Sometimes I wonder about some of my clients. Do they realise that I work primarily with non-human animals? Of course, I do work with humans to an extent, but only as far as understanding their animal companion’s wishes. In short, they’re just there as a representative, but some of them don’t seem to be aware of that.

Here’s an example. The other day I had a booking with a new client, Edna. I thought nothing of this, assuming that Edna was of the four-legged variety, and prepared for the counselling session as usual. Apparently, she wanted to talk about a health complaint – all business as usual. 

Well, Edna turned up bang on time. As you might have guessed, she was a human – an elderly lady of some distinction, if her multiple strands of pearls and Chanel alligator bag were anything to go by. I thought she might have a dog in the bag, but it soon became clear that this, in fact, was Edna, and she wanted her counselling session. 

More to the point, she wanted to discuss hyperbaric oxygen therapy equipment. Melbourne pets may more sophisticated than most, but even among the poshest pooches, that topic is generally not a key area of interest. Long story short, I didn’t have much to say to Edna on the topic – not that it was my job in the first place. I did my best to steer her round to the conclusion that she alone knows the solution to her problem, but she wasn’t having any of it.

Eventually, it occurred to me that perhaps she’d not only misunderstood the nature of my services, but also what industry I was in. Maybe she thought I was a hyperbaric medicine specialist, having read the wrong number out of the white pages. Stranger things have happened, right?

I didn’t get a satisfying answer to that speculation, because she eventually told me she’d had it with my cheek and stormed out, alligator handbag in tow. I wasn’t sorry to see her go, although I would’ve liked to have been paid for those ten minutes of my time.