A readable look at life as seen through the eyes of a busy veterinarian.

This debut memoir skips from subject to subject, as Idaho resident Stephens (affectionately called “Dr. Jack”) shares information and opinions about animals, health care and the relationship between the two. Along the way, he’s assertive and self-deprecating by turns and often vastly entertaining. After he underwent throat-cancer surgery, he was forced to communicate primarily by writing things down, so here, in chatty, fact-filled prose, he draws upon his personal experience, informed by medical expertise, to share a wealth of anecdotes and advice. Early in his career, he realized that some clients couldn’t afford to treat their pets’ illnesses, and so, in 1980, he became involved in establishing pet insurance as a viable option. He includes a useful checklist for evaluating insurance coverage, as well as a list of recommended websites and readings. He also tells of his involvement with other animal-saving projects, including NASCAR tie-ins to benefit pet adoption and Pups on Parole, a Nevada program that pairs shelter dogs with women prisoners. In another section, he weighs in on hunting: He’s in favor of it, when it’s regulated, and explains the practical advantages of hunting for controlling wild animal populations. Despite having a household full of pets, he confesses his surprise at forming special bonds with small dogs he once scorned as “coyote bait…those yippy, yappy lapdogs.” He also details his difficult choices regarding his stage 4 cancer diagnosis, an experience that he says proved the healing power of his miniature pinscher, Spanky; afterward, he writes, “Prescribe Pets, Not Pills” became his motto, and he describes how companion animals can evoke psychological and biochemical transformations. “Take it from this former macho guy—indulge and bond with your pet,” he writes.

A cogent, engaging celebration of the human/animal connection that may persuade readers to rush out and adopt a pet.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1475159202

Page Count: 236

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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