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Julia’s Weekly Column For The Middy

The bond between a pet and their owner should never be underestimated!

When I first thought about joining the veterinary profession I thought I could evade working with people.

I imagined a wonderful life, just me helping sick and injured animals without ever having to interact with anyone else.

I had been badly bullied throughout my school life, and had only found solace whilst in the company of animals and books. But of course, I was soon to learn that being a Vet is very much about people too, which is now one of the parts I love most about my job.

After qualifying as a Vet, I still had a great deal to learn, not least about how to communicate effectively with people as well as animals. And I really needed to gain some empathy.

One day I was just completing my shift, and my mind had already gone towards the evening supermarket trip and a shopping list. A colleague had just started her evening clinic, and I was free to go, when a distraught lady rushed in with her dog.

Sadly, I no longer recall who she was, or what was wrong with her pet, but I remember that somehow I agreed to stay on to surgically repair the problem. When it was time for her to return and pick her dog up, safely put right, she caught me by surprise – she arrived with bags and bags of shopping, carefully placing them on the waiting room floor. Whilst waiting for me to repair her pet, she had decided to go to the very best supermarket in town, and picked up what she thought I might need for a week’s groceries!

She had bought only the best – including little extras like shampoo and some naughty treats – and she would not hear of letting me repay her for it all!

I was completely amazed. For the first time, perhaps, I began to get an inkling of how very important a pet is to their owner, and how incredibly anxious she was feeling until she was sure he was going to be okay.

There have been many other instances of great kindness to me, but this particular one stays in my mind for the vital lesson it taught me.

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