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4 stories from Bruce R. Coston's vet memoir 'The Gift of Pets'

As a veterinarian, Bruce R. Coston has seen many kinds of animals, from the docile to the ill-behaved to the truly bizarre, come through his doors. From a dog who swallows rocks to a sugar glider who requires mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Coston recalls the adventures of his professional life in his new memoir 'The Gift of Pets.'

1. Rock-swallowing dog

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    A beagle, one of the dog breeds which Coston said Greco resembled.

    Tom Uhlman/AP

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One dog Coston treated was a mixed breed who swallowed a rock, which then blocked his intestines. Coston says the dog, Greco, was tough and seemed to be trying not to display any signs of weakness despite his pain. "Stoically, Greco stood as if planted on my examination table," he wrote. "Too macho to exhibit his discomfort overtly, he simply stared straight ahead, eyes fixed on the wall in front of him... staring at the wall as if engrossed in must-see TV." Coston operated on Greco, and the operation was successful. The veterinarian said the dog seemed to view the trouble as over and done with after the operation. "No sooner had Greco opened his eyes after surgery than he was trying to stand," Coston wrote. "Within another ten minutes, he was staggering drunkenly toward the door. His sentiments and intentions were unmistakable. 'Thanks, Doc,' he was saying. 'You did good. I'll take it from here. See ya later.' We literally had to tie him down till he was fully recovered."

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