The Business of Saving Lives

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Thailand
25th August, 2009

What a hard day it has been for all of us, not least Luke; we spent the morning chasing our tails in a vain attempt to get some sick animals from the local farmers that Luke could look at. I can’t help but feel that it was a bit of a waste of time; the best we could muster was a dog (yup another one) whose tooth was rotten and his penis was covered with a TVT (transmittable venereal tumour). We were all pretty tired by the time afternoon came around and with a huge operation awaiting us it was pretty important that we regained focus. And we did.

There have been many times on this blog where I have mocked Luke and his antics, but there are also moments where I acknowledge the great work that he does. And this is one of those rare occasions because he truly worked his socks off this afternoon. Presented with a case in which a dog had a massive problem with one of his eyes, making him go blind, Luke decided to remove the eye to lessen some of the pain. It was an incredible piece of surgery. It takes a lot of skill and patience to do any kind of surgery even with the correct facilities and help. But when you are in an unhygienic dog pen, your assistant is inexperienced and slightly squeamish (understandably so due to the nature of the operation), you have a television camera recording your every move and demanding you tell the viewer exactly what is going on, and you are sweltering under the humid Thai sun, it is astonishing that you can perform the operation so well and stay so cool under pressure. Yet this is exactly what he did. Remarkable.

And even as I write this, back at the hotel digitizing the footage after a nice cold shower, Luke is still plugging away at the shelter operating on dogs that are desperate for his help. It is this side of the programme that viewers of the TV series will not get a chance to see. Luke has dedicated his time, money and effort into helping these charities around the world and he never says no to requests for help (often to the irk of us the TV crew who would like him to concentrate on the filming). He shows a dedication to his work, rare in the world today, and should definitely be applauded.

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