In 1947 I was a freshman student at the University of Arizona, majoring in Animal Husbandry under the G.I. Bill. One of our required courses was Introductory Veterinary Science, taught by Dr. William Pistor.
During the second week of the course Dr. Pistor began to reminisce about his practice days. That was the moment when I thought, “Hey! That’s what I ought to do! Go on to study veterinary medicine! I could work with animals and earn enough to someday own a farm of my own.”
I never veered from that goal. I dropped my G.I. Bill, saving it for veterinary school, to which I finally gained admission five years later.
I also went down to the Tucson library, to see if I could find any books about the profession. Remember, this was before television and today’s frequent shows featuring veterinary practices and, before James Herriot’s landmark series of books about his British veterinary practice.
All I could find was a book about a practitioner in the Netherlands (Dutch vet) and a couple of books by a Texas colleague.
That has all changed. Probably inspired by Herriot’s success, many colleagues have had autobiographical books published, including me (Most of My Patients Are Animals), 1995, later revised and republished as Yes, We Treat Aardvarks (2010).
I really enjoy the increasing number of books by various colleagues. What inspired this writing was reading one by a longtime fellow practitioner and skiing companion, Dr. Matthew Jenkins.
Although I have known him for half a century I knew little about his sensational career until I read his Positive Possibilities, Covenant Books, 2017. Wonderful book!
In just a couple of years I have read Slices of Life – One Veterinarian’s Story by William E. Jones, (2011), a longtime personal friend, plus several others.
If you are a veterinarian you cannot fail to be entranced by these books and the others now available by members of our profession. The lay public is, probably mostly by a love for and an interest in animals. However, for those of us in the profession, we can identify with and fully understand the impact of the author’s stories.
Please search the internet and check your local library for these books. You will love them as I do. And, above all, recommend them to the young people you meet who want to study our fascinating profession.
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