The other day, I mentioned on a post that I'd almost gone crackerdog and was surprised to find so many people who knew what I was talking about. I'm so glad, because when I say it in public, nobody seems to know what I mean. I'm sure you've all heard of James Herriot, the beloved veterinarian and bestselling author from Yorkshire, England. I loved all of his books, beginning with "All Creatures Great and Small" and I think I've read almost every one. My husband and I used to watch the television show of the same name and can sometimes still find it playing on BBC. One of my favorite stories concerns a client of his named Mrs. Pumphrey and her obese little Pekingese dog, Tricki Woo.After I wrote that post the other day, I searched my entire house for my "Dog Stories" book by James Herriot and could not find it. And then I remembered that it had been destroyed in a freak flood that had run through the garage of a home we were renting in Pennsylvania. I lost several boxes of books that were stored out there. So I'll try my best to remember the story about Tricki Woo. Tricki Woo was an extremely pampered and spoiled Pekingese pooch whose wealthy mistress, Mrs. Pumphrey, showered not only her affection upon, but everything in her pantry. She also coined her own names for afflictions from which the little pooch suffered, and all the maladies were caused by the overfeeding and pampering of the little dog. When Tricki Woo would go 'flopbot', it would mean he would just sit down and drag his butt. And when he would go 'crackerdog', he would run all about like a crazy dog. (Probably due to massive quantities of sugar that came from the treats she fed him constantly.) When she first called the veterinary clinic, James Herriot took the call and ended up going over to the lavish estate to see the patient. Immediately, he assessed the situation, but Mrs. Pumphrey would not listen to the young vet. She continued to feed Tricki Woo until she finally called one day to say he'd gone flopbot after a session of crackerdog. Tricki Woo would not move. The good doctor removed him from the premises and took him home to care for him. Tricki Woo stayed away for couple of weeks, getting regular feed and running with the dogs that lived with the veterinarians. He slimmed down, got healthy, and was returned to Mrs. Pumphrey "A New Dog". For years afterwards, Tricki sent James baskets of the most amazing treats, including champagne and special cheeses. The other vets used to tease James, but they were all secretly jealous that they hadn't answered the initial call from Tricki's wealthy mistress.
I loved the crackerdog story, and told it to my sons when they were little boys. Consequently, one of their favorite things to do was to 'run about crackerdog' which was fun because they could run around like crazy, waving their little arms and laughing. It's a happy little memory I have of them when they were small, and times were sweet, and I lived by the adage: "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow; for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."
Not that I didn't keep my house clean, mind you. But I loved playing with my children, and I knew they wouldn't stay little for very long.
And that's what crackerdog is all about. And I'm going to go crackerdog on George here if he decides to nip this little foal. He looks like he's getting ready to, doesn't he? Don't worry. I had my eye on him, all right.
Top photo courtesy of Pekie on Flickr.com.