Companion Animal Psychology Book Club December 2023

“A delight for past, present, and prospective pet owners. And for everyone else.”—David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal

A selection of books with puppies, cats, a hedgehog, for the animal book club

By Zazie Todd PhD

Find out what the Animal Book Club is reading this month. But first, here's a teaser: the first sentence of the book.

"The cat had come with the house." Animal Book Club December 2023, and the Companion Animal Psychology logo

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From the publisher,
"A tribute to our furry, feathery, scaley, and wet family members, All Creatures Great and Small meets Being Mortal in this compelling memoir of one woman's dream to become a veterinarian.

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
  • 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."

The Other Family Doctor is available from all good bookstores and my Amazon store

The cover of the book The Other Family Doctor by Karen Fine DVM

The book club is open to subscribers to the Companion Animal Psychology newsletter or substack. Details of how to join are included in your welcome emails.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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