Call the Vet by Bruce Fogle

Thank you to Harper Collins for the copy of the book to read and review via Readers First. Today I’m sharing a mini review.


Arriving in 1970s’ London as a fresh-faced Canadian, Bruce Fogle assumed that because he knew the language, he would understand the English. As a graduate of the world’s best veterinary school, he also thought his profession would come naturally to him. He quickly learned not to make assumptions…

Bruce began his career at the prestigious Woodrow & Singleton surgery in the heart of the Knightsbridge. Frequented by Britain’s most distinguished pet owners, from Duchesses and Sultans to Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Taylor, it also cared for the exotic inhabitants of the Harrods’ ‘Zoo Department.’

Over the next few years, an arc of clients would cross Bruce’s table, from cats and dogs to alligators, pumas and even a capuchin monkey. Each adventure taught Bruce far more than any textbook ever could, while skilful veterinary nurses provided the greatest lessons of all.

Call the Vet is a wonderfully rich and warmly funny memoir. Set against the vibrant backdrop of 1970s’ London, it explores the unique bond between pets and their owners; the common thread of compassion that unites all cultures and classes, and the discovery of love and joy in unexpected places.

Perfect for fans of Noel Fitzpatrick, Ben Fogle and Kate Humble!

My mini review:

I loved reading the James Herriot books when I was young (sadly many years ago) and I enjoyed reading the opening chapters of this book on the Readers First website, so I was pleased to receive a copy to read and review.

However, I then struggled to continue with the book and popped it on my book trolley to try again in a couple of weeks. However the book was then left for a few months before being picked up during our October half term.

As a dog adopter, I was fascinated by how much animal care has changed since Bruce Fogle began his veterinary career. There have been huge changes in the treatment of animals and this book provides details of some of those changes.

However my favourite part of the book is the stories about the pets and their companions. Some of the stories are funny and some of them are heartbreaking as the humans had to say goodbye to their loved ones.

The book also describes life in London in the 1970’s, providing a social commentary about how a Canadian viewed life in the UK. An interesting mix of memories that I’m happy I finally got to finish reading. Happy to recommend.


By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.

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