Ask the Animals: A Vet's-Eye View of Pets and the People They Love

Ask the Animals: A Vet's-Eye View of Pets and the People They Love

4.5 12
by Bruce R. Coston
     
 

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In the tradition of James Herriot, Bruce R. Coston's first book is a warm, funny, and amazingly fulfilling celebration of the wonderful world of animals as seen through the eyes of a small-town veterinarian. The patients are an eclectic and surprising cast of characters who display incredible bravery and nobility at times, and unbelievable goofiness at other times.

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Overview

In the tradition of James Herriot, Bruce R. Coston's first book is a warm, funny, and amazingly fulfilling celebration of the wonderful world of animals as seen through the eyes of a small-town veterinarian. The patients are an eclectic and surprising cast of characters who display incredible bravery and nobility at times, and unbelievable goofiness at other times. There's the dog that resurrected itself from death. There's Daphne, the transvestite cat who taught Bruce to be a cat person. And the owners are no less engaging, ranging from the angelic to the squeamish, teaching Bruce what it really means to be an animal doctor.

Readers will gain insight into the pathos and passion, the mundane and incredible, the thigh-slapping humor and the crushing sadness of a vet's life as he seeks to mend and restore people's treasured companions. Written with great warmth, this book imparts a deeper understanding of the pets that enrich our daily lives.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Veterinarian Coston writes warmly of his life as an animal doctor. With self-deprecation and humor, he tells the story of how he became a small-town veterinarian. Starting life as the animal-loving son of decidedly "non-animal" parents, Coston describes how he realized his calling and managed to procure a few pets. After veterinary school, and with his new wife, he became an intern at a 24-hour animal hospital and really learned his trade, treating a hypoglycemic cat one minute and a lame chinchilla the next. A move to Virginia and an associate position in a thriving practice brought a new baby along with a headtrauma kitten, and the discovery that the impaired cat was the perfect babysitter for his new son. The final move to a small town when he opened his own practice gave Coston exactly what he wanted-the opportunity to use his skills to make people's beloved pets well. This worthy addition to the large genre of veterinary memoirs is among the cream of the post-Herriot crop.

— Nancy Bent

Publishers Weekly
Virginia veterinarian Coston cobbles together a number of his columns from a local newspaper in this moving account of his practice. Heartbreaking vignettes include the pitch-perfect opening depiction of an elderly man's anguish over putting his dog down, Coston's own grief at the death of his beloved cat and a series of linked chapters about a wealthy man's love for his miniature dachshund. Coston leavens the somber stories with lighter moments—his first encounter with a sick chinchilla, for example, and his hilarious failure to convince a concerned caller that she isn't killing a baby chick by boiling an egg for supper. When writing from inside his practice and about his training to become a vet, Coston comes off as competent and compassionate, but too much of the collection draws from the author's mundane home life; more pet and less vet might have made for a Herriot-class book. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“A punctilious glimpse into the lives of the creatures we love most dearly--our pets. This memoir is a reflection on what makes us human. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about the lives of animals.” —Sacramento Book Review

“This worthy addition to the large genre of veterinary memoirs is among the cream of the post-Herriot crop.” —Booklist

“Many have tried to follow in the paw prints of the brilliant James Herriot, but few have succeeded. Time to add Bruce Coston to the list of worthy wordsmiths. His debut is simply fabulous.” —Jason F. Wright, New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Jars

New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Jar Jason F. Wright
Many have tried to follow in the paw prints of the brilliant James Herriot, but few have succeeded. Time to add Bruce Coston to the list of worthy wordsmiths. His debut is simply fabulous.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312382957
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Bruce R. Coston, D.V. M. received his doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota and has received the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences Service Award. He lives with his family in New Market, Virginia.

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