Mud, Sweat and Tears: Tales from a Country Vet by Bud Ings. Acorn Press.
From the back cover: “Ings’ memoir is a rich, often humourous account of his first decade as a vet, at a time when there were few vacations, no modern tools of the trade, and no request too strange to attend to. It’s also the story of a past era, when PEI’s farms flourished and the animals were not only the backbone of the economy, but part of the family.”
I checked this book out of the library way back in July (yes, I’m slightly behind on my reviews) so I could take it to PEI for our annual week of eating, reading, beachcombing and eating. In an interesting turn of events, however, my father—who generally limits his reading to the newspaper and curling/golf schedules—saw it on the coffee table and snagged it for himself. His verdict? Two thumbs up.
Well sure, I thought, Bud Ings is not only writing about the PEI of my Dad’s childhood, but they also share the same exquisite taste in adopted first names. Would I enjoy the book as much as Bud Cameron?
I did enjoy it. Ings’ details of farm life on PEI in the fifties are interesting, but even better are his descriptions of his encounters with the farmers—true characters, every one. Celebrity and tragedy memoirs are both more popular, I know, but I really believe these “regular person” memoirs are priceless for a glimpse at a world now long gone.
Recommended for fans of PEI, veterinary medicine or rural life in the fifties.