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James Herriot - the Greatest Veterinarian

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James Herriot, a beloved veterinarian, started his life being born in the middle of the first world war not knowing the adventure that was going to take place in the future. Also known as Alf, lived in Glasgow and later got a job in Thirsk as a vet for country animals. Alf later went on to write books about his fun stories about his time being a veterinarian. When James was young, he got a dog named Don, Don gave him the dream of becoming a vet but he had to work hard for it, he later went to Glasgow Veterinary College and graduated; Alf received a job offering and excepted it leaving his parents and moving to Thirsk starting his new life as a veterinarian.

When born in 1926, James lived during the times of the first world war. Before birth, a zeppelin bomb landed just five hundred yards away from his house (Lord 7). His father James worked in the shipyard, his father also played the piano for the cinema, Alf’s mother, Hannah, sang for the cinema (Lord 7,8). After James was born, he and his parents moved to Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland; he would eat porridge and broth and on Sundays he would get margarine on a pile of potatoes (Lord 15, 16). For high school, Alf took the tram three miles across the city to head to Hillhead high school, Hillhead was such a quiet old world area to where even after the second world war it still had horses with delivery carts (Lord 39). Don, an Irish Red Setter, given to Alf from his father, inspired him to become a vet for dogs (Lord 42). When thirteen, Alf’s goal in life was to become a vet or dog doctor (Lord 51).

James later went to a college in Glasgow called Glasgow Veterinary College. When Alf started his first six years, the college became short with funds causing the students to get low grades and no good teachers worked at the school (Lord 61,63). Knowing now he cannot be a vet for just dogs, Alf started looking at the animals that the teachers viewed most important, the horse, cow, sheep, pig and then the dog (Lord 72,73). By 1936, James had so much experience outside the college with vets, he worked even when the vet left for his vacation having Alf take care of the business (Lord 78). In 1939, he finally passed his MRCVS in December, just as Hitler prepared to invade France and Norway (Lord 78,79). After Alf graduated from Glasgow, the future taunted him if he could get a job, he just became a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons so he should have gotten a job but he seemed no prospect of ever finding a job (Lord 81). For months, James lived with his parents anxious to get a job, until one day he say a job advertisement in Thirsk (84). Alf went to Thirsk and went to see the owner, Mr. Sinclair, but then realized that he would have to work with other animals, not only dogs (Lord 84). Mr. Sinclair hardly dealt with dogs, his main customers were farmers with their cows, horses, pigs and their sheep (Lord 82).

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