If you are seeking a Christmas gift for an animal lover, from teen to adult, look no further. Dr. Mark Goldstein was a veterinarian, and happily tells us about his encounter with a bossy safari park elephant, who almost killed him for showing her bad manners. This Florida experience, related at the start of LIONS AND TIGERS AND HAMSTERS, sets the tone for the book.
Mark began by working summers in a horse breeding farm, while training in veterinary medicine at Cornell. His third summer marked the start of his career with even larger animals. Mark learned that the most important lesson was to respect the animals and his fellow keepers. The lions, blackbuck, buffalo and the others were behaving naturally, and the people had chosen to let them loose and then interact with them.
Mark progresses to tell us about some of his cases while working in a veterinary practice. I’ll let you imagine what might be more unusual than a safari park, because the domestic pets were no picnic either and their owners cared greatly about the outcomes.
Due to his early training, Mark was later director of zoos in Boston and Los Angeles, so we learn about the work of a zoo director with financial and employer responsibilities. Funding from benevolent lady donors figures more than once, and I was really heartened to see the good that was done with donations of any size. Mark explains that wild animals are becoming more and more endangered in the wild, and in some cases are extinct or nearly so, like rhinos and gorillas, so responsible zoos have organised to manage their breeding and care.
A humane society which aided pet owners after Hurricane Katrina is also featured, and we see great sensitivity and compassion for these pet lovers who had lost everything and needed time before they could provide a home for their dog again.
Mark Goldstein is careful to explain any terms about animal care and procedures used, so we can all feel educated after this read. The story is entertaining and insightful, with the utmost respect shown for animal professional carers... And the animals, however intimidating or minute. I think LIONS AND TIGERS AND HAMSTERS would be a great present.
From the time Dr. Mark Goldstein was a little boy—even before he had his first dog—he was fascinated by creatures both domestic and wild. After graduating veterinary school at Cornell University, he became a veterinarian in clinical practice, then director of zoos in Boston and Los Angeles, then head of a progressive humane society where he advocated for animal welfare. During his extraordinary 30-year career, Dr. Mark has accrued a lifetime of experiences working with all sorts of animals and the people who care for them.
Dr. Mark's life with animals taught him more than how to be a great doctor, it taught him how to live life. The stories in this book reflect those lessons; they will make you laugh and cry as they entertain and amaze you. Each real-life experience sheds light on the challenges and hard work of the talented individuals who work in the world of animal welfare. These are stories that illustrate the tremendous impact animals have on our daily lives—they are hallmarks of the sacred importance of the human-animal bond.
On your journey through the exhilarating life of Dr. Mark, you'll meet some of the finned, furred, and feathered animals who offered him invaluable insights—Harold the hamster, Sasha the Siberian tiger, St. Francis the German Shepherd, Ralph the buffalo, Gus the stallion, Frank the goldfish, and many more fascinating creatures!