Happy release day to Julie Fudge Smith, author of The Beast Keepers!
We’ve been taken with the premise of this book from the moment we met Julie. Think C.S. Lewis meets James Herriot!
Jonathan F. St. Roche, a young veterinarian jaded by the wealthy horse world, answers an ad for a job as a small-town veterinarian in rural Carrollton, Ohio. Once there, he soon discovers the town is a safe haven for a menagerie of mythical creatures (including a pregnant pegasus, a flying monkey with a sprained wing, a centaur with Cushing’s disease, and a unicorn with a sweet tooth) who rely on him for their medical care and shelter from the outside world. When a deadly basilisk threatens the town, Jonathan and his new friends must balance the dangerous creature’s needs against the grave risk to the community.
“With a cast of beastly characters, this is a playful consideration of what kindness to animals really means. Fun, inventive, and charming, The Beast Keepers is a delight for animal lovers. I loved it!”
—Zazie Todd, PhD, author of Wag and Purr
“If you love the bond between animals and their guardians, you’re going to love this book. Not only do you meet some fun domestic animals, but you’ll also be captivated by the mythical creatures. A thoroughly enjoyable, well-written story. As a dog trainer, I especially enjoyed the sections about how animals think and learn! Well done!”
—Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, Co-founder, The Dog Gurus, former president of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
About the Author
Julie Smith is a writer and an extensively credentialed Certified Professional Dog Trainer living in Galena, Ohio. The idea for The Beast Keepers was born from a visit to the vet:
Several years ago while I waited with my flat-coated retriever Mr. Bingley at the holistic vet for a chiropractic adjustment, I studied the poster showing the acupuncture points for dogs. I wondered if animals such as turtles, frogs, snakes, porcupines, etc., had acupuncture points as well.
While the vet worked on Bingley, I asked him whether he learned acupuncture for animals besides dogs, cats, horses, etc. He replied that there were classes for “other” animals. Although I think he probably meant animals such as goats or sheep, there was something about the way he said “other” that caused me to think:
“You meant griffins? Centaurs? Fauns?” Showing a modicum of restraint, I did not ask that aloud. I did, however, spend the remainder of the day contemplating how you would treat medical issues in mythological animals. If a griffin had a lung infection, would you be treating bird lungs or mammalian lungs? Can centaurs get gout, and if so, how would it manifest? Can unicorns get laminitis?
Thus was born the idea of The Beast Keepers, an adult literary novel with a twist.