All Creatures Great and Small meets Being Mortal in this compelling memoir of one woman's dream to become a veterinarian in a field historically dominated by men, and how, through her work both with her patients and their people, she comes to better understand humanity, mortality, and the unique role animals play in our lives.
Karen Fine always knew that she wanted to be a vet and wasn't going to let anything stop her: not her allergy to cats, and not the fact that in the '80s veterinary medicine was still a mostly male profession. Inspired by her grandfather, a compassionate doctor who paid house calls to all his (human) patients, Dr. Fine persevered, and brought her Oupa's principles into her own practice, which emphasizes the need to understand her patients’ stories to provide the best possible care.
And in The Other Family Doctor, Dr. Fine shares all these touching, joyful, heartbreaking, and life-affirming tales that make up her career as a vet. There's the feral cat who becomes a creature out of a fable when he puts his trust in a young vet to heal his injured paw; the pot-bellied pig who grows too big to fit in the car but remains a cherished part of her family; the surprising colony of perfectly behaved ferrets; the beloved aging pet who gives her people the gift of accompanying them on one final family vacation; and the dog who saves his owner's life in a most unexpected way.
Woven into Dr. Fine's story are, of course, also the stories of her own pets: the birds, cats, and dogs who have taught her the most valuable lessons—how caring for the animals in our lives can teach us to better care for ourselves, especially when life seems precarious.
About the Author
Dr. Karen Fine is a leading expert in the emerging field of veterinary narrative medicine and an associate veterinarian at Central Animal Hospital in Massachusetts. For twenty-five years, she owned and operated her own house call practice. She is also certified in veterinary acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and is a graduate of the UMass Medical School’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. Dr. Fine is the author of Narrative Medicine in Veterinary Practice; this is her first book for a trade audience.