I always seem to be behind the ball with good books. My friend from home recommended the book Water for Elephants to me prior to starting school, just a few months before the movie came out. I enjoyed reading it and relating to it so much that I finished it in one sitting. I think that a lot of vet students have those books that make them fall in love with veterinary medicine, and I am no exception. Water for Elephants was definitely one of them for me. Until recently, that was one of the only books that made me feel passionately towards veterinary medicine.
On a slightly unrelated note, I recently picked up a local dog-sitting job to get a little extra cash. One of the dogs is definitely in his later years of life, and is a total sweetheart. On my first day of dog sitting, one of my fellow classmates lent me the book The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I began to read that day. Now, if any of you have read the book, you know that the first chapter can only be described as a tearjerker. The book is told through a dog’s perspective, who has accepted that it is his time to pass away and is totally content with death. It is the owner, as is often the case, who struggles with letting his best friend go.
I remember coming to terms with losing my first dog, a beautiful Boxer named Ruby. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to accept, and I remember being upset about it for weeks afterwards. This was the same dog that ran away one fourth of July and I spent over an hour on my bike, tears streaming down my face, screaming “Ruby! Ruby!” frantically throughout the neighborhood. The same dog that would curl up next to you when you were feeling lonely, and the same dog that essentially was there for me as I proceeded through one of my more awkward life stages.
As I settled into bed the night of my first dog sitting experience, I finished the first chapter of The Art of Racing in the Rain, and had the same feeling of passion for veterinary medicine that I felt after reading Water for Elephants. Unfortunately, due to my limited free time in the ensuing weeks, I was not able to finish the book until a few days ago. I can honestly say that The Art of Racing in the Rain is not only one of my favorite books, but an absolute must read for any person with a passion for veterinary medicine, or animals in general. The tears will flow- just don’t say I didn’t warn you.