The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Rabbit Too Far

With the rain we have been having in the last couple of weeks the verges have become very muddy. Poncho's legs had become so dirty last week that on one of the warmer days he was given a wash down in the garden...
He is very good and just stands there as he is soaped down, rinsed off and then the part he loves, rubbed down with a towel. Jen is never anywhere near as muddy as Poncho. I think this is because Poncho is a 'power-walker', and Jen is a 'glider'.

Yesterday we decided to let them have a run in the morning. We are now using another of Margaret's fields that is close by - a large grass field that was used for sheep last year. It is more secure than the stubble field as the banks down to the burn at the end are much steeper, and the fence on the other side looks more intact. We have taken to going in one gate, letting the dogs off and then we walk to the gate on the other side of the field while Jen and Poncho run around.

All started well. I let Poncho off and he meandered off at his own pace. Paul let Jen off and she just ran, as is her wont, and then Poncho's competitive nature kicked in and he chased her. They had done a circuit around the natural bowl shape there is in the field and Jen was heading back towards us. She overshot and had wheeled back round when a rabbit appeared out of nowhere just a few yards from us. It bolted off to the right. Jen immediately set off in pursuit. Poncho had also noticed and was charging after them. They disappeared out of sight as they went over the top of the rim of the bowl. Paul started jogging after them calling but that was a futile exercise. I started walking to the top of the bowl when suddenly the rabbit came running back from right to left with Jen and Poncho just behind. By the time Paul and I had made it to the top of the slope the dogs were both just standing at the corner of the field panting wildly. I guess the rabbit had made it to safety through the hedge.

When we got to them Jen had just flopped to the ground in a boggy puddle. Poncho was panting so hard he was slathering and had also decided to lie down. He had a cut at the back of his left front paw but it didn't look to bad. We got their leads back on, took their muzzles off and very slowly set off for home. You could hear Jen's front claws dragging on the road as she could hardly lift her legs as she walked home and she kept stopping to drink out of the puddles. Poncho's legs were extremely wobbly, but the adrenalin kicked in when Mr Gore and Florence came walking towards us. Luckily they turned round and headed off in the opposite direction so I managed to get him to calm down.

Paul said he had never had so little enthusiasm from the dogs for going out as yesterday lunchtime, and after they had peed they just wanted to come home again. They do appear to have recovered now...

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