Sometimes memorable events in a vet’s life don’t actually involve treating animals, writes Paul Freeman.
Such has been the case for me this weekend.
I have had the honour of being president of the North of England Veterinary Association in its 150th anniversary year.
It is one of the oldest veterinary associations in the world, considerably pre-dating the British Veterinary Association.
We celebrated the occasion by holding a black-tie dinner on Saturday night at Horton Grange, near Ponteland.
It was attended by vets, staff, partners and friends from several practices in the North East, as well as the BVA president, and by common consent was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
It is not often that neighbouring practices get the opportunity to meet in a purely social context, and we certainly made the most of it.
I would even go so far as to say that some of us actually scrub up quite well.
After such a significant event, I might have expected a sense of anti-climax the following day.
Not so. The RSPCA Fun Dog Show on Tyne Green in Hexham on Sunday was indeed great fun, at which I had the unenviable task of judging some of the classes.
The first class was Rescue Dog of the Year and it was very moving to hear the stories of the hardships and sufferings that the dogs had endured before finding their current homes, where they will hopefully live out the rest of their lives in a safe and caring environment.
One such case was Balto, a husky that was rescued in Romania two years after he had been hit by a car and his front leg was badly broken.
He had not had any veterinary treatment in this time, and had endured ongoing pain and misery.
The Romanian rescue society had taken him in, paid for the amputation of his shattered leg and found a new home for him in this country.
The striking feature of all the rescue cases was their trust in humans that had been restored by their devoted new owners.
Dogs can be amazingly forgiving, and it is a sad fact that many humans are not worthy of such trust and forgiveness.