I would have bought this book for other reasons – it has a cute dog on the cover, it’s about veterinary medicine – but the real reason I bought this book is a little more selfish. The author, Nick Trout is a veterinarian and he did surgery on my childhood dog almost 20 years ago. That dog was 5 years old and for a while my parents thought they would have to euthanize him. But the surgery was successful and he lived another 9 years.
A small part of me wanted to see him in print, but his was not a sensational surgery or an emergency one. This book features both types of surgery, after all, who wants to read about the routine and mundane? That’s just not exciting and probably doesn’t sell many books.
The format of this book condenses 25 years of experience (including many patients and owners) into a “day in the life” of Dr. Nick Trout. It’s an exhausting day for him, but a vastly interesting one for the those of us reading. Of course you must have an interest in all things veterinary. This book is not for mere animal lovers; it’s not James Herriot (though he never shied away from the gross). There is some technical jargon which, if it’s confusing, you can probably skim, but for those of us who love anatomy it’s very intriguing.
There is one particular patient whose overarching story connects the book and you will get attached to her and her owner. In between there are dozens of other patients and scenarios, some lighthearted, some tragic, some funny and some just plain sad. Dr. Trout’s experience is vast and though he has the brain of a surgeon he has a heart big enough to hold all the patients he cares for.