With seven dogs, ten horses and two cockatoos, training to become a qualified Veterinary Nurse was a logical step for Lauren Gray.
Lauren has always loved animals. Even during her 27 year stint with the NZ Army, she re-trained and rehoused retired racehorses in her spare time.
For 25 of the 27 years Lauren was in the Armed Forces, she worked as a Dental Hygienist. She rose to the rank of Sergeant Major.
Along with her husband, who still serves in Somalia, Lauren has lived and worked all over the country and the world with the Army.
Tired of being separated while on diverse postings (her husband is only home for 10 weeks of the year), Lauren decided to settle at their lifestyle block in Linton and embark on UCOL's two year Diploma in Veterinary Nursing programme.
"I was initially worried about how I'd fit in as an older student and how I'd cope with studying," she says. "But I needn't have, my classmates were great and I really enjoyed the content of the programme and our very knowledgeable teachers."
Ultimately Lauren would like to use her new qualifications to work in a practice as a Veterinary Nurse. "I'd like to specialise in oral health for animals," she says. "It would combine all of my skills and interests."