Synopses & Reviews
A book guaranteed to touch anyone who has ever had a beloved pet…
From instant New York Times bestseller, Dr. Nick Trout comes another touching and heartfelt story from the front lines of veterinary medicine—the story of two dogs who forever changed the way he thought about life, death, fate and love.
Helen is an older cocker spaniel found neglected and abandoned in a restaurant parking lot one rainy night. Despite her mangy condition and terrible smell, Ben and Eileen fall in love with the pitiful creature and decide to take her in. But just as Helen is rescued from a sad life on the streets and enveloped in a loving home with all the creature comforts an old dog could ask for, a tumor is discovered and she's given a devastating prognosis. All Ben and Eileen want is for Helen to beat the odds and survive for one more summer so that she can have one chance to swim in the ocean on the family's annual trip to Prince Edward Island. In short, they want a miracle.
Meanwhile, fourteen-month-old miniature pinscher Cleo keeps breaking one leg after another which devastates her poor owner, Sandi. While Cleo is visiting Sandi's daughter, Sonja, in Bermuda, she succumbs to yet another fracture. Distraught that the injury happened on her watch, Sonja makes a plan to fly Cleo to Boston to get the specialist care she needs before Sandi even finds out. Enter Dr. Trout who presides over what should be a fairly routine surgery. What happens next forever links two families, their dogs and a beloved veterinarian and teaches them all a lesson about grace that resonates to this day.
Love is the Best Medicine immerses you in the true life drama of beloved pets whose lives hang in the balance. Every page underscores the profound bond we have with the animals in our lives and the incredible responsibility Nick carries as their healer. Certainly Dr. Trout has an impressive array of fancy equipment, training and skills at his disposable, but his most important tool (as he persuasively illustrates here) is a fundamental belief in the power of hope, humility, and grace.
Wry, charming, and intensely affecting, Love is the Best Medicine is a one of a kind story only the winsome Dr. Trout could deliver and is destined to become a favorite for animal lovers.
"Love Is the Best Medicine" immerses readers in the true-life drama of beloved pets whose lives hang in the balance. Every page underscores the profound bond we have with the animals in our lives and the incredible responsibility Trout carries as their healer.
Bestselling author Trout shares another touching and heartfelt story from the front lines of veterinary medicine--a tale of two dogs who forever changed the way he thought about life, death, fate, and love. "Love is the Best Medicine" immerses readers in the true-life drama of beloved pets whose lives hang in the balance.
About the Author
Nick Trout graduated from veterinary school at the University of Cambridge, England, in 1989. He is a diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and a staff surgeon at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, daughters, and two dogs: Meg, a yellow Labrador, and Sophie, a Jack Russell terrier.
Reading Group Guide
Warning: some plot points are revealed in the questions below.
1. Were you surprised that Ben and Eileen took home Helen, an abandoned dog? What would you do if you came across a stray dog?
2. Describe the mother-daughter relationship between Sandi and Sonja. When Sandi’s miniature pinscher, Cleo, sustains an injury under Sonja’s care, how does that affect their relationship?
3. Of the many animals Dr. Nick Trout has seen as patients, why do you think Cleo and Helen left such strong impressions on him?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dr. Trout becoming emotionally involved with his animal patients and their owners? Does Dr. Trout relate to the animals in his care the same as he does to their owners?
5. How much responsibility do you think Dr. Trout bore for Cleo’s accidental death? If you had been in his position, would you have felt responsible?
6. What legal ramifications does Dr. Trout worry about in the aftermath of Cleo’s death? How does the experience of his colleague Neil ease his worries?
7. How does Dr. Trout navigate the difficult territory of breaking the bad news to Sonja and Sandi? Were you surprised by how each woman handled the news?
8. Throughout the year that Dr. Trout describes, some of his animal patients seem to have miraculous, against-the-odds recoveries. Discuss these circumstances and the intersection of spirituality and medicine. Was Dr. Trout off-base to believe in Cleo’s spirit?
9. Do you think animals have souls? Why or why not?
10. Why is it important to Dr. Trout to stay in touch with Sandi and Eileen, even years after he performed surgery on their pets?
11. Has there been a pet or animal in your life that has had a lasting impact? Who was the pet and what lesson did he or she teach you?
12. Do you feel like this book has a happy ending? Why or why not?