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    quokka
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Desert Air - 56. DA Ch 56 - Big News

After saying hello to my two pets, I put the gun and ammo away, I made sure that Spike and Frilly had been fed, before I headed back to the resort to catch up on some sleep.

When I woke up at lunchtime, I went to the restaurant for something to eat, before heading over to the site of the new clinic, which I had been keeping quiet from the rest of the staff.

I had decided to build my own new home at the back of my four-climate garden, with a cyclone coded split level two bedroom home, with all the living space on one level, raised a metre above the ground.

Meanwhile all the bedroom space, bathrooms and laundry two metres higher, and facing the garden so the living areas have the view of the big concrete wall of the aircraft hanger.. Space for two vehicles can fit under the upper level of the house, which I was pleased to hear that it is just days away from being ready to move in too, while the aircraft hanger was also completed.

The upper level also has a full-length verandah that overlooks the garden, with spiral steps leading into the garden, with concrete footing and a limestone block wall below the verandah to stop anyone or anything from getting into the garden, unless it is via the house or the veterinary clinic back door.

The garden was looking very good, with all the landscaping completed while I was away at Riveren Station, with a mixed of mature, and semi mature planting in all zones, and in the arid zone, I had included some purposely built burrows, that provide plenty of warmth during cold nights, and shelter from the tropical storms.

I was looking forward to releasing Frilly and Spike into the large home, which now includes a four-metre high domed shade roof, with netting under the shade cloth, so as to be able to have a giant bird enclosure, over the whole block, for any smaller non predator birds that can not be release back into the wild.

Anything like owls, hawks or any other reptile eating birds will be kept in a large birdcage in the warehouse, which will be large enough for a good fly around. The building work in the warehouse is ahead of schedule with all of the ground floor now completed, and there is just the accommodation and the ICU and surgery areas upstairs to be completed.

After heading back to the clinic, the afternoon session was just beginning, and after seeing one patient, I suggested to Auggie that he take the rest of the afternoon off, to catch up on some sleep. For the rest of the day, Amanda, Julia and I were kept very busy, and I was enjoying being back at work again.

Auggie appeared shortly before closing time, he went out to check on Spike and Frilly, who were doing fine, and he topped up their feed bowls with their individual foods, before heading back into the front area of the clinic.

“Before we all head off in our separate directions, I have an announcement to make. In a few day’s time I will be moving into my new split level home, which is located on the edge of town, and near there, I am in the process of building a new and larger Veterinary Clinic & Hospital, which will be ready in about six weeks time.

When that happens, I will be requiring an additional vet nurse and an extra receptionist. I will be concentrating on available work on cattle stations in the region, so I will be on the road or in the air a lot of the time. I am also considering having Marcus back here in Kununurra, and employing another vet to run the Derby vet.

The new facilities will include three treatment rooms, a radiology room, pathology lab, a surgery, an ICU area, store rooms, staff lounge, administration office, cat and dog rooms, enclosed exercise areas, and cage areas for reptiles and birds, and a two bedroom residence for my two vets,” I announced.

“Wow! That sounds amazing,” Amanda said, “Yep, best facilities for over 400 kilometres. I can’t say any more than that distance, as the town of Katherine is just over that distance, and Darwin is not far behind it in distance,” responded, “So who are you looking at for taking over the Derby clinic?” Amanda asked.

“I had an unexpected call from a former colleague, who has been made redundant from her job, mainly because of us, so now she has asked me if there is any work available. I haven’t decided yet, but I told her that I would let her know in one week’s time,” I replied.

“Is that Dr Jess Harris you are talking about?” Auggie asked me, “Yes it is, why?” I replied, “oh great, Marcus is really going to like that after what she did to him,” Auggie said. “Yes well, she will be working for me, but at the Derby clinic, and Marcus will come here to help you Auggie with this clinic at the new location,” I replied.

“So, will she be doing Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek too?” Auggie asked, “Fitzroy Crossing yes, but not Halls Creek, between you and Marcus, you guys will cover Wyndham and Halls Creek on a rotation basis,” I responded.

“Where exactly is this super huge veterinary hospital?” Auggie asked, and I smiled, “You will have to wait until it is ready for opening, my friend, now off you go, have a good evening, and I will see you all tomorrow,” I replied.

It was just after 5 am when my mobile rang, “Job for you boss, Carlton Hill Station, just north of town, it is a 45 minute drive or ten minute flight, the manager has reported a number of unusual cattle deaths and others severely ill,” Auggie said to me when I answered the call. “Ok mate, give me the coordinates and I will fly out there,” I replied.

Less than half an hour later, after calling into the clinic, I was in the air and heading north to the cattle station, arriving just over five minutes later, where the airstrip and homestead are about 26 kilometres north north-west of Ivanhoe Crossing.

Taking a look at the airstrip and the homestead just north of it, I could see that there are cattle in the yards, as I made my approach to land, where I vehicle came to meet me. “Dr Kendrik is it?” the man said as I shook his hand, “Yes that is correct, you told my colleague that you have some suspicious cattle deaths and illnesses?” I replied, as I gathered my gear and climbed into the vehicle.

“Yes, I have a load of cattle in quarantine since they arrived from the NT, and in the week that they have been here, their condition has changed from good to poor,” the manager informed me, as we drove directly to the yards.

I spent the next hour checking all of the cattle in the yards, before looking at one of the carcasses that the manager had arranged to keep aside for me to look at. Although I had an idea what it was, I needed to do a post mortem on it to confirm my theory on the cause of the illness.

After seeing the kidney’s of the animal, I knew that I was correct with my diagnosis. “Mr Adamson, has any of your staff been in close contact with these ill animals and have any of them fallen ill in the past few days?” I asked.

“Yes, young Geoff is sick in bed, said he was too crook to work this morning,” the manager replied, “Ok, he needs to go to hospital immediately, I will take him in my plane, have an ambulance meet me at the airport.

Also inform the hospital that there is a good chance that he has contracted Leptospirosis form ill cattle that have the disease, I will be back with some medication for all of your cattle when I return,” I informed the manager, and I was driven to the workers quarters.

“Hello mate, I am the local vet, I believe you have contracted a disease via the sick cattle, can you get dressed and I will fly you into town in my plane, where an ambulance will take you to hospital,” I said to the stock hand, who looked to be around my age.

Waiting outside for the young man to get dressed, we helped him into the vehicle and headed for the airstrip, where we quickly loaded the sick young man into the back seat, and I took off and headed for the town airport.

The ambulance pulled up beside my plane shortly after I had stopped at the parking apron, and a paramedic approached as I opened the door and lowered the stairs. “I have just diagnosed Leptospirosis in the cattle on the station he works on, he has been ill since last night, he has a high temperature and feels nauseous,” I informed the paramedic.

“Thankyou… Mr Kendrick, is it,” the paramedic said with a frown, “It is Dr Kendrick, thankyou very much, veterinarian and zoologist,” I responded in an annoyed tone, “My apologies Doctor, thankyou for the information, I will pass it on at the hospital,” the paramedic said.

“They already have been notified,” I said as we assisted the young man out of the plane and onto a stretcher, and he was soon in the ambulance and on his way to hospital.

After locking up the plane, I jumped into my vehicle and headed for the clinic to collect medication supplies and also my gun and ammo, in case I need to destroy any cattle. I stopped by a café for a cup of tea and a toasted sandwich for breakfast, before heading back to the airport, and flying back to Carlton Hill Station.

It was just before lunchtime, by the time I walked back into the clinic, with my vet medical case and gun in its storage bag, and there was only one patient waiting to bet attended to. “Hello Dr Kendrik, Dr Hunter said he wanted to speak to you as soon as you get back,” Julia said to me, and I thanked her as I continued out to the back.

After putting the gun and ammo away, and leaving my vet case in my office, I headed to Auggie’s clinic room, and entered just as he was taking a large dog’s temperature, and I chuckled at the sight. “Yes, boss, I know, keep clear just in case,” Auggie said when he saw me at the door.

“How has your morning been?” I asked, “Fairly busy actually, it will be good to have Marcus here to help keep up with the demand, when he gets here,” Auggie said, “I had a bad case of Leptospirosis at the station, with 28 cattle affected, and one human, who is currently on his way to hospital,” I informed Auggie.

“How did that come about?” Auggie asked me, “My guess is that it came from the trucking company, as the cattle were well when they left the NT over a week ago, I have left it to the station manager to chase up the possible cause of the outbreak,” I replied.

‘We had a bit of an incident here earlier, Frilly snuck into the front area, which resulted in frightening some cats who escaped the clutches of their owners and cause havoc in the waiting area, including scaring the daylights out of Julia,” Auggie informed me.

“I thought Frilly was supposed to be it its cage during surgery hours?” I asked, “She was, some how she escaped,” Auggie informed me. “Excuse me, what or who is Frilly?” the dog’s owner asked.

Copyright © 2020 quokka; All Rights Reserved.

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It’s a good thing that Jexon is now available to go to the cattle stations when needed especially after the call he had today. I think he’ll be glad when the new clinic will be available to move into, especially if frilly is going to keep escaping from her cage.  Great chapter and story.

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Great chapter. The new Veterinary Hospital sounds great.

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