Nick at 50:

So here I am, 50 years old, coming up for 51 at the time of writing. Nearly 14 years married, about the same going to dog shows. It has been nearly 8 years since I last updated this page. Some things have changed in that time, some have stayed the same...

Nick was born into an average non-dog showing family in 1963. His animal care skills were not immediately apparent, as his hamster “Hammy” would confirm (if he were still alive). One day, when about 5 years old, he decided that he wanted to be a vet. That has not changed in the intervening "hemhem" years. He had the good luck to go to a better than average school, where his ambitions were slightly hindered by a careers advisor who thought that mathematics and not biology would be a good grounding for a career as a vet!

In spite of this, he went on to get good grades and a place at Glasgow University, From whose portals he emerged 6 years later with a degree in veterinary medicine and a near fatal hangover. Having had enough of the Scottish climate, he decided to find a job as far south as he could, and so headed off to sunny Devon.
Having spent a peaceful and dog-free (apart from patients) 11 years in the same practice, He thought that his life was running nicely. Then along came a sassy Vet nurse called Mandy, with big......errrrmmm....... blonde hair,( yes it was definitely the big hair that he noticed (Ahem!)) and a hidden agenda. He didn’t stand a chance, and within 3 months they were engaged.
It was soon after she had snared him that he had the first inklings of how his life would be changing- she moved in: Out went the Star Trek videos, and in came fluffy toys, flowers and penguins. More penguins than the mind can imagine. Fluffy penguins, penguin statues, anything penguin related. Oh, and Ibizan hounds. It wasn’t long after Nick and Mandy got married, in 2000, that the first Ibbie turned up. He was an instant convert to the breed when he met Jasmine. Then came a Sloughi, and he liked her too. Then came the shows. More, and more shows! Nick’s life now consists of

  1. Work
  2. Driving to shows
  3. Occasionally, when he can’t get out of it, handling a dog in the ring.
  4. Having a burger from whatever burger van is at the show
  5. Reading for 6 hours or so while his wife watches every class in the show, and talks to the other owners and breeders.
  6. Driving back from the show
  7. Sleep

In the early part of 2003 Nick decided that he was no longer happy in his job, and after talking it out with Mandy, it was decided that the whole menagerie would move down to Cornwall, to a new job in a large group practice He now has the responsibility of the day-to-day running of his own branch surgery, and he is much happier. Nick and Mandy started by living above the surgery, but in 2006 moved out and now live about 5 minutes walk away. Mandy is happier as they now live 10 miles away from the major Cornish dog show venue. Another Ibby joined the fold, and the most recent addition is an English Toy Terrier (Billy).
Secretly, Nick is quite proud of the success the dogs havie in the ring, and also proud of how well his wife handles other people’s dogs, which she does a lot. He does occasionally want to tear his hair (such as remains) out when Mandy comes back to him and says:
“ I just met B********* (name of dog breeder) and she asked me if I want a B********** (insert breed of dog). I said I would think about it. Do you think we could have another dog?”.
He regularly threatens divorce when this happens.