The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality
NOW AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER!
Release date is March 7, 2023
All Creatures Great and Small meets Being Mortal in this compelling memoir of a life working with, and learning from, animals.
Karen Fine always knew that she wanted to be a vet and wasn’t going to let anything stop her: not her allergy to cats, and not the fact that in the ‘80s veterinary medicine was still a mostly male profession. Inspired by her grandfather, a compassionate doctor who paid house calls to all his (human) patients, Dr. Fine persevered, and brought her Oupa’s principles into her own practice, which emphasizes the need to understand her patients’ stories to provide the best possible care.
And in The Other Family Doctor, Dr. Fine shares all these touching, joyful, heartbreaking, and life-affirming tales that make up her career as a vet. There’s the feral cat who becomes a creature out of a fable when he puts his trust in a young vet to heal his injured paw; the pot-bellied pig who grows too big to fit in the car but remains a cherished part of her family; the beloved aging pet who gives her people the gift of accompanying them on one final family vacation; and the dog who saves his owner’s life in a most unexpected way. The animals in her life become her teachers, and when Dr. Fine’s beloved dog receives a devastating diagnosis, it is the lessons she’s learned from her patients and her own pets that guide her through the challenges ahead.
Dr. Fine’s story provides rare insight into the world of today’s veterinarians, who must counsel people in addition to caring for their animal patients, and illustrates the depth and significance of our relationships with our pets.
Here’s a quote from an early reviewer about what the book helped her realize:
“…just because we have doubts, and insecurities, and make mistakes it doesn’t mean we’re bad pet parents. The relief I felt time and time again while reading the book was amazing. It seemed like every other page I was saying, ‘Oh wow, if she felt like that/did that then I’m not horrible for feeling/doing similar.’ …This book is a salve to the aching soul. This book is the trusted mentor who pats us on the shoulder and says, ‘It’s alright…Even experts don’t have all the answers. Even experts cry.’”
–Sky E. Burr-Drysdale