I've always been besotted with dogs, large and small. Cheeky terriers are a special favourite!
Our first family pet, apart from Coie the budgie, was a beautiful black cocker spaniel called Tango.
I challenged my father's belief that dogs should live outside and Tango was soon established in a comfy basket by the stove!
One afternoon on a picnic with friends, a terrier scratched Tango just above the eye and I was furious, stomping home. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be able to heal and care for animals.
As a student, I "saw practice" for six months with Mr Tom Geary, a vet who would go to extraordinary lengths for animals in his care. I remember him spending time arranging a sick cow with a good bed, water and selecting the best hay when the farmer was too busy to do it himself. Going the extra mile is something that has stuck with me ever since, and that same approach lives on at Ashwood.