Friday, 23 November 2018

Listening to the Animals: Becoming the Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick

Growing up on the family farm in Ballyfin, Ireland, Noel's childhood was spent tending to the cattle and sheep, the hay and silage, the tractors and land, his beloved sheepdog Pirate providing solace from the bullies that plagued him at school. It was this bond with Pirate, and a fateful night spent desperately trying to save a newborn lamb, that inspired Noel to enter the world of veterinary science - and set him on the path to becoming The Supervet.

Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Noel recounts this often-surprising journey that sees him leaving behind a farm animal practice in rural Ireland to set up Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, one of the most advanced small animal specialist centres in the world. We meet the animals that paved the way, from calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs. 

Noel has listened to the many lessons that the animals in his care have taught him, and especially the times he has shared with his beloved Keira, the scruffy Border Terrier who has been by Noel's side as he's dealt with the unbelievable highs and crushing lows of his extraordinary career. 

As heart-warming and life-affirming as the TV show with which he made his name, Listening to the Animals is a story of love, hope and compassion, and about rejoicing in the bond between humans and animals 

My first thoughts on reading this book is, what a brain this man must have. His capacity for learning is huge. 

My heart went out to the young boy growing up on his family's family in rural Ballyfin,Ireland. At the age of eight years old Noel was out in the fields late at night helping find lost sheep and helping them give birth. Looking after animals is in the bones of the man. His best friend was a sheepdog, Pirate who he would go to and tell all his troubles to him and cry on his fur.

Noel was bullied relentlessly at secondary school and the only one he had to turn to was his dog. He never told his parents as he thought they were busy enough and would tell him to get on with it which is more or less what a teacher at the school told him. Noel decided to put all his efforts into studying to make something of himself as he always wanted to be a vet.

The book contains many funny stories about life as a student vet and the scrapes he got himself into.

His journey to become a specialist in his field of veterinary surgery was a long one and not an easy one.

Noel has fought hard for what he has achieved today and I hope these bullies from his schooldays are all hanging their heads in shame.

This was a really interesting read. It reveals many surprising things about the man we watch on television. I'll leave you to find them out for yourself.

Needless to say Noel comes across as intelligent, compassionate and an all round nice guy.

The book finishes just as he is realising his dream in setting up his vet centre where he is now.

I predict a second book as I'm sure Noel has a lot more stories to tell.

My links are not working but it is for sale on Amazon for kindle and in paperback and probably every bookshop and supermarket just in time for Christmas. 

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