Friday 24 April 2009

Put a fence in front of these men...and they'll climb it...

I remember once writing about one of our animal inhabitants as being a great escape artist and nicknaming him Capt. Hilts 'The Cooler King' in memory of the late great Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape. Well it seems that we have another pet to honour with that title. None other, of course, than Biggles.

With the glorious weather we have been having recently Graham has been out and about pottering in the garden. Biggles has been having great fun wandering around freely outside, and making the most of being able to run around letting off steam, and coming and going as he pleases as any dog should. Last week, however, he did manage to escape into our next door neighbour’s garden by jumping over a high grassy bank, but since then had not bothered and had been content to run around his patch. Unfortunately for our resident poultry, Lady Arabella and Lord Percy, he had also decided that to try and play with chickens was a good game so free access was blocked to the aviary area, but that did not stop our intrepid hero from jumping over the wall instead. Trellis was put up to prevent this, but it seems that he has found a way round that too.

All in all though, it seemed that the ample garden he has to romp in was enough to curtail any further thoughts of escape. That was until yesterday that is. It was one of those occasions when everyone thought someone else was where they weren’t. Graham had gone off to Barnstaple to drop off Richard Muirhead - who had been visiting for a couple of days - at the station, Jon had gone upstairs for a lie down, Oll was busy with some fish tanks - facilitating going to and fro from various parts of the house and garden - and I was working inside on my laptop. It suddenly dawned on me that not only was everyone else elsewhere, but that Biggles was also conspicuous by his absence. I had a look outside but no sign of him. Oll was under the impression that he had gone upstairs with Jon, so I checked but with no success. I went outside again, and called, and heard a slightly pathetic bark behind me. Turning around, there was the errant canine standing outside the garden gate asking to come back in.

He seemed a bit upset by his sudden freedom and appeared quite relieved to be allowed back home within the confines of familiar territory so we were hoping that a lesson had been taught. However, it seems that his intelligence is of the selective variety.

He has now been hoisted by his own petard and has, through his own actions, grounded himself. He can now no longer be let outside unless on the lead or under very strict supervision by someone. Hence he is now lying on the kitchen floor as I write this after several attempts to get me to take him outside on false pretences ie. going straight for his route into the neighbour’s garden.

Jon and Graham are presently out investigating the purchase of some more fencing to curtail his activities. Until then, complete with ball - but no baseball glove - the ‘King’ is back in the cooler.

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