Dear Basil--Love Scamp.
By Gerry.
Published: October 6, 2008
Updated: October 6, 2008

This post is to explain about Scamp’s medical problems. (Rather unusual)
You may care to read the following letter first.

(Some years ago a letter appeared in our church magazine, it was written by Basil a rather nondescript old black mongrel dog. Basil had been rescued and was loved, by the Roman Catholic priest in the village. The letter told how he [Basil] had been rescued by the priest, and a little about his history. Scamp must have read Basil’s letter---and decided to reply. This is what appeared in the magazine.)

Dear Basil,

My name is Scamp. I always read the church magazine each month. I obviously pricked up my ears when I read your letter. They don’t seem to have many doggy letters. You obviously read the magazine too, so you may remember a poem about a doggy called Sadie, well Sadie is my sister, and I thought you might like to know a little about me.

Just before Christmas, I was taken into the doggy hotel at Adel. I had been badly treated. I don’t remember a lot, only that I was very poorly and I hurt all over. The nice lady there took me straight to the doggy hospital and the doctor said he didn’t think he could help me. Anyway he decided to try and I had a long operation. I then had to go back to the doggy hotel where they didn’t expect me to live for long.

When I got back there they didn’t have any room for me because it was Christmas and all the rooms were full. They put some straw into a drawer and laid me on it. I was so poorly I just didn’t care.

I remember some people coming with gifts for the doggies for Christmas, and the lady asked them if they would take me home. She explained that I was very poorly and needed special care. I overheard her say that it would be my last Christmas. I was eleven.

Well they took me home for Christmas and I met Sadie. They were all nice to me and looked after me. After a long time I started to get a bit better. The people who took me home adopted me and became my mum and dad. I wouldn’t let anyone touch me at first because I hurt so much and I was frightened, but now I let them touch me and tickle my belly, and sometimes I jump on the bed for a cuddle.

My mum and dad have a holiday home in your village and I love going there. I can’t chase rabbits like you Basil because my legs are too small and I have arthritis. But I love walking by the river and in the fields. I hope the editor of the magazine will publish this letter so you can read it, and maybe if you write back he will print your reply.

I want you to know that I am a lot better now, I still have problems that my mum and dad have to help me with. I also still have to take medicine for my tummy, but I am now a happy little doggy. I honestly believe I am in heaven! Well, when I am caught on the bed with my head on the pillows my mum, says, “Our Scamp thinks he is in heaven”

With lots of licks and wags—love Scamp.

PS. I am going to try my dad's printer now, so if you don't read this you will know I didn't get it going!


Yes it was true, Scamp had either been abused or medically neglected, we never found out which, but he was a very sick little dog. The operation that had saved Scamp's life had left him with serious problems and these were explained to us before we took him home. We really didn’t know if he would survive or not.

Scamp's injuries had been to his (back end) he could wee okay but the operation to save him had meant he had lost the ability to use his rear department. It took a while to sort this problem out and I will not go into those details. Scamp did start to recover as you know, and we had devised our method of helping him. First I must tell you he would only let my wife and I, and our two daughters anywhere near him at this time. That meant that whatever the situation one of us had to be available. Journeys away had to be carefully planned to make sure one of us was always at hand for Scamp.

Scamp was able to convey his feelings to us (He had a certain way of looking) and we instantly knew what he wanted. The poor little guy did have feelings and he was embarrassed and unhappy at his loss of dignity. His favourite walk was up in the woods and when he was ready, he gave us the look---ears down and an expression that clearly meant ‘I am sorry but I can’t do this on my own’ he always went out of the way so no one would see him. The four of us knew exactly where to squeeze Scamp and how hard to do it. When it was over Scamps ears would go up—his tale would be wagging and he would shoot off for a run round the woods. This procedure was performed two or three times every day.

My wife was a little bit embarrassed about his problem at first, but all the other dog walkers in the woods soon got to know about Scamp and his needs, and they were very discreet. In fact Scamp soon became a firm favourite in the village. He used to wear a little kerchief around his neck and he looked a very dapper little guy whilst walking out.

Scamp was the most laid-back little terrier dog and would make friends with any dog and any person. ‘Cassy’ on the other hand, was the village bully; she was mean---with a capital M. No dog could approach her, and very few people. She was a very large German Shepherd guard dog -- and knew it. One-day scamp went a – calling, somehow he got into Cassy compound and invited himself into the house. He was found by Cassy’s owner curled up asleep along side Cassy. Her owner was none too pleased --- Cassy had a soft spot, and if this got out she would lose her street cred. All the time we knew Cassy, Scamp was the only dog she would tolerate. Shirley and I made friends with Cassy because of Scamp. We were part of a very select group. Cassy sadly had to be put to sleep after she badly mauled a very large Rotweiller. She was just too mean.

Scamp was lovely in the house and would make friends with anybody, but he could only be patted around his front end. He had lots of little tricks and frequently had us in stitches.

People have often told us that they wouldn’t have taken Scamp on with his problems. Well it was never seen as a problem to us, we just saw it as something that had to be done (not very pleasant for Scamp or us, but necessary) The pleasure and love that Scamp gave us was more than payment for what help we gave him.

Scamp lived to be nearly seventeen.
Sadie died soon after.
RIP Scampy Doodle and Sadie. And of course Cassy.