Posts Tagged With: dogs

Tell Me Where It Hurts – Healing and Hope In My Life as a Vet.

Tell Me Where It Hurts – Healing and Hope In My Life as a Vet.

Author: Dr Nick Trout

Publisher: Sphere, April 2009

Synopsis (taken from

‘It’s 2:47am when Dr Nick Trout, a British vet working in Boston, USA, is abruptly woken and called in to the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital to see if he can save the life of Sage, a ten year-old German Shepherd with a critical stomach condition. The case is severe, the outlook bleak, and Dr Trout is her only chance. So begins an intimate and exhilarating journey into a typical day in a far from typical job. TELL ME WHERE IT HURTS takes the reader to the heart of the trials and tribulations of life as a veterinary surgeon, a life filled with heartbreak, triumph, anxiety, and of course, cuddly pets and their variously crazy, desperate, and demanding owners.’



This book demonstrates 24 hours in the life of veterinary specialist Dr Nick Trout. He specialises in companion animals, in particular dogs. It is an emotional rollercoaster of the highs and lows, the pressures and anxieties of a busy day in the surgery’s ER department.

Dr Trout’s day starts just before 3am when he is called into emergency surgery by one of his residents who needs his expertise to try and save a German Shepherd called Sage. The book then follows his day’s appointments and operations. He talks of the pets, the ailments, the procedures and the owners. Dr Trout has to deal with poorly pets, anxious and over protective owners (or ‘parents’ as he calls them), the touchy subject of vets bills and all the while support new residents and fight his own exhaustion.

As a current ‘parent’ of a particularly unlucky and poorly pooch, this book appealed to me and gave me a good insight into the work of the specialist vets we have met and paid out to over the past two years.

Dr Trout trained in Britain but works in the US and he gives interesting comparisons to veterinary work and costs between the two countries. Sometimes the writing can be ‘technical’ but he usually goes on to explain it in layman’s terms. He also talks of his work with much smaller and much larger animals.

I would recommend this book to any dog or cat owner, or anyone who has ever visited a vet! It is a true story, factual, emotional and one of those books you find yourself thinking about when you are not reading it.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Sometimes, you read a book that you love so much, you want to tell everybody you know to read it.  This is one of those times.  This book is beautiful, sad, moving and funny.

The book is narrated by Enzo, a dog of indeterminate breed, who is on the eve of his death. He is not scared though, because he is convinced that he is going to be reincarnated as a man, and will finally be able to speak, and will be the proud owner of a pair of opposable thumbs.  Unlike many books where the narrator is an animal, this is not written as a comedy, although parts of it did make me laugh out loud.  

Enzo narrates his life, from the moment he was picked out of a litter of puppies by his master Denny, and a deep bond of love and loyalty was formed.

Denny meets Eve and they have a daughter, and for a while all is well with the family, but then a tragedy strikes them, and life starts to come apart at the seams.  Throughout all of Denny’s problems, Enzo is right there by his side.  He sees the sacrifices Denny makes, and how Denny has to put his dreams of becoming a champion race car driver to one side.

Enzo displays far more humanity than many of the humans in the book.  He is a deeply intelligent dog, who is frustrated by his inability to express his thoughts to the people around him.  He loves watching tv, and especially videos of Denny’s races.

The title is an allusion to Denny’s motor racing, which is a theme which runs throughout the book.  However, you certainly do not need to be a racing enthusiast to enjoy this book (I am not one, although I did learn some interesting facts about Formula One along the way)!

I also don’t believe that you need to be a dog lover to enjoy this read (although I am certainly doggie crazy).  This book was very moving indeed, and made me cry, but also made me smile through my tears.

After finishing it, I wished I had read it earlier, but simultaneously wished that I hadn’t read it yet, so that I still had that pleasure to come.  Highly recommended!

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