Many people begin careers so that they can receive praise and
recognition for the good work they do for those around them.
They do their best so that the people they work for will stand
up and say "Good job!" or "Nice going." But there are a few
unsung heroes out there who spend there lives helping those
who can never say "Thank you" for all the good work they have
done. These are the Animal Heroes, dedicated to helping all
the creatures of the world, great and small. The most famous
of this fur-covered, barn-hopping group is James Herriot.
James Herriot (the pen name for James Alfred Wight) grew up in Glasgow, a fairly large city in
Scotland. Like most boys his age, he went to high school and
then on to college. But at a certain point in his studies, he
made a decision that would forever change the course of his
life. He decided he wanted to become a veterinary surgeon,
specializing in the treatment of dogs.
Well, things didn't quite work out as planned. Mr. Herriot did
become Dr. Herriot, but when he received his first veterinary
assignment in the Yorkshire countryside, he found himself not
working with lovable collies and chihuahuas, but rather big
and brutal horses and oxen, whose kicks could send a grown man
flying. You see, in those days it was considered "unmanly" to
work with dogs and cats. So Dr. Herriot spent the early part
of his career mucking around barns and stables, dreaming of
drawing-room visits to pampered poodles and furry felines.
Eventually word got around
that there was a country
vet who was willing to help
out a person's beloved Fido
or Fifi, and Dr. Herriot
found himself able to
realize his original dream
of treating dogs and cats.
Luckily for the rest of us,
he recorded his
veterinary adventures in a
hilarious series of books
beginning with the famous
volume, All Creatures Great
and Small. Filled with wonderful stories, both funny and
tragic, Dr. Herriot's books have been an inspiration to animal
lovers (and future veterinarians) for years.