Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alfie Goes Walkabout Again

It's 5.45 a.m. and I go downstairs to make tea, as I do every morning. Alfie follows me down to the kitchen and goes to the sliding patio doors expecting to be let out. I set up the mugs on the worktop along with filling up the kettle at the sink (now, fortunately, running away smoothly.) Having finished at the worktop I let Alfie out, but as I do so next door's cat is seen disappearing over the fence. Alfie shoots off across the garden, chasing the cat, barking noisily. I call after him, but he ignores me and then he disappears through the hole in the fence. I am not exactly over-pleased, as you can imagine. I chase after him, calling for him and going to the hole in the fence. No sign of small Yorkshire Terrier, as it's pitch black and with the small pocket torch I attempt to shine the rather ineffectual pool of light produced by the torch through the hole into the trees behind the fence and lining the Redway behind the garden. From previous similar escaping dog events from Alfie, I would have expected him to yap when I call his name. I panic as I'm not sure where he is. I return to the house to see whether he has gone back into the bedroom, as he has a habit of hiding either behind the sofa in the lounge or upstairs and under the bed. He will hide in these places if he thinks he has done something wrong. Meanwhile, Carol has come out and is vainly calling for Alfie but still no success in finding him. Our other dog, Poppy, is in the kitchen and barking noisily near the patio door. It's as if she's trying to tell us something. We can hear Alfie's bark from somewhere, but it's not clear where. Then I go out into the garden, having by now changed out of my slippers into my trainers as I went across the wet grass in them and as a result got my feet sopping wet. I go to the clapped-out shed, which has the door hanging off as the hinges have given up and it's been kept up with a variety of oddments to keep it shut. I can hear Alfie inside the shed and have to pull the door open as best I can and there he is inside. I have to pull him out of the shed through the narrow gap in the door by catching hold of his collar and dragging him out. I still have no idea how he manages to get into the shed, but as he's so small he can get through almost any small hole. But I'm just glad to have him back, safe and sound. I know he wouldn't go far as he's not the world's most brave little dog and would not have survived very long when it's cold and wet. Relief all round. I actually get to complete the making of the tea which I had been attempting to make when all the bother over the escaping Alfie began. He doesn't wander far when we go of a walk and he's let off his lead. He will run ahead and keeps within eye contact of use and will run back to use when called so it's odd that he was in the shed and didn't respond by barking when I was calling him. I was just so worried that he might have run off and got on the road and got run over which would be tragic and doesn't bear thinking about.

As I've said on here before, our landlord had promised faithfully to repair the fence and after something like five months we are still waiting for something to be done. The state of the fence has deteriorated considerably since we had the visit when they surveyed the fence and we signed a new tenancy agreement and when we moved away from renting the house through Smartmove rental agency. I can't in all honesty see why it has taken so long to get things fixed. We know it was difficult to get new fence panels after the high winds of earlier this year, when no doubt a lot of fences got blown down in the same way that ours got blown down. We spent some time looking for replacement panels in various garden centres and builder's merchants in and around the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire area, but I can't see why the landlord couldn't have done something to at least fix the fence even if it's on a temporary basis.
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