The Last Invisible Dog*

Taking Ellison for a walkDespite all the actual and fictional dramas of the likes of Helicopter Heroes, Holby City and even Emergency Ward 10, hospitals are pretty dull places, at least for the temporary occupants.

Once you’ve realised that daytime tv is even worse than it’s cracked up to be and that all you have to do is stare at the ceiling, resisting the urge to check your watch for the umpteenth time to see if it’s meal time yet, well your thoughts turn to mischief.

So it was for Mrs P. She been given a nylon strap strengthened with thick wire as an aid to get her newly-hipped leg in and out of bed, but to her it looked nothing less than an invisible dog on a lead.

That was when the mischief set in as she decided to see what would happen if she took him (or her) for a walk down the main hospital corridor.

Now that corridor is quite busy during the day, what with staff, outpatients and visitors, but given that this was a large general hospital, no-one thought it odd that a woman of mature years should be walking an invisible dog, even when she checked it back from pulling her off balance from her elbow crutch.

Next stop was Costa Coffee and Mrs P considerately asked if it was okay to bring her dog in while she ordered her latte because he (or she) would only bark if she tied him up outside. The barista answered with a nervous yes, so long as she then drank her coffee at one of the outside tables.

Refreshed, her final visit was to the hospital shop to buy a newspaper and some sweets.

‘Would you like a bag? asked the shop assistant.

‘No thanks, he can carry the paper for me’ said Mrs P holding it to the dog’s mouth and he dropped it. ‘He hasn’t got the hang of that trick yet. Maybe I should take you up on the offer of a bag.’

Ellison ast HomeSo it was back to the ward after a thoroughly unremarkable, or unremarked upon constitutional. The trouble is that now she is back home, it’s up to me to take the dog for walkies as you can see from the photo at the top of the page. This on top of everything else I have to do!

As you can see on the right, he has made himself right at home here. We haven’t settled on a name as yet. My own preference is for ‘Ralphie’ or ‘Ellison’ for reasons that may or may not be obvious.

* With a hat tip for the title to Katherine at The Last Visible Dog.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Sigmund Pudding 28th October 2012

    You seem to be hallucinating old chap! There are no invisible dogs in this world or the next. Arrange counselling with Madam Jenny of Wrexham Counselling Services for Complete Nutters Ltd.

  • pianokitty 28th October 2012

    Go on, tell us; why ‘Ralphie’ or ‘Ellison’? The former has me flummoxed and as for the latter, the only canine association I can think of is Harlan Ellison’s ‘A Boy and His Dog’, which would seem to have no bearing whatsoever on Mrs P’s venture into Marcel Marceau territory, unless of course you are suggesting that Tameside Hospital resembles a post-apocalyptic wasteland, in which case you may have a point; such sterility, not to mention the absence of grapes,,,,,

  • Mr Parrot 28th October 2012

    I’ll admit that the ‘Ralphie’ and ‘Ellison’ reference is a bit obscure. The Invisible Man was written by Ralph Ellison and it was intended as a protest against racial segregation.

  • Trevor Rowley 29th October 2012

    More correctly, Mr P, it should be “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison (without the “The”). I couldn’t quite get my head round it when my granddaughter kept referring to the Ralph Ellison title which was an A level English book last time round. We genuinely believed she was studying the fella who was wrapped up in bandages for most of the time until the proverbial penny eventually dropped.

  • Francisca 29th October 2012

    I did think of Ralph Ellison, but couldn’t made the connection to walking an invisible dog… 🙂

  • Francisca 29th October 2012

    I need another coffee… Invisible Dog, Invisible Man (one of my favorite books!)… Duh.


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