The short story "The Triumph of Surgery" revolves around the recovery of a little dog called Tricki, whose mistress pampers and overfeeds him greatly, causing him serious illness.
The narrator, Mr. Herriot, starts with how he worried about Tricki's appearance this time as the dog had become extremely fat, with bloodshot watery eyes and tongue lolling from the jaws. The dog's mistress, Mrs. Pumphrey, explained how she was feeding it extra items between meals like malt, codliver oil, and a bowl of Horlicks at night for his excellent health. She had not even decreased the dog's sugar intake prescribed by Mr. Herriot.
When asked about Tricki's exercises, the mistress replied that due to the gardener Hodgkin's lumbago, the dog only went for little walks with her and did not practice ring throws. The narrator warned the mistress about the importance of exercise and diet for maintaining Tricki's health and understood well from their movement that soon, he would get a call from Mrs. Pamphrey.
Within a few days, Mr. Herriot did receive the expected news of Tricki's illness, including symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, and lack of energy. Finally, the narrator conceived a plan and took him in his car for hospitalization, stating the dog's serious illness to the mistress.
After taking the dog to surgery, Mr. Herriot kept it under observation for two days, offering him only water. On the second day's end, Tricki showed improvement and gradually started mingling with other dogs in the surgery. From the next day onwards, Tricki's progress rapidly increased his interest in eating, playing, and competing with others to grab the served food.
Knowing about Tricki's better health condition, anxious Mrs. Pamphrey started sending eggs and bottles of wine to develop the dog's strength. However, all were savoured by Mr. Herriot and his partners at the surgery, who were even a bit tempted to keep Trickie permanently.
Finally, the day arrived after a fortnight when Mr. Herriot called Mrs. Pamphrey, informing her about the dog's complete recovery and awaiting collection. Within half an hour of receiving the call, the lady reached the surgery in her car to bring Tricki back home. The little dog, who became quite muscular and fit within these fourteen days, was also overwhelmed to be reunited with his mistress.
While leaving the surgery with her precious dog, Mrs. Pamphrey thanked Mr. Herriot wholeheartedly, stating that Tricki's recovery was 'A triumph of surgery.'