By Kristen Nelson, D.V. M.
This is a slice of life (covering several months, I think) for Minnesota veterinarian Kristen Nelson. I'm guessing the woman must have taken a LOT of notes during the time period she's writing about, but when did she find the time? Seriously, WHEN, the woman barely has time to wolf a sandwich down and she's scarily sleep deprived after taking care of a cat hourly overnight for three nights in a row. Anyway, this book tells about the various cases she's dealing with, some of them on a recurring basis.
Despite the title, the aforementioned blind cat--Radar, the one on the cover-- doesn't really become old enough to be a character in the book until after the 200 page mark. He's born without eyeballs and the breeder who owned him asked to euthanize him (note: this is not something you want to say to a vet about a healthy animal that isn't near death)--but Kris was all, "no, I'll take him! He'll be a clinic cat!" When Radar is finally old enough to be picked up, Kris goes to the breeder's house, which reeks of cat pee because she lets her four toms roam around for six hours each, peeing all over the basement. (The breeder is all, "Can't imagine why my son's wife won't come here, she's such a snob." Meanwhile Kris is tearing the hell up from the smell.) Anyway, once little Radar is bathed and goes through quarantine, he turns out to be quite adorable and live up to his name in more ways than one, somehow knowing which people in the clinic are the most upset and need snuggling. Awwwww.
The funniest story in the book is Ivan the Doberman, who ah....well, they need to get a semen sample from him. How's that going to happen, Rich the owner asks? Kris ignores the question over the phone, but we find out it involves.... yup, manual stimulation on the part of the vet. Repeatedly. Into an artificial vagina, hopefully. Except poor Ivan may be unneutered, but he still has no idea how to do something that's normally a no-no at home. He'll someday love coming to the clinic, eh? HAR HAR HAR. Except several tries later, he's still not getting there and Rich trains Ivan to bring the vet flowers. HAHAHAHAH. Then the vet gets the idea to bring a girl dog around. The first dog (a Rottweiler) is a no-go, but Sadie the cocker spaniel, with rhinestone collar and purple bows on her ears, turns out to be Ivan's type. Rich is all "You've got to be kidding me," but gamely, awkwardly asks Sadie's owner for....y'know, assistance in butt-sniffing. Sadie's owner Paula awkwardly caves in, and everyone makes sure Sadie is fine--and Ivan finally does his duty. And Rich buys Sadie some treats.
There's a lot of recurring animal characters, and you learn lessons about how you really need to make sure your iguana is WARM in Minnesota and you really, really, really need to spay and neuter your pets. (Oh, the poor dogs that died from prostate issues....) There's some miracle saves, including one LITERAL miracle when one lady prays to St. Francis to save her dog. It's very sweet. And there's a few pet owners that just give you the creeps, like the SUPER macho dude with a giant Great Dane that is of course named Butch. Kris warns the guy that his dog really should be neutered and get some obedience training, but Mr. Macho won't do THAT. We don't find out what happens to him, but you really feel for Lilah, the poor dog whose owner Kay supposedly super loves her, but Kay pretty much only listens to the incredibly dubious breeder she got Lilah from, AND when some of Lilah's puppies don't come out to breeder snuff....well, maybe more sensitive folks to animal death shouldn't be reading this book anyway.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. Four stars.