Human Interest

96-year-old ‘veterinarian for celebrities’ has no intention of retiring

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Mar 5 (EFE).- At 96 years old, Philippe de Wailly, also known as the “veterinarian for celebrities,” has no intention of retiring.

Wailly has been practicing for over 60 years and has treated the pets of numerous celebrities including actresses Jane Fonda and Brigitte Bardot, the French former president Jacques Chirac and the Persian Shah’s family.

He was also in charge of the German shepherds of the French police unit for 40 years and has written over 60 books.

Today, despite his old age, he continues to work with enthusiasm, even though he has many fewer clients than he used to.

“We have to do things while being aware of our capabilities,” he tells Efe.

But his memories of treating celebrities’ pets are still very vivid.

“She would come here when she was pregnant with her daughter Vanessa and married to French filmmaker Roger Vadim. She would wait for her turn in the waiting room. She didn’t want preferential treatment,” Wailly says, referring to Jane Fonda.

In 1976, Wailly treated the dogs and parrots of Princess Shams Pahlavi, the Persian Shah’s sister.

“I went all the way to Iran because she wanted me to visit her 30 dogs and 60 parrots, but I refused to treat them there so she sent them to me on a plane. She trusted me because she knew how I worked, I had cured her mother’s pet before,” he recalls.

“I was given a rather nice Persian rug as a thank you.”

Another of his most special clients was the Labrador of former French president Jacques Chirac, whom he met when he was the mayor of Paris.

After treating his dog, Wailly stayed in touch with Chirac and in 1999, was invited to the Elysée as the president of the French Veterinary Academy.

Wailly opened his practice in 1954 after studying veterinary medicine.

The veterinary’s latest book was published at the end of 2021: ‘If You Knew What Animals Have Taught Me (and What Their Owners Have Told Me)’. EFE


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