At the End of the Day

Just another calm 24 hours in Paradise

A swallow-tail butterfly gently skips up and down on its way to nowhere in particular. The gentle south-west breeze takes the edge off 38 Celsius degrees of heat. The pool water is crystal clear, and refracting light in myriad directions. I’ve finished trimming the hedges at the limits of our land here, and now lunch with local chums beckons. Last night, Coco came into her first heat, so she must be watched for signs of wandering.

And then, I notice that our eldest terrier Foxie is missing. In the baking heat of a southern French July day, I wander about over three miles of countryside yelling my head off in that high-pitched ‘my, how we shall have fun’ way that dog-owners do when trying to get their animals to return.

And at the point where I’m already 15 minutes late for a lunch appointment, Fox pitches up looking hacked off that I’d left the grounds. I pick her up and find a tick. I pull out the invader in that careful anti-clockwise manner as if disabling a UXB, at which point the dog goes ape-shit bananas and zooms off upstairs.

When I return, she’s still upstairs (very unusual when it’s hot here) and unwilling to be further examined. But – not liking the look of the tick’s bore-hole – I pin her down on the sofa and get multiply bitten in the process of dousing it with TCP. She goes mental again and hides under the spare-room’s bed.

Later still, I serve supper, and Foxie wolfs the lot down. She seems OK now. Around 7.15 pm, she’s disappeared again.

The hours from then until 3 am are spent scouring the local wild lands with a torch, and rendering myself hoarse shouting about biscuits, treats and raw chicken wings. But she’s absconded. I go to sleep in the hallway with the door open. I don’t sleep. Foxie doesn’t return.

By 11 am the following day I am frantically ringing every neighbour until – as a last resort – I call the local bakery. “Ah, b’e oui monsieur Wad,” says the familiar voice, “votre chienne est ici”. The bakery is over a mile away. HTF…..

Discussions of a canine bitch nature with close chum Jenny reveal that when one bitch is on heat, sometimes other females in the pack find the botty-stink too much to bear, and put as many miles between them and it as they can.”

So in the house here by now there are three long lengths of string-twine attached to two dog collars allowing the on-heat and the off-piste terriers to pee, poo, drink, eat and generally mooch about, but not to disappear. As they criss-cross unthinkingly hither and thither, Foxie and Coco create a tableau of maypole crochet. When night falls, both doors are closed and Tiggy – thus far bored with the whole episode – retreats to her usual ‘den’ underneath the cutlery cupboard. What on earth could now go wrong?

I untie the two potential escapees and bung them in the kitchen ready for bed. But Tiggy is gone: she has legged it through the one open window in the sitting room.

It’s seven minutes to midnight here now. Tiggy, suitably chastised following an hour of angry garden-searching, is fast asleep in the kitchen – as is Coco, the one pup supposed to in charge of the Escape Committee, but who has not once attempted to stray anywhere. Foxie has been TCP’d again and is eyeing me balefully. I am all dogged out at the moment. I just want to sleep without wondering which country one of them might be in by tomorrow morning. It’s been that kind of year.

14 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Ahhh, doggies, My beautiful Bess left us for the canine heaven last week, quite a handful at times but 16 years of wonderful memories


  2. Sir,

    I love your doggy stories, but I like your financial perspectives much better.
    Do you have anything on my specialist subject ”Naked Derivatives”?
    Meantime I’ll just go back to my new Teletubby Duvet set and snuggle down until your next episode, after which I will unleash a torrent of informative and authorative knowledge based nonsense.
    Is Rupert Blanketstein married? I know that he is very rich, and I was errm just hoping that perhaps errm….ahem.


  3. It cost me £61.50 for the pleasure of the return of chocolate lab last night after he decided to do a Steve McQueen on me, he was picked up two streets away by the nazi dog warden gotta get me one of those trackers fitted it’ll be cheaper :o)…..


  4. How Mario Draghi the lying dog has the nerve to announce his BULLSHIT in London at the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games beats all records.
    A calculated statement which will never cut the mustard, and will serve only to increase the pressures within the euro shambles area.
    Timing is everything.


  5. Welcome to the Olympics!

    Friday morning 27 July 2012

    Completely off topic but who can tell me by what divine right has the BBC stopped non-UK broadcasts of the entire Radio 4 output, seemingly for the entire duration of the Olympics? Shambles? It’s a national disgrace!!

    Oh except via SKY! Which is of course illegal and unobtainable here in France. Ahem! That’s one up to the Murdoch’s.


  6. Update.

    After no ‘Today’ programme I thought all was lost, but order is restored – ‘Desert Island Discs’ is currently playing.

    Still outrageous that they blocked ‘Today’.


  7. A Message from our Sponsors

    We, the sponsors of the Olympic Games of 2012, together with our partners, the IOC, shall decide, who shall listen to what, on your national Broadcasting service, the BBC (Beyond Belief & Contempt).

    Now F.O and stop wasting our time.


  8. TB
    True, but I won’t spay until after the first heat. And won’t use a French vet to do it. In our area, they’re a bit too farm-animal Lancelot Sprat ‘none of this keyhole surgery’ for my taste.


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