Mrs Pumphrey is worried about Tricki because he is unwell. He has refused to eat food and had bouts of vomiting. She feels that he is suffering from a serious health issue such as malnutrition.
Mrs Pumphrey starts giving him extra snacks like malt, cod-liver oil and Horlicks, apart from his main meals, to improve his condition. She also continues to satisfy his sweet tooth with cream cakes and chocolates. She does not give him any exercise, considering his listlessness as well. She is not wise in doing so because overfeeding Tricki is worsening his conditions instead of improving it. It has made him very fat and lazy.
‘I’ refers to the narrator, Mr James Herriot, a veterinary doctor.
No, the narrator is not as rich as Tricki’s mistress, Mrs Pumphery. We can say so because the narrator seems fascinated by how lavishly Mrs Pumphrey spends on the well-being and maintenance of her pet. He is unusually surprised by the enriching items she sends for Tricki, as he cannot afford them for himself.
James Herriot treats Tricki just like he would treat an overweight and lazy dog, which Tricki is. He cuts down his food intake and keeps him under strict observation for the initial days at hospital. He gradually increases Tricki’s food and sets him free for physical activities to improve his health.
Mr Herriot is tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest because of the good food and wine he is enjoying in Tricki’s name. He does not want to lose the luxurious inflow of fresh eggs, wine and brandy.
Mrs Pumphrey thinks that Tricki’s recovery is a triumph of surgery because his illness was very serious. She was of the opinion that there were very few chances of Tricki to improve and he needed immediate medical attention. Thus, his revival without any medicinal treatment was a great achievement, according to her.
The narrator, a veterinary surgeon, is a capable and wise doctor. He handles Tricki properly which shows that he is sincere about his profession.
He does not operate upon the dog unnecessarily and cures him by altering his diet and activities.
He is a tactful person as he knew exactly how to convince Mrs Pumphrey to hospitalise Tricki for a surgery. His decision to inform Mrs Pumphrey to collect Tricki supports his sensibilities even though he was tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest.
Tricki was happy to go back home as he really loved his mistress and the comfort of his lavish life. He didn’t have any friends at home like in the hospital, but he seemed equally excited at the sight of Mrs Pumphrey. I think that Mrs Pumphrey will now be careful about Tricki’s diet and health. She may also give him exercise daily as prescribed by the vet earlier.
The story seems to be a mixture of both. It may be possible for rich persons to overfeed their pets due to love. It is not unusual for them to maintain a vast wardrobe for them either. But it is unlikely for a veterinary doctor to go out of the way and lie in order to save an animal. It is also unusual for anyone to consume food which is given in the name of a pet’s health.
Mrs Pumphrey’s actions had a harmful reaction on Tricki’s health. She was overparenting’ and overfeeding Tricki in the name of love. This worsened his condition to an extent that he had to be hospitalised. People like Mrs Pumphrey are not just merely silly but their actions can definitely have dangerous consequences for others.
Yes, there are some parents like Mrs Pumphrey who spoil their children by pampering them. They overfeed their children/pets despite being aware of the harmful effects on their health. Parents like Mrs Pumphrey should maintain a healthy lifestyle of their family and pets.
If I were in the narrator’s place, I would have treated Tricki with a similar amount of compassion and love. I would have been equally caring as Mr James Herriot towards Tricki. I would have just been a little more stern while advising Mrs Pumphrey to put Tricki on a strict diet knowing her way of showing love. I would have also not consumed Tricki’s share of eggs, wine and brandy sent by Mrs Pumphrey.