I had discovered the two lost dogs on the road outside, after going and investigating the sound of cars screeching to a halt outside – fearing that one of our animals had somehow got out on the road. I didn’t recognise the excited and friendly dogs criss-crossing the road, panting heavily with tongues flapping out of open mouths. They were evidently having an adventure. They had collars but no identity tags, and concerned that an accident would happen, I decided to put them in our barn while I telephoned neighbours to se if they knew where the dogs were from. I had no luck and it was when I returned to check on them that I saw with horror that they had jumped out of the stall, squeezed through the side of a large sliding door which was closed but not locked, and started causing the havoc. One of the dogs was whirling around the edge of the pond in excitement, watching its companion hunting. Chickens, ducks and geese were scarpering in all directions and it took me a couple of seconds to recognise the limp filthy shape in the swimming dog’s mouth as Nick the drake.
I leapt into the pond (fortunately not very deep) shouting at the top of my voice, hoping that this might shock the dog into dropping its prey. This did not work so I gave chase. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to chase something in a pond while wearing welly boots – but it is not easy. It’s a bit like one of those nightmares when you are trying to run away from something but can only move very slowly. The
I then telephoned the dog warden. Fortunately she was in the area and picked up the dogs within the hour. I was reassured that if the owner was looking for the dogs then they would be able to find them.
At bedtime the ducks put themselves into the barn as usual, so it was quite easy to scoop up Nick into a tall cardboard box. and take him for treatment. As the vet remarked, he was surprisingly perky considering his injuries – he had had a couple of good bites taken out of his back end, but the prognosis was good. He needed to be kept at the surgery for a few days, and I took a female duck down to keep him company, having been advised that ducks do not do well on their own. He needed more nursing at home for a week or two after that, but made a full recovery and is still happily waddling around with his harem looking like an animated upside-down hockey stick.. Now when our own dogs are passing nearby the ducks call the alarm and move very smartly in the opposite direction – and who can blame them…