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Tales from the Tail End: Adventures of a Vet in Practice [Paperback]

Emma Milne
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Mar 2012
Misty was ecstatic to see her owner but to the nurse’s surprise her owner just stood there and said, ‘What have you done with my dog’s head?’ ‘I’m sorry,’ replied the nurse, ‘what do you mean? She’s just been in for spaying.’ ‘That isn’t my dog’s head. The rest of it is my dog but you’ve put a different head on it.’ On a crisp October morning in 1996, Emma Milne started her first job as a newly qualified vet, a career captured on camera for eleven series of television’s Vets in Practice. Now she tells the full story. We discover the numerous things that can get stuck in an animal’s stomach, how to stop a cow exploding, and – the biggest truth of all – that animals are easy to deal with in comparison to their owners. They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and these Tales from the Tail End turn out to be stranger – and funnier – than you could ever have imagined…

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (5 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849532133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849532136
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Having been featured on BBC's Vets in Practice for seven years I've had the opportunity to get involved in lots of things that an everyday vet might miss out on. As well as getting involved with lots of brilliant animal charities I've also ended up writing for quite a few magazines over the years and have done quite a bit of welfare campaigning. Being on the panel for Question Time's fox hunting special was probably one of my scariest but most memorable moments!

I wrote my first book over a few years in between work and it was published in 2007. With The Truth about Cats and Dogs I really wanted to make people aware of the sorry state of the health of our pedigree dogs and cats. We should be striving to make sure our wonderful animal companions are as healthy as they can be way before we worry about how they look.

My second book, Tales from the Tail End, was brilliant fun to write and is very different. After years of serious welfare issues it was a lovely bit of light relief to write a book based on the funny and bizarre things that have happened to me over my time as a vet. Having grown up totally in love with the stories of James Herriot is was great to set out my own mishaps and experiences for all to see. Being a female vet brings its own unique 'issues' in some cases and having had the added oddity of being a semi-celebrity for some of the time the stories do vary greatly!

For the moment I'm not practising at the surgery because I spend my days (in between trying to continue my welfare work) looking after my two lovely daughters who, of course, are creating their own stories and chapters in my life.

Product Description


'As warm and entertaining as Herriot, Emma's sense of humour shines through the trials and triumphs of the life of a vet.' (Steve Leonard)

'Funny and pertinent to all of us who have pets, and probably disturbing for those that don't!' (Rick Wakeman)

'Right from the Introduction any animal lover will be drawn into this enchanting and amusing account of veterinary life. Emma Milne tells of her early career as a vet in practice, in a brilliantly honest and warm way, vividly recounting the ups and downs of the novice vet. A highly entertaining read coupled with the obvious passion that Emma has for her subject matter. James Herriot, in his country practice, would have much in common with this version of life as an animals' doctor.' (Clarissa Baldwin OBE)

'Emma is a classic twenty first century vet; young, female and opinionated, with reality television celebrity status. Her tales - of animals, farmers, pet owners and television cameras - are both engaging and entertaining.' (Pete Wedderburn, the Daily Telegraph vet)

'This book is delightful, amusing and honest, like Emma.' (Christopher Timothy)

'A bluntly honest and eye-opening book that takes one on a most fascinating journey behind the traditional "shop front" of the veterinary world… an absolute must-read for all animal lovers.' (Allen Parton, author of Endal)

'A sensitive but sometimes harrowing account of the challenges facing a greenhorn vet directly out of vet school. I found this book a joy to read. I could relate to the fears and exhilaration that Emma felt in those early days and how her confidence gained momentum. The learning curve will continue through her life, but with Emma at the helm, it could only be good for our animal friends.' (Terry Nutkins)

'I have every respect for someone who can put their hand up a half-ton cow, and then pull it out to write so engagingly about the experience.' (Andrew Dilger, author of Dash: Bitch of the Year)

'The adventures of "Vets in Practice" star Milne, this is the personal side of the TV programme told with great humour.' (The Bookseller)

'A great little book that will make both tails and tongues wag.' (David Bellamy)

'Reading this book has proved to be a delightful, stunning experience. It is a celebration, an account of some of the adventures in the early life of a young vet. I simply couldn't put it down! Emma Milne writes with gravitas and soul, combined with a rare gift for infectious humour. … This book is a tour de force. … Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to immerse yourself in this book and emerge at the end with every cell in your body happily changed!' (From the foreword by Brian Blessed)

'Like reading a transcript of my first job, Tales from the Tail End captures a vet's journey from student to practicing clinician brilliantly... with liberal yet totally well-founded splatterings of crazy when describing our beloved clients and ourselves. A great read!' (Scott Miller)

'Owners with ticks, cows with bloat and a boss who mistook the consulting room for a car park, it's all in a day's work according to an amusing new book on veterinary life.' (The Daily Express)

'you're going to love this collection of true to life tales, told by Emma Milne - a vet in Yorkshire. Emma was a star of the hit UK TV show Vets in Practice... With the kind on in-depth behind the scene insights that you can only glean from a book, this read educates everyone about how to stop a cow exploding, the truly weird objects that can get stuck in an animal's stomach and, most entertainingly, that animals are relatively easy to deal with in comparison to the humans that come with them. It's also a rather heart-warming read so definitely give this on a go.' (St Christopher's Live Your Life e-zine)

'so entertaining' (Yorkshire Post)

'A wonderful new book… difficult to put down… the content ranges from informative and educational to downright hilarious.' (Phonebox Magazine)

'With TV schedules awash with reality programmes, it's easy to forget how revolutionary Vets in Practice seemed in 1996… From revealing behind the scenes secrets, to telling of the joy, heartbreak and even hilarity that he job entails, Milne has created a no-holds barred account of a vet's life.' (Best of British)

Millions of viewers followed Emma Milne's progress as a young vet through 11 series of Vets in Practice and now she tells the whole story, from learning how to stop a cow exploding to the challenges of dealing with difficult owners. A James Herriot for our times, Emma is a very modern vet but with a timeless gift for storytelling.' (Choice)

'… Here she tells the full story of a working life with animals and shares her adventures, which are at times bizarre and hilarious.' (Your Cat)

'Every chapter is filled with stories, many of which are funny or joyous. Others are desperately sad. And there are plenty of strange tales too… Add to the mix, Emma's mischievous sense of humour. The highs and lows of her personal life and her relationship with her own family of dogs and cats. I absolutely loved reading Tales from the Tail End, and can honestly say I found it difficult to put down. An excellent read for any aspiring vet, animal lover or anyone who simply enjoys and entertaining book.' (Sixtyplusurfers)

'If you loved the All Creatures Great and Small books by James Herriot, then you're bound to enjoy this… an absolute treasure of a book and Dogs Monthly's choice for content and well-crafted skill in recounting a fascinating life… Emma is a natural storyteller… her book gallops along at a fast pace, chock-full of fascinating experiences - from heartwarming [sic] to heartrending… Emma writes an honest and blunt account of both her professional and personal life as a woman vet in a man's world… an entertaining and riveting read that was simply impossible to put down from start to finish. From laugh-out-loud moments, to those that put a huge lump in your throat and make you reach for the tissues, Ms Milne's book is an utter triumph in this genre - and secures her position as a worthy successor to Mr Herriot. More please Emma!' (Dogs Monthly)

'Straight-talking, no-nonsense vet Emma Milne takes a look back at some of the highs and lows of her career… Less outspoken and more upbeat than usual but none the worse for it.' (Your Dog)

'If you've ever wondered what practice life is like from the other side of the consulting room table, Emma's stories will answer all of your questions and leave you roaring with laughter too. … Her observations about the people she meets during the course of her career are reliably expressive and memorable too. … Emma's style is as easily readable as it is honest, and you will turn the page eagerly to find out just what on earth is going to happen to her next with genuine enthusiasm/fascinated horror. …will make the reader realise that the true story of what it's like to be a vet is far funnier than they could possibly imagine …' (PetFocus)

About the Author

Emma Milne is a passionate campaigner for animal welfare and received the Vet of the Year award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2008. Brian Blessed is an actor and voice artist whose voice has appeared in "Family Guy" and "Star Wars: Episode I." A great supporter of animal rights, he runs an animal sanctuary from his home.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book. 17 April 2012
For someone who was an avid watcher of TVs "Vets in Practice" like myself, this book gives a fascinating insight into Emma's own point of view at the times of recording the programmes. Those who may not remember the series will nevertheless be equally enthralled because the stories she relates are sometimes hilariously funny, at other times touchingly sad, but always extremely interesting. I can thoroughly recommend this book to animal lovers and people watchers alike!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 11 May 2012
Well what a surprise, an excellent read, i was really enthralled by this book

Emma has included just the right mix of animal/owner exposure and keeps everything on track and understated.

She doesn`t allow herself to get too carried away with quirky eccentricities (although i suspect there were many)
Which gives a wonderful and sensitive effect.

Being of James Herriot era I wondered what the pages would expose differently and was bowled over by the result
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - what a book!! 30 April 2012
By Loz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing read about a journey that a young newly qualified vet encounters. It is a heart felt story that makes you smile aswell as bringing you down to earth with the reality of veterinary practice. The book is very well written and contains humour all the way through; it is an emotional rollercoaster! The author obviously writes passionately as well as keeping you nervously waiting to find out what happens next. It is a book full of joy and tears - amazing, well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emma Milne tales from the tail end 24 April 2012
This book is a delightful, funny, thought provoking read into the life of Emma the vet! I thoroughly enjoyed it and literally couldn't put it down! It exudes every emotional possible as an animal lover but Emma also give her no nonsense, objective point of view into animal and vetnary care!

Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some are really informative and the rest is just hilarious to point of crying with laughter!! Ill never think of Sooty and Sweep in the same way again (a little spoiler which ill take no further!)

It's particularly well written and flows very well from chapter to chapter. I genuinely recommend everyone to read this, and for me personally, it was a little bit of therapy in dealing with the deaths of my own pets.

I love this book and can't wait for the next one. BUY IT !!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read. 29 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I used to love the James Herriott vet series, both in book form and on TV. I have seen the TV programmes 'Vets In Practice' so I was pleased to find this factual book in the Amazon top 100 by Emma Milne who was often featured on the programme. This book contains cases from the TV days at the practice and also has many moments about Emma's home life, her pets and her courtship and marriage to fellow vet Joe Inglis who was also featured on the Vets In Practice programme. It has comic moments and parts that tug at your heartstrings, also parts where you really feel you have learnt something. Well-told, it is an enriching read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxation 11 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting and entertaining read, a book once started, it's difficult to put down. Emma is funny, yet serious when needed,also very compassionate too. could we have more please?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 20 May 2012
By Bethy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Emma Milne is a brilliant writer, and she has a great sense of humour, I have really enjoyed reading this book, all the animals and people, some wierd, some eccentric, that she met during her time as a newly qualified vet, makes this book a fantastic read, I had many a good laugh. If you love animals, I would certainly recommend this wonderful book to anyone. Well done Emma.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster of emotions 25 April 2012
I went through every possible emotion whilst reading this book. Emma's description, whether it's an animal shed in winter, or the adventures of her kleptomaniac cat, Brian, had me hooked from the very beginning. I just couldn't put it down. Emma tells an amazing, honest and often frank story but what you take away from this is that it isn't just a job. She really cares about the animals and their owners she has worked with, proving she was perfect material for Vets in Practice - all those years ago!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars From the tail end
Reading about Emma's life as a vet is entertaining. Having both farm animals and pets can imagine just how the story's come about, and how farmers are all very different characters... Read more
Published 2 days ago by S.m.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 12 days ago by Janet Aherne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
fabulous book - very entertaining
Published 14 days ago by Alyson F.
4.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable
I loved this book! The authors flow of writing makes it a great read. The contents really do give you a proper in sight to being a vet
Published 23 days ago by wendy ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars a true account
What a wonderful book based on real life and real people I have enjoyed the journey of all concerned.
Published 1 month ago by eve redfern
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the tail end
It was wonderful to catch up with Emma again. Having watched the vet series on tv all those years ago I am glad to have found this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant little book
Absolutely brilliant little book. I love re-reading parts of it. Would be more than keen to purchase a follow up book if Emma writes one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amanda Huish
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book from page 1
I loved this book from page 1, she draws you in to the life of a vet and you laugh and smile all the way through
Published 2 months ago by Rosiemo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Tails from the Tail end by Emma Milne
This book was for my husband, he enjoyed it very much as he has always worked with animals on the farm
Published 5 months ago by mrs. y.weston
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