A day in the life of Sapphire Dom

Hello Bulldogs members and fans!

I’ve decided to give you all a sneak peek into my life outside of The Sapphires! It may interest you to know that much of my time is spent working with farm animals in rural areas. No bulldogs unfortunately… just cattle, sheep and pigs! In 2013, I graduated after 4 years of full-time university study with an Honours degree in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience. Most people, when they talk to me, think of their local vet treating cats and dogs. Actually, this is very different from what I do. I am now an animal scientist and have been lucky enough to be selected to work on a research project that is looking at ways to minimise pain in beef cattle undergoing surgical procedures on farms. This research will lead to better ways for farmers to manage their business and higher welfare standards for farm animals. I will complete a PhD on this research project. This will take 3 years… and Bulldogs fans, let me tell you, I’ll be more than happy for you to refer to me by my correct title ‘Doctor Dom’ at this time!

A typical day for me might involve travelling to a rural farm and conducting an experiment with a small herd of calves. At the moment, most of my work is testing spray-on pain relief to treat surgical wounds. The tricky part of this job is measuring pain in animals because, unlike humans, cattle are unable to tell us how they feel. So, I may take blood samples to monitor stress levels or use special electronic equipment to measure the sensitivity of wounds. This can be challenging, especially when I’m working with frisky cattle! But really, spending a few days in the countryside with a bunch of super-cute calves is not really work at all. It’s not all fun and games though… I do have to spend a fair bit of time in the office at university, analysing scientific data and writing scientific journal papers.

Over the last few years, I can’t believe the skills I’ve gained… I bet none of you Bulldogs fans thought that a Sapphire would hold a forklift licence or could be seen towing a trailer full of hay bales behind a tractor! Believe it or not, as part of my job, I also teach university students how to grade meat! Through my studies, I’ve learnt the science behind judging the quality of meat… so give me a shout out if you need some help picking a good steak at your local butcher!

Anyway Bulldogs fans, I better go and get my work boots off and put my Sapphires gear on… and I’ll see you at the next doggies home game!