When I decided to become a dog trainer, a lot of my family and friends said, "Why don't you just go to vet school?". As though those two professions are the same thing. I help with a dog's mind and behavior. Veterinarians help with what is physically wrong with the dog. Don't get me wrong, I toyed with the idea, but after reading this book, I'm glad I decided on training, not vet school. Let's face it, I'm awful at giving my dogs medicine. Pill Pockets may be the greatest invention of the last thousand years. I can't even trim my dog's nails! (Yes, I know, I'm a hypocrite...)
Dr. Trout tells the story of a typical day working as an animal surgeon. His day starts at 2:47 AM when he gets a call that there is a German Shepherd that needs emergency surgery for Bloat. Bloat is a condition, common in large breed dogs where their stomach basically twists and flips so it can't function. It has a high fatality rate. If you read Marley & Me *spoiler* that is how Marley died. *end spoiler*
Dr. Trout tells more stories of patients and owners, some of which are sad, and some of which are downright funny. He seems like the kind of guy that I could hang out with at a bar, exchanging weird pet owner stories. I could tell him about the lady at my store that was opening all of the bottles of doggy bath spray and holding them under the nose of her spoiled Pomeranian so he could, "pick the smell that he likes". I could also tell him about the lady who has a Schnauzer that lunges and bites when suddenly woken up, but she can't bear to kick him out of her bed, even after he bit her on the face! Let's face it, we're all nuts about our pets.
My favorite story in the book was just a quick paragraph, but it was funny and sad at the same time. Apparently, after a lady's precious kitty passed on, she had him professionally stuffed by a taxidermist. Well, a few months later she took him to the vet clinic because he had a chronic skin infection. Imagine that scene in the waiting room! If this lady ever comes into my store, she will inevitably find me to talk to - I attract Crazy Cat Ladies.
Dr. Trout also talks about important issues facing both veterinarians and pet owners today - the rising costs of veterinary services, the explosion of animal obesity, and the upside/downside of pet parents who get their information from the internet. I thought this book was very informative, but maybe a little too technical. I enjoyed it, and it was a quick read. Anyone considering a career in veterinary medicine should read this book, it was very candid.