A young friend of mine has just started her professional career in Newfoundland, leaving behind friends and family, knowing not one soul in her new home.
When I saw Andrew Peacock's newly released memoir, Creatures of the Rock: A Veterinarian's Adventures in Newfoundland, it struck a chord. Hailey, this one's for you!
In 1982 newly minted veterinarian Andrew Peacock and his physician wife (also recently graduated) move from Ontario to Newfoundland to start their professional careers. They too, knew no one. The plan - stay two years.
In Creatures of the Rock, Peacock recounts those first days and the ensuing years in a practice that spanned twenty eight years on the Avalon Peninsula. Peacock was the only vet for 130 miles, on call night and day - and on his own.
His patients ranged from the smallest house pet to one of the largest animals you could imagine - a whale! And of course the owners of those animals are a large part of the story as well. We meet the neighbours and the clients as Peacock and his wife settle into life on the Rock and raise their three children in the small community of Freshwater. I enjoyed the glimpse into life in Newfoundland and I also picked up some animal husbandry knowledge!
Peacock's writing has an ease to it, a tone of conversation almost. His warmth, humour and compassion and love of his profession are evident in his recounting of his years tending to the creatures in his territory. He's a very engaging storyteller.
There are photographs included with the book - it was nice to put a face to a voice I really enjoyed reading. There will be inevitable comparisons to British vet, James Herriot. Peacock acknowledges that those tales were a model for his own. My advice? Pick up Peacock's book - it's homegrown and a really great read. Here's an excerpt of Creatures of the Rock.
Andrew and Ingrid still make their home in Newfoundland. And Hailey's adventures are just beginning....