It was a Friday night and Margie Bale was dressed up.
She’d bought a black velvet dress especially for the occasion from David Jones, had her hair professionally done, and had been at the glitzy function all of half an hour when her phone rang.
“My dog seems to be having trouble going to the toilet,” the man on the line told her.
“When was the last time you saw him go?” she asked.
“Oh, about a week ago,” he replied.
It was 8:30pm when 26-year-old Margie – the local vet – hitched up her fancy velvet dress and performed a four hour enema on a near septic cattle dog.
It was 1:30am by the time she left the clinic smelling like s***, and the function she’d been looking forward to for weeks was well and truly over.
But that wasn’t even the final straw for Margie, who at that point was in the middle of working two years straight with no breaks, on call every single day, night and weekend.
It took 18 years, and an emaciated horse, for Margie to finally quit her dream job working in a ‘mixed clinic’.
But it wasn’t the animals that pushed her over the edge. It was the people. More specifically, it was having to spend every single day having a conversation about finances with an angry pet owner.
You see, taking your dog, cat, budgie, horse, goat, or rat to the vet is an expensive trip, and as Margie explained to Mamamia, people seem to forget that owning an animal is a luxury.
WATCH: Margie will tell her story on SBS Insight tonight. Post continues after video.
There’s no Medicare for animals, there’s no PBS to help with medication costs, and a cat doesn’t just sit there patiently with its mouth open when it needs a dental.
So yes, getting Fluffy’s teeth cleaned will probably set you back $400-500, and when Margie told an enraged horse owner it would cost a minimum of $7000 to perform surgery on his near-death horse, she snapped.