Memorial bench fitting tribute to popular north-east vet

The bench features a carved spaniel, a salmon and rabbit in tribute to Allan Annat
The bench features a carved spaniel, a salmon and rabbit in tribute to Allan Annat

A unique carved bench has been unveiled in honour of a much-loved vet who dedicated his life to working with animals.

Staff at the Kirkton Vets Centre in Stonehaven wanted a special seat to be designed in memory of Allan Annat.

The 70-year-old from Stonehaven died in January after contracting sepsis following cancer treatment complications.

Allan Annat with Gypsy, one of his cocker spaniels

Allan, who had battled skin cancer the last two years, was originally from Perthshire but moved to Stonehaven for work.

He initially worked out of his family home on Arduthie Road before opening up the veterinary practice.

The bench, which has been installed outside the building, features wooden carvings of a spaniel, a salmon and a rabbit.

Mr Annat’s colleague Fiona MacPherson, also a vet at the practice, said they had worked together since 1990 and he was often at the centre with his two cocker spaniels Jill and Gypsy.

She said the seat, made of elm wood donated by his family friends, had been a hit with the owners of animals visiting for appointments.

The 52-year-old said: “We gave the artist creative freedom, but we wanted to make sure he incorporated a few things.

“Allan had cocker spaniels and loved dogs, so we made sure to include a spaniel.

“George Burr, who donated the elm, used to bring in his rabbits over the last 30 to 40 years – that’s why there’s a rabbit. Allan was a very keen salmon fisher.

“Every Wednesday he would go down to the River Dee to fish.

“It’s a lovely way to remember him by and it just brings a smile to everyone’s faces when you walk by it. If it makes someone smile, then I think it serves its purpose.”

Ms MacPherson said both visitors and staff had been petting the wooden spaniel when walking past the bench.

Tributes paid to well-known north-east vet

She added: “It’s sort of like the Greyfriars Bobby dog statue in Edinburgh, you can’t help but rub his nose or stroke him.

“It’s also been very popular with clients who come by with their dogs. Sometimes, you take a peek outside and they have their dog sitting on the bench while they take a picture.

“They’re always talking about it or commenting on it.”

The artist took about two months to complete the seat and the team at Kirkton Vet Centre also hopes to install a plaque in the near future.

Ms MacPherson described the bench as a “lovely sight” and praised chainsaw artist David Roberts for doing a “tremendous” job.

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She said: “We were just amazed when we finally saw it.

“A lot of people here have worked with him for a long time.

“And our younger staff used to come in with their pets when they were kids and now work here.

“It’s a nice celebration of Allan’s memory.

“It’s a great way to remember him and his love for animals.

“He is very much missed by all of us at the centre.”