Friends of Caring Kiwi Communities (the FOCKCers) own three horses in Carterton, we use them for Pet Therapy, riding for the disabled, bullied, abused, at risk, less privileged young people in the Wairarapa. Flynn's the eldest of the horses, he's over thirty years old.
On 22nd November 2012 Jane Ough and Peter Morriss, with Emily the vet nurse, successfully removed the massive tumour in a challenging two hour operation, with others observing for educational purposes.
First, Jane carefully examined him, listening to his heart for a long, long time, finally pronouncing him "very robust", and then measuring him to estimate his weight in order to calculate the correct dose of the sedative required.
It was touch and go a few times, there was a lot of blood, Flynn decided he had to lie down half way through the operation, after all the sedative we had to give him, which wasn't part of the plan (the vets had hoped to perform the operation with him standing up, sedated, using local anaesthetic. The team moved on to Plan B and just got on with the job. Blood spurted from all the blood vessels as Peter and Jane worked fast to stitch them all up, with Emily handing them instruments flat out and providing great support. It was amazing to watch the speed at which they worked, it seemed to take forever.
Flynn stopped breathing a few times, Jane told me to lift up his head, and I give him a jolly good speaking to, telling him to pull up his socks and do his bit and BREATHE. Finally he'd take a breath again each time, and finally, after what seemed like hours (the whole thing took a couple of hours) the stitching was all finished, and Jane administered the antidote for the sedative as they worked flat out to clean Flynn up and wash and put away all the equipment. In a little while Flynn woke up, got to his feet, neatly avoiding the big mass of clotted blood on the ground, and started eating the grass as if nothing had happened. I felt like all my Christmases had come at once. So did all Flynn's little friends in the community.
Please support the work of the South Wairarapa Veterinary Services, they do a lot of work in the community for which they don't receive payment, and the fact that they offered to do this operation for Flynn free of charge says a great deal about their commitment to the community, their high ethical and professional standards, and the character and calibre of the vets who work for their practise. They have looked after Flynn and his mates for over twelve years, and they've always provided absolutely top quality professional services to us, and to everyone we know.
It's good for kids to learn that just because you're old and you've got a lump doesn't mean you should automatically be thrown on the scrap heap. Flynn's always loved taking little kids for rides, he's made it his mission in life and his specialty. I told him years ago that if he looked after the kids, I'd always look after him. And he always has, and it's just wonderful that Peter and Jane offered to operate on him so he can carry on his good work, showing kids how to have fun, make friends, learn to trust, build confidence, etc.
Jane and Peter removed Flynn's stitches yesterday, he's looking as healthy (and handsome) as ever
Donations (fan mail, etc,) can be sent to South Wairarapa Veterinary Services, 8 High Street South, Carterton 5713.