We have had an absolutely lovely impromptu camping break, taking advantage of the summer's first properly glorious weather this week. We'd originally booked three nights but added a further two in a bout of devil-may-care extravagance.
Small Dog had what can only be described as mixed fortunes. She does love going away in the caravan and embraces the camping life with gusto, but during this trip she had a few misadventures.....
The first occurred on our second morning, as she was scrabbling to get out of the awning and velcroed her face to the bottom of the zip. I had already unzipped the door and was wondering why she wasn't racing outside. Instead she was pawing at her face and seemingly unable to move. I initially suspected that she'd caught an insect but closer investigation revealed that her whiskers and fur were firmly enmeshed in one of the little Velcro tabs. She did manage to free herself before I came to her aid, leaving a small chunk of face fur still attached to the Velcro.
I tried VERY HARD not to laugh......
The second misadventure wasn't the slightest bit funny, and happened on one of the days we went to the beach. I'd taken Small Dog down to the sea for me to have a paddle and her to cool her paws, which she did more or less willingly. On the way back up the beach I spotted a large dog, off its lead, bounding across the shingle towards us. Before I could react it was on us, pawing Small Dog, knocking her over in the process. I quickly picked her up out of harm's way, but the dog kept jumping up and trying to bite her, jaws snapping. At this point Small Dog let out an ear-splitting yelp and I tried to hold her up higher while the kept dog leaping up me from all directions at me, almost knocking me over too. By that time one of the group who owned the dog had arrived, apologising and saying that the dog was 'only a puppy' and wanted to play. I won't repeat my riposte here but I was really angry and shaken up.
All along the beach there are signs exhorting people to keep their dogs on leads but a sizeable minority ignore them and let their dogs rampage around uncontrolled.
Only last Sunday, a few miles from where we live, THIS happened, and in May this year there was a similar incident in Hastings Country Park which left a pet dog dead after it was attacked by two vicious, illegal dogs.
I'm seriously considering the purchase of an electric cattle prod, or pepper spray for Small Dog's (and our) protection while we're out on walks.