Monday, 26 November 2007


I find that when I'm at my lowest ebb, normally between the hours of 11pm and 6 am when I am on call and find myself driving back into work to see a patient, there is only one thing that can keep my spirits from plummeting.

Other people's misery.

During the fifteen minute car trip I tune into 'David's late night love.'

'Maria has just been talking about how she suspects that her Dad is having an affair with her boyfriend and she doesn't know what to do.' David croons.

How wonderful someone definitely more miserable than me, Maria.

But I come into my own when I am working the weekend. If I have been grappling/caring for your pet all week long and there has been urine/diarrhoea involved. Do not expect a lie in on Saturday, because I will be phoning you at seven am for an update on your pets condition.

If I can't have a lie-in, then neither can you.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Paper pushing.

Many of you will have no idea the amount of time veterinarians spend filling out forms.

I find this especially hard as my spelling is pretty dreadful ( my father has pointed out that the spell checker on my blog is sometimes faulty thus giving me away). My writing is also illegible and I just don't have the energy to go back and correct my typos.

Insurance forms are the worst, no sooner have you completed one, five more appear. There then follows a mile round trip to the copying machine, back to the monitor, then to the post machine (which normally requires wrestling into submission). Quite frankly it's exhausting.

The list of forms is endless, vaccination cards, Pets passports, referral letters.

Mrs Fuller made an appointment to have a certificate for Sophie her dog to be completed today.

A signature was required that pronounced Sophie fit to travel on a flight to the States.

'Where's Sophie?' I asked Mrs Fuller as she entered my room.

'Oh, you didn't need to see her did you?' She asked, rather surprised.

One less form to fill out.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Sensible Precautions.

I have often wondered whether a hypochondriac is made or born.

I like to think that I was born this way and am therefore totally helpless against my affliction.

It is rather unfortunate that I chose to follow a career that has equipped me to understand the outcome of many human diseases. In other words I know the exact manner in which they will kill me.

Last week an email was circulated amongst rowing club members warning that a rower, somewhere on a river in the UK had contracted leptospirosis, a deadly waterborne disease.

We were advised to regularly wash hands and to avoid ingesting the river water.

Leptospirosis is a wiggly bacteria that swims about in rats urine and rivers. Every year it tries to kills one or two patients of mine. As a hypochondriac vet I go to extreme measures to cover every area of my body to avoid contact with these patients, I'm talking full chemical warfare cover with gloves, gowns and goggles.

So it was with some trepidation that I got back in a boat on the river.

Catastrophe struck midway through the outing when I was splashed on my face. I could feel the deadly river water trickling down toward my mouth but we were rowing at full speed and to stop would risk tipping the boat and an entire mouthful.

Thankfully fate intervened (or perhaps it was my grimaced expression) and the water diverted stage left via my cheek and exited from my chin.

As we approached the end of the outing, relief washed over me. I looked up at the sky. It was dark, wet, cold and dangerous but the stars were crisp, clear and beautiful, I thought to myself how lucky I was to be there.

As I glanced back down I came face to face with a large white swan, or in other words a H5N1 carrier.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Not for the faint hearted.

Anyone who thinks cat owners aren't tough is wrong.

This morning I discovered that my two cats had been stomping all over my kitchen having some sort of all night party involving muddy shoes, and a half eaten torso:

Shortly afterwards I noticed that one of the culprits, although still happy to demand breakfast, somehow resembled 'Cat of Frankenstein'.
It's not easy being a professional, struggling to get to work on time on a Saturday AND having to take your cat to the vets.
There was no time for breakfast or even worse, tooth brushing.
The basket had to be found under all the rubbish in the garage.
On visualisation of the basket the cat had to be retrieved from the furthest reaches underneath the sofa.
Once en route the high pitched screaming persisted at approximately one noise per three seconds. I had forgotten to use the Feliway calming spray again.
I was also low on petrol and I had a head-ache.
Whilst at the surgery three people remarked on 'what a big boy he is', thus insinuating he is fat.
The nurse asked me how long he had, had the swelling for, thus insinuating I am a bad mother.
There was only one cause for celebration, he was very well behaved as I lanced his abscess and actually looked quite relieved.
Then it was home to drop him back and straight back off to work at the branch surgery, arriving just in time.
The first patient on the list was a 'cat bite abscess'. I felt quite sorry for the owner, having experienced it first hand, the only thing imaginably worse would be to have to pay for it too.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Out with the old and in with the new.

Mr Fletcher came to the surgery to pick up Rosie.

Sadly Rosie had been put to sleep one week previously.

'Don't suppose you know of any dogs going spare?' He asked.

With that he was led as fast as his legs would carry him out to the back of the surgery and promptly placed at the kennel door of a freshly repaired stray dog we have been unable to shift to a new home for over a week.

The stray (named Lucy) duly performed her best 'take me home number' by jumping up at his legs in excitement, thus choosing him as her new pet.

I have to admit it was actually quite touching.

He didn't stand a chance.

Five minutes later Mr Fletcher left the building with two dogs, one on a lead and the other tucked under his left arm in a small china urn.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Big Brother.

I am wondering how long I should wait before contacting Amnesty International.

At least I know how those poor bastards in North Korea must feel, it's not easy living under constant surveillance.

I've started wondering just how deep the poison goes?

Am I in fact working for 'The Firm', like Tom Cruise in John Grisham's film?

Are there phone taps and large vans outside my door?

I'm half expecting to be bundled into the back of the X-ray van in the middle of the night on 'rendition' down to South Wales where veterinary ethics are somewhat more lacking and rules on interrogation may be more shaky.

What would Alf White make of it all?

I've had to cut back on non-essential Internet related activities at work, like dating and social networking but I figure shopping is still a goer. And, just in case reader number five is wondering, yes I can confirm I did in fact spend two hours on-line at the branch surgery searching for a wife for my giant rabbit last week. The tedium was killing me. It's amazing what you find if you type 'Giant rabbit' into the search engine. I thought I'd stumbled across a real bargain 'One barely used, good condition' until I read 'batteries not included'.

Which brings me to my next point, I'd just like to know how Belle Du Jour, the most famous blogger of our time manages to keep her identity secret? I'm very jealous.

Although if I were her I'd be a bit pissed off about one thing. Having spent all those years building up the mystique and reputation as the worlds most skilled and equally articulate seductress, I'd be pretty disappointed to discover I was being played by Billy Piper in the TV series. No offense Billy, but once you've done Dr Who you're about as titillating as a loaf of Hovis.

One things for sure, she certainly won't be playing me!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007


Dear Boss,

.......and another thing,

Well, what an exciting turn of events! For those of you who read my last blog I would suggest you go back and re-read the comments.

I am thrilled that my readership has just expanded from four to a grand total of five people!

Now not only mum, dad, someone in Australia (hello!) and Belgium but also my boss.

I am slightly disappointed I have lost my anonymity, not even my best friend has been told about my blog. I thought I'd been so careful, maybe it was the clever computer system the partners had installed. Worth the £150,000 they invested if it means they could track me down before I caused their entire empire to crumble....

Have no fear, I only blog from home now, so I won't be using up any of my precious lunch break and I certainly won't be telling anyone about it.

I suspect reader number five (as I will now refer to him) has been avidly logging in all week to check my response, I really have no idea where he finds the time with his busy work schedule and a £150,00 computer system to pay for but I guess he'll also be a bit more careful what he says in future, he never knows where it might end up being written about.