  1. He could have led off with that crucial bit of information!
  2. I’m sorry, and I mean no offense to veterinarians, but doctor? Really?

(In all fairness, I learned later that yes, veterinarians are doctors, and you don’t even have to elaborate by adding the word animal before their title or including an asterisk after. Veterinary medicine is simply their area of specialty. Huh. Learn something new every day!)

Now that I’ve offended veterinarians everywhere, maybe I should change the subject.

Because I had an interview in Spearfish, and it was the end of the day, and fall foliage is at its peak, I decided to take a slightly longer way home through Spearfish Canyon. I mean, I was right there. It would have been a crime not to.

I came for the autumn colors, but was treated to something even more impressive.

Though there had long been rumors of their existence, I had never before seen mountain goats in Spearfish Canyon…so when I spotted a trio on the side of the road, just a few yards away, I was pretty surprised.

Unfortunately, a lot of other people were just as surprised, so there was quite a crowd on the side of the road. The goats got skittish and took off for the cover of some trees halfway up a hill.

Most of the gawkers grew bored and drove off, but I hung around, figuring they had to come out at some point, right? Sure enough, they did just that…

…and proceeded to scale the sheer cliff face. It was an incredible sight to witness. I can’t believe how agile those guys are, finding the tiniest of footholds to climb up the side of a mountain. A few times it looked like they were going to lose their footing as they slipped, dislodging rocks and dirt, but they were pretty nimble and luckily none of them went plunging to their deaths. That would have sucked.

But it didn’t suck! They lived! And I have photographic evidence!

Hope your week is less rocky than theirs.

26 thoughts on “What’s Up, Doc?

  1. Wow, Mark, getting a phone call from an actual physician is already disconcerting. Ahhh, the cat. Whew. I extra love your Fall images. Did you use Canva or as part of your Theme gallery? Stunning! I am always in awe of where mountain goats can safely climb. I don’t hear about Mountain goats falling. Thank you for sharing Fall in Spearfish Canyon. I hope your cat is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erica/Erika/Ericka/Airica/Airika (I added a few…hope you don’t mind!). I just used my theme gallery. This is actually a premium theme I bought years ago for my other site but never used. WP helped me transfer it over here. Gotta admit, I’m really digging it!

      My cat should be fine. She just needed another round of antibiotics for a stubborn UTI.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark, that is a heck of a lot of syllables for you to type. It did make me smile. I answer to any name. I really like your gallery results. I will investigate further. 🙂


  2. You’re weird with your doctors and pee in cups and goats and…the clever use of words… 😂

    Goats like these are amazing, I saw some like them in Switzerland one time. I don’t know how they climb like that, and at the speed they’re doing it at! But the Swiss goats are much smaller and a lot less hairy. Yours are quite the beautiful beasts with their shaggy coats. Awesome you captured them with your camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I brought my camera along because I knew the fall colors would be at their peak. The goats were a happy bonus!

      Aside from the differences in size and shagginess, I think the one thing that really sets the Swiss goats apart is their neutrality.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG, Mark, that is hilarious about the veterinarian! I too get confused sometimes with the title “Dr.” when it comes to doctors of psychology; forgetting that they’re doctors as well.

    You photos are stunning! And as I shared on your Instagram feed, that picture of the goat is amazing! I love the pic of him/her running across the street!

    Have a superb weekend, my friend! And Happy October!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, not sure if that’s a male or female. The internet says both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, and long black horns, so…could go either way! Cute as hell regardless.

      Hope you have a great, crisp fall weekend!


  4. The call from the doctor who was a doctor just not the one you expected to talk with is a classic story. It’s hilarious. Did you say to yourself: “what a maroon” once you figured out who this doc was? Your goat photos are wonderful, as are the photos of the fall leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha…no, I still kinda blame him! The kicker is, Tara is the one who called the clinic, dropped off the sample, and had all contact with them. That only served to exacerbate my confusion. I’m not even sure why they called ME!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never had to get a urine sample from one of our bunnies, or any animal for that matter. Please enlighten me – how do capture the sample when they go in the litter box? I’m trying to picture this. Maybe a picture-heavy, step-by-step blog post is in order.

    Liked by 1 person

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