Dan Gilchrist book signing and presentation

Local author and veterinarian presents his book, “Fella”

Join the Colgate Bookstore 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m. for a book signing and presentation by local veterinarian Danny Gilchrist. Copies of his book, “Fella” will be available for purchase and signing.

Danny Gilchrist stumbled into a career as a large animal veterinarian when, by happenstance, he tagged along to the birth of a lamb, an act he attributes to divine intervention. He has collected memories of his life and work in Fella, named for a beloved childhood pet. Born in Alberta Canada, he and his wife Judy grew up in Ottawa, the nation’s capital.

Gilchrist served a two-year mission for his church at age 19-21. Educated at Carleton University and receiving a doctorate in Veterinary medicine at the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College, Gilchrist spent a lifetime driving the back roads of upstate New York, tending to dairy cows, sheep and just as often the farmers who relied on them for a livelihood. A typical day might find him awakened by an emergency call at 2 a.m.

A devout Mormon, he views his work as part of his larger mission, and includes stories about his church life as well. The juxtaposition of clean living with a job that frequently leaves one covered in manure is the subject of numerous jokes.

When Gilchrist describes his job, the stories are addictive: You feel as if you’re there in the barn, often in life-or-death circumstances; the triumphs and tragedies hit home boldly. Fella is hard to put down. When Gilchrist amputates the leg of an injured chinchilla and reassures the owner that the animal will be fine, his heart shines through. He reminds readers of the trust animals place in us to be their friends and guardians, and sets an example few of us could equal.

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