Review of 'Listening to the Animals: Becoming The Supervet'

Listening to the Animals: Becoming The Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick

becoming_the_supervet.jpg Noel Fitzpatrick, founder of veterinary referral agency Fitzpatrick Referrals, is well known in the UK as the star of the reality television show “The Supervet” where he provides extraordinary treatments to pets utilizing the latest techniques and materials. Not only is he extremely talented, much of his appeal is his charming personality and way with people.

We are huge fans of the series and attend his Noel Fitzpatrick Live Tour 2018 - Welcome to My World tour where he discussed his desire to see human and veterinary medicine come together to benefit both. It is this theme that also pervades “Listening to the Animals” though he steps back to tell his story beginning with his early days in the Republic of Ireland where he helped his rather gruff farmer father care for their cattle. As is often the case with farmers, his father had a rather utilitarian view of the animals but at a young age Noel was emotionally attached to them even going so far as to rescue a humble mouse from a feed container only to find himself trapped. Despite not coming from a wealthy family he managed to make it into veterinary school at University College Dublin where he struggled to memorize the various technical details thrown at him. Throughout the book Noel is quite self-effacing though admits his talents through the work he has put in over the years. He found working with American veterinary schools far more to his liking, and more focused on veterinary care and hands-on training. Through this experience he learned he was not interested in dealing with cattle as a farming vet preferring instead to concentrate on small animal treatment with a particular emphasis on using his tinkering skills in development prothesis and skeletal treatments. He realized that despite the exceptional facilities available to humans there were no such facilities for animals so founded “Fitzpatric Referrals” as the premiere veterinary referral facility based in Surrey, UK. The book talks of his struggles to fund his dreams and the hours he puts in dedicated to his profession.

An insightful and interesting story that is written in his trademark simple-spoken and easy-going style (though there is the occasional digression into technical details that quickly went way over my head). Included are a series of pictures that bring the story to life, a story that is somewhat tiring to even read about as we hear of the incredible hard graft Noel has put into getting to be who he is today working his six day weeks and often well into the night not taking any holidays…This is a man possessed but who speaks with such an air of authority and compassion that we listen carefully to what he has to say.

“Listening to the Animals” occasionally seems to feel like a broken record as he returns time and time again to the same themes but it is a very readable story of an incredibly talented and compassionate man.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2021-05-01

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication Date: 2018

ISBN: 9781409183747