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After 35 years Gareth Jones will be leaving the Park Vet Group on Tuesday 30th June.

Gareth wanted to share some memories with us and you before he departs.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye………..

I’m leaving the Practice at the end of this month after 35 years and wanted to say a really big thank you to all the staff, current and previous, all the clients and all the referring vets that have kept me so busy in such a rich and rewarding job.

I started working for the practice as an assistant vet when it was called Piggot and King. At that time all the vets did mixed practice, where generally we’d do morning farm calls and then afternoon appointments with small animal clients. We’ve always run our own out of hours service and in those days we’d take calls from the ‘phone ladies’ and ring clients from public phone boxes to arrange to meet them on our own at the surgery. If we needed to do an emergency operation we might call out one of the other vets as a favour to help us and then we got really modern and expanded and trained our own nursing team.

Gradually I learnt the ropes of being a good general vet and then decided to specialise in eye work which took 5 years intensive training at various locations including the Royal Vet College.

I always knew this was a good practice that understood how to look after clients and staff so I returned in 1995. I bought in as a Partner on the business side and started setting up a referral service from scratch.  The management team became great personal friends and between us the practice grew and grew from small beginnings of around 15 staff to over 130+ staff nowadays. Things always change but a constant was making sure we did our best to help the animals, while always trying to keep our customers happy.

It’s now time for me to pause for a bit in my career and pass on the reigns to my fresher younger colleagues who I am sure can take this practice on to even bigger and better things.

Proudest moment

  • Personal - Restoring sight to dogs that have become blind due to cataracts.
  • Team - Developing the eye referral service into the high standard department it has currently become

Saddest moment

Putting a pet to sleep (euthanasia), whatever the circumstances, it’s never easy

Happiest moment

  • Seeing many of our staff grow and develop over the years
  • Dancing at Staff Xmas party

Stressful moment

Changing ALL the computers across the practice during one weekend to upgrade our computer system

Coldest moment

The middle of the night calving with only a bucket of cold water from the farmer

Scariest moment

Being attacked by a dog that had been brought in from abroad and had run riot at the kennels

Strangest moment

Dealing with a dog that had bitten his own penis off. Yes you read that right

Achievement

  • Gaining ‘specialist’ qualification as Advanced Practitioner
  • Setting up syllabus and delivering teaching to 2 year groups every year. for 13 years at Nottingham Vet School, inspiring eye vets of the future

I’m leaving with mixed emotions but do want to say THANK YOU to EVERYONE that has helped me have such a rich and rewarding career.

Gareth has been a great colleague, mentor and friend to many of us at PVG over the years, and we wish him the very best for the future.