Just passing a checkpoint. Slow down, soldiers look through window... then wave us on through. It’s hot work – I feel for them, they have no shade and it’s 42 degrees Celsius. And, due to an abnormal weather pattern earlier in the year, they can’t even tuck into the glorious mangoes that should be ready now... they’ll need to wait another month I’m told. Welcome to Lahore!
I won’t lie, right now I’m really excited. As we head through the streets my fingers are flying over the keyboard... oh! A hoot, we’ve just arrived at the office and I need to go and debrief with the senior management team... you’ll just have to wait until a little later to find out why!
A good discussion! So, this morning I visited a wayside station at Wassanpura. This is a location where the Brooke goes three times a week to provide treatment. In among the bustle of the city, it’s like an oasis (literally) of calm for horses.
There is a Brooke shelter with a water trough through which clean water runs, and there are a stream of horses with carts pulling in with the horses taking thankful gulps of the cool water. Horses wait for treatment in the shade of tree.
A local farrier, trained by the Brooke, is shoeing. A Brooke saddler pushes his needle skilfully through thick leather. And, with sweat on their brows but an ever present sense of calm, a Brooke team is making sure all the animals who need treatment receive it.
The vet overseeing the work is Dr Muhammad Arshad Zahoor, and his work is supported by Mr. Muhammad Miraj (Vet Assistant), Mr. Muhammad Munnawar (driver) and Mr. Muhaammad Rasheed (Saddler).
The team is making sure each case is gently and thoroughly examined, then Dr Arshad is making a specific diagnosis and then providing specific treatment and recording it neatly in the case register. He discusses what is going on with each owner, and for some cases advices them to come for a recheck, or to visit a local vet assistant that the Brooke has trained.
I visit Brooke clinics and other treatment environments all over the world – where the staff work in a committed way to help improve the lives of working equids. This mobile clinic team is especially organised and thorough in all their work – it really is wonderful to observe.
This team’s work continues with the support of another committed team – our Jersey Supporter’s Group. It’s wonderful to think how, although separated by miles, oceans and cultures, the committed work of these two complementary teams comes together in such a tangible way to help working equids.