Chairman’s Letter

Welcome you find me in a reflective mood after a family bereavement puzzling over the nature of love. The scientist within me views love as a combination of chemical reactions; Testosterone and Oestrogen drive the need for reproduction and the “love at first sight” reaction, subsequently dopamine and serotonin provide the warm sense of attraction that fuels the first few months of a relationship and subsequently oxytocin and vasopressin govern the long term attachment of partners and the all important parent-infant bond. As what we think of as ‘ourself’ is just a mass of synapses, electrical cables with multiple junctions these neurotransmitter chemicals are responsible for all our emotions and in particular the emotion we term love.

In the surgery I experience what is clearly love in the attitude of my clients for their pets, large and small. I have seen tears of equal sadness shed over snakes and hamsters as I have those shed for over horses and Labradors. Tears are a regular feature in my consulting room, I have a box of tissues as I regularly break bad news, I conduct end of life discussions and euthanasia and occasionally I am able to reportsuch good news that tears are equally shed. I recently removed a large and angry spleen from a dog that had collapsed in the waiting room, during the post-operative period it transpired that the family had suffered much from bereavement and were finding the situation very difficult. All I could say was to hope for the best but prepare for the worst as they waited the 10 days to receive the pathologist’s report and prognosis. Needless to say the tissues were needed that day as it seemed inevitable that the diseased organ that had split open and bled causing the collapse would be malignant and despite the good recovery from life saving surgery the cancer would soon return. Tears and tissues were plentiful when the results came through and the news was unexpectedly good, a benign albeit life threatening pathology which having been removed was cured.

I don’t mind tears, I just provide tissues, I am not embarrassed by the love that my clients show for their pets, I am sympathetic with them, having shed many tears over my own who are buried in various locations around the garden where soon bulbs will flower in their memory.

So please don’t shed any tears but remember that your dog’s devotion is an honour deserving your love and when you have finished reading the Link give your dog a hug and tell them you love them, I promise the oxytocin boost will do you both wonders.

Crufts 2019

It was a great pleasure to visit the stand at Crufts and see so many wonderful LRSEC dogs representing the charity, amazing ambassadors for a wonderful cause. Thank you and well done for meeting Clare Balding which is more than I have ever done working at Crufts for the past ten years.

I should like to take this opportunity of sending some personal thanks; first to Debi Gillard who is handing over the reins of the 100 club. This was Debi’s idea and through her hard work has proven an amazing fund raising success and a popular monthly event. Thank you Debi

In the same way Lisa Pearce originated the calendar competition and has run the event annually both as a highly successful fund raiser but also as a highlight in the charity’s year. Thank you Lisa

Richard Best