Nurse Spindlegale

I must report to you my dear reader that my aforementioned ‘suspended animation’ has been…well..suspended. A double suspension and not for the first time. Instead of my promised reminisces, I bring you news from a germ infested Spindle Towers. I have had a very busy week in which I had a rapid induction into the very interesting world of nursing. It has been remarkable how well I have taken to this new vocation and can only assume that I am in some way a canine reincarnation of Mistress Florence Nightingale herself. I think if you compare any photographs quite closely there is a striking resemblance, especially in profile.

My mistress has, in her typically careless way, managed to catch flu. This in itself has been remarkable as she is not usually known for her catching abilities. Unless of course it involves half a hundred weight of chocolate in which case she can produce reflexes that would rival a spring loaded stoat.

At first it was rather peaceful as she was declared a bio hazard and it was decided that it would be better for everyone all round if she was removed henceforth from our clean and healthy home to be installed in an isolated room in the hospital. Her care was obviously second to none and amusingly she could only be handled by staff bedecked in gowns, masks and aprons. I suggested a brown paper bag placed over her head might have been easier all round but I was alas ignored. I might pursue this now she is back though. The man of the house, Hector, suggested she should wear a balaclava worn back to front…for everyones mutual benefit.

She was eventually released back into society a week later, into my very capable, caring paws. I had, during her absence, been swotting up about nursing, paying particular attention to the rather notable treatments that were used in the past. I have made extensive notes of trepanning, purging using an Ikea sink plunger and the correct application of leeches. After exhaustive research into the problem of successful leech positioning for maximum effectiveness I have made an application to secure funding for a ‘Formation Leech Team’. Motorcycles are optional at this stage.

It was to my great fortune that Spindle Towers already houses a dubious collection of historical, medical apparatus and devices of known and unknown provenance – some of which are rumoured to have helped reinvigorate a Duchess back to her optimum health in the dim and distant past. Hector looked on as I trailed through the kitchen, paws and chops fully loaded up with devices, printouts and my leeches. He seemed content to let me carry on, so I did.

The first few days with her back at home were quite boring as she just seemed to snooze, flail and snuffle a bit, so I kept her company and stood guard at her feet. When I say stood…there was a fair amount of laying down as well. I serenaded her with some mournful crooning to help soothe her furrowed brow and to help aid the pesky lung congestion I floated out some top class bottom paffage, well known for their unblocking properties and I may add, some of my best work to date. There were some critical moments when I had to subject her to the liberal application of a cold flannel. It had no medical merit but was rather fun to watch.

I was however not entirely convinced of the initial diagnosis and so took it upon myself to use my finely honed detective skills. Where to begin? Dropsy and mange are evident, but to be quite honest has been for quite a while now so I won’t worry her with that. I would suggest that she has the look of a ‘scrofula encrusted hysteric’ about her, I tentatively mentioned the word venereal and got a cushion feebly thrown at me, I meant to say venerable obviously but she declined to recognise the unintended error. I am a hound after all.

I continued my consultation and disappointingly there was no obvious evidence of lice or any other sentient life forms clinging to her frame, as we are all partial to a snackette now and again. Carefully peeling open her eyelids, I shone my sausage detecting torch at her confused eyes and found absolutely nothing (no-one was at home that day…or the next)  and then waved the thermometer in her direction. Apparently it is done in a slightly different manner to the one I have become accustomed to at the vets. Once corrected on my angle of approach by Hector, I proceeded with more caution, but misjudged it and stumbled spindlelimbs over the bed, embedding the thermometer quite firmly into her left eye. I rolled backwards off the bed, my printouts unravelled over the pillow, my surgical implements clattered to the floor and a silent tear rolled down her sad little face.

As I was led out of the room I declared my conclusion to be that she is suffering from some undiscovered pox, caused as a direct result of a dubious imagination and general decrepitude. My recommendation is a continued and vigorous application of synchronised leeches to her bingo wings and that she continues to lavish all of her attention on me, paying particular attention to upping my custard cream levels.

My work here is done.

*Waits for applause.


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