Aberdeen (veterinary adventures part I…)

From the “Stone City” to the “Granite City” and from timber to oil – it was time again to pack my bag and to try out a new place (actually the first of a few new places I have planned this year….).

To make a start I contacted my agent and suggest to give Scotland a go, especially as I had virtually never been there despite living on these Isles for nearly three decades….

Sure enough, there was an opening in the far North East, in Bridge of Don in Aberdeenshire. This was perfect for me as the Cairngorms are in easy reach from there and I was looking forward to explore the famous coastline up there.

A couple of weeks later the car was packed and together with a somewhat reluctant Vizsla I crossed into the “very best of Scotland”….

Aberdeen didn’t strike me as the most inviting place at first, but there was no doubt that the people of this habour city loved their pets as much as anywhere else on the island.

Unlike in Sundsvalls the city’s forefathers didn’t need a number of catastrophic fires to find out that stone and in this case granite was a pretty durable (and less ignitable ….) sort of building material and it is estimated that more than half of all buildings were constructed with granite from the city’s own Rubislaw Quarry, leaving Europe’s biggest man-made hole with a depth of 142 m and a diameter of only 120 m. The quarry is now closed and filled with water.

My accommodation in one of these solid buildings was excellent

although it failed to impress my four-legged companion ……

Something that was more to the delight of a canine heart was the 20 km long, virtually endless beach in the North of the city,

inviting to extensive evening runs.

On the next day there was a warm welcome by the local veterinary team

and I was pleasantly surprised that I not only managed to understand the local dialect pretty well, but that the clinic used the same management software on their computers as we did in Virginia Water. Although I hadn’t worked with this system for over a year now, it didn’t take me long to pick up where I left.

Also Mia seemed to be a happy bunny, settling in as an additional member of the reception team, despite that fact that her bed here was designed for a currently holidaying Miniature Schnauzer…..

The clients were once again wonderful and it helped a lot to be supported by a very professional nursing team – there were many happy memories of my own team in Surrey…..

However, every clinic and every location has its very own characteristics and being in a city that is generating most of its income from North Sea oil and gas, notices like this were not uncommon in patients’ files:

My work in Aberdeen was a nice mix of consultations and of operations which included some dental work.

I was grateful that the clinic featured a state of the art dental radiography system for this and that the team went to great length to provide high quality images.

The importance of this was highlighted when a small dog with some missing teeth and a completely unrelated problem turned out to have a number of retained (and probably very painful) roots and fractured teeth, even if this subsequently impacted severely on the duration of my lunch break that day….

Aberdeenshire might not be the sunniest place of the UK, but the long days in the summer left me with plenty of time to explore the nearby coast after work and within only a few minutes of driving a day could be finished with some dramatic scenery.

As enjoyable as my time was in the city of granite and oil, this time my stay was only a short one and at the end of the week the nearby mountains were calling……

Published by The Blue Vet

I am a veterinary surgeon with a German and Norwegian educational background. I have been the founder and for over 20 years I have been the senior veterinarian at the Virginia Water Veterinary Clinic in Surrey, England. When starting this blog I was also the President of FECAVA, the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. In the summer of 2019 I left my clinic to work as an international locum and clinical advisor. I am interested in all aspects of clinical companion animal medicine, in endurance sports and in traveling and meeting people with and without their pets and especially in sharing my knowledge with colleagues in other parts of Europe and the World.

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