A Collection of Short Stories From a Winnipeg Veterinarian

What weighs fifty pounds and has dangerously sharp claws and limbs strong enough to tackle a caribou? The answer is Dr. Philipp Schott’s latest patient: a wolverine named Huey. And that’s just one of the many interesting patients he’s had on his examination table. Albert, the Burmese python is another. It took four people to carry Albert into the clinic. He was estimated to be over 20 feet in length and weighed over 200 pounds.  And then there is Jake, the East Indies duck who came in with a swollen penis. 

How to Examine a Wolverine is a collection of 60 different short stories based on Dr. Schott’s experience of running a small veterinarian clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The book is divided into four sections: dogs, cats, vets, and other beasts, making it a perfect in-between read. No need to hunker down for hours, you can pick up the book and read a few stories in any order and put it down again.

Dr. Schott is a gifted storyteller. No doubt every veterinarian has their stories, but Dr. Schott is able to write with a sense of humour while showcasing the human element. The bond between humans and their pets can be incredibly strong. As Dr. Schott writes, love is the strongest motivator when it comes to caring for our pets. Perhaps the best example of this is Chloe and Hank Ramirez, her teddy bear hamster. Suffice to say that Hank was the most well-loved hamster in Winnipeg. Veterinarians don’t see a lot of hamsters, and they don’t usually live long enough to require any extra care. But 10-year-old Chloe brought Hank into the office a grand total of five times in his very short life span.

There are also plenty of stories of dogs and cats being brought into the clinic for a variety of reasons –excessive gas, fur loss, arthritis, and in one case lethargy that turned out to be an accidental ingestion of CBD oil.  This essentially meant the dog was stoned, but he returned to normal by the next day. Dr. Schott also offers the perspective of what it’s like to be on the business side of running a practice – hiring receptionists, working the midnight shift, and chasing after patients that have gotten loose.

How to Examine a Wolverine is a great read for those looking for a quick, humorous book that doesn’t require a huge time commitment. For those that fall in love with Dr. Schott’s storytelling, make sure to check out his blog: A View of Woods and Water.