Friday 12 October 2007

Red Mist

Did I mention that I am now "wrangled" securely onto a lead well before we ever reach the Cemetery? This is due to a (briefly successful) cunning escape attempt engineered a couple of weeks ago. The Cemetery is a "dogs under close control" area, but the tarmac path alongside, coming down from the Long Bridge is not, and I was dancing ahead of Dad, knowing that once in the Cemetery there were free running bunnies.

On this occasion I was a good 50 yards ahead when we were a good distance still from the gate, and Dad thought he had ample time to stop me, grab me and hook me on, before we got there. Ha! Without warning I raced for the gate and was through. Hot rabbits scattered in all directions, and Dad could only look on helplessly as I chased one first to the right (no problem), then scything round to the left, towards the end fence.

It's one of those galvanised metal paling fences, 6 foot tall, and topped with each paling cut into a trident of sharp metal. It comes right to the ground. Mostly. But not in odd little bits, where the ground dips and there are 3-4 inch gaps. Just big enough for a young bunny to squeeze under. Normally enough to stop a Westie. A young lady Westie though, of fairly petite frame, and seeing only the white scut of a bunny through a red devil-mist, will risk a scalping and serious abrasions all along her back to get under that fence too, squeaking and yipping all the way. You try to stop her!

The other side of the fence is just a bramble thicket, all across the rough ground under the Long Bridge. Bunnies can zip through this without harm ,but a Westie, even with red mist in front of her eyes, can only get a few yards before she's a tangle mass of upset thorns and spiked paws. The chase over. The red mist clears, the bunny is long gone and a girl can now hear Dad whistling from the Cemetery behind.

It would be bad form to scurry back to Dad, so we take a bit of time to sniff about and bimble around among the brambles biding our time, as Dad starts to sound more and more anxious. Eventually, when it starts to sound like there might be killings, I try to get back to the fence and re-find the hole. I work my way towards the whislte till I can just see Dad and he keeps glimpsing me between the thick tangle of brambles. I yip in reply but have to backtrack several times and find another route. Dad is near where I got through in the first place.

Eventually, before Dad passes out from the stress, I do get back to the "hole". Dad slides a hand through the fence and grabs collar. He manouvres me to the hole and tries to pull me nack under. But the "hole" without the bunny as encouragement is now suddenly way too small and to drag me through would involve pushing me flat to the floor and scraping my head and back all along the bottom of the fence to get me under. No way, and Dad can quickly see that this is no good. For a while I think he is going to put two hands through and try to lift me up "the wrong side", somehow hand-over-handing me past the horizontal rungs. But there are brambles above me too.

He ties me to the fence and walks along his side to find a place where the hole under it is bigger. Then comes back for me, unties me and drags me sideways, hand-over-hand, never letting go of my collar, his hands getting lacerated by brambles and stung by nettles his side, till we get to the hole when, at last, he can steer me (relieved and very happy to be back "home") through. On the lead now, I am walked over to where Megan and Haggis have been, patiently all this time, tied to a chair. Happy reunion. Don't know what all the fuss was about. I'd have got back eventually.

For some reason Dad now puts me on a lead about a quarter mile from the Cemetery gate, when we're still up on the Long Bridge. There's no accounting.

Have a great weekend


No comments: