NO JOB FOR A LADY: The Autobiography of M. Phyllis Lose, V.M.D. by

NO JOB FOR A LADY: The Autobiography of M. Phyllis Lose, V.M.D.

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As the story of a female equine veterinarian in the 1940s, this book is heartwarming to the point of heartburn. But once past the little girl who tearfully asks a policeman, ""Please, is there any law that says I can't keep a pony in our garage?""--or the ""jolly Dutch girl,"" ""kind hearted nun,"" ""good kind mother,"" and ""dear father""--the life of the vet emerges in vivid detail. There are endless emergencies as foals need to be turned, lubricated, helped into the world, and once--to save the mare--sawed into little pieces while in the womb. After a start exercising horses at a stable and then at a race track, Lose went on to become one of three woman trainers in the U.S. and, at 19, the youngest. She gave up her successful career showing and raring horses to concentrate on veterinary school, and eventually became a vet for A. A. Biddle when a cocksure diagnosis proved true (and she managed to hide the fact that she'd accidentally killed a prize chicken). Working for Ringling Brothers when the circus was in Philadelphia, she learned to deal with a polar bear whose paws were sore and whose fur turned green; she also treated elephants with cuts and a leopard who rejected her kittens. Lose explains some of the tricks of training circus animals (big cats will run on barrels because they dislike jumping from heights), but points out that lion tamers expect to spend one fourth of theft wages on hospital bills. As vet for the Philadelphia mounted police, Lose was called to save horses from bullet wounds, quicksand, and high tension wires. Ultimately, she was able to open her own equine hospital, where she could pursue research on foot problems (inventing a new surgical technique for lameness) and foaling. Young readers may enjoy the book as a whole: older readers will have to settle for the later, better parts.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan