Fresh out of veterinary college, Dr. Dave Perrin has been in practice for two days in the Creston Valley, and already he’s found trouble. He has encountered William, the aggressive billy goat, and Theo, the intrepid Doberman. (Theo has recently discovered the delight of chasing chickens on the neighbour’s property.)
“Sweet” William and Theo are just two of the fabulously entertaining characters that the country vet encounters. There are times he’s not sure if he’s in the right business, even though he’s wanted to be a veterinarian since he was a kid growing up on a mountain farm near Trail, British Columbia. The fascinating human characters he befriends help him through his first year of practice.
Don’t Turn Your Back in the Barn focuses on the humorous incidents that inevitably happen in a rural practice that treats cows in the morning and kittens in the afternoon. He relies on Doris, his steadfast assistant, to help him in the surgery and to organize the daybook, but even she sometimes has trouble balancing his hectic schedule.
This first volume of stories provides a real-life look at the rigours of practising veterinary medicine in a country setting. Pathos is a given as Dr. Perrin deals with his own emotions and those of his human clients, who must often make hard decisions about their beloved animals.
The introduction to this best-selling collection says, “Dave Perrin is not afraid to display his emotion in his writing nor to reveal his own frailties. But the element that runs through each story is his passion—for his work, for his patients, and for the mountains and fertile flat lands that surround the Kootenay River.”
Illustrations: Wendy Liddle