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Creatures of the Rock: A Veterinarian's…
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Creatures of the Rock: A Veterinarian's Adventures in Newfoundland

by Andrew Peacock

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A husband and wife, one an animal doctor and the other a human doctor practice medicine in Newfoundland. After the birth of their children, Ingrid’s medical practice settled into routine hours while emergency still had Andrew out all hours. There are the usual animal having trouble giving birth, milk fever, pneumonia, and worms. The location also adds the unusual, whales, polar bears, and Caribou. He finds treating animals is more difficult if you cannot understand the owner’s dialect. The interactions between veterinarian, owners, and animal provide some laughs, some tears, and a few “He did what!” moments. If you like animals and farm stories, you will like this book. ( )
  bemislibrary | Oct 14, 2017 |
Amusing collection of anecdotes from a veterinarian who left Ontario to work in Newfoundland and never left. An interesting tidbit of information which is never mentioned in the story is that this author is the brother of famous Canadian YA writer, Shane Peacock. Andrew, unfortunately, doesn't have his brother's gift for storytelling, at least yet. I'm not a pet person myself but find I'm fond of vet/zoo/animal expedition tales; what I found lacking here was a good narrative voice and a connection with the characters. The stories were interesting, amusing and certainly gave off a genuine love for the landscape and people of Newfoundland. The writing though is stilted and the humour often falls flat of where it seemed to be aiming. With hardly any repetition of recurring patients and owners the book lacks cohesiveness and the potential for a reader to become invested in any characters is lost. However, this certainly doesn't mean the vignettes collected here are not worth the read. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jan 11, 2015 |
A young friend of mine has just started her professional career in Newfoundland, leaving behind friends and family, knowing not one soul in her new home.

When I saw Andrew Peacock's newly released memoir, Creatures of the Rock: A Veterinarian's Adventures in Newfoundland, it struck a chord. Hailey, this one's for you!

In 1982 newly minted veterinarian Andrew Peacock and his physician wife (also recently graduated) move from Ontario to Newfoundland to start their professional careers. They too, knew no one. The plan - stay two years.

In Creatures of the Rock, Peacock recounts those first days and the ensuing years in a practice that spanned twenty eight years on the Avalon Peninsula. Peacock was the only vet for 130 miles, on call night and day - and on his own.

His patients ranged from the smallest house pet to one of the largest animals you could imagine - a whale! And of course the owners of those animals are a large part of the story as well. We meet the neighbours and the clients as Peacock and his wife settle into life on the Rock and raise their three children in the small community of Freshwater. I enjoyed the glimpse into life in Newfoundland and I also picked up some animal husbandry knowledge!

Peacock's writing has an ease to it, a tone of conversation almost. His warmth, humour and compassion and love of his profession are evident in his recounting of his years tending to the creatures in his territory. He's a very engaging storyteller.

There are photographs included with the book - it was nice to put a face to a voice I really enjoyed reading. There will be inevitable comparisons to British vet, James Herriot. Peacock acknowledges that those tales were a model for his own. My advice? Pick up Peacock's book - it's homegrown and a really great read. Here's an excerpt of Creatures of the Rock.

Andrew and Ingrid still make their home in Newfoundland. And Hailey's adventures are just beginning.... ( )
  Twink | Dec 10, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038568259X, Hardcover)

 When you’re the only veterinarian in an area that’s 130 miles long and has a coast on either side, you never know what each new day might bring. A cow giving birth, a colicky horse, an aggressive lynx, caribou in need of pastures new, a polar bear in a bingo hall, a six-hundred-pound boar who won’t like what you’ve been asked to do to him… The only constants for Andrew Peacock are his faithful dog and his passion for his work.
When Andrew Peacock made the move from Ontario to Newfoundland, he thought he was kicking off his career as a newly qualified veterinarian with a brief adventure in a novel location. Turns out he was wrong about the duration —he  is still in Newfoundland three decades later.  But it has certainly been an adventure. A whole series of adventures.
In his immense new practice – half the Avalon Peninsula - Andrew was the only vet for miles around, visiting patients (and their owners) on farms, in homes and zoos, and in the wild.
A day’s work could include anything from performing a Caesarian section on a cow in a blizzard, to pursuing a moose on the loose, to freeing a humpback whale from a trap designed for cod. And, on the human side, anything from trying to impress a surprisingly large audience of farmers with your first boar castration, to taking care of the distressed owners of a stricken cat, to discouraging farm hands from helping themselves to hypodermic needles.
All this against the background of a domestic scene in which Andrew's wife Ingrid--also freshly qualified, as a “human doctor”--shares the adventure of making a new life, fitting in to a well-established community, and in due course of starting a family.
Andrew Peacock is a born vet, devoted to the care of animals, and in constant wonder as an observer of their lives.  Luckily for the rest of us, he is a born storyteller, too. Creatures of the Rock is a funny, thrilling, unflinching but ultimately heartwarming collection of tales about the connections between people and animals, and people with each other.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

Andrew Peacock relates stories of his life as a veterinarian in rural Newfoundland. A James Herriot for the 21st century recounts his adventures as a newcomer to Newfoundland. When Andrew Peacock made the move from Ontario to Newfoundland, he thought he was kicking off his career as a newly qualified vetenarian with an adventure in a temporary location. It was certainly an adventure, but there was nothing temporary about it. He practiced in Newfoundland for nearly 30 years and is still living there. In fact, he has lived there so long, the locals are starting to think of him as one of them. Creatures of the Rock chronicles a career spent working with and getting to know a rich variety of animals and their owners, on farms, in homes and zoos, and in the wild. Andrew was the only vet for miles around. A day of practice could include anything from a Caesarian section on a cow in a blizzard to freeing a humpback whale from a trap designed for cod to capturing a polar bear after its surprise visit to a bingo parlor. And, on the human side, anything from trying to impress a surpringly large audience of farmers with your first boar castration, to taking care of a family just as well as its stricken cat, to discouraging farm hands from helping themselves to hypodermic needles. All this against the background of a domestic scene in which Andrew's wife Ingrid--also freshly qualified, as a doctor--shares the adventure of making new life, and in due course of starting a family. Told in a series of brief, endlessly engaging stories, Creatures of the Rock is a funny, thrilling, unflinching but ultimately heartwarming narrative about the connections between people and animals, and people with each other.… (more)

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