One of my first nights on call after I moved to Newfoundland, I had an interesting call. It went a little something like this, at about midnight:
Answering service: “Dr? We have a call from the RNC. They’re not sure if you’re who they should call. They’re calling about a snake they found in someone’s yard. ”
Inside my head: “Who the frak is the RNC? I feel like I should know this…”
Out loud: “Uh, okay, what’s the number?”
Answering service: “The number is such and such.”
So I give the number a call. . .
Me: “Hi, this is Dr. Maggie; I understand you have an issue with a snake?”
Woman: “Yes. We just collected a snake out of someone’s yard.”
Me: “Bear with me here, I only just moved to Newfoundland . . . but aren’t there no snakes here?”
Woman: “Yes, that’s the issue. We’re not sure what kind of snake it is or what to do with it, but it must be someone’s pet. Would you be able to take it?”
Me: “Well, I’m going to be honest with you, I’ll just be googling it to figure out what kind of snake it is. The clinic isn’t really set up to house a snake, and we don’t really take in strays. Have you tried humane services or the SPCA?”
Woman: “No, we started with you.”
Me: “Well, try them and see what they say, and if they won’t help you, call me back and I’ll figure something out.”
They never called back. I was thinking, for some foolish reason, small snake… I’d keep it in a box and bring it to the clinic the next day and figure things out. However, it was a 6 foot snake, I found out from the newspaper a couple days later. This was back when I was walking to work, so that would’ve been interesting . . . and the girls at work probably would’ve killed me.
Also, turns out, RNC is the police. I didn’t figure that out until the next day. (RNC stands for Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.)