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Have you ever picked up a novel and read the back cover only to discover the protagonist is a veterinarian? It’s possible you purchased it for that reason. You read it, either reacting to the inaccurate portrayal of a veterinarian’s job or perhaps you were pleasantly surprised that the author had done his research. Or maybe a veterinarian wrote the book, relaying tales from her experience. You related to it, shared her experiences by reading about them.
As a book lover who also happens to write for a veterinary magazine, I couldn’t help wondering about these books about veterinarians. I discovered Goodreads’ list of 135 and narrowed it down to the following five, in no particular order (based on descriptions and reviews):
Edited by Lucy H. Spelmand and Ted Y. Mashima, "The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes” is a collection of stories by exotic animal veterinarians. These men and women share their often harrowing tales of the efforts they made to save an exotic animal, the outside-of-the-box solutions they came up with to help animals (such as fastening racehorse shoes to a rhinoceros to help with a foot disease) and the bond they shared with the exotic animals they helped.
This novel, penned by veterinarian Nick Trout, follows protagonist Dr. Cyrus Mills who inherits his father’s less-than-thriving veterinary practice. He returns to Vermont intending to sell the practice, but soon finds connections with his patients. "The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs” is a story of healing, forgiveness, finding oneself and starting over.
James Herriot, a former veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales of Northern England, writes from experience. "All Things Bright and Beautiful,” a sequel to Herriot’s "All Creatures Great and Small,” follows a newly-married Herriot as he cares for animals and humans alike.
Veterinarian Bruce R. Coston’s second memoir is a celebration of pets. He relays stories of the pets he’s treated at his practice in Virginia, including a dog who eats rocks because, according to his Greek owner, chewing on toys isn’t macho enough. Coston’s stories combine humor, warmth and tragedy into a wonderful collection.
5. Good Dog, Paw!:
Okay, so this one may not be entirely about a veterinarian, but it’s a children’s picture book told from the point of a view of a dog. And this dog, named Paw, is owned by a veterinarian. He gets to go to the veterinary practice every day and reassure the other animals through song. A cute little book for children of veterinarians.
What is your favorite veterinarian-related book? Tell us in the comments.