Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You Can't Fight City Hall

When Moondoggy retired, he decided that in honor of leaving an atmosphere that was stress heavy and meticulous, he would endeavor to be kinder and gentler.  And, he will tell you he has been fairly successful, if you ask.  So, it was with a bit of shock that I watched him slowly get spun up about something as benign as a dog license.

As new residents in SoCal, we wanted to do what's right, be good citizens, and that included getting our two dogs properly licensed with the city.  So, after we took the dogs into the vet and got them all caught up on shots, we trotted across the street to the city hall to register them and get their licenses. Easy, right?  We had immediate proof of shots in hand, cash at the ready and the desire to do the right thing.  Except, that the city hall people don't care so much about the shots as they do about making sure the dogs are fixed.  For what it's worth, mine are both males and they have been neutered.  

The city hall employee, who, I am positive was sick the day they taught customer service at city hall school never even cracked a smile when she boldly said, 'I can't and won't license these dogs.  I need their official certification that they have been fixed."  Um, ok, how hard can that be, right?  They have been seen by the vet and she can confirm that have been neutered, so we trot back over and ask the vet for official certification of neutering.  The answer? "We can't give that to you because they weren't neutered here."  Moondoggy, still of the kinder and gentler demeanor says, "No, they were both neutered in Illinois but sense you have it on record here that they are in fact, unable to reproduce, can you give me something to take back to city hall?"  The simple answer was "no."  

Moondoggy has a vein the pops out of his forehead when he starts to get frustrated and it was throbbing by this point.  But, instead of getting worked up, we went home and called the vet in Illinois who happily volunteered to send whatever paperwork they had concerning our dogs.

That paperwork arrived yesterday so today we headed back to city hall ready to be good citizens.  Moondoggy waltzed in, proof of shots, and paperwork from Illinois that included the date and bill of Porter's( my 2 year old dog) surgery and a medical record for my 12 year old dog, Moose, that was labeled "neutered."  The same city hall lady who shunned us before took one look at the paper work and said, "those aren't official certificates of neutering."  Moondoggy kindly explained that Illinois does not have those certificates but this paperwork proved that both dogs had been fixed (one 12 years ago).  She glanced at them again and said that since there was a date of surgery and a bill that said "paid", she would license Porter because it proved we paid for it, but she could not license Moose.  The vein popped on Moondoggy's forehead but he took a deep breath and said,  "I don't have a receipt for a 12 year old surgery on my dog, but the paperwork clearly says he is neutered."  She indignantly drew herself up a few inches and replied as if it should be perfectly obvious, "But it doesn't show you paid for it."  The logic of that argument completely gobsmacked Moondoggy but he recovered brilliantly, "Ok," he said, "I need a one license for my dog Porter, please."  

"What," she asked, "about the other dog?"

"Moose?  I don't need a license for him, he's a cat."

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