V is for Valour and V is for Veterinarians in the country


Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC Day commemorates all those who have fought in wars under the Australian and New Zealand flags, including my own grandfather who served in both WWI and WWII. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The date remembers the Gallipoli landing on April 25, 1915, as part of the first world war, in which the ANZACs suffered major losses. The ANZAC spirit is the aspirational standard for those who serve, even now, in the defence forces of both countries.

I’ve tried to capture a little of that in Nash’s two tours of duty in Afghanistan in ‘A Baby Denied’. Like most of our heroes, he didn’t set out to earn that badge, he was just doing what needed to be done to keep his team safe.


Valourous deeds can require
sacrifice of self,
serving larger agendas.



When Danielle’s red kelpie, Meggs, is hit by a car in ‘A Baby Denied’, I had to work out how a vet would handle that and how survivable it would be for the dog.

This is  a little of how it translated into the story.

The vet took his time checking the underlip of the dog. “I’m checking for shock here, Brodie. [Brodie is Danielle’s six year old son.] Do you see how it’s taking a little while for the blood to come back in? That can mean she’s suffering shock. I’ll check her lungs and then we’ll get a drip set up quickly before we check anything else.

“Lungs sound fine. This needle thing is called a catheter and we’ll stick it into her leg right here and use a drip to get fluids into her.”

“Won’t it hurt?”

“It might, but she’s in shock, so she’s less likely to feel anything. The biggie we have to worry about is the fluid running out of her blood vessels. When that happens, she won’t have enough oxygen moving to her brain or her vital organs. And you know what happens if there’s not enough oxygen going to her brain?”

“She dies?”

“Probably. So, we work on that first to keep her alive, then we’ll take a look for broken bones and stuff like that.”


Country vets minister to
cats, dogs, horses, sheep,
Bring them all – I’ve healing skills.

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