I’ve been a fan of veterinary stories since I was a child: the tales of a country vet in the Yorkshire Dales from James Herriot are a particular favorite that I come back to repeatedly. Nick Trout puts his own unique spin on the genre, bringing us Cyrus Mills in his struggles to assume the mantle of leadership of his deceased father’s clinic in a remote Vermont town.
I really liked Cyrus: he came to the veterinary puzzle with an attitude that serves many practicing vets well; he liked but didn’t find attachment to animals, and was more pleased with the puzzles that he could ferret out to find the cause of the animal’s disease. Never expecting to be a vet with patients, his career had been focused and successful in the pathology lab in the southeast: so his adjustments are multiple. Dealing with “pet parents’ who often are more of a trial than the animals, learning to work on live animals, finding the appropriate approach to diagnose are only a few of the issues: a struggling clinic, a voracious national chain of clinics in the next town, and the inherent loneliness of a new resident in the sparsely populated northern state.
He’s not particularly suave: in fact his crush on Amy keeps running into roadblocks: Cyrus is too much in his head: always looking to borrow trouble and overthink everything and his manner is far more Doc Martin than Don Juan. This easy and steadily paced story manages to touch on the slow development of Cyrus’ place in the community, and we see his desire to connect when he unexpectedly inherits a dog found caring for its now deceased owner.
There is no lack of Cyrus’ ability to care for and try to solve issues that he encounters either: a stuffed and mounted doggie on wheels is brought to him to repair tail damage, an overweight cat and its equally overweight owner’s daughter, and a showdown with the manager of the neighboring vet clinic are all handled with his unique approach.
Nick Trout has brought a life and a sense of the trials of a life to the reader: little insets of animal behavior and people’s relationship to their own pets while providing our main character with plenty of uncomfortable moments where we see how he will sort out the issues in front of him, or that he creates for himself. Slowly Cyrus is growing and learning, and developing a sense of communicating with people: the mainstay of his business success.
I found this story refreshing, fun and clever, and a perfect addition to my library of animal-inspired stories.
Title: Dog Gone, Back Soon
Author: Nick Trout
Published by: Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father's veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary. However, the previously reclusive veterinarian pathologist quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town-especially an alluring waitress named Amy.
So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive. Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor. And the rival vet practice isn't Cyrus's only competition; a handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy. To top it off, Cyrus finds himself both the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.
This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week, where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy's heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity. DOG GONE, BACK SOON brims with Nick Trout's trademark humor, charm, and captivating animal stories, and is proof that all dogs, lost or not, on four feet or two, deserve a second chance.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.