On Sunday’s dog-walk, it was one of those perfect days. A temperature of 21C (70F) made even more pleasant by a gentle easterly breeze, just enough to move the long grass.
With 90% of the area now dry ground, and no need for boots, Ollie and I made a few tours of Beetley Meadows, then twice around Hoe Rough. He only went into the river once to drink, and didn’t seem to be feeling the heat at all.
The whole area was unusually quiet, leading me to suspect that most people had headed to the nearby coastal resorts, or decided to have family time and barbecues in their gardens.
When we got back and started to head for the woodland area, I saw some other dog walkers. A family with a small poodle cross, and a man with a terrier. Then in the middle of the widest path, bold as brass, we all saw a young deer, nibbling happily at something by the edge. It had long, spindly legs and big eyes that made me think of Disney’s Bambi. It surely had no idea about where it was, and showed no fear of me as I approached.
But then all three dogs spotted it, and the hunt was on!
Although the dogs didn’t know each other, pack mentality took over, and they rushed off together barking, yapping, and yelping.
Fortunately for the juvenile deer, instinct kicked in, and it took off bounding gracefully, easily outstripping the three dogs as it jumped the three-bar fence back into the woodland.
We were left with three frustrated and panting dogs, who had participated in a very short and fruitless hunt.