Goodreads ~ Mary Carlson didn't start out to become a veterinarian, let alone the owner and caretaker of cats (many), dogs (two, both huskies), and horses (some with manners, some without) in Colorado. She was a suburban Chicago girl; all she knew of the American West came from the stories her uncle, who had settled in northern Colorado, told her during his annual visits. But thanks to him, she ended up moving to Fort Collins, Colorado for college - and after falling in love with a man she'd become friends with in her final year of college, when he was a student at the CSU School of Veterinary Medicine, she remained there.
Watching the work Earl did as a veterinarian inspired Mary to eventually leave her tenured teaching position and enter vet school, after which she opened her own feline-exclusive clinic. Along the way, there were numerous pets, grueling years of vet school, a shattered hip, an enduring love, illness, and death - and the rediscovery that life, especially a life full of delightful animals, is worth living.
I love reading books about animals (and have read many) so that's why this one caught my eye. Plus how could I resist the animals looking down at me?!
Mary is a school teacher who decided to go back to school to become a vet (her husband, Earl, was also a vet), with a focus on providing services for cats. Then she decided she missed being a teacher so went back to teaching school (one school in the morning and a different one in the afternoon) while still providing vet services for cats. In retirement, it sounds like she is going to law school. On top of that, she and Earl had a small farm where they kept a couple horses along with pet dogs and cats.
When I started reading the book, which is billed as a "vet's memoir", I was expecting it to be full of animal stories ... her pets and her patients. There were stories about animals (her dogs, cats and horses) which I liked. But it was more heavy with stories from her personal life ... her father-in-law's death, her husband's death, recovering after falling off a horse, going back to school and more. So to me, it missed the mark, especially considering the pictures on the cover (I don't remember there being any guinea pig stories).
The stories were scattered as they weren't in chronological order ... she bounced all over the place, back and forth. And I found there was a lot of repetition ... she tells us a couple times how she got her $100 horse but it was like she was telling us for the first time every time which I found odd. When I checked her website, I saw she has a blog so I'm wondering if this book is a compilation of some of her old blog posts?
I really wanted to like this book but for the most part, I didn't.