Patients and other animals

2009-11-18 00:00

BOOK REVIEW

It’s a Vet’s Life: Adventures in the City and the Wild

Roy Aronson

Tafelberg

BASED on his experiences as a small-animal vet in the city (mostly in Cape Town) as well as working with wild-animals in game reserves, Roy Aronson’s stories are recounted with an engaging combination of enthusiasm, cheerfulness and sincerity.

The first story recounts an experience he had as a young microbiogist working on a research project in ­Simon’s Town Harbour. Over a ­period of weeks Aronson regularly encountered a seal resting on a ­pontoon that was anchored in the harbour. Eventually he realised that the seal was slowly dying of starvation resulting from a noose of fishing line that was embedded round its neck. Aronson resolved to try to save it — a mission that required tenacity and dedication. It was this encounter with the seal that inspired Aronson to become a vet.

Aronson relates stories about a variety of patients, including ­horses, dogs, cats, a parrot, a rhino, ­elephants, lions, and even a human being who became his patient on a long-distance international plane flight.

All the stories are engrossing ­although some are more memorable than others. Most people interested in animals will enjoy this book, which is ideal for holiday or travel reading.

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