Steph and dogs

 I am the vet in Hope Vets. I grew up in Brighton with my mom, a happy cavalier king charles spaniel and a special but neurotic collie cross. Being a tiny bit stubborn and inflexible, I settled on my chosen career at the tender age of 4 when all my friends wanted to be ballerinas. So, in accordance with this early plan, I went to vet school in Cambridge where I met Steven who seems to have been following me around ever since! After a stint in Aberdeen, Steve and I settled in Hertfordshire just after our wedding in 2003.

In seeking our dream we came across the property (yes, it is definitely THE one) in Bovingdon – the perfect mix of rural bliss, dog walkers’ heaven and close to family and friends – so of course we had to have it. So this is where Hope Vets now lives!

I love being a vet and can’t imagine any other life. I find the academic side fascinating and have completed a further professional qualification (the GP certificate in small animal medicine). The biggest pleasure for me though, comes through the relationships we develop with our patients and their families. At Hope Vets we can’t wait to meet you all and get to know you over the years to come. Being a small team we can ensure that you always have the continuity of seeing the same faces and never having to explain what’s gone before.

My other all consuming passion is our pets. We have 3 border collies and a comedy dog, as well as two cats and two sheep. They all have their querks (and I’m ashamed to say their bad behaviours) but we couldn’t be without them. My princess is Macy, a black and white bitch. She was my first agility dog and together we got hooked, spending hours training in all weathers in muddy fields. She is getting a bit old now but hasn’t let that stop her, but breaking the screws in her false hip certainly has slowed her down. Now we are on bionic hip number 2, she is getting back on track and will soon be ploughing through the mud for hours again. I’ll let Steven tell you about our little red devil Leeloo, so that leaves Maccabi and Fizz, my youngest. Mac is my biggest challenge yet, largely due to him being from working lines and having an insatiable herding instinct. At home he is a funny sweet little man and when he concentrates he is a dream but when he sees something moving away from him his naughty alter ego possesses him. Fizz is my first handbag dog and I must confess to being totally hooked on her. She is a pocket sized cutey but has the heart and mind of a big dog, not to mention being a top grade agility dog.

Then there’s the orphans. Aknot and Zorg whom we took on as one day old kittens when their mother was involved in an accident. Despite missing the odd night time feed they have turned into the friendliest pair of cats you could hope to meet. And finally on the animal front we have Elton and Kylie who we reared as orphan lambs. Now they are big beasts and still follow us around. They may never understand why sheep aren’t indoor pets!

Our latest addition is a bit of a departure from the norm, Chaya – an actual human baby girl! Certainly not my area of expertise but I’m sure we will work it out – it can’t be that different from a puppy, right?

So that’s our family, all crazy, but we love ‘em!