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

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,064 Ratings  ·  137 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
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 Last Kingdom by Bernard CornwellThe Worst Hard Time by Timothy EganThe Biggest, Meanest, Ugliest Dog in the Whole Wide World by Rebecca C. Jones
The [Superlative] [Noun]
313 books — 24 voters
Tell Me Where It Hurts by Nick TroutAll Creatures Great and Small by James HerriotAll Things Bright and Beautiful by James HerriotJames Herriot's Animal Stories by James HerriotZoo Vet by David    Taylor
67 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tara Chevrestt
Apr 06, 2010 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
Mar 23, 2010 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
Jan 04, 2013 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
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog-books
“Cancer is not the same as death”

“But how could a dog with terminal cancer be so lucky”

“And when she finally gets her first opportunity to live a decent life, a real dogs life, this goddamn awful disease comes along, determined to sweep it out from under our feet”

Helen is a spaniel rescued from the streets to a good home. Abused and not taken care of this couple take her in, only to find out their new family member has terminal lung cancer. Reading how a women determined to keep her alive for
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dr. Nick Trout analyzes how his dog patients and families have influenced his life. Two dogs in particular played a crucial role in how he perceives life, love, life expectancy, etc. Interspersed between the two stories that ultimately connect, the reader is presented with several accounts of technical descriptions of operations, other animal patients, and a delve into his personal life as he reveals his daughter's cystic fibrosis. This is a must read for pet owners! I will especially remember h ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
its always interesting listening to the introspection of individuals who we place our trust in (doctors, vets) and how they face their own experiences and mistakes to help make them better at what they do
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book would be funny, but it was quite serious. Even though it wasn't what I expected, I enjoyed it very much. It's very touching and the themes of love in it can be applied to people's relationships as well as pet owners' love for their pets.
Apr 01, 2013 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
Heather G Gentle
Mar 23, 2010 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
Apr 14, 2013 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
Apr 06, 2010 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.
Sandra McLeod
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, pet
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 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.
Oct 10, 2012 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.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book represents Massachusetts in my list of 50 states books but I don't know why. There was nothing about the book that was informative about Massachusetts. It could have been set any where. The fact that I listened to the book and the reader had a British accent made it even more disorienting.

I was made uncomfortable by the stress this book brings to how much time, effort and money we spend on pets. It just feels wrong. The author addresses the issue when he talks about his youngest daught
Gwendalyn Brown
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Whew! There was a lot of fabricated drama in this book. The writer wrote in extensive detail about the most insignificant things. For instance he describes a young man just coming into the age where he can grow a goatee, and the way this young man strokes his goatee absentmindedly/proudly. Who is this young man? A man who when asked if he knew whether a certain stray dog had an owner did not know. For this we need to hear about the pride he has in his newly created goatee? I listened (to the aud ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
Nick Trout is a good writer, but I have mixed feelings about this book. I appreciated the detail from a doctor who is both clinical and compassionate, but as a surgeon he is also all about operating, which I can't wholeheartedly endorse for animals who can't have a say in their treatment. The stories of Cleo and Helen and their people are well done, although the connections are questionable. Still, I would read more by this author.
Rich Wagner
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable account of a vet trying to make the best out of some difficult situations regarding his clients.Is it always going to be a happy ending?No but in the end all one can do is their best and live with the results.
Lis Carey
Jun 03, 2011 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
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
Dec 07, 2010 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
Apr 29, 2012 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
Feb 11, 2011 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
Jul 08, 2010 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
Jan 17, 2011 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
Apr 06, 2010 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
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Kues
Mar 09, 2010 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 15, 2011 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
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Around the Year i...: Love Is the Best Medicine, by Nick Trout 2 13 May 20, 2016 06:53PM  
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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.” 57 likes
“Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.” 45 likes
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