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Summary

Gareth Steel wants you to understand vets in a way you never could have before.

How it feels to watch a healed dog bound into their owner’s arms. The joy of breathing life into the fluid-filled lungs of a newborn calf after a difficult labour. The satisfaction of rescuing a distressed sheep from the high-tide line.

What it’s like to work 100-hour weeks for less than the minimum wage. How it can scar your soul to euthanise a beloved puppy with its grieving family beside you. The pressure of having to know such a diverse range of medicine, that one hour you can be protecting yourself from a dangerously distressed horse and the next you can be performing delicate surgery on a tiny mouse. How all these pressures have built up to the extent that vets have four times the national suicide rate, and why.

Gareth Steel has been a vet for nearly 20 years and has worked all over the UK, across both rural and city practices, dealing with all manner of household pets and farm animals. This is his fascinating raw account of just how involved the job is and the toll the extreme emotions that come with it can take, but it also a heart-warming and often humorous story of the desperate lengths we go to for the love of animals.

©2022 Gareth Steel (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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Very Insightful

this is a great book, getting behind the scenes and learning about the difficulties, as well as the joys, of this profession had made me admire vets even more.
Bring a midwife myself, I am all too familiar if the difficulties faced by medical professionals, yet vets have the added pressure off finances and not having as much support staff.

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Becomes overly political at times

I bought this hoping to get the vet equivalent of ‘this is going to hurt’ but found it much less engaging. You could skip whole chapters at a time which only give some sort of Ted Talk about the way we treat animals, it felt like a student trying to hit a word count and didn’t add to the experience of the story. In the end I gave up with the book.

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Thought provoking and funny

A very good book, that moved between funny and also deep meaningful messages about the world around us. Very well read and I stayed engaged throughout.

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Brilliant

I loved this book, and would highly recommend it. It's very funny and brilliantly written, and the narration is excellent.

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Excellent entertaining insight into life as a vet

Entertaining, well written tales of life in modern vet practice, highlighting the highs & lows for pets, vets & owners. As a vet I recognised many of the situations described, the heart warming successes against the odds, the tragic battles lost. The author discusses many of the hot topics of farming, pet ownership & veterinary medicine, all illustrated with passionate care.
Recommended for anyone with an interest in animals & a must for anyone considering working in the veterinary field to highlight the joys & challenges on the veterinary front line.
Brilliantly read as well. I very much enjoyed it

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  • ChHe
  • 21-04-22

Amazing book

This book describes every aspect of a vets life. It makes you laugh and cry. It says out loud what many of us vets go through on a daily basis. Beautiful to listen, I could not stop!!!