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     Mrs Pumphrey wrung her hands. “Oh I will, Mr Herriot. I’m sure you are right, but it is so difficult, so very difficult.” She set off, head down, along the road, as if determined to put the new regime into practice immediately.
     I watched their progress with growing concern. Tricki was tottering along in his little tweed coat; he had a whole wardrobe of these coats — for the cold weather and a raincoat for the wet days. He struggled on, drooping in his harness. I thought it wouldn’t be long before I heard from Mrs Pumphrey.
     The expected call came within a few days. Mrs Pumphrey was distraught. Tricki would eat nothing. Refused even his favourite dishes; and besides, he had bouts of vomiting. He spent all his time lying on a rug, panting. Didn’t want to go for walks, didn’t want to do anything.
Mrs. Pumphrey was stumped as to how to respond to the narrator, and after some thought, she confessed that, despite knowing the narrator was right, she couldn't refuse Tricki's normal meals. She then headed out with a warm smile, as though she was determined to stick to the new schedule (accepting the doctor's advice on the food plan).
As Tricki was leaving with his mistress, the narrator kept staring at him, who was walking unsteadily. He never missed to note Tricki's tweed coat. Mrs. Pumphrey was a wealthy lady, and Tricki had a closet full of coats, as well as a raincoat for rainy days, indicating that she had a lot of money to spend on her dog and treated him like a child.
Even at this point, the narrator anticipated Mrs. Pumphrey's failure to heed the doctor's advice, and he was correct. In the days following their meeting, the narrator received a call from Tricki's house informing about his illness.
Mrs. Pumphrey was inconsolably distressed because Tricki refused to eat anything, including his favourite foods, and was frequently vomiting. He didn't want to do anything but lie down on the carpet and breathe heavily.
Meaning of difficult words:
S. No.
PantingTo breathe quickly
WrungTo press something
DroopingHanging or bending down heavily
Regime Refers to a regulated method or system of diet, exercise, etc.
DeterminedFirm decision to do something
Totter To move in a unsteady way
WardrobeA large cupboard for placing clothes
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.