Monday, February 21, 2011

Sight hounds – not for the faint hearted

Boots was in a funny mood this morning as we walked up the field in the pouring rain. He was looking very sprightly as we sauntered up towards the railway bridge and then all of a sudden he was gone. He leapt through the wooden fence to stop people going down onto the track and disappeared. I wasn’t too happy but I was delighted when he came running back to me.  I was pleasantly surprised at this uncharacteristic display of promptness to my commands and just as I was about to congratulate him and put him back on his lead he darted past me and down the other side of the track.

I stood on the bridge watching my delightful hound looking quite settled in the middle of tracks, between the rails, snacking on a deer. This is a main line railway.

I called, whooped, hollered, skipped, flapped my arms around like a lunatic but there was no way I could possibly make myself and what I was doing remotely more interesting than what he was doing. So I waited. I was quite worried for a split second, but then as I stood watching I decided it would be O.K. and if it wasn’t, it was one of those things. I stood and watched waiting to see if a train would arrive.  I decided looking over the bridge was not a good move so I stood in the hedge on the side that was safest for Boots to make his escape should he remember that he had a walking companion and I watched.

I waited.

Experience tells me that breakfast can take quite a while and in that time a train was bound to come. Endless images flashed through my mind – of which I will spare you the details.

After a while I was astonished to see Boots stand up, pick the deer up and put it to the safe side of the track. There he settled down once again to munch but in total safety of the on coming train which promptly went hurtling past him. He must have heard it down the rails.

The train did not impress my dear hound so he dragged the deer up the embankment to the field where I was now dripping wet looking on in exasperation. Fortunately the deer was quite long and I was able to get close enough to the opposite end that Boots was eating and put my foot on it. Boots unable to drag the deer away started to circle me scowling and never quite coming close enough for me to get hold of his collar. I was quite prepared to share the deer but he simply wasn’t going to share. It was to be ALL his.

Boots isn’t as dumb as I look and he began to sniff the flowers, clearly trying to distract me; sauntering around as if to say ‘didn’t want the deer anyway’.  I started to edge away towards him in an ever increasing circle getting further and further away from the deer. Once he thought it was safe he made a dash for his prey, as would I, and there would be dog and human legs flapping through the grass with my coat trailing in the wind until we both arrived at the deer. I would arrive staring at Boots because he was too far away to catch, and Boots would stare at me because I had my foot on his breakfast and the stand off would began again.

This could have gone on for hours. It gently dawned on me I was going to have to do something to make some progress for home so I could go to work. So, I picked up the leg end of the deer and walked it through the fields with Boots trailing behind me. Fortunately no-one saw us because I can’t imagine what they would have thought with me in my long coat and hat with a deer trailing behind me and a dog trailing behind that.

Eventually Boots gave in and sat on command and let me clip the lead on; the look on his face was a picture.

I did lead him to the deer so he could have a bit more breakfast but he wouldn’t touch it. He just gave me an accusing look of ‘would you eat your breakfast if I had put my foot in it?’ and walked in the opposite direction.

He has been sulking ever since.


Blogger Amy said...

Wow! A lucky escape. What a silly hound. Glad you are both OK though.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous SnowyOwl said...

The joys of lurcher ownership!!! I've got 3 of them

1:45 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

Amy - yep! Silly hound indeed.

SnowyOwl - indeed!!!! Boots doesn't give me nearly as much trouble as he could, but I am tempted to nail some chicken wire to the fence going down to the railway line. There used to be lots of brambles, but they were removed to install the new fence!

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I walked the greyhounds on a path by a railway line, but only after I'd done a thorough survery of any sneaky holes in/under the fencing. They can be quite devious (or should that be deviant!) when it comes to stuff that they just have to do!

So glad that Boots survived - I used to have day-mares about Blue finding a way onto the railway....

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

9:13 PM  
Blogger WeepingCross said...

So did you keep the deer for the skeleton? Imagine having a whole deceased deer in your collection! (It would give Aswell the Camel someone to talk to).

1:39 PM  

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