I always feel terrible when I have to tell my clients I am going away as they unintentionally make me feel guilty about taking holidays. They ask questions like: Exactly when will you get back? How long are you away? Can I reach you when you are away?
I just always make sure they are fully aware of my impending holidays and if they have a patient with ongoing issues to contact one of my colleagues that I have assigned to look after their pet.
Well guess what. I only just got back from holidays in Barcelona and Florence. My holiday was full of great reunions, lots of sightseeing and indulging in multiculturalism.
Of course I had to satisfy my cravings for contact with animals during these three weeks away.
I must say I was blown away with how well trained and received dogs are in Barcelona and Florence. I often saw dogs strolling around the airport, shopping with their owners both at food stalls or even clothes wear. I instinctively thought the owners of these dogs were going to be scolded at any given moment. Then I was taken aback when it finally hit me that they were actually allowed to do so. I even enjoyed watching dogs dining with their owners at a café or restaurant. My knee jerk reflex kept getting the better of me; the owners of these dogs often felt uncomfortable with my very excited dreamy stares. I just suddenly came to realise that Australia was not so pet friendly in comparison to Europe. Personally, I think Australia should adopt more pet-friendly regulations as it has one of the highest incidences of pet ownership in the world.
Now allow me to take you on a photographed overseas journey of my random animal encounters.
Barcelona sure harbors a huge pigeon population and they are just so used to hanging out with humans. I got to see a few very interesting looking pigeons.
I was also quite taken with the large small parrot population that I encountered. I discovered they were obviously not native to Spain and originally came from Latin America. They were everywhere and had so many nests interspersed in the trees. I must admit, I enjoyed hearing their screeches as it reminded me of our lovely native Aussie parrots.
I also saw lots of gorgeous dogs. Here are the few pictures I took of canines I had the pleasure to meet while I was walking the streets of Spain and Florence.
I couldn’t stop myself from greeting those hardworking horses that were being fed in Barcelona.
One of the highlights of my trip was meeting my veterinary blogging mates. I got the opportunity of meeting them all in the flesh and it was an absolute pleasure. I first visited the veterinary practice and met Dr. Pedro and Dr. Iris and the co-owner Dr. Victoria. I spent a few hours chatting to them, strolling around the vet premises and meeting all the clinic cats. I also observed them conducting a few consultations.
A few days later, I caught up with Dr. David, his wife Dr. Victoria and their daughter Denbowe.
They are the owners of Clinica Veterinaria Betulia. They were so generous and spent an entire day with my husband and I. They first took us to a wildlife shelter and I got to see heaps of avian species in a very well set up rehabilitation center.
Then they invited us to an authentic Catalonian restaurant and we enjoyed a vibrant truly local meal.
I got to try the festive calcots (spring onions) and they were absolutely delicious.
It was just so refreshing to meet veterinarians that are equally passionate about their job.
We also discussed the economic recession and how badly affected the Spanish community is. It was quite an eye opener and I was shocked to find out that about 50% of the young Spanish people are unemployed!
Our escapade didn’t end there. They then drove us to their lovely home and introduced us to their many pets.
After meeting their gorgeous pets, I know what my husband was thinking: “Oh my god, I hope Rayya doesn’t end up adopting this many animals”. I instinctively toyed with his emotions by saying: “See this is how many pets a veterinarian should really own”.
My next two posts will be discussing dental health in your pets. This will include many graphic photographs but thankfully you will be spared the nasty smells that come with it.