I had to nip to town late morning, just to get a couple things for our New Years Day dinner tomorrow. I took the three youngest with me and the three oldest children stayed home to do chores for me and once they were done they could watch telly or go on the computer. I arrived home and because it was raining very heavily, I told our son, Thomas, who was in the car with me and offered to open the gate in to our property, that I would open the gate and I then forgot to go and shut it straight away, once the car was inside. So until the children shouted from the doorstep, I was oblivious to the fact the gate was still open, as Blottie and Smudge ran past me and that they could thus go off on a hunt. I turned round to just see the back end of Smudge disappearing down the lane.
No time to waste. I went in pursuit. I know roughly where they are headed. I have tracked my dogs and with my dogs to know now, the way they track from our home. You just got to know which way they have left the home. I saw that they left downwards and footprints in the gateway below us confirmed they had gone across that field and then they drop into dense cover, which I would be unable to travel with out a machete to hand. So I had to take the long way around. After then tracking through three dense boggy covers following deer tracks and listening for pheasants being flushed up. I finally saw the other side of the valley, two fields away and a cover, a white dot and on calling, that white dot bounced around and started to come towards me. I made my way towards it and we meet up either side of a fence of sheep netting topped with barb wire, with dense brambles each side of it. The white dot had been Blottie and she had been joined by her Mum. I found in the fence an area cleared by deer tracking through and thankfully the sheep netting was taut and attached to a strong enough post to take my weight to get over it without ripping myself on the barb wire.
Blottie and Smudge were so excited to see me and I was pleased to see them. We have a lot of pregnant sheep in fields around us at the moment. When dogs go hunting without you, they don't do it to annoy you. They do it because they are a dog, they love hunting and when you find them, they think you have joined them and unless you scold them, they will be overjoyed to see you joining them. So you have to make a fuss of them, because if you don't, why would they ever want to come back to you?
We made our way back and if anyone saw someone looking a bit bedraggled leading two muddy spaniels with their trouser belt along the A377 (which is not a good road for walking dogs on, but the quickest and easiest route from where I ended up) this afternoon and slowed up to pass and the person with the dogs threw their hand up to thank you, that was me. I was really pleased to see the two girls, finding them before darkness fell. The tracking gene is certainly being passed down from Granny Millie.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!