Q1 In 1953, Hooper was a favoured young man. Explain.
Q2 They said that they would create a desk job for Hooper at headquarters.
(i) Who are ‘they’?
(ii) Why did they decide to do this?
Q3 Duke was an extraordinary dog. What special qualities did he exhibit to justify this? Discuss. Q4 What problems did Chuck present when he returned to the company headquarters? Q5 Why do you think Charles Hooper’s appointment as Assistant National Sales Manager is considered to be a tribute to Duke? ANSWERS
1 In 1953, Charles (Chuck) Hooper was a favoured young man. He had all that a man could aspire for. He was “a hard−charging zone sales manager for a chemical company”. A six-feet-one, who had played on the university football team, was now all settled with his little blonde wife, Marcy. His “big genuine grin” flashed his competitive nature and “everything was going for him”. 2 (i) The above sentence has been extracted from the story and “they” is referred to the personnel from Hooper’s office that visited him in the hospital. (ii) Hooper was hospitalised after he had subdural haemorrhage as he met with an accident. After the first critical month had passed, in the fifth week, few men from his company came to visit and told him to take a year off, after seeing his condition. They said they would create a desk job for Hooper at the company’s headquarters.
They told Charles to take a year off and decided to assign him a desk job as his body’s left portion was paralysed. 3 Duke was a rough playing Doberman Pinscher. When Chuck met with the accident and was brought back home Duke also was brought back from the kennel. When the dog saw his master “he was a 23-killo missile of joy”. He jumped on Chuck above the belt in excitement. Chuck couldn’t balance, so fought to maintain it. That was it, Duke knew what had happened. From then on he never did the same. He took a post beside his master’s bed and never jumped on him again. He sensed the delicate condition of his master and later he was the main agent in the improvement of Chuck’s condition. From the story, it seems that Duke knew what had happened to Hooper, he would come up and poke Chuck’s left arm and try to lift it up. One evening while the dog was cajoling his master Hooper casually hooked leash in Duke’s collar with his good hand and that charged the dog. The first time, it was just couple of steps till the wheel chair.
However, Duke was dogged to make Chuck walk. They were a team now. Hooper’s neighbourhood people say that the Dog knew what his responsibility was. They had a tremendous coordination. The dog would “pull his leash taut then stand and wait. The man would drag himself abreast of the dog and then the dog would surge out to the end of the leash and wait again”. Gradually Hooper became totally dependent on Duke and didn’t need physiotherapy further. It was Duke alone who could do what he did. The only thing that the narrator says he was unsure of was whether Duke knew what he was doing, but then the narrator says that he believed that Duke knew. 4 On January 4, Chuck visited the local branch. This had been one of the district offices under his jurisdiction as zone manager. The staff was amazed to see him return, Charles Hooper told Gordon Doule, the manager, to bring him all the updates of the time Hooper had stayed away.
He started working one hour every day; he chose the empty desk in the ware house. Hooper’s move presented problems in the company’s headquarters. Chuck was fighting hard to come back, so nobody could tell him that he couldn’t handle the job. Beside it was a job of sales, what good can a salesperson do, “who cannot move around, and can work only one hour a day?” However, Hooper had the target set in his mind, March 1, a full day’s work. It was Duke who would pull Chuck all the way till the office and then bring him back home as well. All said that the dog knew his responsibility “to get Chuck back on his feet”. After thirteen months of meditation, Charles Hooper was promoted to Regional Manager covering more than four states.
Duke was not an ordinary pet; he was a Doberman with exceptional intelligence. The finesse with which he understood the delicate condition of Chuck is commendable. It was not physiotherapy and not any other drug or exercise that made Chuck walk, but Duke and Duke alone! After the accident when Duke was brought back on Chuck’s return to home, the dog took just one incident to realise the ailment of his master. The dog just needed to be hooked once causally and Duke with his leash and the dog became resolute to make his master stand on his feet. It was Duke who made Charles Hooper reach the office despite all odds and took the responsibility to take Charles Hooper to the office and also bring him back home. It was not just Chuck’s meditation but Duke’s too that after thirteen months Hooper was promoted to Regional Manager covering more than four states.
People of their new neighbourhood, they moved into, didn’t know the story of Chuck and Duke. “All they knew was that their new neighbour walked like a struggling mechanical giant and that he was always pulled by a rampageous dog that acted as if he owned the man.” After some time when Chuck was promoted to Assistant National Sales Manager, the words drafted by the headquarters of the chemical company said, “… therefore, to advance our objectives step by step, Charles Hooper is appointed Assistant National Sales Manager”, as all knew that without Duke it would not have been possible for Chuck to make such quick improvement and tribute Hooper’s promotion to Duke.