1st March 2022

Katharine Nelson It was during a particularly eventful family holiday to the Isle of Mann that I decided     that I would help animals for ever and become a vet. My Dad and I conducted a dramatic rescue of a seagull with fishing line wrapped around its wing as waves crashed around us onto the rocks and a crowd of onlookers cheered us on. Six months previously we had risked life and limb to scoop a lamb out of a fast flowing river in the Yorkshire Dales (although I secretly suspected that the presence of our dog might have been the reason the lamb jumped into the river in the first place - just as well there was no crowd of onlookers that time). A literary and television diet of James Herriot and the BBC drama "Two by Two" (following the professional and romantic exploits of a zoo vet) confirmed to me that a veterinary surgeon did indeed have the ultimate "dream job".

My first dog was a collie-cross named Sadie. She spent her early life as part of a pack of dogs living rough on the streets of Hull and at the age of six months she was involved in a road accident that left her requiring surgery for a broken leg. Fortunately this led to my family rehoming her after her surgery and she lived with us to the grand age of 16 years. As a child I clearly had great faith in the vet that repaired her broken leg as we lived a very active life - looking back at this picture of myself and Sadie completing a home made agility course I find it hard to believe that either of us could jump so high!

I was fortunate enough to join the Cambridge University Veterinary School in 1997. Competition for places at vet school was and is high, and I am very grateful to my parents and teachers who advised me early on that if I wanted to be successful I would need to gain a lot of practical experience with animals before applying. Much time was spent on farms, at stables and in boarding kennels/catteries merrily milking, lambing, exercising and inevitably undertaking plenty of mucking out and picking up poo! I also arranged to "see practice" at our local vets and witness first-hand what the job entailed.

At Acorn we are well placed to provide information and offer work experience placements to students considering a veterinary or veterinary nursing career. Being a busy mixed practice with a vast array of diagnostic and surgical equipment and 24 hour care for our patients there is always plenty to see!

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