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Lesson 12 – Kelly 3: Kelly and the Rabies Scare


Kelly 3: Kelly and the Rabies Scare

Learner Story 

Lesson 12

Kelly writing in her journal/diary:

OMG! Today I totally freaked out. Here’s how it happened.

Last week in the animal shelter I overheard Dr. Russell talking to one of the assistants about a soldier in our town who had died of rabies. I’d heard of rabies before because we read To Kill a Mockingbird in English Lit and I knew the clinic at the shelter has a Free Rabies Vaccinations day every year, but I didn’t know much about it. So that night I went online and got totally freaked out. Soldiers are coming back from Afghanistan with rabies because none of the dogs over there are vaccinated. And getting rabies is terrible because you’ve got to take about two dozen shots IN YOUR STOMACH if you get exposed to it. And a lot of times you don’t even know you have it and you die.

So this afternoon when I went to the shelter to work a lady came in with a dog who was drooling really badly. She said her dog had suddenly gotten really sick, so she was bringing him in for Dr. Russell to look at. It sure looked like rabies to me.

Julie, the girl at the desk, picked up the dog with her bare hands and I could see that some of the drool got on her hands. I started panicking and yelled, “Julie, put the dog in quarantine and go wash your hands. He might have rabies.” Everybody in the clinic waiting room started clutching their dogs close to themselves, and a couple of people picked up their dogs and ran out the door.

I then tried to explain about rabies to Julie and the lady who had brought the dog in. I told them the symptoms were cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia. And once the symptoms begin, hardly anyone ever survives.

Julie and the lady kept looking at me with weird looks on their faces so I kept telling them about rabies and how if you were exposed you had to get a shots in your stomach. I was right in the middle of sharing the current statistics on rabies when Dr. Russell came in to see what all the commotion was about. He listened for a minute, then said, “Kelly, come with me.” 

He took me into one of his examining rooms and asked, “What’s going on?” I tried to explain about the drooling dog and the symptoms of rabies and how I didn’t want Julie to get rabies and how the drool had gotten on her hands but I just kept talking and talking and getting more and more agitated.

Dr. Russell looked at me and started speaking quietly, “Kelly, lower your needle.” I tried to take deep breaths like I’m supposed to when I get overloaded. He just kept reminding me to lower my needle until I was calm enough to listen to him.  Then he said, “Kelly, I really appreciate you being so concerned about Julie and the clients in the waiting room, but I don’t think you got the big picture.  You’re right that rabies is a very serious disease, but it’s also very rare. So we don’t need to upset people by assuming a drooling dog has rabies until we know for sure.”

I felt a little embarrassed then because I had scared off some of Dr. Russell’s customers, but he was really understanding and helpful. He told me to go back down and do my job and he would let me know if the drooling dog had rabies. By then I felt much better and went down and helped Beth clean the cages and feed the dogs and cats.

BTW, the dog didn’t have rabies. He was just drooling because he’d gotten into a box of chocolate the lady had left out on her coffee table.

Kelly 3: Kelly and the Rabies Scare

SITUATION: While working in the animal shelter, Kelly sees a dog drooling and assumes he has rabies.  Her reaction scares all the people in the room.  Dr. Russell calms Kelly down and explains to her that rabies is not a common ailment.  In fact, the dog does not have rabies.


  1. What made Kelly get so upset in the story?
  1. What happened when she got so upset?
  1. Why did people react the way they did when Kelly got upset?
  1. Which ICONz could have helped Kelly most in this situation?  Why?
  1. What ICONz could have helped the other people in this situation?  Why?


  1. What do you think is going to happen?


  1. What could Kelly do to make things turn out better for her?


  1. What can I learn about myself by paying attention to others around me?
  1. When I get upset, what would help me?
  1. When other people don’t seem to be listening to me, what should I do?  What ICONz would help me?



  1. Describe a situation in which you were unable to Get the Big Picture and jumped to the wrong conclusions.
  1. What did you do?
  1. What ICONz would have helped you?
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Lesson tags: HS Lesson 12K3
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