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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Whiskers, Feathers & Fur: Veterinary Tales by Austin Donnelly is a memoir of heartfelt and informative anecdotes about the author's experiences as a veterinarian. Based on his true-life travels, Donnelly recalls an eclectic mix of encounters, from calves to piglets; each story pulsating with his obvious love of the animal kingdom and dedication to the health and well-being of its inhabitants.
Fans of All Creatures Great and Small, or even Dr. Dolittle, will appreciate this book. Donnelly writes from passion, experience, and wisdom, not to mention humor. Whether along a roadside or inside a barn, the author takes you there and makes you feel like you're experiencing it right along with him--an observer of sorts. From the first pages you're hooked by a heartbreaking event, but then Donnelly changes the mood by writing about something lighter and more carefree. Anyone in love with animals knows the cycle of birth, life, and death and he doesn't shy away from the honesty of that cycle. My favorite part was Donnelly's backstory and motivations--the events and emotions that shaped his love for and a career involving animals. It seems that not only does he care about the animals he serves, but he also wants others to care, too.
Anyone who has ever been raised around or lived with animals knows that furry/feathered/whiskered lives can be just as full, fun, sad, and grievous as their human counterparts. The author does a good job of conveying this, and a good job of describing the people in his recollections. Overall, Whiskers, Feathers & Fur: Veterinary Tales by Austin Donnelly is an enjoyable, entertaining book, thanks to the author's accessible, personable style and would make a great movie.