In September, retired Veterinarian Doctor Gary Hoium released Volume Two: Don't They Kick When You Do That? Stories of a Prairie Veterinarian. The books contain stories from his 37 years working with animals here in Weyburn.
Four days after he graduated from Vet College in Saskatoon in 1984, Hoium started work here in Weyburn and he has been here ever since. He sold the practice in 2004 and then retired in 2021.
"I guess between retirement and COVID and being bored, I decided, 'well, maybe I could write a book', and when I got thinking real serious about it, I said, 'yeah, I have enough stories that I could try writing books'. So we wrote book one in 2021, and I had good success with that, so we're into our second printing with that now, and then the feedback I got was, "where's number two? You have to write another book'," he shared.
Hoium said a question he is often asked is if he kept a journal or a diary to record the stories, to which he said he wouldn't have had time for that. However, he remembered the stories nonetheless.
"They're just stories that are in my mind. They made an impression on me, obviously, in the of the day or the event, and the events that do happen are sometimes pretty comical, I guess, and those ones particularly stay with you."
"I just wrote from memory basically and I'd just pick a story or two and write a chapter and then next night pick a different story and write a chapter, so that's the way the book is," he noted. "It's not a read the book from 1984 and it progresses to now. It's just a chapter here and there. You read a chapter at night or a chapter a day."
He said he's had people report that they've read it cover to cover in one sitting.
"I did want it to be enlightening, in terms of giving people a little look behind the curtain, if you will, of what practice was like, and I wanted it to be educational, so some of the stories have an educational component to it, which is people are always interested to learn a little bit of things. Of course, I wanted it to be entertaining and also humorous. So I guess those are the things that we strive for."
The book makes a great gift for animal lovers anywhere, and Hoium was, in fact, set up this past Saturday at the Gifted Winter Art Sale.
"We've had a lot of people say they never laughed so much in their life, but they'll get into their story, too, so those kinds of people, it's just the right fit for them, and that's kind of what we were striving for. "So it makes you feel like well, we maybe we accomplished what we set out to do and basically it was just kind of something to honour my clientele that gave me so many years of fun and enjoyment."
He said he gets feedback from all over Canada, but the books are published by Driver Works out of Regina.
"What's been a lot of the fun is the feedback from the people across the country. I have been very lucky to have Deanna [Publisher], she's established on book authorship, and she's got all her network of bookstores and things that she deals with. So that's out of my hands and that helps us get out there and get the word out and sell books, so that's good."
You can find the books at Pharmasave in Weyburn.
"The gals there are as enthusiastic as I am, or more so sometimes, to carry the books, and so we appreciate that very much."
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