If you’ve ever wondered how to clean a ferrets’ GI tract or remove corneal ulcers from a pot-bellied pig, you’ll soon learn much more than that. Beyond the clinical side of Dr. Hess’s experience as one of only a few exotic animal veterinarians, Unlikely Companions tells the story of what the remarkable pets she treats and their equally eccentric, dedicated and sometimes demanding owners have taught her about the importance of loving and healing ourselves. Unlikely Companions is part memoir, part pet mystery and part inspirational self-help, an All Creatures Great and Small with a mysterious twist that includes a special message for women about managing our most important relationships – those with our friends, coworkers, children, spouses, and ourselves. Unlikely Companions is organized into seven chapters chronicling a week in Dr. Hess’s life as an exotic animal veterinarian, as she struggles to solve a veterinary mystery affecting my practice and those of vets around the country. During this week, the reader will join her as she walks into risky surgery, life-altering diagnoses, and as she juggles back-to-back appointments with puzzling patients and demanding owners—and that’s just at the office. For every day of her fast-paced week, readers will tag alongside her and become privy to some of the most interesting, entertaining and profound pet-owner relationships she’s had the privilege to experience and observe. They explore universal themes like companionship and commitment, isolation and grief, self-care and acceptance. If you’ve ever owned a pet, then you know—animals have a way of speaking the truth, don’t they? Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once, Unlikely Companions will make you want to snuggle up with your loved ones, both the two- and four-legged.