VETS, PETS AND LIV­ING WITH NO RE­GRETS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

FOUR of us hud­dle around a lap­top, watch­ing a trailer for sea­son two of Vil­lage Vets. I seem to have some­thing in my eye. All of us do.

The hu­man sub­ject of the story, vet James Car­roll, is glassyeyed, swal­low­ing hard. Hav­ing to eu­thanase your dog will do that.

“Part of you wants to get some­one else to do it, but she just wouldn’t have been as com­fort­able,” says Car­roll, one half of the univer­sity friends- turned- busi­ness- part­ners with Dr An­thony Ben­nett that forms Vil­lage Vets.

“Bai­ley was a strange old thing. She was 14, she had other on­go­ing is­sues, hor­ren­dous arthri­tis. Then she got pan­cre­ati­tis. She was in pain.

“My ra­tio­nale was I could get her through, but then wouldn’t be able to med­i­cate her arthri­tis.”

The in­ti­mate mo­ment sums up what the pair agreed to when they de­cided to do the show. Their lives and work would be told as they were – warts and all. But the show also high­lights a mate­ship of easy ban­ter and good- na­tured sledg­ing as much as vet­eri­nary skills.

“We refuse to do any­thing con­trived in terms of work,” Ben­nett says. Adds Car­roll: “We spend a lot of our day just tak­ing the mickey.”

The pair had two cri­te­ria when sign­ing on: to be re­spected within the pro­fes­sion and the com­mu­nity.

“We didn’t care it if was pop­u­lar,” Ben­nett says. Car­roll grins. “It’s an ob­ser­va­tional doc­u­men­tary, but for us it’s a great home video,” he says.

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