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Julia’s Weekly Column For The Middy

The tale of a dog and a doggy bag!

During one holiday period in my training years, I was scheduled to see practice for three weeks with an equine Vet in Eire. As a typically poor student, I was slightly concerned to find my budget not going very far. I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast, but had very little left for lunch or supper. So I ate absolutely everything I was offered at breakfast – almost a three course meal, and bought a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese to see me through the rest of the week.

 One day I was invited by one of the younger dynamic Vets to go on his visits with him. This was already a coup as he did his rounds in a flashy silver two-seater, which I was not at all averse to being seen in. It did present certain difficulties to fold oneself into the passenger seat, and then steady the Vet’s Jack Russell – Spot – on my lap as we raced around the rural countryside, but I felt this was well made up for by the kudos of the smart ride.

 And things improved even more when he invited me to join him for a pub lunch. With true Irish hospitality he pressed more and more food onto me, and I cheerfully stuffed myself, making up for all the sparse meals I had endured that week. But even I have my limits, and after a while I felt I might not be able to finish everything I had ordered.

 Luckily, he slipped away, so I took my opportunity to grab every last morsel on my plates, and wrapped it all up in a paper napkin to save for later. I was a bit embarrassed to admit to my poverty, so I hid the bundle under my jacket.

 But climbing back into the car with my treasure turned out to be my undoing. Unable to manage the small dog, the packet of food, and the contortion required, I dropped my precious load! Spot sprang out, and helped himself, and what he didn’t get was covered in mud. I was devastated, but worse still, I had exposed my weakness to the one person whose respect I was eager to earn. But he just laughed. “Was that your doggy bag?” he asked good-humouredly, and made sure he bought me a sandwich for lunch every day thereafter.

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