The Sample (male version)
by Margo Hackney

drawing "Well", said the vet reassuringly, "I don't think it is anything too serious, but we'd better do a few tests .. . just to be sure."

Buster had seemed off-colour for a couple of days, and then an angry rash had developed on his underparts.

The vet concluded the examination. "Give him these tablets and bring him back on Friday. Oh, and bring a sample of his urine."

I had left the surgery before his words hit me. A sample of his urine! How on earth was I going to get that? I really did not know where to begin, it might have been easier if Buster was a Great Dane - but he is a Corgi. As I pondered the problem, all sorts of visions sprang to mind - and none of them seemed very feasible. I could try tying a jug under him ... a small jug of course. That wouldn't work because his aim would need to be directly forward, and anyway, I couldn't see him trotting down the road with a jug slung under him.

I decided I would have a try at catching it as he did it so to speak. So the first thing to do was fill up the dog. Buster loves milk and consumed almost a pint quite happily. Next step - no walkies. I waited until he was at bursting point; put on his lead and picked up a mug (disused, of course) and headed off for his favourite lamp-post - much to Buster's relief!

I waited till he had got into full flow, and bent down surreptitiously behind him to position the cup. He whipped round instantly and glared at me with a highly suspicious look in his eye. In fact, he shot round so fast that although the cup remained dry, I most certainly did not! I wiped out my ear with my hanky.

Oh well, next lamp-post. By now Buster had serious doubts about my intentions, and watered the post in short spurts with his eye fixed firmly on me and his rear end well away.

Quite soon I had an empty dog as well as an empty cup.

So back home to refill the dog.

Two hours later we set off again, but this time I was carrying my secret weapon - which consisted of a mug taped to the end of a long cane.

As we approached the lamp-post it became clear that Buster had not forgotten the previous episode. He halted a yard from the post, fixed his eyes firmly on me and backed up to the post! Just then I had a very lucky break. A large black dog chose that moment to poke his head from a nearby entry, distracting Buster's attention just long enough for me to position my contraption and fill the cup. I returned home a happy woman. What an achievement! ... my cup runneth over.

I poured the precious liquid into a bottle and the following morning we set off for the surgery.

"Oh yes, he looks fine now", the vet smiled.

"Here's the sample you asked for." I placed it on the table. The vet pushed it back... "No need for that now, the tablets obviously did the trick."

I could never tell anyone what I was tempted to do with that small bottle!

Published in Dogs Monthly 3/1987 and CWCA Newsletter February 1988.

The Sample (female version)