VET’S DIARY: One blizzard, two little terriers and a boat

The weather has been more than a little disruptive of late and while some may have been lucky enough to ride out the poor weather inside, in front of a warm fire with a hot cup of tea, others of us have to plough on (if you’ll pardon the pun!) regardless of the torrent raging outside, writes Simon Caple.

In this kind of weather I’m thankful for my trusty Land Rover four-wheel drive which has saved the day in more ways than one of late.

A couple of weeks ago I was called to an emergency involving two terriers and some missing Christmas baubles!

Two mischievous little terriers got a bit over excited with the Christmas decorations when their owner nipped outside to dispose of the tree. Their owner had only left the decorations out while they popped out of the back door but it doesn’t take long for a terrier to sniff out mischief and when their owner returned they heard them crunching their way through the baubles.

The terriers were rushed to the surgery in Morpeth to be operated on. They obviously had expensive tastes as they’d chosen to chew their way through the glass baubles so all the glass had to be accounted for before we could be satisfied they would make a full recovery.

Now, on this particular Friday evening I was meant to be going to the ballet with my wife. While ballet is not my usual Friday night entertainment of choice, I had no option but to accompany my wife as she had duly accompanied me on a fishing trip in the summer.

While not the most successful of trips, she had obliged me in my hobby so I thought it only fair to have a go at the ballet!

Anyway, the emergency operation on the terriers delayed me a little but as soon as I was happy with their recovery, I left them in the very capable hands of our team of nurses to be observed for the night. I then went as quickly as I could in the blizzard conditions up the A697, collected my wife and then on we went to the performance. However, not long into my journey I became aware of a number of red flashing lights in the distance which seemed to be staggered. I got ever closer, they got ever brighter and with a sinking feeling I thought the road was closed.

However, a unique sight awaited as I turned the corner I was met with a boat stuck on the road!

The red lights that had been flashing were those on the police car, either side of the blue light. The blue light was there flashing away but almost invisible under the thick blanket of snow that by now covered the roof of the vehicle!

It seems that the boat’s owner had driven down to the south of England in more favourable conditions to collect the boat and they were towing it back up to Northumberland. However, the weather took a turn for the worse en route home and the car and boat were thwarted by the snow and an uphill section of the A697.

Here’s where the Land Rover came into its own and I pulled it over onto the side of the road to safety and allowing the slough ploughs and gritters to clear the road. We then carried on our way and still made it in time for the start of the performance.

It seems that the big freeze has passed for now and while some may be grateful for this, I can’t help thinking that the snow and ice certainly makes for great adventures (and unusual tales)!