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The story “A Triumph of Surgery” is about a pet dog, Tricki who is owned by Mrs. Pumphery. The dog became lazy and bulky as he did not exercise and was overfed by his mistress. Seeing his condition, Mrs. Pumphery consulted a veterinary surgeon, Mr. James Herriot. He took Tricki to the hospital and made him follow a strict diet and soon the dog recovered without any surgery. When Mrs. Pumphery came to collect her pet she was ecstatic to see her pet healthy and active and she thought this to be a triumph of surgery.
Why is Mrs Pumphrey worried about Tricki ?
Mrs Pumphrey’s little dog Tricki becomes very fat and falls ill. Therefore, she gets worried about him.
What does she do to help him ? Is she wise to do that?
She thinks that the dog is suffering from malnutrition. So she gives him too much to eat. She is not wise to do that. All this makes the dog very ill.
Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story ?
The writer James Herriot is the ‘I’ in this story.
Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress ?
The narrator is only a veterinary surgeon. Tricki’s mistress is an extremely rich lady. She has a large number of maids and servants at her home.
How does he treat the dog ?
Mr Herriot gives the dog no medicine. He gives him food only when he is hungry. The dog gets enough exercise also. Thus the dog gets well. Mr Herriot doesn't do anything special.
Why is he tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest ?
Mrs Pumphrey has started sending lots of things for Tricki. She sends eggs, wine and even brandy. None of these things is given to Tricki. The writer and others at the surgery feast on them. Therefore, the writer is tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest.
Why does Mrs Pumphrey think the dog’s recovery is ‘a triumph of surgery’ ?
Tricki looked very ill when he was taken to the surgery. But he looks full of life after two weeks. That is why Mrs Pumphrey thinks the dog’s recovery is a triumph of surgery.
What kind of a person do you think the narrator, a veterinary surgeon, is ? Would you say he is tactful as well as full of common sense ?
The narrator is quite tactful and full of common sense. He knows that Mrs Pumphrey won’t stop overfeeding her dog. Therefore, he takes the dog to his surgery. He does not give him any medicine. He gives him food only when he is hungry. The dog gets enough exercise also. In this way the dog himself gets well.
Do you think Tricki was happy to go home ? What do you think will happen now ?
Tricki was quite happy to go home. When he saw his mistress, he jumped off from the writer’s arms into her lap. Mrs Pumphrey does not know the real cause of Tricki’s illness. She will again start overfeeding him. Perhaps Tricki will have to come to the surgery for ‘treatment’ again.
Do you think this is a real-life episode or mere fiction ? Or is it a mixture of both ?
This story is quite close to real life. But it has some elements of fiction also. It is quite possible that a rich lady pampers her dog and overfeeds him. This overfeeding can make the dog ill. But it appears to be unusual that she sends so many eggs and bottles of wine and brandy to the surgery that the entire staff can feast on them. Therefore, we can say that this story is a mixture of both real-life episode and fiction.