The amount of dog walking I (and Greer) am doing daily has grown exponentially since Xmas. That means of course that not only are we interacting with an increasing number of dogs but we also are seeing a great deal more of the countryside and hence coming into contact with more strange incidents. Take yesterday for example. I was walking with Lily, a most boisterous but lovely Labradoodle. We had reached the limit of our walk and had turned to return home. On the way back we passed two farms (one of which has fantastic dogs who run around the yard but never come further than the gate even though it is fully open) and one where I heard a dog barking in the distance. With the rain pouring down I never gave the barking a second thought and we made our way towards home. The next minute Lily had stopped dead and was pulling to go back. The reason: a large, young black Retriever was courting her. Now ordinarily if I insist we move on, the other dog eventually gets the message and runs off home. Not on the occasion! Despite my best efforts at assertion , the Retriever would not go home. He was not aggressive or particularly amorous but he refused to go back. What to do? I was not certain where he had come from and there was no-one around to ask. The tag!! I quickly checked his name tag - no name, helpful!! but a couple of phone numbers. I quickly rang the land line thinking that the owner would by now have realised the dog was missing and would be searching. No answer. I tried the mobile. No answer. This is ridiculous. Then my phone rang. It was the owner. "Your dog is running free on this road" I said. "I'm shopping in Cirencester" she said " Can you put him back!" "Will you come home and secure him?" says I. The phone went dead...
I did put the dog back in the garden - was the owner negligent? - possibly, but I don't know how he got free. Was the owner indifferent? - certainly. Should she be allowed to keep dogs? You decide.