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Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts]…

Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets (edition 2011)

by Nick Trout

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606197,694 (3.75)None
Title:Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets
Authors:Nick Trout
Info:Broadway (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Public library
Tags:dogs, vets, memoir

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Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets by Nick Trout



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Of the three Nick Trout books I've read, this one early hits a smooth stride,
expressing not only the author's feelings, but those of his inspiring father and their dogs.

It also thankfully features way fewer veterinarian technical surgery descriptions, dog diseases
deaths and dying, instead focusing on live pet owners, everyone's humanity, and humor.

Vet mistakes are not glossed over, but none this time are fatal.

Just a minor change: where male = male, it is jarring to see bitch = female,
however traditional. Female = female, non? ( )
  m.belljackson | Feb 14, 2017 |
This is a mildly interesting book about Nick Trout's relationship with family pets. He grew up in England in the 60s with parents who idolized James Herriot. They owned a few dogs over their lifetime and Nick's father was a doting and indulgent dog owner. Nick ends up in the USA, marries and owns a cat and dogs of his own. The story is really about the importance of pets in the relationship with humans and how a pet can bring out the best in people. He and his wife's second child is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and Emily's dog Meg is central to her happiness. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Feb 18, 2016 |
Nick Trout grew up in England, with a mother who refused to get the family a dog... at least until there was talk of a neighborhood prowler. The grandparents had dogs - Marty the bad-tempered poodle and Cleo the loveable Dalmation, and that was enough. Or was it? Nick's father came home with Patch, a German shepherd, and Nick's life with pets began. Patch and his adventures were followed by Bess and Whiskey, and then Reginald C. Cat, Buster the homeless bulldog, Gracie, Sophie and Meg. Oh, and there was a wild bobcat that was hit by a car in there as well! Dr. Nick grew up in a normal house with a father who loved James Herriott, and dreamed of having a veterinarian son who would live like that in the Yorkshire dales. While he did become a veterinarian, Nick chose to specialize in surgery, and ended up moving to Boston (and then on to Arizona) to practice. His tales of what he has learned about life, love, and relationships from all of these animals are touching and delightful. Published for adults, this is a great memoir for all of our animal lovers. 7th grade and up. ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
Veterinarians, just like members of any other profession, are made, not born. What led young Nick Trout from his upbringings in England to his passion as a veterinarian surgeon isn’t as simple as being a lifelong lover of animals. It was the culmination of his relationship with his father, his mother and sister, and the pets he’s had or gotten to know along the way. His journey didn’t end upon graduation from University of Cambridge. It continued on through each part of his adult life. He tells his story, which is neither fantastic nor ordinary fluidly and with a humor unanticipated by this first-time Nick Trout reader.

I am not an animal lover by nature. It’s not that I don’t like them. I just have extremely little experience with them. Unlike my daughters, I never enjoyed zoos as a child. There were times that my siblings and I begged our parents for a dog. Knowing how much responsibility came with dogs, my parents never gave in to our pleading – even the time we worked up a pretty complex presentation for them. My husband also grew up largely without pets. Once we were married and moved into our own home, we never pursued pets of our own. You may be surprised that I ever picked up a copy Ever By My Side to listen to at all, even with Simon Vance as narrator. To be honest, you’re not wrong. There are so many things I am interested in that non-fiction about pets is something my eyes barely scan. That changed in this instance after I read a blog post about Ever By My Side on Simon Vance’s website. His heartfelt response to this book put in on my must listen list. I am happy that I did. Dr. Nick Trout’s discussion of his journey to and through his veterinary career was interesting and compelling.

There were many aspects of this memoir that were interesting: his early experiences as a veterinarian, selecting his daughter’s first puppy and joining a household with a resident cat, what stands out to me the most about Ever By My Side was the relationship between Nick Trout, his father and his father’s dogs. The first family dog, who was really his father’s dog, entered the house without the agreement of Mrs. Trout. I thoroughly enjoyed how the household adapted to the new family member. I could see my own dad doing something like that. It was interesting how the vision of veterinary school and Nick Trout’s future career diverged between father and son. There relationship was a thread woven throughout Ever By My Side. Pets aren’t the only creatures who stand by you no matter what you choose to do in life. All who stand ever beside you are your greatest blessings.

I fear I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is yet another excellent audiobook narrated by Simon Vance. That he himself is an animal lover added to the performance. That the book prompted him to write that beautiful post about his pets past and present was clear to me as I listened. Nick Trout’s memoir could not have been narrated better by anyone else.

I’m not sure what higher recommendation I can give Ever By My Side than to say that I was invested in Trout’s story from the very beginning. This woman, who was once a girl who easily grew bored at zoos, smiled, laughed, pondered and, in a few places, cried my way through this memoir. This isn’t just a memoir for animal lovers or those who would like to a look at the life of a veterinarian. It’s a memoir for everyone who appreciates how deeply humans can experience relationships with each other and with the animals who capture their hearts. ( )
  LiterateHousewife | Aug 29, 2011 |
Everyone who has ever owned a pet has, at one time or other, met a veterinarian. Some of us (myself included) have met surgeons. The people who, when things are decidedly not good, step in and perform miracles on our aging dogs and cats, hurt animals, young creatures with illnesses. Nick Trout is one of those vets. A veterinary surgeon in Boston, MA; Trout tells us of the years he wanted to grow up to be a vet and the years following his graduation. From Patch, the “Oh, by the way, dear we now own a dog” dog to Reggie (possible cat from Hell turned angel) and a course of others we learn how Nick Trout became a veterinarian and a surgeon at that.
His life is much like ours with a few kinks thrown in to keep it interesting. A father addicted to James Herriot, a mother addicted to golden retrievers and Nick in the middle trying to find his way amidst the dogs in his life. Mr. Trout, Sr. had envisioned Nick in Yorkshire Dales, sounding like Herriot and Dad at his side helping out in the office. Didn’t happen. When Nick goes into surgery, his father realizes that as Herriot-style life isn’t meant to be. When Nick moves to Boston for residency, he knows it for sure.
This book was lovely. Well phrased, even through tragedy; with real characters that could be sitting in my living room over a cup of tea discussing the latest football match. If you love animals you will truly enjoy this tale of dogs, a horrid/nice cat and a boy grown into his dream. ( )
  macygma | Mar 26, 2011 |
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In a perfect follow-up to his first two books, Nick Trout turns his lens inward and offers a funny, moving, and thoughtful memoir about the animals he's had all his life.

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