‘A triumph of Surgery’ Summary in English: The story recounts the episode where the narrator, a veterinary surgeon, saves the life of a listless dog, Tricki, by hospitalising him to prevent him from being overfed by his wealthy owner, Mrs. Pumphrey, which was only worsening his condition.
Summary- A Triumph of Surgery
James Enquires about Tricki
It was when James was driving that, he saw Mrs Pumphrey and Tricki walking down the street. He stopped his car to see how Tricki was doing. He was shocked to see that he had become fat like a sausage and was lacking energy. After enquiring from Mrs. Pumphrey about Tricki’s condition, he advised her to immediately stop giving the dog extra snack between meals. He also wanted her to make him exercise daily along with a strict diet in order to improve his health. Mrs. Pumphrey confessed that it was very difficult for her to do so but she agreed on giving it a try and walked off with Tricki.
Herriot Received an Expected Call
Mrs Pumphrey called James Herriot, the vet, hurriedly, as Tricki had refused to eat food. Her concern grew even more when he had bouts of vomiting. James drove to Mrs. Pumphrey’s house with a firm mindset that the only way to cure Tricki was to get him out of the house for some time. He suggested to Mrs. Pumphrey to hospitalise him for a fortnight for observation so that the proper treatment can follow. Although it broke Mrs. Pumphrey’s heart, she allowed James to take Tricki along with him to his surgery. He carried the dog wrapped in a blanket to his car.
All the house helpers started to get together the blankets, rugs, bowls, coats etc that they thought Tricki might need during his hospitalisation. James started to drive off as he knew that his car could not carry so many things. All that Mrs. Pumphrey managed to put were a few of his coats. Tricki left for the hospital leaving his caretakers behind in tears.
Tricki’s Stay and Recovery at the Hospital
Tricki laid motionless on the bed that the vet made for him on the first day. He was put on a water diet for almost two days. Even the household dogs didn’t bother him as he seemed uninterested in anything. After two days, he started responding a bit. On the following day, he whimpered (cried in low and weak sound), trotted (walked briskly) and joined the hound (hunting dog) in the garden. Later on, the third day, he ran with enthusiasm when the food was served. He also gulped (swallowed) down the extra food that was put out for him. His recovery was speeding up. He had started running all day long and found joy in being bowled over and squashed. In spite of being a high maintenance dog, he had fitted in well with the gang of shabby and unkempt ones.
Mrs Pumphrey’s Concern
Mrs. Pumphrey used to phone the vet’s clinic several times a day. She was keen to record his recovery and maintenance at short intervals. James brushed away her questions about Tricki’s dressing, according to the weather but he didn’t fail to assure her that Tricki was out of danger. Upon learning about Tricki’s improving health, Mrs Pumphrey started sending additional food items, wine and brandy for Tricki, although this was not required. So, the vet and his partner consumed these additional items themselves.
Tricki’s Better Condition
After two weeks, James called up Mrs Pumphrey to inform that Tricki was fit and could go home. Mrs Pumphrey reached the surgery within half an hour. While the chauffeur (driver) held the door open, she enquired about Tricki’s actual condition. She was concerned about his wellbeing and wanted to be sure about it. James found Tricki playing with the pack. He had become healthy and strong in his two weeks stay. As James carried Tricki out to his mistress, he jumped off his arms and landed in his mistress’s lap. She was very happy at finding Tricki as excited as he used to be. He licked her face and wagged (swung) his tail. The chauffeur and the vet settled the dog’s stuff in the car while Mrs. Pumphrey thanked the vet for the ‘triumph of surgery’.
About the Characters- A Triumph of Surgery
James Herriot: James is a veterinary surgeon who proves to be a capable doctor and a wise individual. He is an animal lover and a caring guardian.
Mrs. Pumphrey: Mrs. Pumphrey is a wealthy single woman. She is very much attached to her dog, Tricki. She is very loving but weak at heart.
Tricki : Tricki is a lazy and fat dog who loves food. He is very fond of his owner. He turns out to be energetic and lively after recovering from his illness.
Chapter Highlights- A Triumph of Surgery
- James Herriot stops his car and sees the poor health of Mrs. Pumphrey’s dog, Tricki.
- He advises Mrs. Pumphrey to put Tricki on a strict diet and make his exercise daily.
- Mrs Pumphrey’ continues to overfeed Tricki,which worsens his condition.
- She calls James Herriot for help on noticing Tricki’s deteriorating health.
- James Herriot decides to hospitalise Tricki for a fortnight to treat him
- Tricki’s hospitalisation left Mrs. Pumphrey and the helpers at home in tears.
- Tricki was kept on a strict diet in the hospital. His diet was increased according to the improvements he showed.
- Mrs. Pumphrey’s anxiousness about Tricki’s health went away on learning that Tricki was convalescing (recovering) satisfactorily.
- She started to send eggs, wine and brandy for Tricki to enrich his blood and improve his health.
- These items were instead Tricki enjoyed by James Herriot and his partner.
- Tricki was transformed from a weak fat dog to a hard-muscled and agile one.
- James Herriot calls Mrs. Pumphrey to come and take Tricki home.