July 22, 2012

Animal Tales

Love Is the Best Medicine
Dr. Nick Trout

I have a confession to make: I received this book for review from a goodreads.com giveaway (see what books are currently available for giveaway here), sometime last year, and I just now got around to reading it. I am an animal lover through and through, so I was sort of saving this one for a rainy day. In my experience, reading about animals of any kind usually brings me to tears (Where the Red Fern Grows is one of my all time favorites!). I haven't been in the mood that I could handle the emotional bomb that is animal literature, so this book waited for me on the shelf...

Until this week :-) Love is the Best Medicine is a memoir by a veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Trout wrote a book before this, Tell Me Where it Hurts, which I have not read, but is essentially a walk-through of 24 hours in the life of a high tech veterinarian. Love is the Best Medicine includes some modern animal medicine technologies and procedures, but with this book Trout describes two dogs who have changed his outlook on not only his profession, but his personal philosophies as well. A young Min Pin named Cleo and an old but energetic rescued Cocker Spaniel named Helen are the dogs who changed his perspective, and will live forever in the pages of his book. 

I've never read a book from the perspective of a veterinarian before, and it is definitely interesting to see even a little part of 'the other side'. One thing I am learning more and more as I get older, is that no matter what job someone has, they are still just people, and every person is prone to the same things that I am. Doctors make mistakes, judges, architects, and chemists all make mistakes. I do not understand why people can get so upset about getting a large bill from a doctor (and I understand that the money doesn't just go to the doctor, there are a lot of issues with pharmaceutical companies monopolizing things and whatnot), but being a doctor is a hard job, every single day, and they worked long and hard to get there. If you think about your own life, and even your own schooling...how much have you forgotten from your classes and school books? When you go to see a doctor, you expect him/her to remember everything he has ever learned about medicine PLUS keep up with all the new research/technology in the medical industry, because you want to stay as healthy as you can for as long as you can, and that is what you're paying for. Also, disease and medical ailments are not easy to identify, especially because everyone's body chemistry and anatomy is slightly different. that.job.is.hard. And personally, I am happy to pay a doctor or dentist as much as it takes, because when it comes down to it, the chances of them saving my life are a lot higher than me being able to save myself. 

Yikes, I find myself straying from the topic here...

The book was okay. It is about 250 pages and I read it in three week days (I mention week day, because I have a full time job, so I think that gives you a better estimate of how much time I spent reading it), so it went really quickly. I didn't find myself completely drawn into the story, though there were a few hilarious moments, and a few touching ones, and yes, I did cry - twice. The writing was a little rough around the edges, and I can't pinpoint why that is. I guess it just wasn't very emotional, although emotions/feeling were discussed, it just didn't resonate with me as deeply as I've been moved by animal stories before.

It was a nice light read, and not too heart wrenching. If you like to read about pet stories or behind the scenes medical type things, I recommend this one - I probably won't be reading it again, though. Also, I find it curious that both of his books have bulldogs on the covers, but there was no bulldog in this book (can't speak for the other one). They sure are cute though!

Speaking of dogs...here's mine!
Meet Molly
Peeking from behind a mirror...
Miss Molly and Me (I).

Happy Reading Everyone!

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