Julia's Weekly Column for the Middy

Join us at the Family Day for Donkeys to help support these beautiful animals!

My whole family have always been a bit crazy about horses, ponies and all things equine. My parents loved going to the races, and were members of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which is where I met my first boss when I was still a student. My brother became a racehorse trainer, and I wanted to be a horse vet.

So when I settled in Sussex for my first job after qualifying as a Vet, my favourite part of every day was being sent round the lovely countryside seeing to the local horses and donkeys.

I was particularly fond of a little family kept in a field near to their owner’s large home on the outskirts of Burgess Hill. Our first meeting was inauspicious. When I commented on how attractive her tiny ponies were, I was firmly corrected: “They’re not ponies, they are miniature horses!” However, despite this bad start, I went on to care for those ponies’ routine healthcare for several years.

But my favourite equine patients lived just outside Haywards Heath. They were a delightful pair of retired donkeys, Pinky and Perky, whose job was to keep the grass down on the lawns of a large estate.

They were undemanding, gentle and kindly, even when I had to administer their flu injections or rasp their teeth. I always made sure I had some polo mints in my pocket when their names were on my diary for the day. They soon learnt to politely nuzzle my jacket pockets in the hope of extra treats, but never nipped or ripped.

Times changed, and I moved away from working with horses, focusing 100% on domestic pets about 20 years ago, so I am particularly excited to have been asked to run the Dog Show at the Family Day for Donkeys this Sunday 26th July. I hope you will join us from midday to meet the donkeys and raise funds for the Safe Haven for Donkeys at Ardingly College Pre-Prep School. There will also be a sponsored walk at 1pm, live music, games, craft stalls and paint-balling!

For more information about this event, go to themewesvets.co.uk. See you there!

14th February 2018