You would think that a small black collie who likes to stay at home would have a quiet and peaceful life, but Betty seems to manage to be involved in all sorts of scrapes.
For example: last Friday Graham and I were getting ready to go shopping, when suddenly I heard Betty's distinctive distress call in the garden. Not a playful 'Yip!', but a loud and high pitched scream!
I shouted Graham, who was in the living room, and he galloped out into the back garden to find out what was happening. I was imagining all sorts, from the noise going on - largely involving vast amounts of bloody and possibly limbs hanging off, and definitely an emergency trip to the vet!
Suddenly, Graham reappeared with both dogs, thrust Betty into my arms and vanished back outside. I examined Betty carefully, she was now quiet and seemed to be in no distress at all. There were no wounds I could see, and definitely no blood.
I put her down and she trotted happily around the kitchen, no limping and no signs of any injury at all.
Tallulah was equally unscathed and seemingly unconcerned.
All rather puzzling.
Then Graham was back and told me that apparently the dogs had had a close encounter of the rattish kind.
We are not sure who did what, but by the time Graham reached the dogs, Tallulah was standing between Betty and a large, but very stunned looking rat - possibly with a broken neck (the rat, not Tallulah).
Graham got the dogs inside, then went back with a shovel to make sure that the rat was definitely deceased and dispose of the body.
We do live in the countryside with water and dykes around, so even though we very rarely see any rats (twice in the 40 years we've lived here), there is always the possibility one may stray into the garden.
Anyway, everyone seemed ok, so that was that.
Now, I've mentioned before that Betty refuses to walk on a lead - despite many attempts. So in the end, Graham gave up and a week or so ago began taking Betty with Tallulah on their morning walks. Betty is quite content to walk without a lead and follow her mother or Graham. She does prefer them both to be together, and does try to herd them if they are not - such as when Tallulah hares off after a squirrel (the squirrels just run up the nearest tree and are in no danger of being caught!).
The morning walks have been going fine, with no problems, except that Betty would like to chase any bicycles she sees.
Until yesterday morning.
When Graham takes the dogs for their walk, I have a bath. It is a nice peaceful time when I can read a book, or sometimes write articles for the Newsletter. Graham sets off around 6.45 and is back around 7.30ish.
But at 7.05 yesterday morning, suddenly I heard what sounded like Betty's distress screaming outside the front door. I thought I must be mistaken, but just in case, I hurridly got out of the bath and threw on a kaftan. I opened the front door. No dog.
I tentatively called softly 'Betty?' and round the hedge and into the garden from the public path came a small black collie, who bounded into the house with obvious pleasure.
I told her she was a clever dog and a good girl for getting home, and could imagine that Graham was going frantic in the woods, trying to find Betty! And dreading coming home to tell me he had lost her.
If he had a mobile phone I could have let him know that all was well, but instead I had to wait until I saw him and Tallulah heading home.
We think that Tallulah had chased a squirrel and Betty had chased after her, but somehow had lost sight of her mum. Then she didn't know where Graham was or her mum, so came home.
We were both rather impressed that she knew the way - and thankful that she was safe!