Fitz News: New Patio & Book Talk with author Timm Otterson, DVM

As if Fitz Books could get any better, owner Aaron Bartley has just unveiled a remarkable new patio in the back of the shop. Now that the warmer weather has arrived, this significant patio space in the perfect spot to enjoy a Liege waffle, or simply a cup of coffee (from Golden Cup, Tipico, or Undergrounds).

Roza Quinn enjoys a Liege waffle

Fitz is becoming more and more of a mainstay in Downtown Buffalo. It has steadily evolved in a relatively short period of time, with plenty of author talks, café releases, and now a chill patio that is perfectly suited for a relaxing afternoon.

Speaking of guest speakers, Buffalo-based author and veterinarian Timm Otterson will be discussing his new book this coming Thursday, May 12 at 6pm. The book All Creatures Weird and Dangerous, published by Guernica Editions, is a fictional tale of Otterson’s calling to care for fictional crypto-zoological creatures. In real life, Otterson has dedicated himself to helping animals of all kinds. In the book, he recounts his travels to distant lands where he cares for a Chupacabra, Sasquatch, mermaids, fairies in Newfoundland, and a unicorn in the Highlands of Scotland. He even cares for a creature closer to home – Lake Erie’s monster Bessie.

An homage to James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small, while touching on stories equally appropriate for an episode of the X-Files.

“The book has been my obsession for the last couple years,” said Otterson. “In it, I chronicle my life as a veterinarian caring for mythical creatures. The initial drafts were a series of case studies of my experiences with chupacabras, jackalopes, and mermaids. But it became clear early on that the writing (and the reading) would be more enjoyable to weave in the challenges veterinarians face with my life as an Army brat, engineer, oceanographer, and eventually in veterinary practice. The end result is an exploration of our relationship with nature, whether a cat, raven or unicorn, and how we all try to find a place in the world.”

Otterson describes his work in accurate medical detail and touching on the importance of compassion and the need to respect all creatures on our planet.

As if his work as a wildlife rehabilitator and exotic-animal veterinarian wasn’t challenging enough, Otterson has taken his compassion for animals one step further – into the realm of all possibilities. Interestingly enough, many of the animals that he has cared for in real life will most likely one day be considered ‘mythological’ in the eyes of future generations who will only be able to read about them in books, as countless species are now on the verge of extinction. This memoir might be considered fanciful, but there is a clinical side to it as well. Not to mention a few lessons to be learned along the way.

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