Much is happening in the practice. Helen is bedridden due to a bad back. Calum, much to his chagrin, is dispatched to Ireland for several weeks to undertake tuberculin testing. During a fierce winter storm, James tries desperately to reach a farmer in need. Tristan announced that he has resigned from the Ministry of Agriculture to join the practice full-time: but are Siegfried and James prepared to take him on?
Mrs. Pumphrey consults James and Siefried on the use of music as a means of relaxing Tricky Woo. She then throws a birthday party and surprises uncle Herriot with a special request. In the end, she is astonished to find that Tricky Woo has very specific tastes in music!
Calum returns from Ireland and is thrilled to hear that Deirdre will be spending a week in Darrowby; unfortunately, the week doesn't quite go as planned. Siegfried treats a horse after it suffers a serious fall and James is introduced to a family of cat lovers. Tristan meanwhile treats a dog who seems to take great joy in biting him. He subsequently learns that he must go to Ireland for the next month to continue the tuberculin testing.
Life is a bit more hectic than usual at Skeldale House with Siegfried away at a conference, Helen still confined to her bed and Tristan undertaking a round of farewell parties before heading off to Ireland. James' friend Andrew Bruce visits for a week and accompanies him on his rounds. James treats a horse with a mysterious ailment, Calum takes delight in gently tormenting a straight-arrow farmer and everyone grows tired of Tristan's limited culinary skills (which seem limited to bangers and mash - fried sausages and mashed potatoes). James panics when he realizes he ...
James and Helen make an offer on a house but it's now up to the bank to provide them with a mortgage. Will their less-than-friendly banker oblige? Siegfried starts to lose confidence in their pharmaceutical supplier, Mr. Barge, thinking that he only has remedies from the dark ages. James disagrees and puts Mr. Barge to the test. Calum treats a flock of sheep with an everyday remedy.
Helen is packing for the move to their new house and expresses concern when James and Calum must visit Granville Bennett with a sick dog requiring an urgent operation. James confidently assures her that she has nothing to worry about. With the operation complete, Granville suggests they attend a veterinary lecture at a nearby village. To no one's surprise, Granville's main interest seems to be in the buffet dinner and open bar and both James and Calum return home somewhat the worse for wear. While he is away, James' pet dog Dan has a heart attack and James may have a ...
A busy time for Calum. He must perform a minor operation on "Puppy" but James' advice on administering the sedative doesn't seem to quite work. He also needs to operate on a sick cow, but has some difficulty keeping the owners focused on the task at hand. Calum also receives a visit from Molly McFeely, with whose family he stayed with while in Ireland - and Deirdre decides to visit at the same time. James meanwhile receives an invitation to examine Lord Buttermere's new stallion.
Still short-handed with Tristan away in Ireland, Siegfried proudly announces that he has arranged for a vet, Willy Bannister, to assist them for a fortnight. To Calum's dismay, Willie is teetotaller who is fond of opera, but he brightens somewhat when Willy claims to be a good cook. James has to deal with the Wains, a brother-sister team of farmers who have somewhat different approach to life and work.
Siegfried goes on the warpath as a result of the number of farmers not paying their bills - in one case, no payment for three years! They draw up a black list of the worst offenders and decide to tackle the issue head on. But Siegfried doesn't worry when rumors have Major Bullen being bankrupt - as he is a gentleman, Siegfried is quite sure the Major will pay up. James once again has to deal with Mr. Biggins, who is constantly worried about paying too much for veterinary services.
Siegfried decides to take on a new student for a bit of practical experience. Calum is none too pleased but the student is a close friend's only child and he won't hear any complaints. Calum is also in a bad mood when Deirdre has to leave earlier than planned but regrets her departure less when the student, Emma Styles, arrives. She accompanies him on his rounds and he is quite taken with her but he questions whether it's practical for a woman to be involved in heavy animal work. Jack Sanders dog doesn't seem to be recovering from a fairly minor cut.
Having just returned from a two week holiday in Scotland, James has trouble re-adjusting to work. On his first day back, he does his rounds in shorts, much to the amusement of local farmers. Siegfried heads off on his own holiday and that means a lot of extra work for both Calum and James. Deirdre come to spend a week to help them out and the practice receives an unexpected visit from a nearby vet. James and Helen attend the local horses races where James places a bet on a horse called The Jackpot.
Calum nurses a young fox back to health but releasing it back to the wild proves to be more challenging than expected. Deirdre unexpectedly shows up in Darrowby on business, but is with someone called Anthony. Siegfried purchases a television in time to see the inaugural TV broadcast in the Dales; he even helps out one of the locals who won a television in a raffle. James and Helen treat an elderly gentleman's cat and only later realize that the owner is also in great need of care.