Though he doesn’t always think so, Hamish is lucky to be seen by a very caring vet who has treated his many spectacular injuries and various ailments over the years. Amongst his many skills are rendering wounds and scars virtually invisible to the naked eye. Several years ago Hamish tore one of his back legs quite severely on a skein of barbed wire which someone had left lying around in woodland close to our home. Whippets are notoriously thin-skinned and repairing those wounds was a delicate operation carried out with consummate skill. Today, no sign of those injuries remains.
The paws are declared sound (keep taking the medicine), Hamish is weighed as the vet feels he looks rather thin (would a human patient receive such care?) and we return to the small waiting area to collect the final supply of pills. There is a glass door out on to the street – Hamish rushes to press his nose against this in order to declare his wish to be gone from what he regards as a place of torture. In his haste to depart, he has swept past a bichon frise waiting with its Master. The bichon is emitting a low sound somewhere between a growl and a whimper, suggesting it is in some discomfort. We Masters exchange nods. A small dog and yet another Master appear at the door. Hamish moves aside as they enter. The small dog turns out to be a jackapoo – a mixture of jack russell and poodle. He is cradled in his Master’s arms. The dog looks nervous.
“It’s not going to hurt,” I say.
“Nothing hurt except Master’s wallet,” says the jackapoo’s Master.
There is a pause – all three Masters nod in glum agreement.
Hamish and I leave in silence.