A VILLAGE vet has spoken of some of the amusing characters she has met as her practice surpasses 20 years in business.
Abbeyfields Vets, in Rocester, was opened by Julie Gray in 1994.
Animal-mad Mrs Gray, whose old retriever Bronnie walked her down the isle on her wedding day, was worried no-one would turn up on her first day in business.
But six customers came through the door and Abbeyfields has seen a steady flow of furry and scaly customers since.
Mrs Gray told the Post and Times of some of the most memorable animals she has treated.
She said: “We’ve had all kinds of creatures coming through the door over the years, from snakes to gekkos to alpacas.
“But the one that really stands out is a shiatsu who couldn’t stop vomiting.
“We had a student practitioner looking for a blockage.
“He eventually found a pair of frilly frilly Rigby and Peller knickers - the fancy brand the royal family famously wears - int he dog’s stomach.
“We’ve also had a lot of things like a dog de Bordeaux who’d swallowed his owner’s golf ball.
“We even had one dog who had eaten his owner’s son’s attention deficit disorder pills, which had to be removed urgently.”
Mrs Gray said it was always a cause of amusement among staff when an owner looks like their pet.
And she said technology developed during her 20 years in business had helped her save more lives.
She said: “Things have certainly changed technologically since I started.
“Now we’re able to look a lot harder for the cause of problems where, before, we may have had to put the animal down.
“For example, we can now freeze animals’ cells in liquid nitrogen for closer inspection and have endoscopes and sophisticated blood machines.”
Although Mrs Gray loves the animals she has treated, she has reserved special praise for her regular clients.
She said: “Of course, the Practice wouldn’t be where it is today with out a really loyal client base, who take the trouble to share their pets with us.
“Plus, I have to thank my wonderful staff who have been there through what ever challenges we face.
“They keep me balanced, cheerful and in line.
“And, as I’ve said many times, I‘m so pleased that Rocester and its villagers made me welcome and let me stay 20 years ago.
“I couldn’t have found a better location from which to start my business.”