Slugs, Snails and Puppy Dog’s Tails

Hello friends and family (and grant interview panels)!
I hope you are all well and managing to keep yourselves busy or safe at work, and hopefully you have a spare 5 mins to read the rest of this blog, it’s going to be a long ‘un (as per). I haven’t sat at the dining room table-cum-home office for a few weeks now. Thank goodness for the internet keeping us all informed and connected. The zoom meetings and online exams seem like a distant memory, along with the weekly quizzes. They were good while they lasted but nothing beats a cuppa in the garden or a long dog walk. Unless you almost lose an arm at the sight of a hare… RILEY!

So I bet you’re all dying to know my results, although we don’t start back till October, Joy Division will be pleased to hear that ‘I’m (going to be) back in Liverpool’ for my second year of vet school. Which as many of you have pointed out to me, inadvertently whilst asking “so how many years have you got left?”; I’m half-way there – four years down, four to go! I couldn’t be happier after an unusual and sober end to uni; we made it. The four months off will fly, with part-time work (whenever that will hopefully resume) and most importantly work experience, or as we call it at uni; EMS (extra-mural studies). The RCVS (vet regulatory body) have (eventually) said that we can do up to six weeks of EMS online. Although, the resources haven’t been released yet and with the lockdown relaxation most places are willing and able to host vet students again. Which is how I ended up with three weeks of EMS at my local mixed-animal vets.

Due to the coronavirus guidelines, animals were examined in the carpark, or if treatment was required; dropped off for appointments/ operations into a porch and moved into the practice from there. The benefit of having appointments without the clients present meant that I could ask the vets whatever I wanted and receive an in-depth explanation, get a closer look and hands-on more often. We saw some really interesting cases, such as a cat with Wobbler’s Syndrome and a guinea pig with unilateral facial paralysis. There were lots of environment influenced illnesses, although slugs and snails are always a lungworm risk, adders have been the ones to watch particularly during these summer months. The anti-serum has debatable effects and it’s cost is abominable. There were lots of interesting ops to see too, but even the routine ones were intriguing when they were performed on the rarer furry-friends; like ferrets etc. Sadly, a lot of the wildlife that was brought in for emergency surgery could not be saved, but they don’t give up on them without a fight. The Supervet should see what they can do on foxes. I love being part of the team and working with the vets from all different backgrounds and interests. The nurses too, we have a good laugh and they teach me lots of little things so I’m never short of something to do. Your patience with our two cats has been noted. Estee (grey cat) had a dirty protest in her carry box, spat out her wormer 10+ times managed to hide at the back of a desk cubby hole. FYI the saying, never work with children or animals, specifically refers to cats.

Besides going to the vets and making houses for my cats (pics below), I’ve been trying to keep fit and read when I can. My first week at the vets was so tiring, all the travelling, socialising and small talk was so strange after spending so much time at home through the lockdown. So, I’ve been keeping myself afloat. I had two interviews for grants, both panels had read (and commended) my blog. I plan to do a separate post regarding the outcomes of these interviews and the question styles etc. once I’ve heard back from them. Partly so I don’t jinx their outcome and because I feel post-grads in my position could benefit from a post focused solely on second degree self-funding help and support.

I spent the time between the end of exams and the start of EMS (re)educating myself on events and subjects that have influenced and lead to the Black Lives Matter movement. I have always enjoyed studying history and so it was no chore to me to learn the truth. Especially after a disappointing but not entirely surprising, Ofsted inspection of my secondary school and sixth form reported that homophobia and racism went unchallenged. It’s no secret that our school, like many others, white-washed history. Ryedale is not a diverse area but believe it or not, there is life beyond North Yorkshire, who’d have thought it? To me it comes down to education, you don’t have to personally experience something or know someone who’s been discriminated against to show empathy and support. Last time I checked my Facebook I wasn’t friends with any holocaust survivors… Without turning this whole blog into a BLM discussion, which I’m not claiming to or confident that I know everything about yet, if you are interested in addressing your inner biases, covert racism and microaggressions, visit my Instagram highlight where I’ve been sharing all kinds of resources and privilege checklists. I’m no expert, but I’m trying, and that’s all you have to do. Have the conversations, do the learning and use your white privilege for good, whatever your platform or audience size.

Finally, I have a new book review for you all! Or you can skip to the pics if you’ve had enough for one day.

Trust Me, I’m a Vet, Cathy Woodman
3/5
A ‘Netflix Original’ read. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Netflix Originals such as ‘A Christmas Prince’ and ‘The Kissing Booth’, these films are predictable, easy to follow and cringe worthy. Woodman’s Talyton St. George series is all of the above. As a vet student there were a few times when I questioned the veterinary techniques. I found myself despairing with the main character’s struggle to adjust to country life… bloody townies. I might read the rest of the series, after all, two vets falling in love; that’s got to have some twists and turns.

Thank you for reading my latest post. I love writing this blog and receiving such lovely feedback and comments makes it all the more worth it. I have been reading a lot of books lately but I’m going to stick with reviewing just the vet related ones on this blog, but feel free to message me for recommendations. A few shout-outs: thank you so much to my top reader for their financial support, as always your love and support is unbelievably generous. Thank you to my sister Mary for rehoming the tropical fish I inherited, your tank knowledge and attentiveness has improved their lives dramatically. A huge congrats to those who passed their exams/ graduated and their amazing results (you know who you are) and those who’ve just landed their first jobs and moved into new houses. Special congrats to those of you who have achieved all three! Meanwhile I’ll be heading back to uni, same accommodation (who have been brilliant with refunds during lockdown) and hopefully getting back to work soon! Up next is two weeks of dairy/ milking EMS and my 22nd birthday week (yes, I plan on milking that too).

Stay safe and happy reading, eating, working, social distancing, eating (more),
The Wannabe Vet xxx

I have sooo many pics but I’ve chosen my top 10:
Who doesn’t love a puppy?
And kittens?A spaniel showing us his tum-tum after demolishing 5 pork-pies…

Estee (and Nora) in for their annual MOTs,
once she had been extrapolated from the cubby hole…
The numerous cat houses constructed by moi
Even rabbits love a good sunspot
Burton Riggs with Mary, Tom and Nino
The fishes in their new home, fish transportation was a new experience for my old car, least they didn’t make a mess in thier box like the cats did the day after…
Nan and Grandad’s favourites – a good old basset

2 thoughts on “Slugs, Snails and Puppy Dog’s Tails

  1. Another interesting and thought provoking blog. Missing our long, hot and picturesque walks but some of us had to go back to work again. Can’t wait to get back to LP for some more fab weekends away and precious mother/daughter time. So proud of you!

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