And so it was, on a surprisingly sunny Sunday in May, that the team of Oakbarn Vets, a nine year old girl, and a collection of dogs took on the Muddy Dog Challenge in Windsor Great Park in aid of Battersea Dog and Cat’s home. As the team prepared mentally for the rigours ahead and the dogs greeted each other with barks, bundles and the customary sniff, it soon became obvious that perhaps the greatest immediate danger would be sunburn!
Once registered, and with the precision of “One Man and His Dog” the team were herded into the warm-up “pen”, where Mr Motivator was on hand to get the blood pumping and the muscles limbered up for the adventure. It was then to the start line and a short jog down the hill to an oversized paddling pool filled with mud and an array of dirty cloths suspended at head height. This set the tone for the 5kms ahead. Weaving along paths, through woods, up and down hills, across a pond all the time waiting to see what muddy man-made challenge lay ahead. In the main, and irrelevant of size, the dogs took it all in their stride (perhaps it’s because they’re all so well trained, or perhaps it was the fact that they were encouraged to get caked in mud for once). There was the occasional carry and refusal to jump in a “ball pit” but nothing that presented too much of a problem for the energetic four-legged pack.
The last obstacle was a no-go zone for the dogs, it was for owners only. Spectators were gathered around a muddy ditch about 15 meters across and with steep banks on either side. It had been churned into a particularly sticky bog. Many a shoe had been lost by previous participants, sucked to a gloopy grave. Crossing the waist deep hazard was hard work, especially for the youngest and smallest member of the team, with tired legs progress was slow and every step exaggerated in an attempt to get one foot at a time clear of the sludge. Eventually all of the team made it to the other side and scrambled up the bank to collect their patiently waiting dog and sprint for the finish line for a medal, glass of water and a hose down in the dog/human wash station satisfied in knowing that through the teams effort and the generosity of all those that sponsored a grand total of £1400.00 and counting was raised for the charity. Our part in helping raise £191,400 for Battersea! A huge thank you! There are lots of photos of our challenge cli. ik here to have a look and maybe a giggle! https://www.flickr.com/gp/oakbarnvets/42Rp9p
Wow! We’ve been blow away by all the talented entries recieved at the Barn this year for our annual Christmas Drawing Competition! Have a look at the gallery below for the 12 winners who will be made into a 2019 Calendar. Extra congratulations to Hektor with his great picture of Miss Beverly his cat who was our grand winner, but we hope all 12 of the winning entries have enjoyed their christmas goodies!
Here at the Barn we try to stay abreast of the latest development in Veterinary medicine and surgery but similar to the human medical profession things develop fast. We try to avoid the situation of becoming a “Jack of all trades and master of none” and so from time to time we call upon veterinary colleagues to bring their expertise and specialism to the practice.
This is not just brave Spot’s story, who ended up in a whole load of trouble after miscalculating a jump over a wall, but also Shelley the labrador and her fantastic blood cells that she donated to save Spot’s life. +++ Warning surgical photographs in main article! You have been warned! +++