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Pets Essays

How to Examine a Wolverine

More Tales from the Accidental Veterinarian

by (author) Philipp Schott

ECW Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Essays, General, Personal Memoirs, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Dec 2021
    List Price

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Crammed with useful info, funny recollections, heartfelt anecdotes, and lots of cute furry creatures, a collection for all animal lovers!

This collection of over 60 stories and essays, drawn from Dr. Schott’s 30 years in small animal practice, covers an astonishing breadth of experiences, emotions, and species. Schott has tales of creatures ranging from tiny honeybees to massive Burmese pythons, although the emphasis is on dogs and cats and the interesting, often quirky, people who love them. He also doles out advice on current topics such as CBD oil, raw diets, and COVID-19, as well as the mysteries of catnip, dog flatulence, and duck erectile dysfunction. Schott’s candor gives the reader a behind-the-scenes look at a profession that is much admired but often misunderstood. What is it really like to be a veterinarian? More to the point, what is it really like to be a veterinarian when confused pet parents call at 2:00 a.m.? Or when your patient bolts for the road? Or when you’re asked to spay a dog on a resort’s kitchen table? Readers will also learn how to make a sheep sit on its bum and, yes, how to examine a wolverine.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Bestselling author of The Accidental Veterinarian and The Willow Wren, Philipp Schott was born in Germany but grew up in Saskatoon. He studied veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan before moving to Winnipeg, where he is now chief of staff at a large pet hospital. He lives with his wife, two teenagers, three cats, and one dog in a creaky old house on the river.

Excerpt: How to Examine a Wolverine: More Tales from the Accidental Veterinarian (by (author) Philipp Schott)

“I’ve been spending the nights with him on the living room floor, where he has his favourite blanket. I keep worrying he’s going to stop breathing, so I’m not sleeping much. I know his time is coming soon. I didn’t want to bring him today because I’m so worried you’re going to say I have to put him down.” Mrs. Gagnon’s eyes were red rimmed, and her voice trembled as she said this.

I looked down at Edwin, an elderly black cocker spaniel. He was wheezing a bit, but at first glance he did not appear to be on his last legs. I crouched on the floor and offered him a liver treat, which he happily took, wagging his little stub tail. As I dug around in the treat jar to get another one, I thought about Mr. Wilson who had taken the day off work to sit with his cat Parsnip while he was being treated for complications from diabetes. Parsnip would be in all day and Mr. Wilson would be there the whole day too, reading a little, patting Parsnip and generally just being there with him. I thought about Mr. Wilson because Mrs. Gagnon reminded me of him. She reminded me of him because they were both here for the same reason: love.

I am in a very privileged profession. What other professionals are you primarily motivated to visit because of love? Family doctor? No. Lawyer? Ha. Accountant? Double ha. Dentist? Triple ha. The list goes on. In fact, the only other similar profession I can think of is pediatrics. I have often joked with my kid’s pediatrician that I practise furry four-legged pediatrics, or he practises hairless two-legged veterinary medicine. For sure many veterinary clients (and parents of children?) are also motivated by a sense of duty, a desire to do the right thing or even feelings of guilt, but the basic driver is usually love.

This is where the conversation can become awkward around people who don’t have pets. Love? Really? Isn’t that a bit overblown? Too sentimental? A sign that they are lacking human love? No, no and no. Forgive me if I am, as the saying goes, preaching to the choir, but the following is for the benefit of the occasional non pet owner (can I call them muggles?) who stumbles on this book and thinks, “wtf?”

Editorial Reviews

“An engaging study of the behaviors of pets and the people who care for them. Schott’s tone is warm, friendly, and folksy in his storytelling and his conversations with pet owners; even in the most stressful times, he’s a compassionate and level-headed guide. How to Examine a Wolverine is an essay collection that celebrates the love of animals.” — Foreword Reviews

“Schott’s writing style is conversational, which makes How to Examine a Wolverine an easy and enjoyable read. Even if you aren’t currently a pet owner, his stories are amusing enough to appeal to most people.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“While the stories here are blue-ribbon perfect for anyone who loves four-footed, furry creatures, author Philipp Schott takes this book a few dozen hoofprints past your everyday household fur-kids … It’s going to be hard to pick the best of the brief tales inside this book. You might favor the dog stories. You might more enjoy the cat tales. You may want more from the ‘other beasts’ section. However you like it, How to Examine a Wolverine is a good little handful to have.” — Goshen News

“Charming veterinary tales from the heart of Winnipeg.” — Canadian Living

“Written in a simple and enjoyable style, full of humour, each of the anecdotes he tells or issues he brings up are interesting and enjoyable to read.” — Literary Potpourri blog

Other titles by Philipp Schott