In this sentimental and smartly written debut novel from Boston veterinary surgeon Trout (Tell Me Where It Hurts, a memoir), Dr. Cyrus Mills, an early middle-aged veterinary pathologist, returns after 14 years to rustic Eden Falls, Vt., to assume the ownership of Bedside Manor, the clinic previously owned by his late father. The reclusive Cyrus, long estranged from his father, filed a wrongful termination suit after being fired from his previous job. Now, due to a countersuit, he’s in danger of losing his veterinarian’s license. To exacerbate matters, his popular father, an inept businessman, left Bedside Manor in debt, and no sooner has Cyrus arrived than the bank threatens foreclosure. He finds allies in Lewis, the Bedside Manor’s wise older vet, and the crusty office manager, Doris, after Cyrus’s first customer suspiciously asks for her healthy golden retriever to be euthanized. In the week during which the novel unfolds, Cyrus delivers a baby in an emergency, dates a local waitress, and works out his hostile emotions toward his dead father. By the time the bank’s financial deadline arrives, he’s been dubbed the “new Patron Saint” of lost dogs. A diverting yarn reminiscent of the work of James Herriot. Agent: Kristin Lindstrom, Lindstrom Literary Group. (Feb. 12)
"Smartly written . . . reminiscent of the work of James Herriot."Publishers Weekly
"A doggone charming tale . . . two paws up."Kirkus
"Trout's charming novel strikes just the right balance between humor and drama. The cast of characters are delightfully entertaining . . . Highly recommended for anyone who has ever had a beloved pet."Library Journal (starred)
"I tore through this is one sitting. Engaging, insightful, and full of the genial warmth that makes Nick Trout's other work such a joy to read."
"The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is every bit as sweet and slightly goofy as the golden retriever who sets Nick Trout's romp of a novel into a whirl of motion that never lets up from the very first page. There are few pleasures in life sweeter than watching the bitter, conniving Dr. Cyrus Mills a vet who's definitely not in the lovable James Herriott mold gradually morph into a generous human being, thanks to the influence of his animal patients. I dare you to feel crabby after reading this book."
"I don't know what was more enjoyable, Nick Trout's inexperienced veterinarian with his slightly tweaked outlook, the clannish Vermont town, or the intrigue of finding what was lost. I stayed up long into the night laughing and marveling at Trout's adept hand."
"A delightful, endearing, and frequently hilarious story of a man who lost his way and found it again through a plate of meatloaf, a frigid Vermont winter, and a pair partially digested, oversized red silk boxer shorts, The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a story that reminds us of the truth that is hidden away in our hearts: loving our animals is a sure way to heal our souls."
"Grab this book. I'm not kidding. You're going to love this story. There's romance, redemption, a dog named Frieda and a whole lot more. This is a book you won't ever want to end."
Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals; Cyrus Mills is the patron saint of lost dogs. Veterinary surgeon and best-selling author Trout’s (Tell Me Where It Hurts; Love Is the Best Medicine; Ever by My Side) first novel opens with veterinarian pathologist Mills seeing his first patient at the failing Vermont clinic he inherited from his estranged father. A man wants his dog euthanized for constantly peeing on his new floor, but Mills finds that he just can’t do it. Thus begins myriad complications when Mills later sees a distraught mother and daughter putting up lost posters of the same dog. It’s a week full of entanglements, including a Labrador with a penchant for eating underwear and a cat’s rich owner whose boyfriend might not be all he seems. All Mills wants is to make the practice viable enough to sell it to a fancy vet chain. Will he be able to do it?
Verdict Trout’s charming novel strikes just the right balance between humor and drama. The cast of characters are delightfully entertaining, but Mills is the linchpin as a son grappling with the memory of a father he thought he knew. Highly recommended for anyone who has ever had a beloved pet.Susan Moritz, Silver Spring, MD
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It's tough to resist a good story that features four-legged creatures, which highlight this surprisingly upbeat tale about a son who returns home following the death of his long estranged father. Cyrus Mills isn't a warm, fuzzy kind of person, and choosing a career as a veterinary pathologist seems a logical choice: He's following in his late mother's footsteps, and he gets to work in solitude, which he prefers. When Robert Cobb, Cyrus' father, dies and bequeaths Bedside Manor for Sick Animals to him, he returns to his former home in a small town in Vermont. Cyrus is eager to sell his inheritance and leave Eden Falls behind. He has few fond memories of his life there, except for the time he spent with his mother, and he needs the money from the sale to fund a legal battle to reinstate his license, which has been temporarily suspended following charges of wrongdoing filed by his former employer. But Cyrus quickly discovers that in addition to being a workaholic and an absentee dad, Dr. Cobb was mired in debt. Unless Cyrus can prove that his father's heavily mortgaged veterinary clinic is worth a potential buyer's investment--within the week--he'll lose the sale, and it appears that a sinister banker and an anonymous blackmailer might be rooting against him. With a light touch and conversational tone, Trout (Ever by My Side, 2011, etc.) delivers a doggone charming tale. Rather than dispensing an overload of schmaltz, which is difficult to avoid in a feel-good story that introduces a magnitude of furry friends and their often eccentric owners, the author manages to successfully pull off a straightforward, energizing story with a message that doesn't choke on its own sweetness. Cyrus, of course, transforms during the week as he's forced to interact with each character, revisit his past and contemplate his future. He becomes an excellent healer, and with the help of a group of caring individuals, including a gentle mentor, an attractive waitress, a gruff receptionist and all of his four-legged friends, he also becomes one of the healed. Two paws up.