Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Muffin does pay-back    by Mr Muffin

May 2011

You’ll probably recall that I’ve been paying off Mr Paddidog’s vet bill in gravy bones, even though the first little nip I gave him was a complete accident and the second was an ear piercing job that went wrong.   It seemed at one time as though I would never clear my debts and get back on the gravy (bone) train again, but then Daff came up with an idea.

“There’s a blood donor session at the vet’s soon,” she said.  “If you attend this, it will be pay-back for all the blood-letting you’ve done in the past and you can clear your slate.”

It sounded like a good idea.  I wasn’t sure what ‘blood donor’ meant, but I thought it might be something tasty to do with kebabs and black pudding, so I agreed.

Well, the day arrived.  It was obviously something very out of the ordinary cos most of the dogs in the waiting room weren’t ill and everyone was very jolly.  Most of them were sizeable labradors, but there was one enormous rottie (rather like my old friend Uncle Bulgaria who’s now hanging around Rainbow Bridge) – I thought, bet they can put away a lot of kebabs, hope there’ll be some left for me – and a gorgeous greyhound girl who told me her name was Annie.   I was just getting pally with Annie when I was called into a consulting room.  John found out in my absence that Annie was one of the Coal House Dogs, but that didn’t stop me thinking she was rather dishy, although not as gorgeous as Sandy, the girl who broke my heart last year.

I thought it was rather odd that we would be having snacks in a consulting room – I’ve been to charity dos at Elwood and Briggs before, but we always had nibbles outside or in the bungalow next door.   However, mine was not to reason why, and all that stuff.

The consulting room, and the one next door, which I could see into because the connecting door was open, was full of young lady grown-ups, all very cheerful and busy.  There was also Uncle Alan, who normally has an obsession with my teeth and keeps wanting me to view their dental suite, but this time he said he was just there to watch.   Watch what, I wondered, surely he’s seen a dog getting outside a plate of snacks before?   I looked round for signs of black puddings or other equally flavoursome items, but all I could see were a few dry biscuits.  

It was even more bizarre that after exchanging a few words with Daff, and looking sympathetically at my poor, crippled feet, one of the young lady grown-ups stuck a needle in my neck and removed a syringe-full of blood.   Surely we didn’t have to give the blood first to make the black puddings!   Then - they’re going to amputate my feet,  I thought in horror.   I was offered a few of the dry biscuits, but they weren’t what I had in mind, and I politely refused them.     Daff said I liked tripe sticks best, but they said they didn’t have any.   And I couldn’t have eaten anything at a time like this.

Another young lady grown-up seemed pleased with what was in the syringe, but after that things started to fall apart.   I was taken through into the adjoining consulting room, hoisted up on the table, and put on my side.   Hold on a minute, I thought, you’ve got it all wrong – I didn’t come here 'cos I was ill, I came for the offer of doner kebabs.   Not my feet – please – not my feet!   They might look funny but I’ve had them a long time and they’re all I’ve got.

 I looked at Daff, but she just stood back and let them get on with it.    And then – would you believe it! – they stuck another needle in the other side of my neck with a pipe attached and a bag on the end of it.   And there I lay, for several hours (actually just over five minutes from start to finish – Ed.)  while my lifeblood drained into the plastic bag.

Afterwards I got the feeling I had done something very special, cos when I got back to the waiting room, I was offered Chappie (Chappie, indeed, where were all the kebabs?); photos were taken of me in a silly red bandana; I was given a goody bag of biscuits and chews and told to take my pick of a box of toys.   Now, the only toys I’m interested in are the ones you can get all the stuffing out of in ten minutes flat, but there weren’t any, so I chose a large ball with a strap on it cos I knew the Girls back home would appreciate it and it might have hurt the grown ups’ feelings if I said I didn’t want any of them.   And now I’m going to be in the local paper – the same one Daff writes for – so I suppose I must have done something exceptional.   So exceptional, in fact, that they want me to go again in July.   Bother!   This time, Daff says she will take my treats in with us, cos she knows what I like best.

So I found out the hard way that ‘blood donor’ has nothing whatever to do with black pudding or other yummy morsels,  but apparently I could save the lives of up to four unfortunate canines with my afternoon’s work.  Far better than that, though, is the fact that I’m now back on gravy bones again.

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