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Book Review: All Dogs Go to Kevin by Veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang

ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN – Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn’t Learn in Veterinary School) is the debut memoir by veterinarian Dr. Jessica Vogelsang of veterinary blog fame — Pawcurious. The biggest compliment I can give the book is this … it’s so funny that I read parts of the book aloud to my husband. We’d both giggle and gasp, then I’d keep reading to myself.

These days, Dr. V (as she’s called) works as a hospice veterinarian — handling palliative and end-of-life care for pets. Knowing that and seeing the title of the book, you might think … “Uh-oh, this is going to be sad.”

And, it is … at times, but it’s also quite funny.

all dogs go to kevin book review

Being a big fan of veterinarians, I appreciated the glimpses inside:

  • What veterinary school is really like
  • Just how tricky the female dog spay surgery actually is (and the unfair ways veterinarians are judged on their skill at doing this common surgery)
  • How some corporate veterinary practices work behind the scenes
  • Just how many people outright LIE to their veterinarians (bald.face.lies.seriously)

It’s a brave thing to allow readers into the all-too-real parts of your life — the pain, the struggles, the tough decisions, and the brutal people who seem bent on being deliberately hurtful.

Dr. V delivers on the promise that is memoir writing — with All Dogs Go to Kevin —
by showing the ups and downs and admitting to her own challenges
with making medical decisions and even with less-than-ideal dog behaviors.

Along the way, you’ll meet Taffy (Lhasa), Emmett (Golden), and Kekoa (Lab)
and learn about the roles they played at various stages in Dr. V’s life.
Yes, they’re all gone now. Yes, reading about their deaths isn’t easy —
especially Emmett because I know he was Dr. V’s Heart Dog.

I totally bawled sometimes while reading the book, but in a good way. It helps knowing that Brody, another Golden, is currently doing his canine duty in the Vogelsang family.

A diverse cast of characters pepper Dr. V’s stories. Some you’ll love. Some you’ll loathe. But, that’s real life … yes?

Simply put, Dr. V deserves every ounce of success this book will bring. And, it will. Trust me on that. All Dogs Go to Kevin is storytelling beautifully done. 

Help a first-time author out, would you? And, go buy a copy of the book now.

I have ONE FREE COPY of All Dogs Go to Kevin to GIVE AWAY.

To enter for your chance to win a hardcover copy of All Dogs Go to Kevin, post a comment to this book review blog post before Midnight (Mountain Time) Sunday, July 26, 2015. Tell me your most embarrassing veterinary story in your comment.

For example, I once forgot to change my footwear and showed up at a veterinary appointment in bedroom slippers.

Next week, I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winning entry. I’ll contact the winner via email to get shipping details. 

Sound good?! Let’s go! Make me laugh.

***

DISCLOSURE: I was NOT PAID to write this review. I did, however, receive TWO free copies of the book — a signed copy from Dr. V to keep and a copy from her publisher to give away. I also purchased a Kindle version of the book for myself … because it’s fun to pre-order books, then have them magically show up on your Kindle on the publication day.

You should also know that I know Dr. V in real life, and that she was kind enough to “blurb” (write an advance review) of *my* book.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

merr - August 10, 2015

The title alone is charming! Vets are so important in our lives (er, our dog’s!) so it’s nice that this book lets readers get to know her as a person.

HeatherL - July 27, 2015

What a great title! Sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Thank you for the review.

Heather

Nicole - July 23, 2015

Love your blog, and I love Dr. V! I’m not sure I have an embarrassing vet story, but I do have the best vet in the world, who has seen me through 8 years of joys and sorrows with my beloved cats and dogs. I guess the closest we can come is with my current Dobe, who is now 3 years old. He broke a toe as a 5 month old pup, running around in the backyard – one of those freak accidents. Neither the vet nor I could believe it was broken…pup was pretty stoic on exam, but we x-rayed, and there it was, broken right across the growth plate. We splinted it, got it all wrapped up in an adorable pig print vet wrap, and him in a huge Elizabethan cone…were told the splint should last a good 5-7 days. We were back the next day, sheepish, because somehow that little rascal managed to chew it off despite the giant cone of shame!

Jane Boursaw - July 23, 2015

I love the title of this book. And hmmm… most embarrassing vet visit… not sure about embarrassing, but we did have one memorable visit where our cat Bill (a frequent visitor) chomped down on the vet’s hand and drew blood. But he’d had a rough night – got in a fight with a raccoon.
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Janice in GA - July 22, 2015

My most embarrassing vet moment:

My Jasper was losing fur on his rear end. We took him to the vet to be checked out, worrying that he had some kind of skin problem.

The vet asked if he had fleas.

“No!” I was absolutely adamant he did NOT have fleas. We keep them on flea meds and I hadn’t seen any sign of fleas in the house.

She poked around on his hindquarters for about a minute, and then pulled out a flea and showed it to me. I felt really stupid and apologized. : P

Stephanie - July 22, 2015

The title alone is enough to get me to pick up the book. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s pretty freaking hilarious.

Pamela - July 22, 2015

Well, it’s not too embarrassing but it’s kinda funny.

As a first time dog person, I took my dogs to the vet near me who was on the SPCA’s list of doctors who accepted their spay/neuter vouchers.

I won’t go into that experience. Just to tell you it was dreadful and resulted in a horrific case of fleas and eventual follow up surgery.

But I needed a new vet and didn’t know how to find someone who wouldn’t be a nightmare. I asked around and someone at my job (who didn’t have animals) said she had a vet to recommend.

Her husband tripped on rough concrete on a Philadelphia sidewalk and tore up his knee pretty badly. The receptionist for the vet’s office near where he hurt himself came out and asked him to come in. She got one of the vets to clean and bandage his wound.

My co-worker raved about how nice everyone in the office was and what a neat job they did on her husband’s leg.

I didn’t have any better criterion for choosing a new vet so I took my pups to him. And he was terrific.

And no, I don’t need a hard cover book. But I’ve been dying to read this. So if I win, I’ll read it and pass it along to a new reader.
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    Roxanne Hawn - July 22, 2015

    Sounds like a good way to choose a veterinarian to me.

Kim McMunn - July 21, 2015

I has a 5 minth old puppy. I warned the college student who came to visit me for a few days on a job shadow program that he could be destructive, so make sure the bedroom door was shut so he couldn’t get into her things…….. not an hour later I’m with her and the puppy at the emergency hospital, trying to explain to the vet that a pair of underwear had gone missing…… and had to ask the poor student what kind of underwear (g string!) so we would know if we got it all back……

On a side note, I bought your book on kindle, read it over lunch at work one day (bad choice, I bawled through the whole thing, having lost my Fly not long before you lost Lilly), bought 4 paper copies, and have now given all 4 away and will have to buy more! Everyone who has been given one has thanked me for it profusely, and mentioned they planned to get some and give them away too…. so many people grieve alone, thinking they must be crazy to be so deeply affected by the loss of a pet. Thanks for letting us know we definitely aren’t alone.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 21, 2015

    Thanks so much, Kim, for buying so many copies and sharing them with friends. It means a lot to me. Your note is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said or done for me. I’m really touched. Thank you.

      Kim McMunn - July 23, 2015

      (and just bought 5 more yesterday. I’m really hoping I can keep hold of these for longer…….)

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