Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Petsby Nick Trout
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“The lessons that these animals taught me have been subtle, startling, and inspirational, playing a small but vital part in helping to shape the person you see with the stethoscope around his neck.” —Dr. Nick Trout
New York Times bestselling author Nick Trout has captivated readers by taking them behind the scenes into the heartwarming—and sometimes heartrending—world of veterinary medicine. In Ever By My Side, Nick turns the lens inward to offer a funny, moving, and intimate memoir about how the pets he has had throughout his life have shaped him into the son, husband, father, and doctor he is today. Using his relationships with those beloved animals to tell his life story, Nick shares the profound lessons he’s learned about friendship, loyalty, and resilience. The result is a moving story that speaks not just to animal lovers, but to any reader who appreciates the bonds we have with our loved ones, be they animal or human, and the lengths to which we go to nurture those bonds.
Nick waxes nostalgic about his boyhood in a working-class British suburb, where a large German shepherd named Patch was the perfect companion to a scrawny, bookish boy in a neighborhood full of bullies. He writes about his relationship with his father, the man who nurtured Nick’s dream of becoming a vet, even though he couldn’t have imagined the career would lead his only son 3,000 miles away. He describes wooing his future wife and stepdaughter and (perhaps most difficult of all) their ornery cat. And he offers a poignant chronicle of his daughter’s devastating diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and how a little yellow Labrador retriever played an important role in bringing joy to their family when they needed it most. Alongside Nick’s warm reflections, the pets in these pages come alive as irresistible characters in their own right and showcase the power of animals to offer a lifetime of consolation, guidance, and abiding affection.
Tender, wry, and ruminative, Ever By My Side is a tribute to the power and beauty of ordinary life and a celebration of how pets make it all the sweeter and richer.
From the Hardcover edition.
Veterinarian surgeon Trout (Love Is the Best Medicine, 2009, etc.) writes about his father and the pets they shared in this loving, humorous memoir.
Growing up in a working-class British suburb, the author longed for a dog of his own. With encouragement from his frequently unemployed father, he lobbied his mother, who at first adamantly opposed adding another mouth to the family. Success came after a wave of neighborhood break-ins demonstrated the advantages of a having a watch dog at home. So Patch, a part–German shepherd puppy, joined the family. Despite Trout's love for Patch, the dog primarily bonded with his father. The author describes his initial jealousy: "I was the friend who got him the introduction and now I was the one getting dumped." Patch proved to be rambunctious and difficult to control but much beloved. Trips to the vet were especially difficult, even though the doctor took Patch's excitability in stride. Trout's father settled into a career as an electrician, but he always desired a country life. The author discovered that along with his love of animals, he had a predilection for science. When he expressed an interest in possibly becoming a veterinarian, his father was so enthusiastic that he began flooding the house with books by James Herriot and TV episodes of All Creatures Great and Small. Stranger still, his father began adopting the fictional Herriot's mannerisms, dress and Yorkshire way of speech. A succession of family pets followed Patch, and Trout embarked on the challenging path of becoming a veterinary surgeon, eventually relocating to the United States, where he married and started his own family. Sadly, he began to realize that although he always had his father's unconditional support, he was disappointed that his son did not follow in the footsteps of Herriot and become a country veterinarian.
A tender tribute to the author's father, sure to please fans of Trout's previous two pet-focused books.
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Meet the Author
Nick Trout graduated from veterinary school at the University of Cambridge in 1989. He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and is a staff surgeon at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He is the author of two books, the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Where It Hurts and Love is the Best Medicine and has been a contributing columnist for The Bark and Prevention magazines . His new book, Ever By My Side, will be published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, in February 2011. Nick considers himself a runner (though his marathon days are behind him), an avid reader and a passionate advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters and their two dogs, Meg, their yellow Labrador, and Sophie, their Jack Russell terrier. Visit Nick Trout online at www.facebook.com/drnicktrout
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Anyone who enjoyed reading the All Creatures Great and Small series should also enjoy this book. Any animal lover can relate to the stories and more importantly just enjoy the celebration of the strong and undefinable love that exists between people and the animals they bring into their families.
I've read all of Dr. Nick Trout's books, and like 'Ever By My Side' the best (all are excellent, however). It was nice to read about Dr. Trout's life, growing up, and on into adulthood, his family, his love for animals, and his journey into becoming a vet/surgeon.