Book Review: The accidental vet

Congratulate yourself for being less whacky than you thought you were.

In search of a funny book to escape from these stressful covid times, I discovered the eBook The Accidental Veterinarian: Tales from a Pet Practice by Philipp Schott.  The adorable French Bull Dog on the cover snagged my attention. It reminded me of my friend’s floppy puppy Libby who has the charmed life of a British royal and brings a smile to everyone she meets. Animal lovers know the loving power of pets. 

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Dr. Schott is a seasoned animal vet practicing in Manitoba who shares the funny, complicated, sometimes heart-wrenching, and always entertaining scenarios that come with caring for pets and soothing their owners. The laughs quickly begin when he shares the unlikely reasons he chose his animal career and the octopus powers required. His friendly chatty style reads as if he’s talking to you in his backyard on a Sunday afternoon. The laughs continue and he gets full points for his descriptions such as chihuahuas looking like a baked potato with four toothpicks stuck in for legs and an angry walnut for a head. (Not to judge chihuahuas.)

Schott also sets us straight that along with the love for animals, an equally vital ingredient for becoming a vet is a love for people. Among the plenty of laughs about the wide landscape of pet names and mysterious ailments of fluffy kitties and wicked wild rabbits, Schott’s heart is moved by pet owners. The stories of their willingness to move heaven and earth for their pet’s good health will warm your soul.

Pet owners will appreciate the professional secrets for getting your furry beloved to swallow medicine, the truth behind dog and cat paranoia, the power of regular check-ups, the reasons cats purr, and how to help your vet to help your pet.  

Warning for those with extra tender hearts: there are a few serious pages divulging the down-side of being a vet. You may wish to skip the chapters “Black Coat” and “When Darkness Overcomes”.

If you need a fun book (with short chapters) to help you to get through these topsy-turvy times, this is a book for you.

Rana Shaskin is a librarian at the Brighouse Branch of the Richmond Public Library

The library’s Book Review Team is a diverse group of librarians and library technicians who each have unique reading interests and writing styles. The library’s book reviews provide interested readers with a sneak peek into the characters, the story and the most interesting elements of the book they have chosen to review.

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