Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Amy Attas

Book cover for Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian
Book cover for Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Amy Attas

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New York City's premier "house call veterinarian" takes you into the exclusive penthouses and four-star hotel rooms of the wealthiest New Yorkers and shows that, when it comes to their pets, they are just as neurotic as any of us.

When a pet is sick, people--even the rich and famous--are at their most authentic and vulnerable. They could have a Monet on the wall and an Oscar on the shelf, but if their cat gets a cold, all they want to talk about are snotty noses and sneezing fits. That's when they call premier in-home veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas.

In Pets and the City, Dr. Amy shares all the shocking, heartbreaking, and life-affirming experiences she's faced throughout her thirty-year career treating the cats and dogs of New Yorkers from Park Avenue to the projects. Some of her stories are about celebs, like the time she saw a famous singer naked (no, her rash was not the same as her puppy's). Others are about remarkable animals, like the skilled service dog who, after his exam was finished, left the room and returned with a checkbook in his mouth. Every tale in this rollicking, informative, and fun memoir affirms a key truth about animal, and human, nature: Our pets love us because their hearts are pure; we love them because they're freaking adorable. On some level, we know that by caring for them, we are the best version of ourselves. In short: Our pets make us better people.

About the Author

Dr. Amy Attas is an award-winning veterinarian and the founder of City Pets, which for more than three decades has been the premier veterinary medical house call practice for dogs and cats living, working in, or visiting Manhattan. She shares a home with her husband, Stephen Shapiro, and if she is lucky, some rescued pugs.

Critical Reviews

"We enjoyed every word. Like Dad's books, Pets and the City is as much about people as it is about animals. It is truly fascinating--so very different from country veterinary practice in Yorkshire! Her love of animals comes through loud and clear, as does her instinctive understanding of the relationship between the owners and their pets, and the good it does for both parties....Just as our father, the real James Herriot, was, Dr. Attas is a dedicated and caring veterinarian with the welfare of both patient and customer her priority. The book is a worthy tribute to her profession, and we wish it well." --James Wight M.R.C.V.S. and Dr. Rosie Page, son and daughter of James Herriot, author of All Creatures Great and Small

"Brimming with great stories and heart in equal measure, Pets and the City is prime reading for anyone who has ever spent time in the company of animals. Attas gives us an eye-opening account of what it's like to be NYC's premier house-call vet, sharing touching and outrageous stories of clients both human and animal. She's been witness to the strangest and most extravagant animal-human relationships the city has to offer, and we get to go along with her (without having to administer intravenous fluids)." --Alexandra Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of Inside of a Dog

"A juicy and compassionate memoir...Woven among her stories are tips and advice for animal lovers." --Associated Press

"Attas dishes on what she's learned about the lives of New York's wealthy and well-known by visiting their homes to care for their four-legged family members." --New York Post

"A fascinating glimpse into the lives of New York City's residents and their pets, filled with humor, compassion, and just a hint of city snark. Travelling with Dr. Attas is a treat for animal lovers everywhere!" --Dr. Karen Fine, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Family Doctor

"Having heard some of Dr. Amy's adventures over the years as a house call veterinarian to the rich and famous, I looked forward to seeing her book. It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. This book is a must read for animal lovers everywhere, filled with the trials and tribulations as well as the joys and rewards of helping the beloved beings who share our homes." --Jana de Peyer, cofounder of Best Friends Animal Society

"For a New York kind of guy, this is a great New York kind of book! Dr. Amy made house calls, hotel calls and even back-stage calls to care for my beloved pugs. And even after I moved to the Island, my 'girls' went to the City by limousine or helicopter so Dr. Amy could continue their care. Enjoy the book!" --Billy Joel

"[A] charming debut memoir...This bubbly tell-all has fascinating depths." --Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Attas has a sharp eye and an amusing, engaging style that bring to life the vagaries of Manhattan house calls and insight into the bonds that are established among veterinarians, clients, and pets. A delightful read." --Kirkus Reviews

"[A] playful debut...There are entertaining tales of animal antics... [and] tough moments of loss abound; Attas eloquently describes helping humans grieve the loss of their beloved fur-babies...A sure hit for pet lovers and anyone looking to peek into the lives and homes of the Manhattan elite." --Library Journal

"The insights into [Attas'] clients' lives, both human and animal, as well as the tips for pet owners, make Pets and the City a unique and enjoyable read." --Booklist

"Dr. Amy visits her patients in their New York City habitats: the grand (and sometimes not-so-grand) homes and apartments where they live. These stories feel like you have hopped into her leather doctor's bag and gone along for the ride, getting a peek at the houses and lifestyles of the people while learning about the pets she doctors. This book is a treat for anyone who ever wanted to be a vet--and those who are curious how the rich (and their pets) are different from us." --Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible

"Amy Attas' Pets and the City is a lovely, compelling memoir written with humor, honesty and personal drama. Reading Attas, a house call veterinarian serving patients (animal and human both) in the middle of Manhattan, makes you wish for days long past when doctors of medicine treated patients whenever and wherever they were ailing. This is an engaging and well-told true story." --Lee Gutkind, author of The Fine Art of Literary Fist-Fighting

"In her role as Manhattan's first house-call veterinarian, Amy Attas is part doctor, part educator, part counselor, and all heart--caring not just for pets, but for their people. This waggish memoir follows Amy from mansions and penthouses to studio walk-ups as she performs one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs: protecting our best friends, in every season of life. Filled with compassion, humor and a side of celebrity dish, Pets and the City is my new favorite book." --Laurie Zaleski, author of Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals

"Dr. Attas's warm and wonderful Pets and the City is New York City's version of All Creatures Great and Small. Whether she's treating the ailing cat of a hoarder in a tiny apartment or a super model's diseased Pekingese on Park Avenue, her compassion, humor--and affection--for people and their pets shines through. The perfect beach read for animal lovers." --Cat Warren, New York Times bestselling author of the What the Dog Knows

"In Pets and the City, Dr. Amy Attas views New Yorkers, from the rich and famous to elderly shut ins, through the lens of their relationships with their four (and sometimes three) legged companions. She's unapologetically on the side of the animals, and unblinking when, all too often, pets provide a mute indictment of their owner's character and/or judgement. She tells her story through vignettes, at times heartbreaking, heartwarming, informative, and sometimes downright hilarious. If you can through this book with a dry eye, please don't get a pet." --Eugene Linden, author of The Parrot's Lament and The Octopus and the Orangutan

"Dr. Amy Attas has been my family's veterinarian since I was a little girl, and so I've known for years how caring and loving she is. But it was a welcome surprise to find that Dr. Amy is also a vibrant and engaging storyteller. She brings us into the homes and hearts of New Yorkers and the pets they love with insight, wisdom, and wit. Pets and the City is reminiscent of the great James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small, with a dash of wicked humor and a heaping dose of fun." --Molly Jong-Fast, author, podcaster, and writer of the Fast Politics newsletter

"Attas is perhaps at her most compelling when recounting her determination as an adolescent to become a veterinarian and the literal and figurative lengths to which she went to gain experience even before attending veterinary school. She also includes useful advice and tips for pet owners...Attas has a sharp eye and an amusing, engaging style that bring to life the vagaries of Manhattan house calls and insight into the bonds that are established among veterinarians, clients, and pets. A delightful read." --Kirkus Reviews

Publishing Information

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pub date: 2024-06-18
Length: 320 pages

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