Free as a bird (2)

Here’s the second half of my update blog! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It’s raining here in Liverpool, but it’s making packing up three years of uni easier. Although, I may have underestimated just how much sh*t I have… (part 2 of 2).

Where to begin. I’ll get the boring part out of the way first; my summer so far has consisted mainly of waitressing, but  I start working outside soon which I much prefer.

The novelty of being back home to my cats soon wore off. I took them to the vets for their annual boosters. So strange to be on the other side of the table. And embarrassing as we had to wrap them both like burritos for their wormers. Nevertheless, both healthy; a successful trip to the vets… until I got home and realised Estee had p*ssed all over her sister in retaliation for being man-handled… nice.

I’ve been seeing practice at the vets on my days off. I was just returning to the practice after an equine visit when I received a VERY IMPORTNANT EMAIL; my uni results. I prayed for a 2:1 as I opened it. What on Earth was I going to do if I’d lost my place at vet school? Panic over I’d bagged my 2:1 AND a 1st for my dissertation! So If for some reason you haven’t already heard, I’M GOING TO VET SCHOOL in September! Student finance – sorted. Accommodation – sorted. Numerous coloured chinos – required. Of course there are so many people I’d love to thank for believing in me, but without getting too soppy, you know who you are.

Graduation was amazing; being a wizard for the day with my two biggest fans (Mum and Nanny). I hope you both enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. Three crazy years boiled down to one incredibly proud occasion. A shout-out to all my clever friends that have graduated up and down the country this week too; beauty and brains, so proud of you all.

Now I must get back to packing, and the rain has stopped just in time for the girls graduation. I really don’t want to leave Baltimore Street or my lovely Balti-girls, but a new adventure awaits. Bioveterinary Science degree – complete. Tune in sometime in September, if I survive vet freshers

Big loves, The Gunnabe Vet

P.S Turns out I got my TV debut a month early. Here I am promoting Chester Zoo:

Estee enjoying her crate before the vets

Thanks Mum and Liv


My lovely Balti-girls – thanks for the best three years
Did someone say 8 more weeks of summer?!

Free as a bird (1)

Just a quick update blog post you’ll be pleased to know (part 1 of 2).

Finally, I am free! Back home to my cats and their welcome home ‘gifts’. Three out of three final year exams done! Fingers crossed I’ve managed to secure a 2:1. My final exam was like the countdown to summer scene from High School Musical; ‘summer, summer, summer…’. I’m so proud of all my friends for their amazing dissertation grades! I’m still waiting on mine, but if anyone cares for Campylobacter control, feel free to give my diss a read; 7000 FASCINATING words.
Thank you for the endless support over my exams, you know who you are! Especially Mum and the ladies at PGs for welcoming me back to the office to revise once again. And not forgetting my furry study friends; Nino and Humphrey.

So, what’s in store for my long summer:
For the rest of June, besides working hard to save up for my first year on the vet course, I plan to write to charities, foundations, important veterinary figures, and specific vet school sponsors. I hope I can receive some financial support for my second degree, even if it only funds my memberships, coveralls and vaccines, every little helps. People still think I’m crazy paying for a second degree, but when it’s my dream career I’ll do whatever it takes. If anyone has been in my shoes, funding a second undergraduate degree, or knows of any foundations I can write to, I would appreciate your advice. I’ll be back at the vets for work experience, so look out for some more animal selfies (with or without blood and guts).
I will get my final degree result on the 1st of July and graduate towards the end of the month. I am still awaiting my MRI results, so my fundraising has been halted for now. Part time work has left me with little time for training, and now that I am back from uni for the summer I can work pretty much full time. But they’ll be plenty of time for exploring and sightseeing in North Yorkshire and beyond, some roadtrips too I hope.
August will be an exciting month too, with my 21st birthday celebrations; seeing Countryfile live at Castle Howard. Lookout for my TV debut as the Wannabe Yorkshire Supervet! I’ll also be packing for uni once again, back to Liverpool (I hope) for another five years! Good luck to all my friends with their final years ahead of them, first graduate jobs, PGCEs, masters, work placements and travels. Now pass me the prosecco and get me back in the sunshine! My pale skinned, stressy, sweaty library days are over… for now.

(Tune in after July 1st for part 2)

Obligatory dissertation hand in pic

Humphrey revising

Nino procrastinating
Start of summer


Horses for courses

It’s finally the Easter holidays! After a 10-week term I am exhausted! Which is strange because since January I have been unable to run or swim because of a knee injury I sustained one evening on the dancefloor… more on that later. Besides being jealous of everyone hitting the slopes, I have been living in the library like a good third year student. Less than two months of third year left… but I’m back for Easter delivering the odd lamb, balancing uni work and a part-time job. Although I know where I’d rather be… I enjoy helping-out during the busy lambing period and who can say no to pet lambs?

My work experience really has been worth it. I won an Easter egg last week for answering a question on ideal lambing percentages. But in all seriousness, my work experience has been the topic of conversation for all my interviews, and over the past four years, there’s been a lot. From Bristol; visiting my Aunty and her local IKEA, to Edinburgh; Christmas shopping with my Grandparents and there was the time Mum got lost in Liverpool during my first interview…

Last year, before Christmas I had interviews at Surrey, Liverpool and the RVC in London, which I mentioned in my last blog. With a place secured at vet school either way, I had nothing and everything to lose at my Nottingham interview. I really wanted a place at the Notts vet school, especially after I hadn’t secured one in my first application. It’s even harder to get a place at Notts because of their unique AAB offer, which makes the course more appealing to A-level applicants. Both of my interviews at, Notts were unforgettable, the first time round I was meant to take the train with my Aunty, who was nervous to drive to Nottingham for the first time. Unfortunately, she hadn’t set her alarm, despite being the most organised person on Earth… we had missed our train by the time we woke up.

My most recent trip to Nottingham was just after my January exams which went rather well considering I had to teach myself physics and learn umpteen different diseases and pathogens inside out, literally. My favourite being Fasciola hepatica, the liver fluke. Anyway, I’d decided to stay in Notts for the rest of the week, which my immune system and liver would later regret. The interview went well, however what I thought would be a two-hour formal interview ended up being a timetabled talk, break, tour, break, practical, break… finally after another break (!!!) I had my interview. Absolutely shattered I was relieved to see my ‘Dad’; avid blog reader Dan Johnson, waiting for me with all the other Mummies and Daddies. As with all good nights out, it went downhill from there. It wasn’t even midnight before I was limping around Crisis, but at least I was walking out this time. Somehow, I’d managed to twist my knee, it was probably for the best that I’d had a few VKs. Thanks to Grew and all at 62 Harlax for having me. My stay was probably the closest I’ll come to experiencing life on ‘I’m a Celeb’, a visit I will not be forgetting, or reliving, for quite some time.

Before returning home for Easter I received an offer for a place at Nottingham! Nottingham had always been my first choice uni. Although I love Liverpool very much, and it was voted the best destination on TripAdvisor, I thought I’d fancy a change, as five more years is quite a long time in one city. However, bursaries, travel fees and first year accommodation costs must all be considered. Despite being offered a place in September 2019, Nottingham uni will be taking on a second cohort of 150 students from April 2020. I fear a course of 300 students may not meet the expectations I’d once hoped for.

All prospective vet students must confirm their firm and insurance choices on UCAS by the end of the Easter holidays. After much deliberation, I have decided to choose Liverpool for the next five years on the vet school course. There are so many advantages, besides who doesn’t want to live in the North. It will be nice to see everyone who’s planning on sticking around too, especially my house mates… not sure how I feel about us all moving out of the best house in Liverpool soon. I’ll be spending the first three years of the vet course on the uni campus and the remaining two out on the Wirral. The Leahurst campus has two referral hospitals, three first opinion practices, and two working farms. I can’t wait to get back into sailing and playing lacrosse for the uni, which I have greatly missed since my knee injury. The other week I volunteered at the Grand National with St John Ambulance; I was positioned to cover the stand directly opposite the finish line! I look forward to covering more once in a lifetime events and hopefully gather enough experience to become an advanced first aider.  Liverpool will always have a special place in my heart; I cannot wait to be back in September making new memories and reliving old ones! Maybe I’ll even run the 10-miler next year! I won’t be going anywhere is I don’t bag myself a 2:1 and graduate, lots to look forward to. Tune in to find out how my finals go, que cards and mind maps at the ready.

Some thank yous are in order, despite a hold-up on the fundraising front. I didn’t push for sponsors on my 10-mile run or 2-mile Swimathon but thank you Aunty Mickey and Alfs for your kind support and making me smile regardless. It is very much appreciated. I’ve updated my Just Giving Page ready to start fundraising again soon, I’m so proud of how much I’ve raised so far. Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual, mountain climbing, triathlon training self once I can figure out how to stop my knee from clicking and giving way… (any physios out there?)

Now I better get back to writing my dissertation and finding other things to do of equal importance… Good job I’m only 3000 words over. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my office or rather, I’ll be in one of my favourite fleeces surrounded by pet lambs. See you soon!

Big loves,
The Wannabe Vet

… or as Mum is now calling me; The Wannabe Yorkshire Supervet!

Pre-Notts interview drivethru

Notts offer postcard
Grand National with SJA

Estee Cat on her 2nd birthday

Turning Turtle

Oops it’s me! Happy New Year, merry Christmas and whatever else I’ve missed over the past few months. I realise it’s been a while since my last post, but I do have a lot of exciting news and updates: Dry January looked promising until I finished my first semester of third year exams… I’ve had some rather embarrassing clothing malfunctions at interviews and as far as my latest challenges are concerned; ‘how many turkey dinners can you consume post-Christmas day?’ wasn’t really worth the sponsors. I’ve left my best fleeces in Yorkshire, and I’m back in Liverpool for my final semester of my Bio-vet degree. Now grab yourself a brew because this is going to be one hell of a whistle stop tour!

We were warned in second year how difficult third year would be. There was no description of how it would be harder and beginning my final semester as a bio-vet student, my experience of third year so far has been exactly as predicted. For those of you who have seen the latest Mary Poppins film, the chaos and pressure of third year, I believe is best described by Meryl Streep in ‘Turning Turtle’. Except it’s every day in third year and not just every second Wednesday of the month…  it’s worth a listen.

With first semester exams now over, I never thought I’d say it, but I actually preferred the physics-based, biomechanics exam. I proved to myself that no matter how difficult something can first appear, perseverance does pay off. If at first you don’t succeed, fix your pony tail and get your head down. We can learn anything when we put our mind to it, even physics! With my dissertation and second semester exams (‘finals’!!) looming, I will be sad to spend less time in the lambing shed this Easter. Lucky for you Mum, I will be available to entertain your work colleagues when I next join you at work to revise in my office. Although, I can guarantee a quick ‘brain break’ will teleport me from my revision notes to the lambing pens on the other side of the valley.

Last semester I met Judy Puddifoot from BBC 2’s ‘Young Vets’. Her advice and anecdotes reminded me to reflect on my journey so far and explained some benefits of being a post-grad vet that I hadn’t even thought of. Post-grads understand how uni works, and they can use this to their advantage when freshers (first years) are getting themselves settled in. Her dyslexia was not diagnosed until late into her course, and so if she managed to learn the content, I sure as hell can too.

Having received all four invites for a formal interview, between October 15th and late November, I am now nervously awaiting my final vet school interview in Nottingham. I have already attended interviews at the Uni of Surrey, Uni of Liverpool and the Royal Veterinary College, London. Soon after my Liverpool, 9 panel Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) in the cathedral crypt (some serious déjà vu), I received my first offer of a place at their vet school. I was elated when I received my offer by email. To clarify; I am going to be a vet! All there is to do is bag a 2:1 and I’ll be studying in Liverpool in September. That same day I was en route to London to stay with an extremely talented MTA student, and close friend from secondary school. I must thank her for having me and for her fundraising ideas as she too had to self-fund her dream course. I am still awaiting a response from the RVC, but as a post-grad course places are more limited. Last but not least, my most recent offer from Surrey came in the day after my first exam this January. They had been struggling to access my work experience forms… rather annoying as I felt the interview had gone rather well, despite my shirt unbuttoning at the chest mid-interview. I needn’t have worried because I know have my offer. Huge thanks to my Guildford family for having me, Surrey is a lovely place with a lot of character and the uni had fantastic sports facilities.

Fingers crossed I hear from the RVC soon, but I have bigger fish to fry with my Nottingham interview around the corner. Having a choice of vet school will be rather exciting, although I really don’t have a preference because I will still be a vet at the end of the course. When the time comes to decide I will have to assess the costs and benefits of each:

  • Despite the RVC offering a four-year course, Camden will be a challenge to afford living costs.
  • Liverpool is the best city ever, and I know it so well now, but I do love exploring new places.
  • Surrey has great facilities, but again the cost of living in Guildford cannot be ignored.
  • Finally, Nottingham would be the most affordable, it’s equidistant from home as Liverpool is and they produce highly-skilled vets. I will have to wait and see what the interview holds… 3 down 1 to go!

I thought it would be sensible to have a break from competitions and fundraising over the past few months; what with the Baltic weather, my interviews and quite frankly being far too unhealthy over Christmas. Apparently orange segments in mulled wine do not class as one of your five-a-day, Bailey’s is not a calcium source and Christmas cake every day for a month does have a downside… However, besides the odd Parkrun, I have been planning my next challenges for the coming year. In my last blog posts, I was raising money for St John Ambulance when I ran the Great North Run and two weeks later the Nottingham half marathon with Mum.

I plan to run the Liverpool 10-miler and complete a 2-mile Swimathon this March. Having not swam since before Christmas and excessive amounts of snacking halting my running progress, I could well be facing my hardest challenges yet. Please follow the links to see what my challenges entail. I will be swimming and running in aid of Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. With 50% saved for my vet school fund. Here are the links for my PayPal and fundraising page too. I would be so grateful of your support. I appreciate asking for sponsors this time of year, especially after Christmas, is the equivalent of asking for anything other than chicken in Nandos, but your support would be amazing nonetheless. My interviews and vet schools offers have motivated me to study, much to my family’s delight, however I have been a little less inspired to exercise. Weeks of Christmas indulgence has left me questioning my idea of a healthy diet too.

I didn’t want to jinx my last interview by writing my tips for “smashing” interviews, so I will save them for another blog post, and hopefully by then I will have a good success rate and more experience. Between now and my next blog I will be working hard on my fitness (and diet), uni work and my Nottingham vet school interview. I can’t promise when my next blog post will be, but hopefully there will be more interview offers and the results of my Liverpool 10-miler and Swimathon, so long as third year doesn’t kill me off… tune in to find out!

Big loves,

The Gunnabe Vet xx

My office at PG

Pre- Surrey interview
Christmas dinner
Exam revision with Humphrey
My first vet school offer
Post-RVC interview
Parkrun with my fit fam

The Great North Run

The 9th September 2018. My final challenge, the Great North Run. After my first half marathon measured 400m short earlier this year, I entered the GNR ballot on a whim. Knowing how unlikely it was that my name would be drawn, I entered the Notts half with Mum too.

Coincidentally, en route to a lacrosse game in Newcastle I received the email informing me I had secured a ballot place for the Simplyhealth Great North RunTHE most prestigious half marathon! 13.1 miles from Newcastle out to Southshields (if they get the distance right on this one…).

As always, I’ll be splitting my sponsors 50:50 between my uni fees and a charity close to my heart, St John’s Ambulance.

Donating a pint of blood wasn’t enough for me so I began volunteering with SJA in my second year of uni. In return for my time I have been trained and qualified as an event first aider. I realised the importance of first aid from a young age when my Nan started blacking out, we hadn’t the foggiest how to help her. Only a week ago at my triathlon, as I was having my hair braided a man collapsed, convulsing beside me! First aid is a skill, not just CPR, and it’s very easy to forget and become flustered in an emergency. Check out their helpful videos for yourself, and test your knowledge, you just never know when you’re gong to need it. FINALLY, it has been introduced to the national curriculum!

I love running but working non-stop has meant little time for running after 15 miles + of moors trekking! I’m squeezing them in and finding the time, relying on your support to keep me going. I really want to smash this final challenge and make my SJA unit proud to have me on their team.

If you don’t have time to do your bit for charity but you can spare some pennies, please sponsor me as I tackle (technically my first) half marathon, the Great North Run. You can even donate anonymously!

Links at the top of the page.

Big loves always xx

P.S I raised £25 from my triathlon sponsors. Thank you for your kind donations for Macmillan and my dream career.

Trust me I’m a dogtor

My LAST blog, for now. I need to focus on my application due in October; revisiting my old friend UCAS, a new personal statement and chasing up on my work experience references. Lots to do and working full time to save up for my second undergraduate degree. A never-ending battle towards the £45,000 uni fees but so far I’ve raised £600 for my uni fees and for the various charities I’ve supported over the year. A year ago, I ran my first 10K Race for Life, the start of my running journey, I can’t believe how far I’ve come and I’m excited to see what my sister can achieve a year on from her first 10K. My friend Roz and I completed the Cleveland Way by climbing Roseberry Topping, road-tripping from Flamborough to Saltburn, and I ran the Duncombe Park trail run in Helmsley to finish. Thanks to my supporters, see you on Saturday for my first ever triathlon.

PLEASE, please, please if you can spare TWO minutes donate your Friday night pint pennies to my fundraising page (or PayPal) to support Macmillan and my desperately needed uni fees. My hardest challenge yet, three disciplines, triple the training and hopefully, triple the sponsors! Feel free to drop in your donation at Café Frog, Pickering if you can’t access the internet. If you’ve already donated or you can only spare ONE minute, please share my triathlon and comment your support!

Now you’ve (fingers crossed) sponsored me for this weekend here’s what I learnt this week, why your trip to the vets costs sooo much and why you MUST neuter your pets. Disclaimer: I research and quote the vets I work with wherever I can, but I can only offer my advice and opinion from what I’ve experienced first-hand. Some vets will disagree.

As we celebrate 70 years of the NHS, and I reminisce back to my 6 A&E visits over the past 19 years, mostly from being a clumsy child. We moan about tax all the time but we really are fortunate to have free health care services available to us at our time of need. However, veterinary practices do not work like this. There are brilliant payment schemes available to reduce and spread the costs of wormers, vaccines, nail trims etc – the general pet MOT. Particularly, dog breeds with well-known medical conditions such as brachycephalic (I shared a post earlier this week about the breathing difficulties of pugs and French bulldogs) and dogs with back problems (dachshunds). It’s crazy how many owners have spent hundreds of pounds on their pet and try to avoid paying for their second vaccines!

Another costly visit that springs to mind are emergency, out of hours consults. The unsociable working hours of vets and vet nurses come at a cost. With few practices accommodating the option, the usual cost of a consult out of hours is triple the cost of a consult within normal opening hours. Vets see all sorts of emergencies, much like an A&E department, some accidents have unbelievable stories. Others are completely avoidable. Spaying and neutering are safe and SO much cheaper when pets are young. Reducing the risk of mammary and testicular tumours, which are fatal in 50% of dogs and 90% of cats and pyometra (uterine infection causing swelling from accumulating blood), requiring an emergency spay. The benefits of neutered pets greatly outweigh the minor surgical risk! Besides avoiding life-threatening surgery, it has been proven that pets LIVE LONGER and males are less aggressive once they’ve lost their ‘undercarriage’, as my grandparents say. I personally have witnessed all the eventualities mentioned over the last month alone! At my first whelping (dog birthing) I learnt most Kennel Club registered puppy breeders breakeven after the feed, vaccines and medical care of the bitch and her pups is deducted from the pup sale income (photos in my last blog). Puppies are beautiful but not all whelping experiences are magical. I was called in to observe an emergency caesarean. The poor mother had been whelping since 6 am… 16 hours later, the owners decided she might need some assistance. There was a pup stuck in her birth canal! Only one survived and the bitch made a full recovery. The reduced cost of spaying younger animals came as a shock when I saw the final bill for the pregnant bitch. Accidental mating is no laughing matter, the animal ‘morning after pill’ and emergency surgery is far better avoided in my opinion. So I’d definitely think again if you’re keeping your pet entire for ‘maybe’ breeding them in the future. Not hinting at any of my close family members with brown haired, sausage-shaped dogs…

Although neutering is easier said than done in some animals. We visited a boar last week for a castrate and trying to safely sedate the 120kg+ beast required 3 hefty pig boards and 5 willing volunteers. Fun fact: female pigs (sows) and horses are not spayed due to the largely complicated surgery. Going back to what I said about patience last week, we needed buckets of it. The tusked male shot between my legs, I luckily escaped unscathed. Thanking my long legs that I had not been carried away, I left with a very large bruise.

Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you learnt something new or advise a friend to get their precious pet insured and neutered.

My latest charity shop book about a newly graduate vet has inspired me even more to smash my application due in October, maybe I’ll write a book one day. I really want to hear what you think of my blog and what inspires you?

What to expect next:
– Keep an eye out for my last challenge of the year (more to come in 2018)
– Other fundraising events
Monthly blogs on my application progress, interviews, animal nutrition and finance

Be back soon, big loves, Evie xx

Photos that made me proud this week:

The first Summer calf at Leasbeck

Pre-Duncombe Park trail 10K trying to hide my big bruise

Post-9 mile 10K…?
Mary’s first 10K

Midnight born caesarean puppy

Roseberry Topping


Dr Dolittle’s apprentice

Where to begin! I have completed my placement at the abattoir and recently qualified as an events first aider with the wonderful St. John Ambulance. Despite being on two ends of the spectrum; pre-hospital care and ante-mortems may differ in their outcome, but they are both essential roles in the medical and veterinary fields. Also, having received my exam results I am delighted with my 2:1 – bring on the dissertation and my third and final year as a bio-vet before the big 5 for vet med.

This blog is all about HOW to get work experience, not just prospective vets and why first impressions really count.

Firstly, I need your help! With my super sprint triathlon a matter of weeks away (July 21st), I need your support! PLEASE share my blog, sponsor my cause or message me and say I’m crazy. 50% of my sponsors will be saved up for my £45,000 uni fees and the other 50% will be going to Macmillan for their brilliant cancer patient support. For more info follow this link: or sponsor me via PayPal or my Just Giving fundraising page. Thanks in advance.

As promised in ‘The spice of life’, here are my top tips on how to get your hands dirty:

All vet applications require a minimum of 4 weeks work experience across a range of fields within an 18-36 month period. Lucky for me that meant revisiting my placements to ‘update’ them. Each vet school has different requirements, but these change from year to year. Most recently I have completed; abattoir, dairy, lambing, stables, mixed animal vets and cattery. Unfortunately, my kennels, zoo and small animal vet placements will be out of date by the time I apply in October. So many placements and so little time. I spent my Christmas holidays at the stables, my Easter holidays are dedicated to lambing and I’ve spent half my Summer holidays milking and at the vets, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Most placements are sadly unpaid… but I did receive small gifts for my work having returned, using the skills I learnt previously to be of good help.

So you can walk the walk, but can you talk the talk?

Whether you email, ring or enquire in person, being concise and showing good manners is essential. Vets and farms are busy places and practicing what you want to get across could be the difference between getting your wellies on or being escorted out by the sheepdog. Trying to sound enthusiastic may sound simple if you love animals but it’s not always clear-cut. I don’t know anyone who’s keen to visit an abattoir… Printing of a C.V or references not only looks professional, but it’s a chance to show your face and meet the team you want to work with. With talking comes listening, especially to show empathy and relay information appropriately as vets use these skills every day to calm stressed clients and deliver bad news.

There’s no I in team but there is in independent.

You may be helping with menial tasks to begin with, but don’t be disheartened. Showing you can follow simple instructions is the first step for progression. I love feeling useful and being reliable. I’m not afraid of asking for help either. Being trustworthy and honest is important to avoid troubles with insurance. There’s always ‘fake it till you make it’ but I wouldn’t rely on this for showing your resourcefulness. I like to keep busy but sometimes there’s nothing for me to do so I often say things like “I don’t know how to do … but if you show me I will know for next time”. Being keen to learn and using the old, common sense is vital. You’d be amazed how valued you can be to someone as a spare pair of hands, literally.

As you age patience becomes less of a virtue and more of a luxury.

Not all work experience is hands-on, there’s a lot of watching and learning. The countless times the vet has repeated, ‘Hi, this is Evie, she is seeing practice with us today’, as I stand observantly in the corner of the room. With time (and age for some placements), you can transfer skills. Not all placements have the same protocols, particularly farm visits, so it’s good to get a variety. If you are really struggling for work experience you can always go on VetMedlink or Vetsim courses. For a small price, I would highly recommend as you get to experience uni halls and tick off Gold DofE residential. Being patient with animals (donkeys in particular) is something no farmer or vet can teach you. Suckling animals can be ever so testing and herding them can bring out some choice words, even those we trust can react to flight or fight situations. We had a dog that was bearing its teeth, cowering in the back of the kennel. We had to don the oven gloves and stroke under its chin until it trusted us to put its lead on, we got there eventually. If anyone knows patience best it’s me, two years down, six to go…

Sometimes it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Ask your friends and family, older vet students, your local vet practice. Someone out there needs your help they just don’t know it. I was once recruited at a friends BBQ by two very enthusiastic shepherds with some very interesting dance moves too…
Make sure to ask for references (if you don’t ask you don’t get). All applications need evidence of your work so always make a good impression. Be punctual and prepared whatever the weather, especially in this heat wave!

After waitressing at a wedding this weekend, a very rude man wasn’t helpful in the slightest. Afterwards, we reluctantly offered him some left-over food, he was so apologetic for being rude to me before. I guess that’s the effect pulled pork has on some people. But still, manners cost nothing and first impressions really do count.

Now that my car is fixed (shout out to my roadside recovery team), it’s time to get dirty and sweaty, on the farm and on my bike. Big loves, Evie xx

Some animals don’t always trust us…

Others just take the mickey!The dog that joined our committee meeting
Our cat who sleeps in my bed more than me

The Yorkshire vet

I’ve been wondering what to write about all week and after a brilliant day at the vets on Monday, I decided I’d talk about my recent work experience. Seen as it is the most time-consuming  part of my application, second to my degree grade.
The past two weeks have revolved around my vet clinic placement, milking at an organic dairy farm, triathlon training, seeing my friends and family and copious amounts of driving across the moor… I love North Yorkshire but it’s a logistical nightmare. To make matters worse my journey has been awarded ‘the most scenic bus route in the UK’. I cannot wait for the tourists to block up the roads, especially when I finish my placements and start to work on the moor (July). It’s going to be a long summer, but I’ll be closer to the £45,000 uni fees I need for the vet course.

An introduction to the life of a mixed animal vet:

Whether they’re assisting with lambing, calving or farrowing, out on the farm or sometimes in the practice if there is an emergency, vets are involved from the beginning to end. Depending on the time of year, animals are being born or being assessed ready for their breeding season. Vets assist farmers during artificial insemination and companion animal breeders with ultrasounds, just like in human pregnancy. Precocial species like lambs, calves and foals are soon up on their feet and fully dependent within weeks of birth, unlike humans that can take up to 18 years. On Monday I had the pleasure of introducing 13 puppies into the world. As the potential caesarean case arrived, so did the morning’s clients… I love a challenge but even I was feeling the pressure of responsibility as I assisted the whelping.

Once they’ve been vaccinated, which can be more complicated than a simple, annual booster and MOT. The local dog rescue finds it particularly difficult to keep track of vaccines as dogs are abandoned at their door. Vets try and sync the vaccines of pets from the same family although it can be particularly difficult. A healthy lifestyle; appropriate exercise, a nutritious diet and routine health care such as teeth brushing, grooming, claws, ears and the beloved anal gland clearing, can be difficult for some owners to implement, especially with differing financial situations. Some animals, like humans, require a little more medical input than others. I’ve seen donkeys being x-rayed, hamsters with tumours the sizeof golf balls and I scrubbed in for a broken cat femur operation, all in the past week! I’ve also seen routine ops such as castrates and I’ve scrubbed but in on a complicated spey. Most vets will take animals away from their owners for blood tests, this isn’t to cover up mistakes or save embarrassment, a lot of pets get extremely stressed at the vets. The scents, other pets, probing and sampling can be a very upsetting experience and a good first consultation is essential for reducing an association of fear being imprinted during the early learning phase. Training young pets by separating their jaws and paws, touching tails and ears can reduce stress hugely and make the vets job easier and safer too.

Thoughts of euthanasia, ‘Marley and Me’ and one of my favourite children’s books ‘Up in Heaven’ come to mind, but not all animals are fortunate to have lived and been loved. Some lives are shorter lived than others. One lady had recently introduced a well-bred labradoodle to her family before discovering it had a life-limiting heart defect that would lead to premature death. The same day I met a 21-year-old dog! A strange phenomenon as I’ve never met an animal older than myself… despite controlled arthritis, a missing eye and fused joints, the dog was by no means ‘on its last legs’ and came back with a blood test to prove it. With numerous kidney and liver diseases kicking in after long durations of tablet use or just ageing in general, diet is essential for prolonging life. Diseases such as Cushing’s, Addison’s, diabetes and cancer, to name a few, are severely influenced by the correct percentages of protein, fibre, carb, fats and certain vitamins and minerals. Some vets unfortunately witness the full circle of life when euthanasia is the last resort. When the 11th hour has arrived, and the owners have come to a decision, the vet can end the suffering of their pet, but it never gets easier or less emotional, on either end.

But not all stories have sad endings and my blog certainly will not!
I was helping vaccinate dogs at the local rescue centre when we were introduced to some rare, non-canine guests; coatis, kinkajous, lemurs and a capuchin monkey! My love for tapirs was stolen by the coati babies (picture below), my new favourites.

Thank you for reading my blog and please check out my latest challenge! I have so many stories of my time at the vets and I cannot wait to be the main character one day instead of the wiling assistant, but I need all the help i can get to afford the fees. I will be facing all the elements in my lovely new trisuit… fully equipped with a tango, biker tan and a sweaty finish I am sure. Macmillan is an amazing charity working with cancer families and with some close family and friends in need so recently, I am determined to give them a decent donation. So please share, sponsor me and wish me luck!


Big loves, the next Yorkshire vet, Evie xx


Sprint triathlon

As a few of you know I’ve been wanting to do a triathlon for a while now… the time has come around quite quickly and on Saturday 21st July I will be tackling the elements, completing in my first ever super sprint triathlon at the beautiful Castle Howard.
Yes Nan, I am swimming 400m in the lake. Then I will be biking 23km, special thanks to my new coach Peter Sellars. Finishing of with a 4km run and the hunt for a new pair of legs. As always, I will be dividing my sponsors between my Wannabe Vet fund and the wonderful Macmillan charity. Macmillan support and help people affected by cancer feel more in control of their lives; from the diagnosis throughout their whole battle against cancer. Their campaigns include Brave the Shave, Sober for October and coffee mornings but I wanted to challenge myself in the best way I know how, physically. Although I could easily inhale a coffee morning cake stand…

I can’t believe I am actually competing in a triathlon, the same one I was inspired by a few years ago. So why not come and watch? See what all the lumberjack suit, lycra, sweaty socks (and probably the odd asthma attack) malarkey is all about (Sunday 21st for the standard distance/ elite athletes).
Please follow the links to my fundraising page or to donate without me losing 5% on commission see my PayPal link. If you can’t sponsor me please share this blog with your family and friends. Now where to start; swim, bike or run?
Big loves, Evie xx

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Getting back on the horse

Just about coming to terms with the end of bio-vet second year. Another year in the best city, new friends, terrible AU costumes and even more challenges. We all cried. My exams are over, but I’ve got a long summer ahead to work, train for my challenges and complete my final placements before my vet school application is submitted in October! The time will fly by before I know it, so I plan to write every fortnight with my latest ventures, achievements and embarrassing moments.

I’ve now written 13 posts (32 including my old posts). I originally started my blog, The Wannabe Vet, to reflect on my achievements and support my initial vet med application. Overall aside from my sob story and endless begging for support and sponsors I have raised £500+ by using my blog as a platform for fundraising for myself and some amazing charities. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the donations and kind comments so far. Although writing is time-consuming, I do find it rather therapeutic. Inspiring future vets and fitness enthusiasts, despite all the waffle and cringe I post, is a real bonus. Bringing my own financial struggles to light with the odd anecdote has had its ups and downs but here’s a little overview of the past few months. Get yourself comfortable with a tea and some tissues and enjoy reading my journey to veterinary medicine.

Welcome – introducing my financial crisis, as briefly as possible…

Liverpool half marathon – my 1st challenge and half (unfortunately 400yds short), raising money for The Trusty Paws Clinic.

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s veterinary – why I was born to be a vet.

3 grades, 2 chances, 1 place – why I am a financial burden and not a vet (yet).

A bio for bio-veterinary – my uni life, hobbies as the future Money Saving Expert.

The spice of life – work experience as the 6th spice girl, ‘cow-shit spice’.

Confessions of a vet-a-holic – a blog post overview and my strengths and weaknesses.

Snowdon – 14 hungover 20-somethings versus a 3560ft mountain, supporting The Whitechapel Centre.

Swimathon – my 1st swimming event and swimming cap experience in aid of Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK.

Perks of the job – the importance of doing a job you love, who wouldn’t want to be a vet?

The Super Vet – answering some ‘harsh reality’ interview questions.

Teaching young dogs new tricks – an anagram of how to keep your cool in exams and general life.

There’s more sweat and tears to come and a hellish amount of money still to raise but I’m ready for it and here’s why. I’ve had to face a lot of disappointment over the past few years. Lifting my chin up and bouncing back has become second nature now. Despite my best efforts and 100% commitment, sometimes its just not meant to be. I’ve not given up though, with £45,000 of debt to my name and a second degree under my belt, I know I’ll get there. It may be my positive attitude that keeps me pushing forward or perhaps my stubbornness… but no amount of sympathy was going to get me back on my feet after results day. I had to realise for myself that I was the only one to blame and the only one who was going to get plan A back on track.

When I was younger I used to ride with my Mum and one time my sister Mary was meant to be leading me as I rode. As she turned away the pony started to graze, and I somehow slide down its neck towards the ground. In shock of how I’d managed to recreate a scene from 64 Zoo Lane, Mary spooked the pony and with a sudden head jolt, I found myself being flung from the pony like a bucking bronco. One bad experience didn’t put me off riding, like the fear of keeping up in cross country, yet I signed up every year for 7 years. Or when I knew my chances of getting a place at vet school were slim, but despite the odds I made it. At 17, my car spun out in the rain, but I learnt from it and it’s not stopped me driving. Even bad exams aren’t the end, we change our approach ready to tackle the next one. Finally, we’ve all had our hearts broken but that hasn’t stopped us loving.

Our family and friends help us realise the importance of taking a minute to get back on track or even think laterally and choose a new route. I try to set realistic goals… but I do love a challenge. My Aunty set herself the target of making a lemon meringue pie, and it was the best lemon meringue pie we had tasted, mainly because she had made it and we love her. A bucket list isn’t a bad place to start either. One day I want to be proud of my achievements and I’ll always crave that rewarding, sickly-sweet, smiling like the Cheshire cat feeling in my stomach. And the endless amount of guilt-free cake when you know you deserve it.

On that note, alongside my revision ‘treats’ I’ve been training extra hard, it’s all about balance as I’ve said. So, look out for my latest challenge (*spoiler* featuring the Grewer’s best wetsuit) and top bucket list achievement over the next few days. Check out my fundraising page for more info and updates. Please donate whoever you are, whatever amount (preferably to my PayPal link)! Big loves and bring on the long summer! Evie xxx

Some thank yous as always: The ultra, long distance walkers Aunty Lisa and Uncle Greg and my dear friend Marnie for their kind donations, my family for their endless support, my revision buddies because without them I’d have gone insane and finally, my housemates for the best second year I could have asked for.

Getting back on the horse/ ponyEnd of exams before alcohol consumptionEnd of labs forever… potentiallyKirkby 10k with Mum