Yesterday afternoon I was just calling the dogs in to the utility to leave and pick the children up from school. I realized two were missing and a quick run around the stables and the acre of ground around the property I could not find them, but found out by the end of the stables a hole in the wire big enough for the two to slip through. We are slowly picket fencing the whole property, because our dogs are very good at slipping through wire. I didn't think Blottie was small enough to slip through the wire, but I was wrong and a dog with a strong will to go hunting and times that by two, you would be amazed what dogs can get over through, under and around.
Luckily we have no fields of pregnant ewes or ewes with lambs to close to the home and where they went out tracks right in to a large expanse of woodland with dense cover. I had half an hour before picking the children up, so ran up the lane and across fields that run along the woods, calling as I went and nothing. I went off to pick the first lot of children up and returned again with around half an hour to run up and call again, nothing again. I picked up the rest of the children and oor two oldest, Alfie and Bert went out looking whilst I got dinner on the table. They came back with nothing. Night was falling, so I then reported them to the Dog Warden as missing. My husband, David got home, so in the dark then, whilst he eat his dinner, I searched again, no luck, but did stir up some Roe deer and see a fox, a couple badgers and loads of rabbits. Back home due to torch failing and swapped with David, who took the car to drive to further points and call. Then around 9 pm the dogs set up barking and looked outside to hear Blottie barking the other side of the paddock fence wanting to get in. Toby was already in, because Toby seems to be able to get over anything (as long as on his own, don't go off as a rule). I rang David to tell him the wanderers had returned, he was just outside the gate and then rang the Dog Warden to report that they were back safely.
No one else to blame, but myself, because Blottie's Mum and Grandmother both have a real strong drive to track and flush, what was I thinking breeding dogs that enjoy being dogs.
Blottie though had a bit of a baptism of fire at 11 months old with Toby. Around 6 hours of tracking through undulating terrain, through bog and dense cover, keeping up with a 4 year old dog, who knows the ground and has the powers of Houdini when it comes to getting through anywhere. Blottie has spent most of today sleeping, but as for Toby, who is a rasher of wind, of a dog (He carries not an ounce of fat), he's ready to go again.
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019