Injured reindeer saved from being put down by physiotherapy to pull his first sleigh
A couple of devoted animal lovers revealed how all their Christmases came at once when their beloved reindeer - who they feared would need to be put down because of a severely injured leg - was saved by physiotherapy in time to pull his first sleigh this Yuletide.
Paul Gibson, 48, who runs Ayrshire Reindeer Centre in Fenwick, Scotland, with his wife Leanne, 44, was horrified when, one day back in October 2017, he found Dasher, the "cheekiest" of their 10 reindeer, with a seriously injured left hind leg.
Then just three years old, the animal's left ankle had completely turned over, meaning he could not bear any weight and this, coupled with a nasty wound from dragging the limb behind him, meant they feared he'd need to be put down.
Then, at the 11th hour, his saviour arrived in the form of Lara Kats, 47, a veterinary physiotherapist who lived nearby in Dunlop, East Ayrshire and agreed to treat Dasher - spending two months building up his strength and visiting three times a week until he was back on his hooves.
Now Paul says the magnificent bull - a male reindeer - is in fine fettle and set to pull his first festive sleigh, adding: "Dasher is really clumsy.
If there’s ever any trouble, it’s bound to be him at the centre of it.
He's just really daft.