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Luke’s Story

The ITC was an idea that formed during the middle of the night, bouncing around in the cab of Nigel’s lorry. We were helping transport a rescued temple elephant on a 12 hour journey to it’s new home, it was a mission to stay awake, let along navigate through the darkness. As we drove, we agonised about how best we could work together, to implement sustainable help to the many inspirational and motivating charities in India that champion animal welfare. It was a job to figure out how to best to support so many wonderful organisations with such limited time, and as we bounced back and forth, plans to design an International Training Centre took hold. Amazingly, both the thoughts we shared, and the draft plan I scrawled down in my notebook as Nigel weaved us expertly along rutted roads in seemingly total darkness, began to take shape, and 12months later, the ITC was opened. There is no predicting when good ideas happen, the challenge is to seize the day with them and strive to make them great, in this instance, we managed it.

Nigel’s wife, Dr Ilona Otter, agreed to take on the directorship of the ITC, and with such a super capable person running the show in Ooty, coupled with support from generous sponsors and friends, we were able to launch what rapidly has become one of India’s most comprehensive post graduate training centres, working on not-for -profit principles to ensure that it benefits the animal welfare and animal charity fields. This is a feat that would have been impossible without the fantastic backing of the AWBI who steered and guided our vision. My role, from so many thousands of miles away, is a small one in that I only have to encourage, support and be totally inspired by the team that have made this idle dream a reality — in short, it is a privilege to be involved with Nigel and Ilona in building the ITC into all it can be and whilst we still have great plans to fulfill, we have got off to a cracking start!

About the BOOK: The Vet; my wild and wonderful friends by Luke Gamble

Fresh out of university Luke joins a mixed practice in Dorset, run by the stern but benevolent Mr Spotswode and is quickly thrust into the real world of veterinary medicine: truculent farmers, out-of-hours-surgery, nasty biting squirrels, operating on frog’s eyeballs and some of the harsher facts of farming life like dealing with an outbreak of foot and mouth and subsequent slaughter. Luke’s dream is to set up on his own and find his place in the world. These things, however, are never quite straightforward. Across the course of this memoir, the young vet not only learns much about his trade, but about his own character – and develops a group of close friends – both animal and human – who will stay with his across his career. The most important of these is Cordelia – the woman of his dreams – his quest to win her heart is a marathon!

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