In 2004, I started my Veterinary medicine course at ‘The Royal Veterinary College’, Camden, London. I decided to blog about this today as we went for dinner in Camden last night. It reminded me of so many uni days and how Camden kick started my love for fashion, vintage and indie music.
Nobody in my family is a vet but I always wanted to be one. I constantly ‘found’ strays or cared for wildlife when I was a kid back in Wales and I always just got on with animals better than humans haha! I think they know that too, they sense vibes, they’re not stupid!
So, in disbelief I had even got accepted on a horrendously competitive course and not only that, to the 3rd top vet school in the world! I packed my bags and went to live in Camden, a hub of vintage markets and rock and roll! Vet school was a bit strange for me. Everybody quickly got clicky and I was so glad I ended up living with some Cheshire girls, although they weren’t on my course. Maybe I didn’t get involved as much in vet stuff as I should have but I preferred spending my Friday nights at the famous Amy Whinehouse pub ‘The hawley Arms’ and then on to the indie disco at ‘KOKO. Linda worked there, so we would always sit drinking at the directors bar, swooning over the band members in the green room. Nights were spent there and days were spent hunting for bargains at our favourite vintage stores or celeb spotting whilst sipping hot chocolate on primrose hill.
They were such good times and since graduating, Camden has changed a lot. So have I! I loved my first job out of uni, working with the Thai street dogs and cats. It’s the most rewarding time I’ve had in the 8 years since qualifying, the Thai people are so grateful for any help you can give. We’d spend our days picking up entire or injured animals in our little van. After surgery and treatment all day, we’d drop them home then have a beer and a delicious Pad Thai!
Work then took me to Melbourne for three years which was fab, but since being back in the U.K., I can’t help wondering if there’s something else I can get in to. I get a rest from clinics on Thursdays and Fridays when I work on film sets where animals are required. It’s full of cool, arty people and amazingly trained animal actors!
Back in clinic though, there is an emotional drain that comes with being a Vet, if you truly love animal like me. It’s exhausting! It’s an exhausting vocation!
I love animals so much but I don’t love the politics or the money side of things. As a doctor of Veterinary medicine, I took an oath to do all I can for the welfare of animals. That is my priority! I’ve said it many times, having an animal is a privilege not a right. If your cat breaks it’s leg, you will need to be prepared for the costs. We take the NHS for granted and are unaware of the money involved when we are sick. It’s no different for animals. Why should a vet have to endure having to put something to sleep that could be treated, just because the cost wasn’t researched or taken in to account? That’s the worst part of my job!
And what about those cases of young dogs and behavioural problems? That is the top reason for having to put young dogs to sleep… heartbreaking, when we should be able to prevent it or correct it.
Please research…. these are lives you are responsible for.
Every time someone brings a puppy or kitten for first vaccine, I find myself begging them to make sure they get insurance so we are able to treat their pet accordingly should they become ill and so that there is no brick wall in the way. I promise we are not sales people…. we only want to give a sick pet gold standard care and unfortunately medicine is expensive!
So life as a vet is not all playing with puppies and kittens. It’s not James herriott either. We must all get compassion fatigue during some point in our Veterinary careers no? When I did, I went part time and did film work two days a week. But my fashion obsession on my days off also helps!
Pink top, h and m, £29.99
Bag, sunjellies, £5
And btw, we went to ‘Taste of Siam’ on my trip down memory lane last night and we highly recommend it.
Richard also had to listen to me sat in ‘The Hawley Arms’ saying, ‘one day Noel fielding came in and took half an hour to get to the bar because everyone wanted to chat to him’ or ‘Amy whinehouse sat with us in KOKO one night and she shared the same chip shop as us’ or ‘I had to hold Sadie frost up one night, she was very drunk!‘