A chronicle of a vet's life-updated

November 8, 2017

Inspired by James Herriot, this veterinarian decided to recount his adventures as a veterinarian in the modern age.

Growing up in New York City. Receiving his degree from the Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland. Running a veterinary practice in Florida. How can there not be a load of stories inside such a swath of experience?

And P.J. Miller, DVM, has recorded just such stories in his book Cute Poodles, Sweet Old Ladies and Hugs: Veterinary Tales. The tales include colorful clients, wisecracking hospital staff and pets that aren't always friendly. (You can relate a little to that, right?)

We asked Dr. Miller about the inspiration for his book. “Like a lot of veterinarians I was a big fan of James Herriot. He set the bar that may never be reached again,” he says. “When I embarked on writing this book, it was to give young adults an insight as to what it was really like to be a veterinarian.”

As he started actually capturing his stories, Dr. Miller's focus switched up a bit. “It transformed and became more for adults,” he says. “I feel it gives the general public a look into what we, as well as our staff, go through on a daily basis. We face many challenges as veterinarians, in particular dealing with the general public. In this book I employed a great deal of humor to tell my story.”

About that Herriot bar: “I am no James Herriot and was skeptical about the response my book would get. However, I have been blown away by the positive response and feedback it has been getting,” says Dr. Miller. “I enjoyed writing it, and there may be a part two in the future.”

As he percolates on his next book, Dr. Miller continues as chief of staff at Merritt Animal Clinic in Eustis, Florida, and lives with his wife and two children. He loves all animals, but with his twist on all creatures great and small, he says he's partial to bulldogs, Chihuahuas and cats that act like dogs. And like most transplanted New Yorkers, he's still looking for that perfect slice of pizza.