He’s Horncastle’s answer to James Herriott.
Indeed, if Herriott was considered to be the veterinary voice of the last millennium, retired Horncastle ‘animal doctor’ Julian Earl is surely a contender for the post this side of the year 2000.
Like the famed Mr Herriott, who was born in Sunderland yet spun his tales of the Yorkshire area, 62-year-old Julian originally hails from Leeds and has a whole plethora of amusing career stories from Lancashire and his adopted home of rural Lincolnshire.
Having enjoyed success with his first book, Cows In Trees: A Warm and Witty Memoir Of A Vet’s Life (2016), Julian recently completed the sequel, The Dog With The Head Transplant!
Seeing as the first book did feature a cow in a tree, when asked if the second holds unusual tales of dogs with different heads, Julian’s standard response is: “You’ll have to read the book!”
Regarding his latest journey into the veterinary world, you won’t get much out of the local author as he is truly keen to share the stories he holds dear with his readers.
Julian moved to Lincolnshire in the late 80s, setting up in a practice in Horncastle where he worked for more than 20 years.
An enthusiastic road racing cyclist, the Wolds area provided the perfect backdrop for Julian’s all-consuming hobby, but it was his trusty cycle that ultimately led to a very serious accident.
On August 8, 2012, Julian was enjoying a race around the Louth area when he believes he crashed due to touching the wheels of another cyclist in the race.
The actual details are sketchy as he suffered a fractured skull, a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage, haematoma, five broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken collar bone.
His wife, Annika, was told that it was unlikely her husband would survive. After 10 days in an induced coma, Julian woke to find consultant Gerry O’Reilly by his bed.
Julian told him all he wanted to do was get back on his bike.
It was during the recovery that Julian discovered a pile of notes he had kept from doing talks to the Women’s Institute and other local groups.
There were scores of stories, many of the highly amusing. Annika suggested that Julian compile them for a book, and the idea took off.
l The Dog With The Head Transplant by Julian Earl, published by Hammond House and now available at www.amazon.co.uk
With post traumatic stress and a broken body, Julian amazed friends and loved ones with his ability to overcome the difficulties and his first book received rave reviews.
Julian Earl says he wanted to be a vet from the age of eight, despite being told by his teacher that he would never make it.
In 1989, he moved to Lincolnshire where he was a partner in, ,practice in Horncastle, the Banovallum Veterinary Group.
From 1991 to 2013, he dealt with both farm livestock and domestic pets.
Although he no longer does any ‘real’ veterinary work he is still a keen cyclist.
He currently lives in rural Lincolnshire with his Swedish wife Annika and has a son studying at university.