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The other family doctor : a veterinarian explores what animals can teach us about love, life, and mortality  Cover Image Book Book

The other family doctor : a veterinarian explores what animals can teach us about love, life, and mortality / by Karen Fine, DVM.

Fine, Karen R., (author.).


"All Creatures Great and Small meets Being Mortal in this compelling memoir of one woman's dream to become a veterinarian in a field historically dominated by men, and how, through her work both with her patients and their people, she comes to better understand humanity, mortality, and the unique role animals play in our lives. 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 contextualize pets' care in terms of their stories. 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; and 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 we can be better caretakers of the animals in our lives and, ultimately, of ourselves"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593466896
  • ISBN: 0593466896
  • Physical Description: viii, 294 pages ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, a Division of Penguin Random House, LLC, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-294).
Formatted Contents Note:
It's a Calling -- Veterinary School -- Sacrifices -- Ain't Doin' Right -- House Calls -- Where Puppies Come From -- New Beginnings -- A Whole New Tool Shed -- Dog of Honor -- The Universe Shifts -- He Knew Just What to Do -- Go Toward -- Bucket List -- Dances with Death -- A New Addition -- A Good Death -- The Red Dot in Winter -- Veterinarians in Crisis -- Rana in Summer -- Rana -- The Rana-colored Thread -- Stories of Medicine -- I Fix Broken Hearts -- Learning From Animals.
Subject: Fine, Karen R.
Veterinary medicine > Massachusetts > Anecdotes.
Veterinarians > Massachusetts > Anecdotes.
Veterinarians > Massachusetts > Biography.

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at Kenton County.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show All Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Erlanger Branch 636.089092 F495 2023 (Text) 33126022717395 New Adult Nonfiction Available -
Wm. E. Durr Branch 636.089092 F495 2023 (Text) 33126020009100 New Adult Nonfiction Available -

  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2022 October

    Fine has always followed her doctor grandfather's advice to listen to the patient—but her patients are animals, and she's a leader in the field of narrative medicine in veterinary medicine, for which she recently wrote a textbook. Here she recalls her career (a battle to launch in the 1980s, when most vets were male) and the many animals she's attended.

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal.
  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2023 January

    In her first book for a trade audience, Fine, a veterinarian of 30 years, discusses her experiences in the profession while also weaving in anecdotes related to her own pets. She provides candid accounts related to her struggles and growth as a veterinarian. Fine recounts the sexism, burnout, and stress many individuals in the veterinary field endure. Other chapters include stories related to her beloved grandfather whose medical career inspired her own, dealing with puppy mills, international veterinary work, establishing work/life boundaries, and implementing acupuncture in animal treatments. This is a lovely book in which Fine openly shares what she has learned about life, illness, death, and love from the animals she has treated and/or owned. She notes that loving animals should include recognizing that they will eventually die and argues that humans, like other animals, should try to remain present in the moment. Fine also offers resources and advice on grieving the loss of a pet, including writing a pet obituary. VERDICT This inspirational tearjerker is highly recommended for anyone who has ever owned or loved a pet.—Erica Swenson Danowitz

    Copyright 2023 Library Journal.

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