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     And did you cut down on the sweet things as I told you?”
     “Oh, I did for a bit, but he seemed to be so weak I had to relent. He does love cream cakes and chocolates so. I can’t bear to refuse him.”
     I looked down again at the little dog. That was the trouble. Tricki’s only fault was greed. He had never been known to refuse food; he would tackle a meal at any hour of the day or night. And I wondered about all the things Mrs Pumphrey hadn’t mentioned.
Since the narrator was concerned about Tricki's health, he asked Mrs. Pumphrey if she had stopped giving Tricki sweets, because he would have previously recommended her to do so. This narrator's question implies that Tricki had previously had certain health difficulties that the narrator had dealt with.
Mrs. Pumphrey told the narrator that she had followed the doctor's advice for a while, but that she had to stop being so harsh with Tricki since she thought the diet plan was making him weaker. Mrs. Pumphrey couldn't help herself from giving Tricki his favourite cakes and chocolates.The narrator then realised Tricki's problem. The dog was a voracious eater, and could eat at any time of day. When his stomach was full, he didn't know how to say no to food. The narrator also considered all the things Mrs. Pumphrey served Tricki that she did not reveal to him.
Meaning of difficult words:
S. No.
Cut downTo reduce the quantity, size etc. of something
RelentTo become less severe or harsh about something
TackleTo be able to deal with a situation or a problem
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. A Triumph of Surgery - James Herriot (pp 1-6). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.