Rated of 5
by Linda J. (Manchester, MO)
Ever By My Side
This book is must reading for anyone who has a pet, has had a pet, or will have a pet.
Veterinarian Dr. Nick Trout’s accounting of his journey to veterinary medicine grabs the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone.
Written in the similar style as John Grogan who wrote Marley and Me, Trout tells hilarious tales such as the time his yellow lab, Meg, who has a propensity of making nightly raids on the trashcan, gets a turkey carcass with the “end” result being what one would expect – and much more.
Born, raised, and educated in England, Trout knew his father was an animal lover and followed James Harriott, author of All Creatures Great and Small.
While Trout wanted a puppy, his mother would have none of it. When his father brings home Patch, a German shepherd, the dog bonds with the father more than Trout, but his father takes Trout along on all the veterinarian visits, piquing Trout’s interest in veterinary medicine.
When Patch finally succumbs to age-related disease, Trout’s mother, much to the surprise to the family, brings home a black lab mix, Bess, a puppy who had gotten her head stuck in a fence. Within days, his father brings home Whiskey, a golden retriever puppy. They prove to be quite a spirited mix.
The family moves to Yorkshire Dales, mainly because Harriott lives close by and because the father hopes that Trout will choose farm animals as his specialty.
That is not to be. After graduating from The Royal College of Veterinary Medicine, and visiting the United States, Trout chooses to go to the states to practice.
Trout marries and therein follows a succession of animals, Reggie C. Cat, Sophie, a Jack Russell terrier, and the infamous Meg.
He intersperses stories of these pets along with those of his patients, his successes and failures, and how his relationship with his father and the family pets have shaped him as a husband, father, and veterinarian.
I can see this being made into a movie with Matt Damon, Colin Farrell, or Liev Schreiber as Trout.
Trout now and his family live in Boston where he is staff surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center.