You Bought It, You Read It: Tell Me Where It Hurts

It may come as no surprise to you that I had a book written by a veterinarian on my shelf.  I bought this book several years ago and it has sat all lonesome on my shelf until now.  I should have finished this earlier, but I finally became the victim of a winter cold.  (Dammit, I almost made it to spring!)  There is nothing worse than being so snotty that you can’t even enjoy words!


Tell Me Where It Hurts by Dr. Nick Trout


It’s 2:47 a.m. when Dr. Nick Trout takes the phone call that starts another hectic day at the Angell Animal Medical Center. Sage, a ten-year old German shepherd, will die without emergency surgery for a serious stomach condition. Over the next twenty-four hours Dr. Trout fights for Sage’s life, battles disease in the operating room, unravels tricky diagnoses, reassures frantic pet parents, and reflects on the humor, heartache, and inspiration in his life as an animal surgeon. And he wants to take you along for the ride.…

From the front lines of modern medicine, Tell Me Where It Hurts is a fascinating insider portrait of a veterinarian, his furry patients, and the blend of old-fashioned instincts and cutting-edge technology that defines pet care in the twenty-first century. For anyone who’s ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your veterinarian’s office, Tell Me Where It Hurts offers a vicarious journey through twenty-four intimate, eye-opening, heartrending hours at the premier Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

You’ll learn about the amazing progress of modern animal medicine, where organ transplants, joint replacements, and state-of-the-art cancer treatments have become more and more common. With these technological advances come controversies and complexities that Dr. Trout thoughtfully explores, such as how long (and at what cost) treatments should be given, how the Internet has changed pet care, and the rise in cosmetic surgery.

You’ll also be inspired by the heartwarming stories of struggle and survival filling these pages. With a wry and winning tone, Dr. Trout offers up hilarious and delightful anecdotes about cuddly (or not-so-cuddly) pets and their variously zany, desperate, and demanding owners. In total, Tell Me Where It Hurts offers a fascinating portrait of the comedy and drama, complexities and rewards involved with loving and healing animals.

Part ER, part Dog Whisperer, and part House, this heartfelt and candid book shows that while the technology has changed since James Herriot’s day, the humanity and compassion remains unchanged. If you’ve ever had a pet or special place in your heart for furry friends, Dr. Trout’s irresistible book is for you.

My Review:

Woo!  That one was wordy!  I almost feel like I could get by without saying anything.

I know the average reader will go to this book for cutesy animal stories and they are there.  For me, the read was therapeutic in a sense.  It’s nice to hear that these sort of scenarios go down in other hospitals.  There’s emergencies in the middle of the night, surgeries to remove the most disgusting things from intestines, owners who can’t stop trying to find a cure and people who think that veterinary medicine is a waste of the consumer’s money.

Veterinary medicine has challenges by the boatload.  We practice on a wide spectrum of species.  We meet people who want to do everything for their pet but don’t have the money.  There are people with tons of money but would never spend it on a dog or cat.  You’ll see cases that you know are doomed from the start, but sometimes you’ll have miracles pull through when you least expect it.

All of this plus being constantly sprayed with some sort of bodily excrement and still being able to smile when people refer to MD’s as real doctors.

I found myself crying during several stories and laughing uncontrollably at others.  (The Jack Russler story… hilarious!)  All of the stories in the book do not actually take place in the ‘Day Of Humor, Healing And Hope’.  As he takes on each new case, he recalls other similar cases.  Anyone who has spent time with a veterinary crowd knows that one story leads to another story that leads to another.  I saw some reviewers found this sort of story telling awkward.  I guess it came naturally to me.

I plan to pass this book around to my coworkers.  If you are in the veterinary field, I strongly recommend this book for some R&R reading that still ties in with your occupation.  If you are an animal lover, I think you will enjoy it also.  If you don’t love animals, then you are just a weirdo.

Next on the You Bought It, You Read It Mission:  One Night Stands With American History by Richard Shenkman and Kurt Reiger. 


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