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Love Is the Best Medicine: What Two Dogs Taught One Veterinarian about Hope, Humility, and Everyday Miracles

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  869 Ratings  ·  126 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 restau
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Broadway Books (first published 2010)
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The Last Battle by C.S. LewisThe Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonThe Worst Hard Time by Timothy EganThe Biggest, Meanest, Ugliest Dog in the Whole Wide World by Rebecca C. JonesThe First Eagle by Tony Hillerman
The [Superlative] [Noun]
145th out of 260 books — 21 voters
Tell Me Where It Hurts by Nick TroutAll Creatures Great and Small by James HerriotAll Things Bright and Beautiful by James HerriotThe Case of Jack the Nipper by H.L.  StephensJames Herriot's Animal Stories by James Herriot
62nd out of 65 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,474)
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Mar 17, 2011 Reese rated it liked it
Starting LOVE IS THE BEST MEDICINE, I had, if not "great expectations," at least high hopes. Nick Trout's TELL ME WHERE IT HURTS told me that his second book would be worth reading -- despite its pardon-me-while-I-yoan (yawn that sounds like a groan) title. If the author were not a veterinarian, I wouldn't be reviewing this book because I would never have touched a book entitled LOVE IS THE BEST MEDICINE written by anyone other than a vet.

The first half (or more) of Trout's second book made me a
Tara Chevrestt
Apr 21, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Susan
The first half of this book is superb. I had two really good laughs to the point that people around me wanted to know what was so funny and I really liked the way it was written, more like a novel rather than non fiction. It introduces the two main canine characters, Cleo and Helen, and their human parents and the lead up to their unfortunate medical problems. In between getting to know the two families there are funny stories about what is going on in Dr. Trout's medical facility. This is where ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
Nick Trout is a veterinary surgeon in Boston and here he tells the story of Cleo, a miniature pinscher with a broken leg, Helen, an elderly cocker spaniel who after a life scavenging on the streets gets taken home by a couple who shortly thereafter discover that Helen has lung cancer, and how the lives of these two dogs became connected.

I don't want to be too hard on this book because I think Dr. Trout is well-intentioned (and also because: doggies!), but late in the book when he says that he k
Apr 01, 2013 Sue rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals
This is the second book by Nick Trout that I've read (My first was "Tell Me Where It Hurts.") but this one didn't pique my interest the way his previous book did. Now, if I'm going to say that, then it seems only fair to the author that I say why it didn't hold my interest, but I'm not sure I can. The pacing in this book felt slower, and so the story did not progress as fast as I would have liked, but I don't think that's the entire reason for my "just okay" rating. I think my rating has more to ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Kirsti rated it liked it
I can't fully recall the first book of Nick Trout's that I read, apart from remembering I really enjoyed it. I have read other 'Vet' books, including James Herriot's, but never that of a surgeon. This book was much sadder than the first, more of a reflection than the humerous anecdotes from the first. The blurb on the back tells that two dogs will change the way you think, and this book was sufficently emotional to do this. I just didn't connect with Nick this time around as much as before, and ...more
Heather G Gentle
May 13, 2010 Heather G Gentle rated it really liked it
I read straight through this book in a reading marathon! Couldn't stop reading it. I really enjoyed the stories of Helen and Cleo and how they intertwined. I'm probably somewhat partial because I worship the ground my dog walks on but I just loved the emotions that these dogs and their stories brought out in the people.

I've been through something similar with my dog-- major surgery-- investing everything I have-- and knowing it's worth it when you see that little face-- and knowing they would d
May 20, 2016 JoJo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers, pet owners
Recommended to JoJo by: Goodreads
Good book. This one was sadder than Tell Me Where It Hurts, but more touching. Dr Nick Trout is a very inspirational and kind vet. I recommend this book and Tell Me Where It Hurts for any animal lover.
Apr 24, 2010 Sheila rated it liked it
I received a copy of this through Goodreads First Reads. As a total dog lover, and since I am married to a veterinarian, I was very much looking forward to reading this book. But while it was interesting, the book seemed to get bogged down heavily in the death of one dog under anesthesia prior to a surgery, and the death of this dog weighs heavily on all the events and all of the story in the remainder of the book. And it just seemed to be a bit too much in my opinion.
If you are a dog lover tho
Dr. Trout lays it on pretty thick; there's a lot of sobbing and miracles and souls connecting and hearts changing. Still, who can deny the sweetness? The point of this book is to underline the special way that humans and animals can connect, the way that we can learn from them. I wasn't a fan of his pseudo-mystical, over-emotional anthropomorphizing, but I am a fan of what he tries to accomplish through it.
I liked it because I like animal stories, but I thought it was poorly written and even more poorly edited. There are mistakes in the writing that should have been caught, and the constant self-recrimination makes the book overlong and boring in every place he decides to go on a search of his soul. It is not that I don't think he should soul search; he is trying to do the best job he can for the animals and people he is working for and with. Fine, that takes introspection. But he goes on and on a ...more
Sandra McLeod
Jun 25, 2010 Sandra McLeod rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pet, nonfiction
This is the story of two amazing dogs and their equally amazing owners, but it is also so much more than that! It's the story of loss and love and pain and joy. The book is beautifully written and is inspiring as the author uses the loss of one dog to intensify his efforts to help other animals. Highly Recommended!
Mar 10, 2011 Jennie rated it really liked it
Another book I ended up crying over. The stories were sweet. I liked the other cases he talked about. I will definitely check out his other books.
Aug 24, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Interesting story about the everyday dealings of a veterinarian and the animals and their owners that he encounters. It was an enjoyable book.
Sep 27, 2014 Bunny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Nick Trout. I just do. Even more after this one than his first.

I made the mistake of listening to this while dealing with my own veterinary emergency, my little gecko has a huge hole in his side, you can see a bit of internal organ. He's doing okay, thankfully, but it's hard to remove yourself from the mind set of the owners of the various animals in this book.

Except for the tree frog owner. That was...heh.

This book made me cry a lot less than his first, and that's a true testament to his
Amanda Morgan
I have a strange relationship with biographical books about human-kinds’ relationships with their pets: I love to read them even though I know I’m going to probably sob audibly and have my heart torn apart at the end.
However, “Love is the Best Medicine: What Two Dogs Taught One Veterinarian About Hope, Humility, and Everyday Miracles” had a refreshing turn on the typical “my pet was the most remarkable animal in the world” story.
Dr. Nick Trout is a veterinary surgeon at the Angell Animal Medi
Sep 27, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2010 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Nick Trout a surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center, located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. The animal hospital is a first rate facility with the most modern equipment to be found. In this story Dr. Trout shares with his readers some fascinating insight into the world of animals. In a touching story about two dogs who changed the way he now thinks about life, death, fate and love.

The two special dogs who helped transform Dr. Trout were, Helen an older cocker spaniel found neglected
Lis Carey
Jun 09, 2011 Lis Carey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Nick Trout, a veterinary surgeon practicing at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, gives us the stories of two dogs and their loving owners, who had a profound impact on his life. The first is a pampered fourteen-month-old minpin named Cleo, who has just suffered the third leg fracture of her young life. The other is a rescued stray cocker spaniel, found by a kind-hearted couple in the parking lot of a restaurant in suburban Boston. At least ten years old, matted, filthy, and in dire need ...more
Feb 17, 2011 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah! Thank you First Reads program, Crown Publishing and Dr. Nick Trout. I loved his first book and can't wait to read this one.

"...does a dog's tail beat to the rhythm of her own heartbeat, or to the rhythm of ours?"

I totally agree with Dr. Trout - Love is the best medicine. Anyone who has ever had their heart stolen and life infiltrated by a beloved animal will love this book. It teaches us that love is about living and enjoying every moment with your furry friend. They can bring amazing th
Feb 11, 2011 Ceil rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher to review. I was glad that I got this book, being a pet owner. I enjoy reading books about pets and their owners, and how they affect our lives.

Dr. Trout is a veterinary surgeon, and this book focuses on two dogs who could not have more different lives...Cleo, the cherished young min pin who was the beloved pet of Sandi and Helen, a geriatric stray cocker spaniel who was rescued by Eileen.

Dr. Trout writes about the connections between these two dogs, hims
Brittany Bush
May 12, 2010 Brittany Bush rated it liked it
I am a dog lover, so I was interested in reading this book as soon as I first heard about it. I was excited to win this book through a Goodreads "First Reads" giveaway.

Dr. Trout is a veterinary surgeon, and we get to follow him behinds the scenes at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He cares deeply about his patients and their owners, and in this book he describes a few special cases that have had a profound effect on the way he lives and works. One of these dogs is Helen, an older cocker
John Kues
Mar 09, 2010 John Kues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommended his first book "Tell Me Where It Hurts" to an acquaintance who was also a dog lover, and the next time I saw her she told me it was boring! This one is better, but I won't recommend it to her. Trout tells of his experiences at the Angell Animal Hospital in Boston. He is a good story teller, but sometimes the way he arranges chapters confuses me. He was born in Britain, and his writing style is hard for me to characterize, but I think it makes for a certain awkwardness or stiffness. ...more
Feb 05, 2011 gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I genuinely liked this book. The audiobook is read by Jonathan Cowley and he does a good job of helping you connect with the characters despite the fact that he is very British sounding and all of the cast of characters are located North Americans except for the doctor who is British himself. Cowley doesn't do any American/Canadian accents so it's a little weird to hear him say things that you want to hear spoken naturally, but its in his thick accent.

As a book I can tell you that the message of
Debbie Maxwell
Jun 16, 2014 Debbie Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has the emotion & the science of veterinary care

I've truly enjoyed this book. I'm a dyed in the wool dog lover & hate to see any person or animal in pain. I loved the stories & the emotion conveyed so well that I cried, several times. The technical parts were difficult for me as that isn't my interest. but I have to say that this was worth the time to read & I so appreciated the candor of his feelings.
Franki Demerle
May 18, 2012 Franki Demerle rated it it was amazing
This book touched my heart. Animals have such important lessons to teach us if we only pay attention, and Dr. Trout speaks beautifully for them. Personally, I was taught how to die with dignity and consideration of others by a parakeet named Clouseau. But this particular book resonated so strongly with me, because I was once adopted by an elderly stray tortoiseshell kitty I called Musette. She was only with me 7 months, but she changed my life. She was put to sleep in my arms to spare her more p ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Brenda rated it it was ok
I got this free through Goodreads First Reads.

The best I can do is 2 stars. The first dog in the book, a black cocker spaniel, from what I read is a puppy. Later in the book I find out it's an 11-13 year old mature dog. So that's the first confusing thing.

He does talk about other animals other than the two dogs and that's okay, because the story of the cat Henry is hilarious and better than anything else in the book. And there are a lot of stuff that's just boring.

The book was okay and I'm glad
Heidi Busch
May 25, 2015 Heidi Busch rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One does not expect a veterinarian to be a philosopher, but as I was reading this book, that's what came to mind. I know they grapple with life and death issues every day, but expect them to be clinical and detached. In reading how Cleo and Helen affected Dr. Trout's practice of Veterinary medicine I became more aware of the humanity behind the people who choose this career.
Apr 28, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 06, 2011 Christine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dog Lovers
Truthfully, I wasn't very impressed with this book. After reading "Tell Me Where It Hurts", I kind of expected more. Not that this book was bad, and overall I think the general public will enjoy it, but for those of us who have worked at veterinary hospitals, or have had the kind of experiences he has had, I rather expected something less...wishy-washy.

These experiences often come with emotion, and the book was well-written, but in my case it was a little too focused on the spiritual aspect of a
Carlie Sargent
Jul 09, 2014 Carlie Sargent rated it it was amazing
This book has enticed me to read all of Nick Trouts books! What could be getter than a story about making peace with your past and your family, and discovering all the love pets have for us? It's an emotional roller coaster that you shouldn't miss out on!
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Around the Year i...: Love Is the Best Medicine, by Nick Trout 2 12 May 20, 2016 06:53PM  
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I’m from England and I’m a veterinary surgeon working at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, one of the biggest animal hospitals in the world. If I had to sum up the best part of my career in one word it would be ‘unpredictable’ because what’s great about coming to work everyday is the certainty of surprise. It might be a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, a Maine Coon Cat or an iguana. It might b ...more
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“Over the years I've come to appreciate how animals enter our lives prepared to teach and far from being burdened by an inability to speak they have many different ways to communicate. It is up to us to listen more than hear, to look into more than past.” 48 likes
“Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.” 43 likes
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