Owner of 2 errant dogs, BVSc, sailor, story teller extraodinaire, pommie MRCVS…
At the age of 8 I became the devoted owner of a lop eared rabbit called Midnight and from then on there were no more decisions to be made: Emma Deyes was going to be vet!
Despite the foxes best (and sometimes successful) efforts I continued to be the dedicated carer of many more rabbits over the years and added to the collection a cat, a dog and, when we moved to a dairy farm, an entire herd of cows. The local vet could see my enthusiasm and age 13 I felt like the luckiest person alive when he used to phone at midnight to ask for my assistance at calvings and caesarians; my mum, however, didn’t feel quite so lucky as not only was she woken up by the phone call she had to drive me there!
Getting that hallowed place at university was as hard as the stories suggest and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I received an offer from Liverpool University (UK). There followed 6 years of hard labour, with plentiful fun thrown in for good measure, and I graduated in the class of 2005 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and a cat called Flash Gordon!
Life as a Grown Up
My first job was on the Isle of Wight and was a fantastic mix of all creatures great and small, including an assortment from the local zoo (luckily I didn’t draw the short straw and have to see the Tiger with toothache) but I certainly accumulated enough stories to give James Herriott a close run for his money. Flash moved to The Island too and once he’d worked out where I spent my days he used to walk round to clinic and fall asleep on top of the warm computer in reception (although if he woke up with a start he had a habit of landing on the keypad, deleting clients from the waiting list and leaving the odd person waiting a very long time)!
In 2007 I was asked to work for a very large equine hospital as their Isle of Wight representative and I spent a further, very happy, two years as The Islands horse vet. In an isolated position but with the back up of a wealth of specialists, only a phone call away, I gained in knowledge, resourcefulness and learnt the important lesson of how to keep a level head no matter what the emergency. The Island is still very close to my heart and I am lucky that even now I am still in touch with many of my old clients. On a more practical front Flash couldn’t follow me whilst I was out and about on my calls (and he wasn’t that keen on the car anyway) I am assured he developed quite a routine of calling in at the neighbours, having extra dinners whilst I went about my work and he was always on the doorstep when I got home. So to keep me company on my rounds (and challenge my sense of smell) I acquired a black Labrador called “Useless” complete with a gleam in his eye, a worrying obsession with tennis balls (or any ball for that matter) and the occasional tendency to have wind!
Now for the exciting bit – a trip around the world with my partner Joe, a vet, long term sufferer of my bad jokes and owner of an even more ridiculous dog “Ralph”. After leaving the pets with the parents we headed to New Zealand where we spent 5 months working and I was back to my old ways of tending to all creatures great and small. I learnt the ins and outs of the New Zealand dairy system and had the opportunity to be part of a community orientated clinic at the heart of a rural region. It was a pleasure to be part of a practice that was so involved with their local area and who approached their clients and patients as part of an extended family. It is something that I hope I have embraced and taken with me from that windswept corner of the South Island.
On our way home we stopped to visit an old friend from University, none other than a certain Dr. Fitzpatrick. She showed us the sights (and tipples) of the Margaret River region and forced us to admire some of the beautiful beaches in the area (subsequently spoiling all other beaches we were to travel too – none could live up to them). After a short hike to Everest Base Camp we were back in the UK before you could blink – to the sun and cloudless sky (well you can always dream).
Couldn’t Resist the Pull
After a year enjoying the best the English weather could throw at us, the temptation to return to Western Australia kept rearing its head. Starting a new chapter we packed up the house (conveniently it all fitted in one container) and booked the dogs a first class ticket to Australia (Flash Gordon was very content on the parents farm and I sadly left him behind- although he still speaks to me on Skype).
So here we are……. having spent 2 years working as a mixed animal vet in the South West I am now very happy to be working with Helen and the team at Vasse Vets, with colleagues that strive to be the best and in facilities that are the best.
I look forward to meeting you in the future.