Gareth Steel wants you to understand vets in a way you never could have before.
How it feels to watch a healed dog bound into their owner’s arms. The joy of breathing life into the fluid-filled lungs of a newborn calf after a difficult labour. The satisfaction of rescuing a distressed sheep from the high-tide line.
What it’s like to work 100-hour weeks for less than the minimum wage. How it can scar your soul to euthanize a beloved puppy with its grieving family beside you. The pressure of having to know such a diverse range of medicine, that one hour you can be protecting yourself from a dangerously distressed horse and the next you can be performing delicate surgery on a tiny mouse. How all these pressures have built up to the extent that vets have four times the national suicide rate, and why.
Gareth Steel has been a vet for nearly twenty years and has worked all over the UK, across both rural and city practices, dealing with all manner of household pets and farm animals. This is his fascinating raw account of just how involved the job is and the toll the extreme emotions that come with it can take, but it also a heart-warming and often humorous story of the desperate lengths we go to for the love of animals.
About the author
Gareth Steel was born and grew up in rural Southwest Scotland. As a result of a broken arm during a rugby game and the extra study time it imposed, he did better in his exams than he could possibly have expected.
He was accepted into the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1998 and graduated in 2003. With occasional breaks for trips to the mountains and working abroad, he has worked in veterinary medicine ever since.