In April 2021, I received an email from Dr. Gary Hoium, a veterinarian in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Gary had begun writing amusing, intriguing, and insightful stories about his decades of experiences as a mixed-animal veterinarian. He asked me about the possibility of publishing those stories.
We met a couple months later in my backyard in Regina.We immediately felt a connection. Aside from the fact that Prairie people are generally friendly folks who are community oriented and have great stories, people from the Weyburn area have occupied a special spot in my heart for decades.
While in my backyard, Dr. Gary Hoium and I discussed his numerous stories and the ways we visualized his book taking shape. We went to work immediately and planned to have a book in our hands by that fall for pre-Christmas gift buying. The timeline was tight, but we did it.
With the help of a co-editor (Gary's niece Courtney Hinz), a cover designer, and several publisher colleagues and consultants, we released Don't They Kick When You Do That? Stories of a Prairie Veterinarian in October 2021. The book has already been so popular that we are considering reprinting this fall.What's in the book and why is it so wonderful? Let's hear from the author himself.
This is what Dr. Gary Hoium wrote for a "Read My Book" piece in the Regina Leader-Post's QC Magazine:
“How long did it take you to write this book?” a young lady asked at a recent book signing.
Looking up, I smiled. “About 40 years,” I replied.
Ride along and accompany me on my journey as a mixed-animal, rural Saskatchewan veterinarian.
My book has been called “an enlightening, humorous, intriguing, educational compilation of true adventures, experiences, mishaps and rousing successes that are sure to captivate and entertain.”
If you love animals… this book is for you. If you ever owned a pet or owned, managed or cared for livestock of any kind… this book is for you. If you ever had any thoughts or wonderment as to what a life (possibly even your own life) might have been like as a rural Prairie veterinarian… this book is for you. Your farmer/rancher dad or husband doesn’t read books? Based on many testimonials, he will read this one, laugh a lot, and love it!
As veterinarians, we are tasked with serving all the medical, surgical and welfare needs of a very diverse animal kingdom. Our motto: “If you do no good… do no harm.”
Learn how one evening, a clump of four grey fox squirrels, entangled and stuck tightly together by their tails, taught me the importance of compassion. The story went viral across our nation in days.
Extracting porcupine quills from a German shepherd resulted in my painted portrait, me in my green scrub suit, being distributed in a book worldwide.
You can live in my boots through the most fearful, dangerous and stressful noon hour of my career when an 1800-pound, wild-eyed, aggressive bull escaped my inner-city clinic and landed in a resident’s backyard. Flanked by an elementary school on one side and a comprehensive high school on another, students (targets) aplenty, this had the very real potential to turn out REAL BAD!
You will be introduced to a couple of compelling real-life characters. Terrible Terry … or was he? As an experienced “jailbird” fighting personal demons, he frequented our clinic and befriended me, and ultimately, me him despite many crazy encounters.
Cousin Jimmy will leave you laughing and craving more.
From cattle to hogs, cats to dogs, the creatures and the men and women who love them have wormed their way into my heart and my stories.
And do they kick when I do that? The surprising answer is .....?Don’t They Kick When You Do That by Dr. Gary Hoium is available from www.driverworks.ca, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Chapters/ Indigo/ Coles, Handmade Saskatchewan gift shops, SaskBooks, Amazon, and other select stores.