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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
Milliron by Gina McKnight tells the story of a well-known and well-respected veterinarian, Dr. Abbott ‘Pete’ Smith, D.V.M. The biography follows Pete through his early years and recounts how his love for all animals, but especially equines, evolved. He has a vision to open his own clinic and, after much labour and toil, he eventually opens the Milliron Clinic. The story follows on with some of the characters he met along the way and the animals he treated, and in particular documents Pete’s devotion and dedication which made him such a legend in his field of expertise. A legend not only for his work, but for his character.
The author, Gina McKnight, has clearly researched Dr. Smith well and spoken to many people who knew him and came into contact with him, creating a portrait of a man revered and respected both within his profession and without. Numerous people have shared their memories of Pete, which are recounted in this biography. There are accompanying illustrations by Terry Fortkamp. As well as the biographical aspect, this is also an interesting and compelling read that gives an insight into life in Ohio and West Virginia as Pete and his wife, Jody, search to find the perfect place to create the Milliron Clinic. A real picture emerges of Pete with syringes in hand, clambering amongst cattle or working long into the night to save an injured horse. The story is moving and heart-warming and leaves the reader feeling they knew Dr. Pete Smith personally. The reader warms to the characters as the story progresses until Pete emerges as a clever and dedicated individual who devoted his life to saving animals.