Follow-up to All My Patients Have Tales (2009).
Veterinarian Wells returns with another collection of warm, humorous tales of the animals he treats and the people who own and care for them. He introduces us to a cross section of critters who come through his office, or who he has to visit. The author doesn’t just deal with dogs and cats, but also sheep, goats, llamas, cattle, horses, donkeys and mules, most of which require outpatient visits. The stories are as much about the human owners as about the animal patients; for pet owners, Wells provides insight into a vet's view of the world. The phrase “he's never tried to bite anyone in his life” has special meaning for them, and the author includes a story of a group displaying and discussing their wounds and scars. Dealing with the unexpected—llamas who don’t want their nails trimmed, teenagers looking to get high on feline distemper vaccine, a herd of Scottish Highland cattle trying to protect a calf from the vet—makes for some high-tension reading. And then there are the owners, reluctant to upset the vet with fears of what might happen. Wells includes tips, perhaps not practical for everyone, but entertaining, how Vicks vapor rub obscures smell and helps ewes adopt, not reject, orphaned lambs. There are also moving stories of difficult births and life-saving efforts in nighttime winter snows. Wells weaves in the struggles of his own life and marriage with his wife's successful fight against recurrent cancer, and their adoption of an orphan from Korea.
Good-natured, inviting animal tales.