Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dr. G....veterinary medical examiner?

There's a woman here who is a bit quirky, a bit non-conformist, and a bit intimidating. She's become a legend in her own time. Any student here can easily tell you one or two folktales about the doctor I am now christening Dr. G. (The "real" Dr. G is a medical examiner who has a TV show on Discovery Health. She always gets to the bottom of mysterious deaths.) This quirky, out there vet and professor earned this title last week, after a lecture she gave, in which she, too, got to the bottom of some mysterious deaths. In this case, the victims were pigs who were living in their owner's backyard. Dr. G was called to the farm when the first pig died. It was sent to necropsy, but the results, while inconclusive, hinted to Dr. G that some sort of toxin might be involved. She's the kind of person who would sit down with every book on toxicities and poisonous plants in the library, and her list of symptoms and findings, and go through page by page until she had generated a new list of every possible cause of death. Dr. G is thorough, to say the least. After many sleepless nights, sneaking into the library under her Invisibility Cloak to steal books from the Restricted Section, writing scroll after scroll.....

Dr. G took her list and returned to the backyard, whereupon she asked the owner one question: "Do you shoot clay pigeons?" The owner replied, "No, but when I moved in here, there were piles of shotgun shells out back."

A close inspection of the backyard did, in fact, turn up some shards of old clay pigeons.  The discs' interiors are coated with pitch, which is, apparently, poisonous to pigs when ingested.

Dr. G is also the professor of the Poisonous Plants course, and a small ruminant specialist. She is most often seen dressed in cargo shorts, with her T-shirt tucked in, wearing Birkenstocks or Tevas with socks. Her favorite sport is orienteering. If I had to survive in the wilderness, I would want Dr. G by my side.

There are many more stories about Dr. G (and I'm sure I will acquire new ones) for future sharing.

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