Julian Norton: Hobbo has pants on his head

'Thank you so much. I'm sorry for bothering you. He has pants on his head now and that is much better.'

Read Julian Norton's column first in Country Week, inside The Yorkshire Post every Saturday.
Read Julian Norton's column first in Country Week, inside The Yorkshire Post every Saturday.

This was the last in a series of emails I received on Tuesday evening, from a very worried owner called Nicky.

It had been a very busy couple of days and I was nearly asleep in a comfy chair, upstairs in the practice, where we had been chatting about some of the cases we had seen. I pulled myself out of the chair before sleep overcame me, and set about my inbox.

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Nicky had sent a message, asking for advice.

Julian paid a morning visit to a farmers goats.

“It’s my dog Hobbo. He’s cut his ear and it’s bleeding. Is it best to pop him down now or leave it ’til tomorrow?”

I emailed back, asking for more details of the injury. The reply suggested it wasn’t too serious, so I offered some tips on how to stem the flow of blood and stop the kitchen from being splattered.

Cut ears can spread what looks like a huge amount of blood over a large area, very quickly. A pair of pants was the perfect solution.

Bizarre as it seemed to be reading a message about a dog wearing pants on his head, I was pleased that the problem was solved. I was also happy that Hobbo didn’t need my veterinary attention, as it was my night off and I was keen to get home.

Julian paid a morning visit to a farmers goats.

It was my wife, Anne’s, birthday so we were hoping to have an evening without dogs, cats, cows or sheep.

Sadly, even without a beeper in my pocket, this was not to be. Even before the birthday meal had been created, my mobile was ringing.

“Can yer come and lamb us a sheep?” I recognised Rodney’s voice immediately. His was the furthest farm from the practice and I knew that if I went to see his sheep, I would not be back home until late. “I’m sorry, Rodney. I’m not on call tonight and I’m supposed to be having dinner with my wife. I’ll call my colleague, Candella – she’s on duty and she’s very good at lambing.”

“Aye, all raight. Sorry to bother you,” he said, and with that he was off. And within five minutes, so was Candella, heading out to West Yorkshire to lamb Rodney’s sheep.

Next was a ‘bing’ from the same pesky mobile (which I really should have switched off by this time, but hadn’t). It was a text from a farmer whose goats I was visiting there in the morning.

“When you come tomorrow, can you bring me a bottle of spray for my dog, two bottles of medicine and the vaccine for the calves? I’ll see you at 9.30”

The final distraction, delivering the killer blow to the meal, was a call from a Mark, a cattle farmer, with whom I had spoken earlier in the week. He wanted to discuss a meeting he had been involved with that day.

It was about his new building, his management and how his calving was shaping up and he wanted to keep me updated. It is often hard to find enough time for discussions like this during the working day, so I didn’t mind the call, although Anne did start to roll her eyes when the conversation extended beyond 20 minutes.

“And one final thing,” said Mark, as the call drew to a close, “I’d like to invite you, as my guest, to the Boroughbridge Agricultural Society Annual Dinner. It’s one of the oldest agricultural societies in the country. I hope you can come?” It sounded like a great night out, I just hoped I could negotiate that dinner without any interruptions!

Julian stars in a new series of The Yorkshire Vet which continues this Tuesday, April 24, at 8pm on Channel 5.