The Dog Ear: Animal lovers vet this book
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 22:03
This weekend, I was able to escape the cold weather of Storrs to travel with some members of the Pre-Vet club to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. We were attending the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA) Symposium. This was a weekend filled with veterinary lectures and labs, giving us a taste of different areas of veterinary medicine. Attending this symposium was a wonderful opportunity and while I was there, I was reminded of Dr. Nick Trout, a veterinarian and author.
Trout’s books are some of the few I’ve stumbled upon that are written by a veterinarian but not a medical textbook. His books are nonfiction tales of his life, animals, and veterinary experiences. For anyone considering the veterinary field or working with animals, these books are worth reading. Since applying and attending veterinary school is a major, life changing decision, I find it helpful to read the stories of a veterinarian who has already gone through the process and established himself in the field. His books show what there is to look forward to after the years and years of academic preparation have ended. However, Trout is honest with his readers. He acknowledges that veterinary medicine isn’t easy and happy all the time. While it has its shining moments, dying patients and euthanizing animals are unfortunately part of the job description.
“Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon” was the book that caught my attention. Readers experience a day in the life of Trout’s job as a surgeon at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Different cases are presented throughout the book with chapters creatively titled with the time in which the case occurred such as, “10:22 a.m. Minor Complications.” While exhibiting the modern-day technologies and techniques used to treat animals, Trout also shows that the veterinarian must not only be knowledgeable in their diagnoses and treatments but compassionate and patient with owners. Some think that people become veterinarians so they don’t have to work with people but Trout helps show that this idea is false. Developing relationships and proper communication with owners is crucial.
While “Tell Me Where it Hurts” shows readers what it takes to work at an emergency hospital, Trout gives readers insight into how he entered that part of his life in his next book, “Ever By My Side.” Trout grew up and attended veterinary school in England. As he explains his journey from childhood, to veterinary school, to an internship that made him to move to the United States, an animal is present along the way. Whether it is a dog or a cat, a pet is present to signify part of his life. By leaving his native country of England to marry and work in the United States, he shows that veterinary medicine can take you anywhere. If you’re fortunate enough to be accepted to veterinary school, who knows where that will lead you? Regardless of where you end up, if you are following your passion, that’s what matters.
Trout has also written another nonfiction book titled, “Love is the Best Medicine” and recently published a fiction book called, “The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs.” Spending the weekend at a veterinary school was a huge motivator for me but Trout’s words can also help provide extra motivation when things are looking grim. While pre-vet students need to push through difficult course requirements and an extensive application process, Trout’s writing shows that a rewarding and exciting career is waiting in the future.