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He’s Dead, Jim

Jim’s dog, Knute* was getting old. One day, Jim was distressed to see that he wouldn’t even come out of his dog house. His wife suggested, “I think you’d better take ol’ Knute to the vet.” So Jim put Knute in the car and drove across town to the veterinary clinic. As the vet laid the limp dog on the examining table, he pulled out his stethoscope and put it on Knute’s chest. After a moment, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, but old Knute has passed away.”

“What?” protested Jim. “How you can tell? You haven’t done any tests, you haven’t tried anything! You just stand there and say he’s dead! Do something!”

With that, the vet turned and left the room. In a minute, he returned with a droopy-eared old bloodhound. The bloodhound went right to work, checking the poor dead dog out thoroughly. He sniffed Knute all over from head to foot, with emphasis on the hind end. Then the hound sadly shook his head back and forth and whimpered, “Woof.”

The vet led the bloodhound out of the examining room and next brought in a big orange tomcat. The cat looked the old dog over from head to foot. He glared with his big yellow eyes into the dead dog’s eyes and ears; he looked at the dog’s paws, and examined the dog’s coat. He then turned to the vet, sadly shook his head, and curtly said, “Meow.” Then he arched his back, hissed, jumped off the table, and dashed out of the room, glad to be done with that nasty business.

Finally the vet brought in a big black Labrador retriever. The Labrador pawed at the dead dog for several minutes and barked loudly directly into Knute’s ears. Giving up, he too turned to the vet, shook his head sadly, emitted a simple, “Growl,” jumped down, and walked out of the room.

The vet shook his head and said, “Sorry, Jim. There’s nothing I can do. He’s dead.”

After he had cleaned up, the veterinarian handed Jim a bill for $500. Jim was livid. His face turned beet red and he shouted, “Five hundred dollars just to tell me Knute’s dead! That’s outrageous!”

The vet shook his head sadly and explained. “If you had only agreed with my initial diagnosis, there would have been no charge. But with the blood test, the cat scan, and the lab work . . .”

* Once upon a time, I actually knew a dog named Knute—a Norwegian Elkhound, of course.

Posted 2019·02·22 by David Kjos
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