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Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon Hardcover – March 11, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the perfect gift for anyone considering becoming a veterinarian. Trout, a staff surgeon at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, has exactly the traits that any pet owner would wish to find in a vet: he's smart, sensitive, experienced, empathic and has an excellent sense of humor. He also happens to be an excellent writer, and his personality suffuses the many stories sifted from recollections of thousands of animal encounters during his 25 years of practice and compressed in this account into one day. Trout shows how the daily life of a veterinarian requires the ability to be a social worker, a psychologist, a grief counselor, mentor, carpenter, plumber, cosmetologist, athletic coach, magician, grim reaper, and occasionally, guardian angel. And in some of the more heart rending stories, such as that of an older widowed man dealing with the potential loss of his shepherd companion, Sage, Trout shows his sensitivity to the fact that in each case, The rewards and strength of the bonds with the animals in their lives proved irresistible, irrepressible, and more than worth the risk. (Mar. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Far from the rustic environs of James Herriot’s Yorkshire Dales comes an equally heartwarming, yet high-tech, memoir of a veterinarian. Trout is a staff surgeon at a large veterinary practice in Boston and writes with equal facility of the clinical side of animal surgery and the emotional side of the human bond with animals. Couching his stories as a 24-hour “day in the life of,” the author has squeezed his reminiscences into a single day to capture “the pace, the rush, and the intensity of all that is new in twenty-first-century veterinary medicine.” As he moves from the 2:00 a.m. emergency surgery on a dog with a twisted bowel to an outwardly male boxer with an undescended testicle and an infected uterus, or euthanizes an old Labrador retriever, Trout looks back on earlier cases, muses on such subjects as the ethics of euthanasia and the costs of modern veterinary procedures, and wonders at the different ways the love shared between owner and animal is expressed. This is an addictively readable chronicle of what it means to be a veterinarian today. --Nancy Bent

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; First Edition edition (March 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767926439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767926430
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was amazing...I started reading it, standing in Barnes and Nobel with a cup of coffee....I couldn't put it down and ended up buying it before the store closed....I laughed, I cried, but mostly some of the tales of profound love between humans and animals, gave me chills.

Although there are many good animal books out there, this one was exceptional. It was incredibly well-written. If this author ever decides to become an award-winning novelist, he could do that...and perhaps he will, with this book!

He captures the humor, pathos and all in-between of the human-animal bond. And, I might add, I usually avoid these books, because I hate the part where the pet dies etc. etc. but really, although there are sad passages in this, as would be expected in a vet hospital story, the main ingredient is the total celebration, awesome really, of the bond and great love between humans and their pets.

Although there were many, one story that captured me was the man who loved his dog so much, that when the dog died the inevitable death of old age, the man took a photo of the dog, cut it out and wore it on a chain around his neck for a whole year, to keep the flame of love alive for his beloved dog.

There are unforgettable characters in this book, human and animal.....and the writing is truly excellent. Wow, what a book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Nick Trout is the vet you wish you had, calling your pet "sweetheart" and working with skill and compassion to keep your animal friend happy and healthy. He understands the intense depth of feeling that people can have for their pets. In Tell Me Where It Hurts, Trout tells fascinating stories from his quarter century of being an animal surgeon. The empathy he has for both animals and people spills from every page.

I'm a sucker for books about animals, especially from a veterinary point of view. I grew up devouring James Herriot's wonderful books (All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All and Every Living Thing).

Tell Me Where It Hurts is just as well-written and addictive as these classics. I forgot I was reading a book and felt immersed in the life of this caring doctor and the noble, funny animals he treats.

Along the way, Trout describes the amazing progress made in the past couple of decades in veterinary science. Procedures that used to be only for humans -- organ transplants, joint-replacements, chemotherapy, MRIs -- are now available options for animals.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up in the Boston area and actually remember my parents using Angell Hospital for a dog we owned that had been hit by a car. That was back in the mid 1960s and it was the place to go then, and apparently it is still the place to go if you need care that exceeds that of a local veterinarian.

Dr. Trout takes the reader on not only a tour of the hospital, by way of rounds and consultations, but also a tour of the owners of the pets involved and the feelings generated by pet lovers for their pets. During his examination he places, front and center, many of the issues in the industry today. How much are you willing to pay, how much are you able to pay, and what is really best for the animal? All three are distinct and separate questions that Trout feels people in the veterinary profession have to be aware of. And these are only three of the many he poses.

Dr. Trout exemplifies the type of surgeon you would want working to save your pets life and comes across as caring and involved. The book is emotional and I was laughing one moment and crying the next. I could and did sympathize with owners as well as with the pets and with the doctors involved. Whatever else this book does, it will make you think about a lot of things that need to be thought about. And it will entertain you along the way.
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Format: Paperback
I, too, grew up reading James Herriott's novels --- all of them. I grabbed this book after reading the back which includes a quote, "Fabulous...the best veterinary book that's been written since All Creatures Great and Small." That's a mighty endorsement. One, unfortunately, that never holds up. James Herriott's books were full of warmth, even when the animal being seen didn't make it. You could feel the relationship between person and pet. This book is flat in comparison. The author begins well, but then can only ramble from one subject to another, waiting for pages and pages to give you the outcome. It's great if you're a vet in training. It goes into great detail about costs, women vets taking over the profession, clients with internet diagnoses..WAIT! But what about the dog? Can we just go BACK TO THE DOG? I'm sorely disappointed in this book. It promised more.
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