I may have never seen his show, but after reading this book I feel like I know and love Dr. Pol. My co-worker saw me reading this and asked, “Is that the guy that sticks his arm up a cow’s butt?” Before finishing the first chapter, I could reply, “Yes. Yes it is.” Or, as the awesome Dr. Pol writes, “for many people their careers as a vet begin the day they stick their hands inside an animal’s butt for the first time.” This all began in the Netherlands, gloveless, and green armed.
I’d imagine that Dr. Pol is mesmerizing to watch. To his credit, David Fisher did an excellent job of organizing all Pol’s stories into interesting categories to capture this same feeling. He groups stories together such as early beginnings of his education, to his own practice, etc. From there, you’ll go all over the place—and that’s totally cool. One minute Pol will be talking about scaring his wife with a snake for a $20 bet to castrating two-hundred pound pigs. And it’s all great reading.
Speaking of Pol’s wife, Dianne, of the early courtship, “How could anybody not find a woman who played tag with her pet duck attractive?” He’s so cute, isn’t he?
As he writes, Pol says, “until they start inventing new animals, I think I can say there isn’t a type of animal I haven’t looked in the eyes and wondered how it was feeling.” From there, and throughout the book, Pol talks about all kinds of animals: including skunks, porcupines, and even an alligator. Oh, and the wildest animal of all: humans.
Pol’s integrity shines through: “Be honest with your clients. That was always first. Work hard, and if you don’t know what the problem is, don’t be afraid to admit it.” Pol has a life experience unparallel to many, which makes him so darn interesting. From hiding cows from the Nazis (yeah, those Nazis) to filming the Amish: he brings it out so well.
“I became a vet because it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.” Thankfully his dad sold that cow for his son’s first microscope: as his clients and as many watchers of his show know, and now the many readers of his book, the world is a better place because of Dr. Pol.
Thanks Gotham Books for sending me this book to review. It was a pleasure.