English Language & Literature
Footprints Without Feet
Chapter 1: A Triumph of Surgery
Dr. Herriot had pulled up his car when he saw Mrs. Pumphrey with her little dog on the street. The dog was very fat. He had blood-red and rheumy eyes. His tongue lolled from his jaws. Dr. Herriot was shocked to see his appearance.
Mrs. Pumphrey called Tricky (the little dog) as listless. He had no energy. So, she gave him extras between meals. But his health could not be built up. Even the malt, cod liver oil and bowl of Horlicks failed to make him sleepy.
Mrs. Pumphrey cut down on the sweet things but relented when Tricky started getting weaker. She gave him his favourite cream cakes and chocolates. She gave him food at odd and irregular hours. She gave him only little walks and no other exercise.
The doctor advised Mrs. Pumphrey to cut Tricky’s food right down and to give him more exercise. Mrs. Pumphrey got determined to adhere to the doctor’s stern advice. Dr. Herriot watched Tricky’s progress but was not satisfied. Soon after he left eating and kept vomiting and panting. The doctor suggested that Tricky should be kept under observation in the hospital.
Mrs. Pumphrey started wailing when Dr. Herriot took Tricky to his hospital. Everybody in her household, including her maids, was in tears.
Tricky could not even wag his tail or kick with his legs. His eyes too had become dull and he lay down motionless on the carpet. The other dogs at the surgery ignored him as an uninteresting object. The doctor gave him plenty of water. He became a bit energetic after two days. On the third day, he trotted out and enjoyed the company of other dogs. He also started eating properly.
The doctor did not give Tricky any medicinal treatment. All day, he frolicked with other dogs cheerfully. He got out of danger and started convalescing rapidly.
Mrs. Pumphrey enquired about Tricky on phone many times a day. She was suffering from the pangs of his separation. Ultimately, she was told that Tricky had recovered. She reached the 'surgery' by car to collect him.
The doctor brought Tricky in his arms. Tricky jumped into Mrs. Pumphrey’s lap and started licking her face.
Tears were shining in her eyes. She thanked the doctor with trembling lips.