I’m Ronnie – self-confessed as the most laid back, laziest cat ever! I’d like to introduce you all to my team at Towerwood, but first a little bit about me as I’m by far the most important person here!
I came to the practice for treatment in around 2003 by the local branch of Cats Protection. I was suffering with a skin condition at the time with open wounds and sores on my neck. It took me a couple of weeks to get better but once I was the Cats Protection took me back their holding pens to wait for a new home. I’m not sure if you know me but I’m not a kept cat, so I made a successful bid and I escaped. However I was found by Cats Protection again but I was quite grateful as my skin disease had returned so I needed more treatment from everyone at Towerwood.
This happened to me a couple of times, and on my third stay at Towerwood I convinced everyone that this was where I wanted to stay so as of 2004, when the head vet Brendan officially adopted me, I’ve been part of the practice and the best thing is that I’ve never had any problems with my skin since! I’m getting on quite a bit though now, I was around 7 years old even back then, which now makes me about 18 years old and although I might not be spritely any more I keep all these nurses and vets in check around the place.
I can frequently be found standing up to Rottweilers in reception without even batting an eyelid, just because I love to sneak through to see my best friend Sue on reception. My favourite pastime by far is sleeping in the staff room, I like to wait for everyone to come on their lunch so I can have a cuddle. I can be persuaded to play with catnip toys from time to time to keep them all entertained, but only just a little bit before I have another snooze.
Meet our head vet Brendan and his loveable Labrador Pippa! Pippa came to live with Brendan as a puppy in October 2011 and has been his shadow ever since, she’s now 3 ½ years old. She loves nothing better than to have a good run for her Kong toy followed by a snooze next to a warm fire. At home Brendan also has a little rescue cat called Spider, who was brought in to the practice when just a few days old by a concerned client whose dog found her in the woods in a carrier bag. She was hand reared and ended up staying. This follows a theme as his other cat, owned by his wife Kristina, called Pud is also a hand reared rescue cat!
Brendan has been the head vet and practice owner at Towerwood Vets since 2003, having joined into the partnership as it was in 1998. The practice was first set up by John Saxton, a renowned holistic veterinary surgeon, back in 1971. The practice has come a very long way since then and Brendan’s proudest achievement so far is building the current team as it is, with the practice fast becoming one of the leading centres for integrated veterinary care for the pets of North Leeds, both in holistic and convention medicine.
Brendan has long had a passion for holistic veterinary care. As a vet student Brendan could be considered a sceptic himself until seeing first-hand time and time again how thinking a little bit differently about a case could change the course of care for that pet and the overall balance and wellbeing of both pets and their owners. He feels that respect for the owner and pet bond is one of the things that should remain at the core of anything he does as a veterinary surgeon.
Out of a very busy work life Brendan loves to travel to new places, anywhere and everywhere but he particularly loves taking Pippa and his family to the Lake District. He also enjoys sport of any kind, but particularly enjoys watching Rugby, taking Pippa for a cross county cycle ride and walking in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
Meet David and one of his lovely cats Pepper. David also has another cat at home called Tango, but let’s just say that Tango wouldn’t have been as patient as Pepper was to have a photograph taken!
David has been with the practice a very long time, a former partner alongside John Saxton who set up the practice in 1971, David has been an integral part of the Towerwood team since 1977 when he first qualified from university. David decided that it was time to slow things down a little and now works part time at the practice happily leaving Brendan to run things during the last 10 years.
When asked why he became a vet, he loves to joke that it seemed like a good idea at the time! However in all seriousness he had always wanted to be a vet and recalls his parents saying that he had since he was the age of 10.
Davids most memorable patient in all these years remains a little dog called Thomas who was hit by a train and had his leg severed. Despite the odd’s against Thomas he was such a friendly dog with a will of steel to get through his ordeal and made a full recovery back to good health.
In his spare time David loves to travel and enjoys travelling with his wife, and goes birdwatching with his daughter. He enjoys sport, especially following the football and his home team Bolton Wanderers is a perfect Saturday afternoon for David! He also finds military history fascinating. His proudest achievement so far, he says, is celebrating 37 years of being happily married which is a rarity these days – we say ‘cheers’ to that David!
Meet Ruth and her lovely little rescue cat Arthur! You can’t tell from his photo but he in fact only has 3 legs, having being rescued (along with Bethany’s cat Rider) and finding his furever home with Ruth. She also has a couple of chickens at home.
Ruth loves the team work involved with working as a veterinary surgeon and within our close team at Towerwood. Ruth joined the practice in 2010, but having had two children in this time now only works part time. She has a strong passion for science and loves combining that passion with a love for animals.
One of Ruth’s most memorable patients was a little boy’s goldfish that just wouldn’t stop eating gravel, and she had to help clear the gravel from the goldfish’s mouth quite regularly!
Ruth loves to bake cakes in her spare time, so when she’s working there’s never a shortage of treats to keep the team going!
Meet Jonay and China, who belongs to Anouska but wanted to keep him company for his photo! Jonay has a little dog at home called Teddy, who you will see with our nurse Beth. Jonay loves him to bits, he’s a lovely old man but can be a little grumpy with other dogs so we’ll not tell him about this photo!
Jonay chose a career as a vet as it combined his two favourite passions, animals and medicine, so it seemed the perfect combination to pursue. Jonay has been with Towerwood Vets now since and particularly enjoys working with our friendly team. He has a particular interest in theatre and laboratory work, and in 2015 commenced a course to complete his small animal medicine certificate which is a post graduate learning programme for vets, which will combine all these things plus more.
In his spare time he loves to run marathons, and he enjoys scuba diving and playing basketball. Jonay feels that his biggest achievement to date is running an ultramarathon of 90km in just under 14 hours – well done Jonay that’s quite an achievement!
Meet Anouska and her dogs Dora and Yeshe, who are Tibetan Terriers. You can find her newest addition China having a cuddle with Jonay below! At home Anouska almost has a herd of dogs, with her Afghan Hounds Mr B, Lucius, Tyler, Rosie and Asia, and her rescue ex-racing Greyhounds Megan and Brindy.
Anouska came to work with us because she wanted to work in a holistic veterinary practice, she has an interest in all aspects of complementary medicine and wanted to be able to integrate this into the way she treats her patients. She loves how challenging being a vet can be with something different to deal with every day, helping animals and their owners.
Anouska has a very breezy outlook on life and always wants to get stuck in where she can help, so when a former colleague and friend told her that a patient required immediate CPR she came running, only to find her friend had fooled her into attempting to resuscitate a big pile of matted fur from a cat they had recently clipped and de-matted! Testament to her dedication to the job we say!
Outside of work Anouska is a show judge and shows her own Tibetan Terriers and Afghan Hounds at many shows across the country including Crufts. In the past Anouska trained in the RAF Cadets and is proud that one of her biggest achievements outside of work was gaining her marksmanship certificate 1st time with the 1st shot – so we won’t be getting on the wrong side of her! Well done Anouska.
Meet our head nurse Helen and her very vocal Bengal cat Marley! She also has a rescue cat called Oscar who is always up to mischief and Betsy, a French Bulldog who you may find around our website.
Helen has always wanted to be a veterinary nurse from a very young age as she’s always loved animals. Her most memorable patient to date is a dog called Thomas, a stray who ended up with us after being hit by a train and losing a leg as he made an amazing recovery.
Helen loves to shop with her daughters, loves cats because they are full of character and feels that her biggest achievement to date is having 3 children whilst managing to remain relatively sane!
Meet Amanda and her lovely little dogs Panda, Norman, Lily and Maisie (left to right). Amanda has had her patterdale terriers Lily (13) and Panda (11) since they were tiny puppies and Norman is in fact Panda’s son. Maisie, a bichon / West Highland Terrier cross came to join in the fun about a year ago when Amanda lost her dog Cody, who you can read about here on our memories page.
Amanda, as you can see, is clearly a dog lady and can be found most Thursday nights running our busy puppy parties at Cookridge, and once a month on Saturdays at our Greengates branch. She loves meeting all the new puppies and running our nursing clinics at our Cookridge surgery. She loves working at a practice which has an open mind towards complementary medicine.
She loves dogs because they are amazing companions, with a gentle, trusting nature who love their owners unconditionally, so she enjoys spending all her spare time walking and relaxing with them and socialising with friends.
Meet Stacey and her spaniel Lottie. Lottie is a working gun dog, who regularly can be found running the fields around Yorkshire with her friend Mia, who is also a Spaniel. Stacey also has a horse called Gary kept at a nearby stables.
She loves the care and attention required by horses and how much love they give back, and fun riding through the countryside, but Stacey decided to become a veterinary nurse rather than pursuing an equine career as she loves all animals and caring for them. She has a particular interest in the theatre and in patient element to her role at the practice and loves working at Towerwood Vets with such a close and caring team of people.
Out of work most of Stacey’s time is spent looking after her young son Henry, but loves to get out riding from time to time and her and Henry can often be found walking the dogs together.
Meet Jennie and Daisy, who belongs to one of our student nurses Jodie. Jennie currently doesn’t have any pets of her own so has borrowed a buddle from Daisy who was very willing to oblige!
Jennie is one of our qualified nurses who has been with the practice since her student nursing days. She loves working in the theatre and inpatient areas of the practice, and meeting all the new patients we see come through the nursing clinics.
Jennie has just got married in Thailand, so planning her exciting wedding has taken up a lot of her time lately, but she enjoys … in her spare time.
Meet Katie and her gorgeous Labradors Murphy (sitting) and Chester (lying down). At home she has two guinea pigs called Peppa and Layla.
Katie qualified in 2013 and loves working in our friendly team. Katie loves to talk about raw food feeding and seeing the benefits this brings to our patients, as well as looking at alternative ways to help treat pets. She loves using the K-Laser to help patients and seeing the improvement a course of treatment can make to that patients life.
Katie’s most memorable moment in practice so far was helping a dog who was giving birth who had some puppies that were stuck. Following a lot of nursing care everything turned out well and she loved how rewarding this dog was to nurse.
In her spare time Katie loves to spend time walking her dogs and socialising with her friends, her family have a caravan and she loves taking holidays in this country with her dogs. She says her proudest moment was passing her driving test the first time round at the age of 17 – well done Katie!
Meet Beth and her adorable little Teddy, who’s a little bit of a grumpy old man now but remains the apple of Beth’s eye! He’s actually 14 years old now, but still thinks he’s a puppy at times. He was rescued by Beth 6 years ago.
Beth loves her job at Towerwood as she really enjoys meeting and getting to know each patient as an individual. As a nurse she enjoys building that bond and trust with all the patients she deals with too. She’s always wanted to be a veterinary nurse as she loves biological sciences and wanted to be around and care for animals.
When not at work Beth enjoys playing music, and has played keyboard/piano for 19 years now. She also has a keen interest in geology and observing features at home and when travelling, she loves to fossil hunt, at the time of writing, Beth is currently on maternity leave and about to give birth so she feels her greatest achievement by far is having her daughter Ruby.
Meet Gemma and her adorable little Jack Russell Terrier Evie. Evie’s been with Gemma through thick and thin and Gemma is very proud of how loyal her little Evie is, although she would be quite happy if Evie didn’t bark in her sleep anymore, perhaps dreaming of playing with tennis balls which is Evies favourite pastime.
Gemma is one of our student veterinary nurses currently studying in her first year at the College of Animal Welfare. Gemma has a history of working with animals at the RSPCA, she finds it very rewarding to nurse sick patients back to health so has wanted to be a veterinary nurse for a long time. She loves working within our team at Towerwood for this reason and meeting all our lovely clients and their pets.
Gemma loves to spend her spare time, when she’s not studying, taking Evie for long walks.
Meet Billie and her gorgeous whippets Alfred (left) and Rufus (white head). Billie adopted her duo both from the Dog’s Trust but not at the same time. Alfred is 5 years old now and Billie adopted him when he was 18 months and Rufus is 3 ½ years old, Billie adopted him just 6 months later to keep Alfred company. Alfred is a bit of a lazy bones and loves to watch tv from the comport of the sofa, whilst Rufus keeps up enough energy for the pair of them being a flyball champ!
Billie is one of our student veterinary nurses and we are hoping she will be going to college after the summer to start her official veterinary nursing training. She’s always loved animals and following a period of working at the PDSA knew she wanted to be a qualified veterinary nurse. She loves working at the practice meeting all the patients we see and particularly loves helping out with the puppy parties when she gets the chance.
Away from work Billie is a guide leader, which is something she’s very passionate about, and she feels her greatest achievement in life so far is helping to renovate a school in a small village in the Himalayas – something we think she should be very proud of.
Meet Charlotte and her lovely little old lady Annie and bouncing goofball Rosie! Rosie came to her family with a few behavioural problems which her and he family have spent a lot of time working through. At home she has a full house with Tara the tortoise, Dougal the guinea pig, Henry the rabbit, Maggie the cat and lots of chickens.
Charlotte joined the practice as a student who needed to do some training placement hours for her course at Askham Bryan and has gradually increased her hours to join our team on a more full time basis. Charlotte loves working with our inpatients in our wards and theatre areas, learning about their individual personalities and characters from their dedicated owners.
She’s always loved animals but rescuing Rosie really cemented in Charlottes mind that she wanted to be a veterinary nurse and help more pets in the same way. She loves to spend time walking her dogs and loves art, so she can often be found drawing and painting at home.
Meet Katherine and her adorable giddy boy Max! Katherine also has a blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Dylan who you will find lurking around the pages on our website. Katherine thinks her dogs give the best cuddles, and even admits she can’t resist those sofa cuddles sometimes even though they aren’t allowed on the sofa really! Max is Dylan’s son, and she admits Dylan can sometimes be nervous of his own shadow, and even banana’s for some strange reason, but he can suddenly turn into a grumpy old man when he doesn’t get his 8 hours beauty sleep!
Katherine is a student veterinary nurse carrying out placement hours at our practice, as well as working with us at the weekends and filling in hours where she can. She loves working at the practice as it gives her the feeling she is making a difference when caring and working for animals. She entered a career as a veterinary nurse to help those she feels just can’t ask for it themselves.
In her spare time, when she isn’t studying hard for upcoming exams, Katherine loves to play the piano and is very proud to have achieved her grade 5 theory exams. Well done Katherine!
Meet my best friend Sue! Where you find Sue quite often you will find me snoozing away by her feet in reception. Sue has 2 cats at home called Ruby and Millie, they are two rescue cats she adopted together who are a Mum and daughter.
Sue came across the practice quite by accident when looking for a new job, she came to join us on reception over 10 years ago now and she says she wouldn’t do anything else now as she loves meeting clients and their pets. She loves being part of our close team at Towerwood and we wouldn’t be without her on reception!
Sue loves meeting all animals in the reception area and the unconditional love and bond she sees between so many cats and dogs and their owners makes her role at the practice very satisfying for her.
In her spare time Sue loves to go to the theatre and socialise with friends, and loves to read and watch a good drama series on television. In a past life Sue was an air hostess with British Airways and she says one of her proudest moments was when she was involved in an emergency landing at Heathrow airports and received a letter of commendation from the management on how the emergency landing was handled.
Meet Kristina and her lovely little cat Pud! Pud is a rescue cat that came to Kristina’s care during her first job as a student veterinary nurse back in 2000. At the time a tiny kitten of only a few days old, Pud was found in an elderly ladies shed abandoned by his mum. The elderly ladies son brought the little kitten into the practice Kristina was working in, she took pity on him and hand reared him. Needless to say he stayed and is now 14 years old. His favourite pastime now of course is sleeping, but loves to run about with his little friend Spider who is also a rescue cat found by a client at Towerwood.
Kristina took on a role within the practice at the beginning of 2013 as an assistant to her husband Brendan, helping him to complete projects in all areas of the practice that he just didn’t have the time to run and manage. Since then she has become involved in all areas of office management as well, working alongside Lorraine to get the operational side of the practice running smoothly.
Out of work Kristina loves travelling with Brendan and loves the tranquillity and peacefulness of the Lake District. She’s also recently developed a love for sewing and knitting, and can often be found at home attempting to make a new top or dress, or knitting a new scarf.
Meet Bethany and her cat Rider! Rider is a rescue cat from the RSCPA owned by Bethany for around 2 years now, he’s now around 6 years old.
Bethany works part time at the practice, mostly helping out with the puppy parties on a Thursday night alongside her main job she’s training for in a grooming salon. She also loves to help our nurses during the week as and when she can and loves meeting all the new puppies we see.
Her most memorable patient so far is a little stray cat called Arthur who had to have his leg amputated, despite this he was still very loving to all our nursing team!
In her spare time Bethany likes watching films, hiking in the dales and socialising with friends and she feels her biggest achievement so far is completing the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge – well done Bethany!
Meet Lorraine, I’m giving her a big welcome as she is the newest member of our team! She loves working behind the scenes in the office supporting our veterinary team to help people and their pets live healthier lives. Lorraine has a cat called Tia who is very timid as she was rehomed from a family who’s daughter played a bit too rough with her.
Lorraine’s spare time is mostly spent looking after her horse Wallace. She loves horses and finds them very relaxing to be around as they can be so calm and patient.