WEYBURN – Longtime veterinarian Dr. Gary Hoium had tended to the large and small animals of Weyburn area residents for over 40 years, with the result he had a large catalogue of stories of his interactions with both animals and their owners.
He released his first book, “Don’t They Kick When They Do That?” in 2021, and as of the start of September this year, he has now released Volume 2 of vet stories, again through Driver Works of Regina.
Dr. Hoium took full retirement from being a veterinarian in November of 2021, which allowed him more time to spend on writing.
“We had good success with the first book. I was surprised how well that sold,” he said, noting many readers told him that he should come out with another book of stories.
The push that convinced him came from a phone call from a reader, who told him how much she had enjoyed the first book, and expressed the wish that he would come out with a sequel.
He noted he used around 125 stories in his first book, spread over 42 chapters, and still had some stories left to tell.
One difference from his first volume, which covers his life from university onwards to his veterinary practice, is that he goes back to his childhood for a number of stories involving animals.
The second book has 36 chapters over 222 pages, and it was again edited by Deana Driver.
“There are a lot of client stories in there, and with the staff at the clinic, and overall has a local flavor,” said Dr. Hoium.
One such client story was from calving season a number of years ago, as he first received a call from a farm south of Weyburn, and while he was driving out to it, another call came in of an urgent nature. He went to this second call first, and when he got to the other farm for the calving, the farm wife was extremely angry and ended up taking Dr. Hoium to court over it, even though the calf was born without any difficulties.
One of his stories from growing up in Midale involved a deal to buy an orange rabbit from a Polish grandmother. As he picked bottle for the cash, she charged him 200 bottles for this rabbit.
“They weren’t pets for her, she ate them,” he said. “I learned you have to ask questions when you buy a used rabbit.”
He also noted this grandmother who had no business education made a pretty decent profit, and gave Hoium a good education in business.
He will have a formal launch of the book in Regina and Saskatoon, and Sask Books has arranged for him to do an author reading at the Weyburn Public Library on Monday, Oct. 2.
Dr. Hoium has dedicated this book to his mom and dad, and will be donating part of the proceeds from each book sold to the Alzheimer Society, in memory of his mother.
He noted that his first title was a top seller for Sask Books, so they wanted to sponsor the reading for his second volume. The book is available directly from himself, or at Pharmasave, the Prairie Animal Health Centre or at Cowtown.
Asked if it was a little easier to write the second time around, Dr. Hoium said, “I would say it was little tougher. There were some stories that were hard to put into chapter length. I think they’re entertaining stories.”
One advantage to this being his second book of vet stories are the fans of the first book were among those who asked for and ordered this book. Hoium noted he sent out about 100 books in the first week it was out from the publishers.