A Friend of the Flock: Tales of a Country Veterinarian

John McCormack, Author, McCormack, Author Crown Publishers $23 (266p) ISBN 978-0-517-70612-1
In 1963, McCormack (Fields and Pastures New) settled in Chactaw County, Ala., and, with a business-minded wife to handle the paperwork, set up a veterinary practice. In this often amusing book he chronicles his adventures proving his worth to the locals, especially the resident ""homemade veterinarian,"" who ribs the young doctor about his state-of-the-art veterinary school training and claims to know a better way to do everything. Working out of a makeshift office in his home, McCormack treats animals with common and uncommon ailments--a Chihuahua with tonsillitis, a hog that needs a facelift, a bull that goes to the emergency room of the local hospital for an X-ray. He also runs the countywide rabies clinic, where his clients are the proud owners of ""coonhounds, foxhounds, squirrel hunters, bird pointers, watchdogs, and biscuit grabbers."" He takes it in stride when people laugh at the mistakes of a ""young greenhorn,"" and within a year he has such a successful practice that he's able to construct a clinic building. A candid and refreshingly unsentimental memoir. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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