Class 10- A Triumph of Surgery Complete Analysis

A Triumph of Surgery,James Herriot,Mrs Pumphrey

Chapter 1- James Herriot’s ‘A Triumph of Surgery’ Summary, Theme, Character Sketch, Important Passages and Question Answers.

Chapter 1- A Triumph of Surgery by James Herriot:

Also Read: First Flight- Class 10 Prose


Ceremonial: relating to or used in ceremonies; formal or ritualistic.
Convalescing: recovering health and strength after illness or injury.
Edge: to improve or sharpen.
Lithe: flexible and graceful in movement.
Lumbago: lower back pain or discomfort.
Malnutrition: lack of proper nutrition, often resulting in poor health or illness.
Listless: lacking energy or enthusiasm.
Regime: a system or set of rules or practices.
Relent: to become less strict or harsh; to give in to someone’s request.
Roused: Stirred or awakened from sleep or inactivity.
Swoon: to faint or lose consciousness, often due to strong emotion.
Swarmed: moved quickly and in large numbers, often with excitement or agitation.
Tremendous: very large or great in amount, scale, or intensity.
Wailings: Loud, mournful cries or lamentations.


Bowled over: Knocked down or pushed to the ground by force.
Dodge questions: refrain from answering questions directly or truthfully.
Draw up: to come to a stop, usually referring to a vehicle.
Harden your heart: to become emotionally tough or resistant, especially when making difficult decisions.
Hover anxiously: to remain in a state of nervousness or uncertainty, often while waiting for news or updates.
Jostle one’s way/Jostling: to push or elbow one’s way through a crowd.
Lean out: to extend or stretch one’s body outward, usually from a seated or confined position.
Lose oneself in: to become fully absorbed or engrossed in something.
Roll over: to turn one’s body to face the opposite direction.
Take off: to leave the ground, often referring to an aircraft, can also mean suddenly becoming successful or famous.
Triumph of surgery: an idiomatic expression used to describe a successful outcome or achievement resulting from medical intervention or treatment.

Summary “A Triumph of Surgery”:

In “The Triumph of Surgery” by James Herriot, a beloved but overfed dog named Tricki falls ill due to his owner’s indulgence. The veterinarian advises strict diet and exercise, but Tricki’s condition worsens. The owner agrees to hospitalise Tricki, where he transforms interaction with other dogs and outdoor activities. With improved health and vigour, Tricki is returned to his owner, much to her delight. The story highlights the importance of responsible pet care and the positive impact of veterinary intervention. It emphasises the need to balance pampering and proper care for pets’ well-being.

Theme “A Triumph of Surgery”:

The theme of “The Triumph of Surgery” revolves around responsible pet care and balance. Through Tricki’s journey from overindulgence to recovery, the story highlights the consequences of excessive pampering and the necessity of proper diet and exercise for pets. It also emphasises the role of veterinary intervention in ensuring the health and well-being of animals. The story highlights the value of perseverance and adaptation as Tricki learns to thrive in a new environment and regain vitality through interaction with other dogs. The theme encourages readers to approach pet ownership with care, moderation, and attentiveness to their pets’ needs.

Character Sketch: 

Character Sketch of the Veterinarian (James Herriot):

The veterinarian in “The Triumph of Surgery,” portrayed by James Herriot, is a dedicated and compassionate professional. Following is a detailed character sketch of the Veterinarian (James Herriot):

  • Professional Dedication: Herriot is portrayed as a highly dedicated veterinarian committed to the well-being of animals in his care.
  • Expertise and Knowledge: He demonstrates a deep understanding of animal health and welfare, using his expertise to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
  • Compassion and Empathy: Herriot shows compassion towards animals and their owners, empathising with their concerns and offering support and guidance.
  • Effective Communication: He communicates effectively with pet owners, clearly explaining medical issues and treatment plans in a way that is understandable and reassuring.
  • Firmness with Compassion: While he is firm in his recommendations for proper pet care, Herriot balances this with compassion, understanding pet owners’ challenges in implementing changes.
  • Proactive Decision-making: When faced with a critical situation, such as Tricki’s illness, Herriot takes proactive steps to ensure the best possible outcome, such as recommending hospitalisation for intensive care.
  • Commitment to Patient Care: Throughout the story, Herriot demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the care and well-being of his animal patients, going above and beyond to ensure their recovery and happiness.

Character Sketch: Mrs Pumphrey: 

Mrs. Pumphrey is portrayed as a loving yet overly indulgent pet owner in “The Triumph of Surgery.” She is deeply devoted to her dog, Tricki. Following is a detailed character sketch of Mrs Pumphrey:

  • Affectionate: Mrs. Pumphrey is deeply devoted to her dog, Tricki, and shows affection and love for him throughout the story.
  • Overindulgent: She tends to spoil Tricki with lavish treats, multiple coats, and toys, which can lead to his health problems.
  • Wealthy: Mrs. Pumphrey is portrayed as affluent and able to afford a luxurious lifestyle for Tricki, including special foods and accessories.
  • Emotional: She becomes easily distressed when Tricki falls ill, demonstrating her emotional attachment to him.
  • Reluctant to Change: Initially resistant to the veterinarian’s advice on diet and exercise for Tricki, Mrs Pumphrey hesitates to alter her pampering habits.
  • Willing to Learn: Despite her initial reluctance, Mrs. Pumphrey eventually accepts the veterinarian’s recommendations for Tricki’s care, demonstrating a willingness to learn and adapt.
  • Supportive: She demonstrates unwavering support for Tricki’s recovery, even agreeing to hospitalise him when necessary.
  • Growth: Throughout the story, Mrs. Pumphrey undergoes character growth as she realises the importance of responsible pet care and makes efforts to ensure Tricki’s well-being.

Important Passages/Lines “A Triumph of Surgery”

1. “He had become hugely fat, like a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner.” This description vividly portrays Tricki’s excessive weight gain, emphasising his obesity. The comparison to a “bloated sausage” (simile) with legs at each corner highlights his size and implies an unhealthy appearance.

2. “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.” The excerpt reveals Tricki’s primary character flaw: his insatiable greed for food. The statement emphasises the dog’s relentless appetite, which he would eat “at any hour of the day or night,” indicating a constant desire for food regardless of time. This voracious appetite is the root cause of Tricki’s health problems and drives much of the story’s conflict.

3. “If you don’t cut his food right down and give him more exercise he is going to be really ill. You must harden your heart and keep him on a very strict diet.” Here, the veterinarian is conveying a severe warning to Mrs. Pumphrey about Tricki’s health. He emphasises the necessity of reducing Tricki’s food intake and increasing his exercise to prevent him from becoming seriously ill due to his obesity. The phrase “harden your heart” suggests that Mrs Pumphrey must overcome her emotional attachment to Tricki to enforce a strict diet, highlighting the severity of the situation.

4. “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.” The excerpt describes Tricki’s physical appearance and the care provided to him by Mrs. Pumphrey. Despite his obesity, Tricki is depicted as wearing a tweed coat, indicating that Mrs. Pumphrey indulges him with clothing suitable for different weather conditions. This detail reinforces Tricki’s pampered lifestyle and Mrs. Pumphrey’s excessive doting, which contributes to his health problems.

5. “Tricki would eat nothing. Refused even his favourite dishes; and besides, he had bouts of vomiting.” The lines indicate a severe decline in Tricki’s health. Despite his previous voracious appetite, Tricki now refuses to eat, even rejecting his favourite foods. He is experiencing bouts of vomiting, suggesting that his condition has worsened considerably. These symptoms highlight the urgency of addressing Tricki’s health issues and prompt the veterinarian to take decisive action.

6. “I suggested that he be hospitalised for about a fortnight to be kept under observation.” With Tricki’s worsening condition, the veterinarian recommends hospitalisation as the necessary course of action. By suggesting that Tricki be hospitalised for about two weeks, the veterinarian aims to closely monitor his health and provide intensive care to address his medical needs. This decision reflects the seriousness of Tricki’s condition and the veterinarian’s commitment to providing the best possible care for him.

7. “He became an accepted member of the gang, an unlikely, silky little object among the shaggy crew, fighting like a tiger for his share at mealtimes and hunting rats in the old henhouse at night.” Tricki, a once-frail and obese dog, undergoes a remarkable transformation during his hospitalisation. He integrates with other dogs, regains his strength and confidence, and becomes an active member of the veterinarian’s pack. Despite his small size and unusual appearance, Tricki robustly participates (simile- fighting like a tiger) in mealtimes and activities. The description of Tricki as an “unlikely, silky little object among the shaggy crew” emphasises his small size and unusual, well-groomed appearance compared to the other ragged dogs.

8. “The chauffeur was still holding the car door open, and when Tricki saw his mistress, he took off from my arms in a tremendous leap and sailed into Mrs Pumphrey’s lap.” This moment depicts Tricki’s joyous reunion with Mrs. Pumphrey after his successful recovery. Despite Tricki’s initial reluctance to leave the veterinarian’s care, he eagerly leaps into her arms upon seeing his owner, symbolising their bond and the relief of being reunited. The image of Tricki “sailing into Mrs Pumphrey’s lap” conveys the dog’s exuberance and affection towards his owner, highlighting their emotional connection.

9. “Oh, Mr Herriot,” she cried, “how can I ever thank you? This is a triumph of surgery!” In the concluding lines, Mrs. Pumphrey expresses her overwhelming gratitude to the veterinarian for saving Tricki’s life. Her emotional outpouring and use of the phrase “triumph of surgery” reflect her belief in the veterinarian’s skill and dedication in treating Tricki’s health issues. 

The term “triumph” highlights the success of the medical intervention and the positive outcome of Tricki’s recovery, reinforcing the significance of the veterinarian’s efforts in restoring the dog’s health and happiness.

10. “Tricki was very ill and this was the only way to save him; in fact, I thought it best to take him without delay and, followed by Mrs Pumphrey’s wailings, I marched out to the car carrying the little dog wrapped in a blanket.” The excerpt describes the urgency of Tricki’s situation. He was so ill due to his excessive eating habits that the veterinarian (narrator) determined hospitalisation as the only way to save him. Despite Mrs. Pumphrey’s distress (evidenced by her wailings), the narrator swiftly takes Tricki to the car wrapped in a blanket, emphasising the seriousness of the situation.

11. “They were days of deep content, starting well with the extra egg in the morning, improved and sustained by the midday wine and finishing luxuriously round the fire with the brandy.” The excerpt reflects the change in Tricki’s lifestyle during his hospitalisation. Instead of indulging in excessive food and treats, Tricki was put on a controlled diet and given proper exercise, leading to a healthier and happier state.

The description of “deep content” indicates the satisfaction and well-being experienced during this time, with each day starting with a nutritious breakfast (extra egg), continuing with moderate indulgence (midday wine), and ending with relaxation (brandy by the fire). It illustrates the positive transformation Tricki underwent during his recovery period.

12. “All the while, Mrs Pumphrey hovered anxiously in the background, ringing a dozen times a day for the latest bulletins.” Throughout Tricki’s hospitalisation, Mrs Pumphrey remained deeply worried and anxious about his condition. She constantly sought updates on his progress, symbolised by her frequent phone calls, ringing the veterinarian’s office “a dozen times a day.” This highlights Mrs Pumphrey’s strong emotional attachment to Tricki and genuine concern for his well-being.

13. “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.” As the veterinarian observed Tricki’s condition during his walks, he noticed the dog’s struggles due to his excessive weight. Tricki’s attire, including his tweed coat and raincoat, reflected Mrs. Pumphrey’s indulgent care for him.

The veterinarian’s growing concern stemmed from Tricki’s evident discomfort and deteriorating health, suggesting that Mrs. Pumphrey’s doting care might contribute to his health issues. The anticipation of hearing from Mrs. Pumphrey further highlights the seriousness of Tricki’s condition and the need for intervention.

14. “Later that day, I was present at feeding time. I watched while Tristan slopped the food into the bowls. There was the usual headlong rush followed by the sounds of high-speed eating; every dog knew that if he fell behind the others, he was liable to have some competition for the last part of his meal.” During a feeding session later in the day, the narrator observed Tristan, likely a staff member, distributing food to the dogs. The scene depicted a familiar pattern of chaos during mealtime, with the dogs eagerly rushing to eat their food.

The description of “high-speed eating” suggests a chaotic atmosphere, where each dog hurriedly consumed its meal. The narrator notes the competitive nature of mealtime, where dogs understood that falling behind could result in missing out on portions of their meal to more assertive companions. This portrayal emphasises the instinctual behaviour of animals during feeding and adds fun to the story.

15. “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.” Mrs. Pumphrey responds to the veterinarian’s advice regarding Tricki’s strict diet with a mixture of agreement and reluctance. Despite acknowledging the necessity of the new regime for Tricki’s health, she expresses the difficulty of adhering to it. Her remark, “It is so difficult, so very difficult,” highlights her emotional struggle in implementing the recommended changes. 

However, her determination is evident as she sets off with a bowed head, signalling her commitment to promptly following the veterinarian’s instructions. This line portrays Mrs Pumphrey’s internal conflict between her affection for Tricki and her acknowledgement of the need for his well-being, ultimately resulting in her resolve to prioritise his health.

Question Answers “A Triumph of Surgery”

Comprehension Questions:

Q1: Why is Mrs Pumphrey worried about Tricki? 

A1: Mrs. Pumphrey is worried about Tricki because he has become highly overweight and sedentary, showing signs of malnutrition and illness. She notices his lack of energy and listlessness, which prompts her concern for his well-being.

Q2: What does she do to help him? Is she wise in this? 

A2: To help Tricki, Mrs. Pumphrey indulges him with extra treats and food, such as malt, cod liver oil, Horlicks, cream cakes, and chocolates, to build him up. She also provides him with various coats for different weather conditions and takes him for walks. While her intentions may be rooted in love and care for Tricki, her actions ultimately contribute to his worsening health by enabling his overeating and sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, while she may have good intentions, her methods could be more wise in addressing Tricki’s health issues.

Q3: Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?

A3: ‘I’ refers to the veterinarian who narrates the story. Throughout the narrative, the veterinarian shares his observations, interactions, and experiences with Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey, providing insight into Tricki’s condition and treatment.

Q4: Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress?

A4: The narrator, the veterinarian, is not portrayed as wealthy as Tricki’s mistress, Mrs. Pumphrey. Mrs. Pumphrey’s lavish care for Tricki, including providing him with excessive treats, a wardrobe of coats, and other indulgences, suggests a level of affluence and extravagance beyond that of the narrator. While the narrator is a professional with a career in veterinary medicine, the story does not suggest that he possesses the same level of wealth as Mrs. Pumphrey.

Q5: How does he treat the dog?

A5: The veterinarian treats the dog by hospitalising him for observation and treatment. During Tricki’s hospitalisation, the veterinarian monitors his condition closely, providing him with water but withholding food to allow his body to recover. Additionally, the veterinarian ensures Tricki gets exercise by allowing him to interact with other dogs and engage in playful activities. The veterinarian addresses Tricki’s excessive weight and unhealthy lifestyle through a controlled diet and increased physical activity.

Q6: Why is he tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest?

A6: The veterinarian is tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest because he sees the positive changes in Tricki’s health and behaviour during his time at the clinic. Tricki becomes more active, socialises with other dogs, and loses weight, becoming healthier and happier. The veterinarian enjoys seeing Tricki’s progress and may feel attached to him after caring for him during his recovery.

Q7: Why does Mrs Pumphrey think the dog’s recovery is “a triumph of surgery”?

A7: Mrs. Pumphrey believes Tricki’s recovery is “a triumph of surgery” because she attributes Tricki’s improvement solely to the medical intervention provided by the veterinarian. Despite Tricki not undergoing any surgical procedures, Mrs. Pumphrey views the veterinarian’s expertise and care as instrumental in saving Tricki’s life and restoring his health. Her gratitude towards the veterinarian leads her to perceive Tricki’s recovery as a remarkable achievement of veterinary medicine, referring to it as a “triumph of surgery.”

Think about it:

Q1: 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? 

A1: The narrator, as a veterinary surgeon, appears to be caring, observant, and knowledgeable about animal health and behaviour. He demonstrates tactfulness in handling delicate situations, such as addressing Mrs. Pumphrey’s concerns about Tricki’s health and gently guiding her towards necessary changes in his care. The narrator exhibits common sense by recognising the root cause of Tricki’s health issues and implementing practical solutions to improve his well-being.

Q2: Do you think Tricki was happy to go home? What do you think will happen now? 

A2: Tricki was happy to go home and reunite with his owner, Mrs. Pumphrey. Tricki displayed excitement and affection upon seeing her, as evidenced by his enthusiastic greeting and jumping into her lap. This indicates that Tricki valued the familiarity and comfort of his home environment and enjoyed being in the presence of his owner. 

What will happen next depends on whether Mrs Pumphrey heeds the veterinarian’s advice and provides Tricki with a balanced diet and regular exercise to support his improved health. The outcome ultimately depends on Mrs Pumphrey’s commitment to prioritising Tricki’s needs over overindulgence.

Q3: Do you think this is a real-life episode, or mere fiction? Or is it a mixture of both?

A3: “The Triumph of Surgery” appears to be a fictional story based on the experiences of a veterinarian and his interactions with clients and their pets. While the narrative may draw inspiration from real-life scenarios encountered by veterinarians, it incorporates elements of creativity and storytelling to convey its message. Therefore, it is a mixture of real-life experiences and fictional storytelling, offering insights into the relationships between humans and animals and the challenges in veterinary medicine.

Talk about it:

Q1: This episode describes the silly behaviour of a rich woman who is foolishly indulgent, perhaps because she is lonely. Do you think such people are merely silly, or can their actions cause harm to others? 

A1: While Mrs Pumphrey’s behaviour in this episode may appear silly or foolishly indulgent, it’s important to recognise that such actions can indeed have harmful consequences, particularly for the well-being of her pet, Tricki. Mrs Pumphrey’s excessive pampering and overfeeding led to Tricki’s obesity and poor health, demonstrating how misguided actions stemming from indulgence or loneliness can negatively impact others, including animals, under their care. 

Such behaviour can perpetuate unhealthy attitudes towards pet ownership and contribute to broader animal welfare and responsible stewardship issues.

Q2: Do you think there are also parents like Mrs Pumphrey? 

A2: Some parents may exhibit similar tendencies to Mrs Pumphrey in their interactions with their children. Just as Mrs Pumphrey overindulged Tricki out of affection or loneliness, some parents may overindulge their children or fulfil their every whim out of a desire to show love or compensate for other inadequacies. 

However, like in the case of Tricki, such indulgent behaviour can have negative consequences for children, potentially hindering their development, fostering a sense of entitlement, or failing to instil important life skills such as responsibility and self-discipline. Therefore, while the motivations behind such actions may vary, the potential for harm remains a concern.

Q3: What would you have done if you were: (i) a member of the staff in Mrs Pumphrey’s household, (ii) a neighbour? What would your life have been like, in general? 

A3: (Subjective Answer

(i) If I were a staff member in Mrs. Pumphrey’s household, my primary concern would be the well-being of Tricki, the dog. I would feel responsible for ensuring that Tricki receives proper care, including a balanced diet and regular exercise. However, as a staff member, I may hesitate to intervene directly in Mrs. Pumphrey’s decisions regarding Tricki’s care, especially if she is the employer. 

Nevertheless, I might gently suggest alternative approaches to caring for Tricki, such as consulting a veterinarian or providing him with structured exercise routines. I would strive to create a supportive and nurturing environment for Tricki within the household.

(ii) As a neighbour, I would likely observe Mrs Pumphrey’s interactions with Tricki from a distance. Suppose I noticed signs of neglect or concern for Tricki’s well-being. In that case, I might consider contacting Mrs. Pumphrey respectfully and non-confrontationally to express my observations and offer assistance or resources, such as recommending reputable veterinarians or pet care professionals. However, I would also respect Mrs. Pumphrey’s autonomy as Tricki’s owner and recognise that she is ultimately responsible for his care.

My life as either a member of Mrs Pumphrey’s household staff or a neighbour would involve navigating complex social dynamics while prioritising Tricki’s welfare and fostering empathy and understanding towards Mrs Pumphrey’s circumstances.

Q4: What would you have done if you were in the narrator’s place?

A4: If I were in the narrator’s place, as a veterinarian, my primary focus would be on the health and well-being of Tricki, the dog. I would thoroughly assess Tricki’s condition, including his diet, exercise habits, and overall health status. Based on my observations and professional expertise, I might advise Mrs Pumphrey on appropriate measures to improve Tricki’s health, such as implementing a balanced diet, providing regular exercise, and potentially hospitalising Tricki for closer monitoring and treatment if necessary.

I would strive to communicate effectively with Mrs. Pumphrey, balancing empathy and understanding with clear and firm recommendations for Tricki’s care. While respecting Mrs Pumphrey’s affection for Tricki, I would emphasise prioritising his health and well-being above indulgence. Throughout the process, I would remain committed to advocating for Tricki’s best interests and providing guidance and support to Mrs Pumphrey to ensure she can effectively fulfil her responsibilities as a pet owner.

Extra Questions “A Triumph of Surgery”:

Short Answer Type Questions: 

Q1: How did Tricki’s appearance initially concern Mr. Herriot?

A1: Tricki’s appearance concerned Mr. Herriot. He observed that the dog had become excessively overweight, resembling a bloated sausage with bloodshot eyes and lethargy. This raised alarm bells, suggesting potential health issues necessitating immediate attention and intervention.

Q2: What dietary indulgences did Mrs. Pumphrey confess to?

A2: Mrs. Pumphrey confessed to indulging Tricki with extra treats, including malt, cod liver oil, Horlicks, cream cakes, and chocolates. Despite being advised to restrict Tricki’s diet, she relented due to his perceived weakness, feeling compelled to offer him these indulgences to boost his energy.

Q3: Why did Mrs Pumphrey relent on Tricki’s diet restrictions?

A3: Mrs. Pumphrey relented to Tricki’s diet restrictions because she perceived him as weak and needed extra nourishment. Despite knowing the dietary advice, she couldn’t resist offering indulgences like cream cakes and chocolates, believing they would boost Tricki’s energy and improve his condition.

Q4: What was Mr. Herriot’s suggested action to address Tricki’s health?

A4: Mr Herriot suggested hospitalising Tricki for about a fortnight to closely monitor his condition. Recognising the severity of Tricki’s health issues, he emphasised the necessity of this intervention to save the dog’s life, despite Mrs Pumphrey’s initial reluctance and distress at the prospect of separation from her beloved pet.

Q5: How did Tricki initially respond to hospitalisation?

A5: Tricki initially responded to hospitalisation with reluctance and distress. He exhibited signs of weakness and discomfort, refusing food and exhibiting bouts of vomiting. His lethargy and lack of interest in activities indicated his initial struggle to adapt to the hospital environment and separation from Mrs. Pumphrey.

Q6: What signs of improvement did Tricki show during his stay at the surgery?

A6: During his stay at the surgery, Tricki showed signs of improvement as he began to show interest in his surroundings. He started whimpering when he heard other dogs, indicating a return to his normal behaviour. Additionally, he was willing to interact with the other dogs and engage in activities, signalling his recovery.

Q7: How did Tricki’s diet evolve during his recovery?

A7: Tricki’s diet evolved during his recovery from initially receiving no food but plenty of water to gradually showing interest in food bowls and licking them casually. An extra bowl was provided for him, and he began jostling his way towards it, indicating an improvement in his appetite and overall health.

Q8: How did Tricki’s physical condition change throughout his convalescence?

A8: Throughout his convalescence/recovery, Tricki’s physical condition significantly transformed. Initially overweight and lethargic/lazy, he gradually became more active and engaged, joining other dogs in friendly activities. His weight reduced, and he developed a leaner, hard-muscled physique, indicative of improved health and vitality.

Q9: What was Mrs. Pumphrey’s emotional state upon Tricki’s recovery?

A9: Upon Tricki’s recovery, Mrs. Pumphrey exhibited a mix of relief, gratitude, and emotional overwhelm. Tears shimmered in her eyes, and her trembling lips conveyed her profound appreciation and happiness at seeing Tricki’s improved condition. This marked a moment of triumph and joy after worry and distress.

Q10: How did Tricki react when reunited with Mrs. Pumphrey?

A10: When reunited with Mrs. Pumphrey, Tricki displayed excitement and affection. He leapt into her lap with a tremendous leap, showering her with licks and barks, showcasing his joy and recognition of his beloved owner. This reunion marked a heartwarming moment of affection and bond reaffirmation between Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey.

Q11: What unexpected gifts did Mrs. Pumphrey bring for Tricki during his recovery?

A11: During Tricki’s recovery, Mrs. Pumphrey brought unexpected gifts, including fresh eggs and bottles of wine, to boost his strength and enrich his blood. She provided brandy, aiming to enhance Tricki’s constitution further. These gestures reflected her deep concern and desire for Tricki’s well-being.

Q12: How did Mr. Herriot and his partners respond to Mrs. Pumphrey’s gestures of gratitude?

A12: Mr. Herriot and his partners responded to Mrs. Pumphrey’s gestures of gratitude with surprise and amusement. They initially indulged in the gifts, enjoying extra eggs for breakfast and wine during meals. However, as the extravagance escalated with brandy, they recognised the humorous absurdity of the situation, albeit with an appreciation for Mrs Pumphrey’s intentions.

Q13: What was Mrs. Pumphrey’s reaction upon seeing Tricki’s improved condition?

A13: Upon seeing Tricki’s improved condition, Mrs. Pumphrey was overwhelmed with relief and joy. Tears filled her eyes, and her lips trembled as she witnessed Tricki’s transformation into a healthy and lively dog. Her emotional reaction reflected her deep attachment to Tricki and gratitude towards Mr. Herriot for his care.

Q14: What did Mrs Pumohrey mean by the term ‘Triumph of Surgery’?

A14: Mrs. Pumphrey referred to the “Triumph of Surgery” as a metaphor for Tricki’s remarkable recovery and improved health under Mr. Herriot’s care. It symbolised the success of medical intervention in restoring Tricki’s vitality and well-being, showcasing the transformative power of veterinary treatment in overcoming health challenges.

Q15: What did Tricki’s recovery demonstrate about the deep bond between humans and animals?

A15: Tricki’s recovery showcased the deep bond between humans and animals, illustrating the lengths owners and caregivers go to for their pets’ well-being. Through Mr. Herriot’s care and Mrs. Pumphrey’s devotion, Tricki’s transformation exemplified the love, dedication, and mutual dependence inherent in the human-animal relationship, transcending mere companionship.

Long Answer Type Questions: 

Q1: What was Tricki’s condition when James Herriot first saw him?

A1: When James Herriot first encountered Tricki, the little dog’s condition was alarming. Tricki had become grossly overweight, resembling “a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner.” His eyes were bloodshot and rheumy, and he exhibited signs of lethargy and listlessness. Mrs. Pumphrey, Tricki’s owner, explained that she had been supplementing his meals with extra treats like malt, cod liver oil, and Horlicks, contributing to his weight gain. 

Despite Herriot’s warnings about the need for dietary restrictions and exercise, Tricki’s health continued to deteriorate, leading to vomiting and a reluctance to move. This initial encounter highlighted Tricki’s dire need for intervention and prompted Herriot to take decisive action to save the dog’s life.

Q2: Why did Mrs Pumphrey relent in cutting down Tricki’s sweet treats?

A2: Mrs. Pumphrey relented in cutting down Tricki’s sweet treats because she perceived him as weak and believed he needed additional nourishment. Despite Herriot’s advice to reduce Tricki’s intake of sweet things due to his excessive weight and health issues, Mrs. Pumphrey yielded to Tricki’s apparent weakness and indulged his desires. 

She found it difficult to deny him treats, especially since he showed signs of lethargy and lacked energy. Mrs. Pumphrey’s emotional attachment to Tricki and her desire to see him happy and comfortable led her to prioritise his immediate satisfaction over his long-term health, ultimately contributing to his worsening condition.

Q3: How did Tricki react to the lack of exercise due to the gardener’s absence?

A3: Tricki’s reaction to the lack of exercise due to the gardener’s absence was evident in his deteriorating physical condition. Despite his owner, Mrs Pumphrey, taking him on walks, Tricki’s usual exercise regimen was disrupted without the regular ring-throwing sessions with the gardener. As a result, Tricki’s energy levels decreased, and he became even more sedentary, contributing to his weight gain and overall decline in health. 

Without the structured exercise routine, Tricki’s excess energy wasn’t properly expended, exacerbating his obesity and lethargy. This lack of physical activity further compounded Tricki’s health issues, highlighting the importance of regular exercise in maintaining a dog’s well-being and preventing health complications.

Q4: What was James Herriot’s initial plan to help Tricki?

A4: James Herriot’s initial plan to help Tricki involved hospitalising the dog for observation and treatment. Recognising Tricki’s deteriorating health and the need for intensive intervention, Herriot suggested to Mrs Pumphrey that Tricki be hospitalised for about a fortnight. By doing so, Herriot aimed to remove Tricki from his current environment and provide him with round-the-clock care and monitoring. 

This approach would allow Herriot to closely observe Tricki’s condition, administer any necessary treatments, and ensure he received the appropriate diet and exercise regimen to facilitate his recovery. Herriot’s decision to hospitalise Tricki reflected his commitment to providing comprehensive medical care and his determination to improve Tricki’s health despite Mrs. Pumphrey’s initial reluctance.

Q5: How did Tricki’s behaviour change during his stay at the surgery?

A5: During his stay at the surgery, Tricki’s behaviour underwent a significant transformation. Initially sluggish and unresponsive, Tricki gradually began to show signs of improvement and engagement with his surroundings. He transitioned from lying motionless on a rug to displaying interest in his environment and whimpering when he heard other dogs. 

Tricki’s demeanour shifted from listlessness to curiosity and interaction with the other dogs in the facility. He started participating in friendly scrimmages, demonstrating a newfound energy and enthusiasm. This behaviour change indicated Tricki’s improved physical condition and overall well-being, suggesting that the care and attention provided at the surgery effectively aided his recovery and restored his vitality.

Q6: Compare Tricki’s health before and after meeting the veterinary surgeon.

A6: Before meeting the veterinary surgeon, Tricki’s health was in a dire state. He was severely overweight, lethargic, and showed signs of listlessness and exhaustion. His eyes were bloodshot, and he exhibited symptoms of malnutrition, including a lack of energy and interest in activities. Tricki’s obesity was exacerbated by his indulgent diet and lack of exercise due to the gardener’s absence. 

However, after meeting the veterinary surgeon and undergoing treatment at the surgery, Tricki’s health drastically improved. He became more active, engaged, and energetic, participating in activities with other dogs and displaying a renewed enthusiasm for life. His physical appearance also transformed, becoming leaner and more muscular, indicative of his improved overall health and well-being.

Q7: Compare Mrs Pumphrey’s emotional state before and after meeting the veterinary surgeon.

A7: Before meeting the veterinary surgeon, Mrs. Pumphrey was initially concerned and distressed about Tricki’s deteriorating health. She expressed worry and anxiety about his condition, evident in her efforts to provide him with additional treats and reluctance to restrict his diet. However, after Tricki was taken to the surgery and received treatment from the veterinary surgeon, Mrs Pumphrey’s emotional state shifted. 

She remained anxious but showed signs of hope and relief upon receiving updates about Tricki’s progress. Her concern for Tricki’s well-being remained paramount, but knowing he received professional care and attention eased her distress. Ultimately, Mrs Pumphrey’s emotional journey ended with a happy, tearful departure from the clinic, reflecting her deep love and attachment to Tricki and gratitude towards the veterinary surgeon’s expertise.

Q8: Compare Trciki’s interaction with the other dogs when initially meeting and after leaving the veterinary surgeon’s place.

A8: Tricki’s interaction was passive and uneventful when initially meeting the other dogs. The other dogs perceived him as an uninteresting object, possibly due to his poor health and lack of energy. Tricki’s lethargy and overweight condition limited his ability to engage with the other dogs, resulting in minimal interaction.  However, during his stay at the veterinary surgeon’s place and undergoing treatment, Tricki’s interaction with other dogs transformed significantly. 

He became more active, playful, and friendly with the other dogs. Tricki’s newfound energy and vitality enabled him to actively participate in social interactions, establishing himself as an accepted and integrated member of the dog community. This change highlighted Tricki’s improved physical condition and social adaptability following his recovery.

Idiomatic Expressions in ‘A Triumph of Surgery”:

Q9: What do the following expressions mean in the story?

  1. “like a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner”: The simile “like a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner” vividly portrays Tricki’s drastically overweight and shapeless appearance, emphasising his excessive fat and lack of proper physique.
  1. “his tongue lolled from his jaws”:  The expression “his tongue lolled from his jaws” creates a visual image of Tricki’s tongue hanging out of his mouth, a common sign of fatigue or exhaustion in dogs.
  1. “harden your heart”: “Harden your heart” implies Mrs Pumphrey’s need to be firm and resolute in enforcing a strict diet for Tricki, despite her emotional attachment and inclination to indulge his desires.
  1. “followed by Mrs Pumphrey’s wailings”:” “Followed by Mrs Pumphrey’s wailings” depicts Mrs Pumphrey’s emotional distress as she accompanies Tricki to the car, suggesting her deep concern and attachment to the dog.
  1. “an uninteresting object”: Describing Tricki as “an uninteresting object” implies that the other dogs find him unappealing or unresponsive due to his poor health, emphasising his diminished vitality and engagement with his surroundings.
  1. “rolling slightly with his surplus fat”: “Rolling slightly with his surplus fat” illustrates Tricki’s excessive weight, causing him to sway or barge due to carrying extra pounds.
  1. “Fighting like a tiger”: The simile  ” Fighting like a tiger” characterises Tricki’s fierce determination during mealtime, suggesting his voracious appetite and eagerness to consume food.
  1. “ears flapping, tail waving”: “Ears flapping, tail waving” creates a lively visual image of Tricki’s energetic and lively movement, indicating his improved health and vitality compared to his previous state of lethargy.
  1. “Swarmed over her, licking her face and barking” describes Tricki’s enthusiastic and affectionate reunion with Mrs Pumphrey, emphasising his joy and excitement at seeing his beloved owner again.
  1. “A Triumph of Surgery”: Mrs Pumphrey’s statement “a triumph of surgery” reflects her belief that James Herriot’s intervention and care saved Tricki’s life, highlighting the success of medical treatment in restoring Tricki’s health and happiness.

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