FROM helping pooches with a fondness for pants to pacifying irate hamsters on the Paul O’Grady Show, Marc Abraham’s comic tales from his career as a vet make him the ideal host for this year’s LovePets Show.
Marc, who will be widely recognised as resident vet on ITV’s This Morning, Daybreak and BBC Breakfast News, takes centre-stage at the two-day animal extravaganza in Peterborough this October, which welcomes people who are passionate about their pets to enjoy a great-value family day out.
Over the LovePets Show weekend of Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October, Marc will be giving live talks covering a wide variety of pet topics, answering questions from the audience and sharing anecdotes from his days as a vet on call in an emergency clinic.
“The LovePets show is all set to be a brilliant family attraction because it highlights so many different aspects of the animal world in a fun, interactive way,” explained Marc. “For example, there will be assistance dogs demonstrating their working skills, including guide dogs, hearing dogs and Pets as Therapy (PAT) that are taken to visit people in poor health. There will also be reptiles and birds, exotic creatures and some particularly strange-looking insects!
“The LovePets Show brings these wonderful animals together for people to meet, and promises visitors a huge feel-good factor. People booking tickets for this event will find out lots of new information about animals, as well as learning about responsible pet ownership.”
Marc, a vet for 16 years, admits he still gets excited about meeting unusual animal species that he wouldn’t normally see in his day-to-day working life. “I have a geeky side when it comes to animals, particularly birds of prey,” he added. “To be around people who are equally passionate about their favourite species or breeds is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Marc’s love of animals began as a three-year-old, when he tended to his pet tortoise’s bad leg. In his teenage years, he says he became ‘obsessed’ with becoming a vet, and after qualifying he spent the formative years of his career as an ‘emergency vet’ – an unforgettable induction into the world of animals and their owners, and one that inspired his latest book, Vet on Call.
“It was a great introduction to life as a vet,” recalled Marc. “One of my favourite emergency cases is still the boxer dog brought in by his owner because he couldn’t keep his dinner down. We were able to diagnose that he had eaten something he shouldn’t, and when we opened him up to take a look, found a pair of knickers. To the horror of his already distraught owner, they weren’t hers, and it turned out that her husband had been having an affair!
“On another occasion, an Irish wolfhound was brought in late one night, and because he was too big for our X-ray machine, we had to take him along to the local human hospital to use theirs! There were quite a few people in casualty who were the worse for drink that night, and when we wheeled an enormous hairy dog past them on a trolley, with just his head poking out from under a cover, we had quite a few of them rubbing their eyes in drunken disbelief!”
Now a regular guest vet on TV and radio, Marc has dealt with his fair share of animals misbehaving on live shows, and while he hopes the furry and feathered guests don’t get up to any funny business at LovePets, he’s well prepared for some diva-ish performances when they take the limelight.
“Once I was asked to determine the sex of a hamster on the Paul O’Grady Show,” said Marc, “It should have been very straightforward, but when I turned the little lady over to show the audience what to look for, she bit my finger extremely hard. You can’t swear on a live programme with four million viewers – but a little hamster pushed me very close! Working with animals on a live show definitely doesn’t always go to plan.”
As well as the lighter side to working as a vet, Marc is a keen supporter of animal welfare projects and has enjoyed volunteering for animal charities working in Mumbai and the Amazon. He also supports a personal campaign against puppy farming in the UK called Pup Aid, raising awareness among prospective dog owners about how to choose a puppy from a reputable rescue home or responsible breeder.
“I don’t have any pets at the moment, because I work long hours and it wouldn’t be fair to keep an animal at home all day,” said Marc. “But when I do have the time, I’d like to adopt a dog from The Oldies Club, which finds permanent homes for rescued dogs aged over seven years old. Older dogs make excellent companions, and they are usually very obedient and already house-trained.”
The LovePets show will offer a wealth of information on being a responsible pet-owner, and is supported by The Kennel Club, which will be on-hand to answer questions on choosing the right puppy for your family, to rescuing particular breeds. They will also be promoting the Young Kennel Club for children with an interest in canines.
Meanwhile, celebrity dog trainer Karen Wild will be providing masterclasses for those keen to learn the best behaviour techniques, and this year’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Pippa Langhorne will be providing musical entertainment by singing with her dog Buddy.
LovePets will also feature a fun-filled programme that includes ferret racing and dog agility, as well as fluffy racoons and rabbits in the LovePets Petting Zoo for children, and the chance to encounter scorpions, snakes and spiders with the help of their handlers.
The LovePets Show is sponsored by Mars Petcare, Zoflora, Welcome Cottages, Your Dog, and Your Cat Magazine and takes place at the indoor EXEC venue at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, just off the A1. Parking for the pet exhibition is free.
Discounted tickets can be pre-booked now at www.lovepetsshow.co.uk, with online family tickets (two adults and three children) just £12. Nominated animal welfare charities will receive 10 per cent of ticket sales.
TV vet Marc Abraham is keen to meet pet-lovers of all ages at the LovePets Show in Peterborough, and will be holding a host of interactive talks during which people can ask him anything pet-related. He’ll also be available to sign copies of his latest book, Vet on Call, for anyone bringing their copy along to the show.