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Time and Stuff.

Time and Stuff.

Today started at 7.30am.

That’s a slight lie.

Today started at 6am with tea and eyes that wouldn’t focus.

By 6.08 the eyes had come back on stream and by 6.14 the tea was consumed. As I lay beautifully naked under the duvet, I began mentally preparing myself to locate socks, pants, jeans.

Locating socks, pants and jeans is pretty much all my brain can cope with at 6.14.

Beautifully naked is my 2nd lie of the Blog  but I don’t feel the need to discuss or expand.  In hindsight, I could have chosen not to share any of the above and stuck simply with, “today started at 7,30am”. The only reason I am not deleting the above which I now realise is pretty pointless is because I am enjoying the thought of you all picturing me under my duvet.


I am rambling.

Let me start again.

Today started at 7.30am.

7.30am is the normal time for turning on the  lights in reception, making more tea, studying  the diary, make tea and then running  through a set of basic admin tasks to ensure that the day runs, if not smoothly then at least to some form of starting point structure.

Days end; never really. Technically we are open 24 hours a day but the main reception hub tends to be placed into hibernation most nights by 7.30pm and simultaneously the main focus of events shift 20ft to the East and the area around theatre, wards and prep.

In the course of the 12 hours that reception is active multiplied by the five years since Vets 1 was born, we have witnessed the sad, the funny, the surreal, the really odd and occasionally the really creepy.

I wanted to share some these moments with you, but the new GDPR laws restrict my fun. So instead, I need to make things up.  Of course, there is a chance that I haven’t made the following up and I am only pretending that I have made these things up.  You can jump to your own conclusions.

Let us start with the coffee dog.

“Hello, Vets 1.

“Hello, I have a question, can I give my dog coffee to drink

“Errr, I don’t think that’s good, would you like to speak to a Vet?

“I would rather not, how about de-caff?

“I’m pretty sure that’s bad as well, but I can get one of our Vet team to discuss?

“Will they tell me coffee is bad for my dog?


“No, I would rather not talk with them, thanks anyway. Goodbye.

A small part of me, when driving around Downham, is always looking for a dog high on caffeine.

What do you do with a dead dog?

“Hello Mate, I’ve a problem, my dog is dead.

“I’m really sorry, what happened?

“I’m not sure, we just found him dead, 2 weeks ago.

“Okay, let me make a note on my system and record the fact

“You’ve never seen him before, he never went to a Vets, but I just don’t know what to do with him.

“Okay, where is he now?

“He’s been on my truck for 2 weeks, I’ve been driving around with him. I just wasn’t sure what you do with a dead dog. My work mates are a bit upset with me. He’s out in the car park if you want to see him…..

The Engagement Ring.

“Hello, my dog just ate my engagement ring….

Rushed down. Induced vomit. No ring evident.

“Guys, are you sure, really sure that he ate the ring?

“Yes, 100%, we saw him eat it

Trip to X Ray. Still no visible sign.

“He ate it, we promise he ate it…..

Sent home with instructions to monitor carefully what comes out, either end.

48 hours later no ring. Slightly stressed couple.

Back to Vets. X Ray again. Still no ring.

48 hours later. Ring found. In bathroom, behind toilet cistern.

Growing Up

Door flings open. Worried looking chap, early 20’s.

“I’m really sorry, I haven’t got an appointment, but I am really worried. My dog is bleeding.

Little dog leaps in, happy, bouncy, smiling.

“No issue, come in, where is she bleeding from?

Awkwardly answers, “From her back end bits……

Little dog now wants to run around and say hello to everyone.

“How old is she and has she had a season yet?

“She is 8 about 8 months old and , errrr, what’s a season?

The next 20 minutes spent discussing canine and human biology over a coffee. It’s good to educate.

We don’t fix humans

Proud Father. Limping Son. Saturday morning.

“Hello, we have just been to A and E and they have a 3 hour wait….

“Okay, that’s pretty standard.

“My son was playing Rugby and he took a heavy knock on his leg. IS there anyway you can quickly run him through X Ray and see what is going on…..?

And finally…..

When it no longer hurts….

We have lost so many friends in the five years since we opened the doors and It is easy to sit here now, shut eyes and clearly remember, Gabby, she was a Yorkie, fully blind but always able to locate me at my desk.  Beanpole, trouble making Lurcher that we stitched up and repaired on so many occasions after chasing wildlife across the county.

Monty, old man scruffy Labrador, more grey then black. Killer, the ancient cat that probably hadn’t killed anything in the last 10 years. George, another old girl that could balance things on her nose. Merlin, Beagle, ate far too many things he shouldn’t but had a wonderful array of tricks. Poppy. Fluff. Dave. Cloudagh, Sammie. The list is long.

It hurts when they die. Some from old age. Some from disease. Some from accident and some because medicine isn’t an exact science.  There is not a single Vet,  Nurse or Commercial team member under our roof that hasn’t at some point, just sat and sobbed.

And let us be very clear. When it no longer hurts.  When everything is just a transaction. We will no longer be here as your Vets.