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#354 Dave Perrin (1948-2018)

August 27th, 2018

OBITUARY: Dave Perrin has died on August 6th, 2018, in Calgary, Alberta at the Foothills Medical Center at age 70. A memorial service was held at the Creston and District Community Complex in Creston on August 11th. He had a manuscript soon to be published entitled Better Late than Never. According to his distributor, Nancy Wise of Sandhill Book Marketing, Dave Perrin’s first book, Don’t Turn Your Back In The Barn: Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2000), sold 23,000 copies. The Vancouver Sun review once dubbed him, “a modern-day James Herriot, B.C. style.” He was born on June 12, 1948.

Raised in Casino, a small community near Trail, B.C., David Perrin started his veterinary practice in Creston, B.C. in 1973 and remained there until 1998, after which he began writing and self-publishing humourous and heartwarming books about his career. He had attended Selkirk College and UBC (1968-1969) and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at Saskatoon (1969-1973). During his practice in Creston he published two papers in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, one on the outbreak of Bacillus cereus mastitis and another on a case of chronic copper toxicity in a dairy herd. He was one of the founders and inaugural president of Associated Veterinary Purchasing Company that distributes drugs and equipment to veterinarians in B.C. Perrin also became a partner in Cascade Pacific Power Corporation, owner of a Goat River power plant purchased from West Kootenay Power. In 1998 he and his family moved to Hawaii where he wrote the first of his ‘hilarious and earthy’ memoirs. He returned to build his dream home under the Skimmerhorns in the peaceful farming community of Lister, B.C., in the Kootenays, where he continued to work as a veterinarian. His medical adventures during this period are described in Never Say Die: New Adventures from the Country Vet. It climbed as high as number two on the cross-Canada TBM BookManager bestseller list compiled from the sales records of 250 retail outlets.

His non-comical book Keep Sweet, about the polygamous Mormon Fundamentalist community at Bountiful, B.C., was not published merely to capitalize on the notoriety of the sect. Perrin married a woman in 1982 who, as a teenager, had broken away from the Mormon community in Lister. He consequently met Debbie Palmer shortly after his marriage. He and Palmer later co-wrote Keep Sweet, Children of Polygamy (Dave’s Press, 2004), which earned the VanCity Book Prize in 2005. Herself the oldest of 47 children, Palmer was forced to become the sixth wife of the community’s leader when she was 15. Assigned to two other older men after that, she fled in 1988 and has since been profiled on CBC’s Fifth Estate. Perrin had provided veterinary services to the Mormons over the years so he had some foreknowledge of the subject prior to helping Palmer write her memoir.

Dave Perrin


Don’t Turn Your Back In The Barn: Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2000)
Dr. Dave’s Stallside Manner: More Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2002)
Where Does It Hurt? Further Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2003) 0-9687943-2-7, $23.95
Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy (Dave’s Press, 2005). With Debbie Palmer. 0-9687943-3-5
Never Say Die… New Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2006). 0-9687943-5-1, $23.95
When the Going Gets Tough: Still More Adventures of a Country Vet (Dave’s Press, 2010). $23.95 978-0-9866569-0-3
A Dog to Give Away (Dave’s Press 2017) $12.95 978-0-9866569-7-2

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