Study Guide

The Vet in Spokane in Travels with Charley

By John Steinbeck

The Vet in Spokane

Steinbeck encounters a nightmare of a vet in Spokane. Just to give you an idea, he opens his "examination" of Charley by asking Steinbeck what is wrong with the dog. Steinbeck, of course, responds that that's what he has come to the vet to find out. So, he ends up not being very helpful. Upon leaving the office, Steinbeck reflects that, "It wasn't that this veterinary didn't like animals. I think he didn't like himself, and when that is so the subject usually must find an area for dislike outside himself. Else he would have to admit his self-contempt" (3.7.111). Somehow, we think we'd find that cold comfort if our pets were in that vet's hands.