Yesterday was another lovely été de St Martin's day [indian summer]. Sunny with a bit of veiled cloud but certainly not cold.
Niall went for a walk down into the village and to post some letters. I pottered around at home. I was making a cup to coffee when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. Investigating I found an unknown black & tan beagle busily sniffing amongst the leaves and then setting off purposely towards the eastern edge of our land and away down towards the tiny stream at the bottom of the field adjoining us on the right. A classic French chien de chasse.
I walked over towards the woods on the right to see if I could see any chaps in their high-viz jackets standing at the woodland edges which means they're hunting in that particular copse, but saw no one. Nor over to the left. Couldn't hear any guns going off either. After a while you get so used to them that you don't really 'hear' them anymore unless you actively listen.
While I was walking back to the front door the better half appeared at the start of the drive and began to tell me about the dog who'd followed him most of the way into the village. With perfect timing the beagle re-appeared and Niall stated: 'That's the dog that was following me most of the way into the village!'. Bon. We called and whistled to said dog who came over tail wagging and sat leaning against my shins, drenching my jeans. He was a very wet and friendly chappie who looked pleased with life. Around his neck was a very luminous yellow-green plastic collar with a cell phone number written on it.
Cue comedy sketch of two humans having a mildly warm discussion whether or not to get pen and paper to write the number down with a view to phoning the owner or just letting dog go on his doggie way. There are a number of farms near us and French hunting dogs do have a habit of wandering off on their own business. They only return to their heated owners who have been shouting for them for ages at a much later stage. Needless to say the dog got bored with our debate and was off before we could grab his collar!
|cat on a lead....|
We got on with other things but kept an eye out for the beagle and dug out Katinka's lead--yes, she will go for walkies on a lead--she is NOT a normal cat. We figured that if he came back again, and would come to us, we'd give the number a call. Over the next hr we had 2 more sightings out the window of him happily charging off in an easterly or north easterly direction. He was obviously having an excellent outing. Occasionally there'd be volleys of barking as he got within range of the 2 farms close by us to the NE. Then he re-appeared on our drive feeling the need for another quick social call to these humans who spoke in such a funny way. Again we had the wagging-tailed approach and the drenching of the jeans but he was a sweetie. He was quite happy to be put on a leash and we gave the number a call.
|Flambard on his way home|
It turned out to be a neighbour who lives about 1/2 a km away. He wasn't at home, but was able to run over in his car and collect the dog. We decided to walk the dog down the lane to meet him half-way. The cats hadn't taken too much notice of the palaver, but they did come and investigate when we began to walk down the lane. They often come with us on this walk .
The owner, when he dashed up in his little white van, was greeted by the sight of us with his dog and a flanking escort of 2 cats. Shadow and Katinka obviously had to make sure that Flambard -- as we found out the dog was called -- was properly escorted OFF the premises!