The Amish Animal Doctor
Love Inspired Pub.
March 29th, 2022
The Amish Animal Doctor by Patrice Lewis shows the struggle someone has over career versus community. It is an age-old struggle whether a woman is Amish or English.
“It was a personal story. I never studied veterinarian science but did take an interest in animal behavior and field biology. In addition, the dog Lydia is based on a dog I had. Unfortunately, she passed away five years ago. She was a Pyrenees. Her name was also Lydia. This type of dog’s job is a livestock guardian. But my dog was a guardian of us, a house dog. Lydia was a wonderful, wonderful dog. The difference between the dog in the story and the dog in real life is that our dog was never bred. We found out that 80% of female dogs who were not fixed and never had puppies get cancer. It was a harsh lesson.”
In this novel the main heroine, Abigail, returns home to take care of her mom who is recovering from hip replacement surgery. She enjoys the comfort and support of her family and community. But unfortunately, she cannot once again become Amish because Abigail feels being a veterinarian is her calling. She does not want to give up helping animals. Readers will sympathize with Abigail’s struggles and start to understand that an Amish woman can also have a career but needs the right partner. Benjamin appears to be that person who will help her work out the details needed to balance a family and job.
“Amish women usually have large families and see their job as raising their children. But many of them have sideline gigs that are very creative from making quilts to running stores. But Abigail had a job that was demanding and caused her to be extremely focused, a veterinarian. This being the case I needed the male lead, Benjamin, to be understanding and committed to her job. If one parent cannot be home, it causes a conflict. He had to be compatible with her career ambitions.”
“With that said Abigail is independent, passionate, compassionate, smart, and motivated by what she saw as a G-d given gift, veterinarian science. She did have a longing to get back to the incredible support system of the community. This caused a little bit in her of being needy. It was community versus her calling. She is spunky by the way she stands up for herself whether with the Bishop, Benjamin, and her mother. While Benjamin is a loner, moody, and organized. He saw the women he loved leave the Amish. His sister became a nurse and the woman he was courting went to the English side. This caused him to be wary and bitter. But he did take a journey, that he must be more self-aware. What put him off was exposure to the English world. But in the end, each became supportive of the other and their career choices.”
A bonus is that readers get to learn about the Pyrenees dog breed. The story shows how the Amish can use the dog not only as a pet, but as a working dog. These types of dogs are valuable to any farmer or rancher.
This was a great story that shows the skills of the Amish, the desire to be part of a community, and the need for self-worth.