John Gibson: Ready for a sad farewell to big Basil

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Basil has collared enough trophies, rosettes and certificates to paper the walls and fill a room. Indeed, they already have at his Portobello home.

But out of love and respect, owner Julie Carruthers took him down to Birmingham at the weekend to the UK’s four-day dog show, Crufts. His final look at the event he knows so well, scene of his countless triumphs. He’ll be in heaven by this summer’s end.

An Italian Spinone, a gun dog whose middle name seems to be Best in Show, Basil has been a cancer, given only months to live.

Says a so-sad but philosophical Julie: “We got the bad news just before Christmas. They love him at the vets school at Easter Bush out by Penicuik. In fact, he’s pampered so they’ll miss him. And they also find him conspicuously absent in the park at Pittville Street in Porty where he loved the exercise, as well as on the prom.

“He’s a big lad, standing 5ft 3in on his back legs. Feeding him has cost £100 a month, with raw chicken legs his favourite. He’s 7st 4lbs on the scales.’’

So it’s bye bye Bas when the inevitable happens.

Glove and hate

You just never know what you’ll find in there. The surgeon, on returning from a course in India, left a plastic glove inside a patient’s body.

The glove wasn’t removed at the end of the op. How embarrassing for the surgeon, who reportedly admitted the clanger at the Royal Derby Hospital.

The woman who had the keyhole surgery to remove her womb is said to be taking legal advice. Had me worried for a moment. I myself opted for keyhole surgery in its pioneering stage.

Mind you, the surgery at Seafield Hospital presumably was infinitely more competent. A safety check was in order, the medics saying a piece of gauze was used in the process. Surely it has “dissolved” by now.