The waiting room is packed. All seats are taken. Standing room only.
The phone is jangling off the hook and another land rover pulls up outside.
It is Saturday.
I am at work.
It is busy.
He is sitting, scowling. The sort of face you would not want to meet on a dark corner. Shaven head, earring, combat style clothing. At his steel-toe capped boots, an elderly yellow labrador. He leans forward and tenderly lays a work tough hand on the old dog's head. The ribs are shuddering, struggling for breath as the dog strains to sit up and place his greying face on the knee of his owner. His opaque eyes glance up as the man leans down with words of encouragement into his ear. The man is lost to the surrounding room, he is only there with his dog.
I take a call - an injured horse. A frantic owner.
Next to the man, a coltish long legged woman in a short linen skirt also leans forward, not to the aging dog but to the cat box on her lap. Her long fingers slip through the bars on the door as she whispers sweet nothings to two small kittens who have come for their first vaccinations. They are wide eyed furry balls of naughtiness. She all glossy and city slick and seems out of place in a rural surgery but she displays the same anguish and love towards her 'fur-babies' that the lady sitting next to her does to her 'prodigal-son-of-a-cat' who after 5 weeks of what felt like fruitless searching by his owner, sauntered in, demanded food and was unceremoniously whisked off to the vet for a check over. The cat, looks disdainfully across the room, he does not appear any the worse for his vanishing act.
My colleague answers the phone - another injured horse - another place, another frantic owner.
A farmer comes in with his mate, they agreeably joke with each other as they both put in their orders for sheep wormers.
Across the room is a complaining fidgety man with two small children, they flit from the pet-toy section across to the large animal drug display in a noisy high pitched game. He rang earlier, his voice insistent as he demanded an urgent appointment. My colleague picked up on the urgency and slots him in.
Another call yields a sick goat, its owner unable to bring it down to the surgery, I have to track down our farm vet and give him directions to his next visit.
Outside, in a waiting car, a solemn faced gent sits stroking the head of an elderly dog, this is to be it's last journey and both of them are gracious and resigned as they wait their turn.
An elderly farmer, mumbling and grumbling wants enough wormer to do 60 lambs.
Oh there are others, some come in briefly, just collecting ordered treatments or putting in requests for next week.
And the phones.
Those screaming demanding phones.
Suddenly its quiet.
We have put the phones through to the out of hours phone receptionist - she has been warned how the morning has progressed. She takes it in her stride.
The heavy with his beloved labrador? The dog went home, still elderly, still on borrowed time but breathing easier and with a slow tail wag with his relieved owner, his scowl gone.
The fidgety man and his urgent appointment? Nothing - there was nothing wrong. He and his kids and his cat left quietly without looking across or saying goodbye to us.
We use this quiet time to tidy up the whirlwind we have left as we flew through the morning. The vet has started operating in the theatre, her day has not finished just yet.
The farm vet is on to his 4th visit and the equine vet is still patching up various horses situated all around the countryside.
Time to go, time to lock the door, time to get in the car and start the weekend!
Bring it on.