It was my first morning of property hunting and I could tell that Rummage was properly bored with being left in the car while I went and did the viewings. So after a morning of seeing truly unsuitable rental properties I set off to find a place for her to stretch her legs. I drove up a no through lane in a quiet Dorset village and found a track leading into a field. I parked a little way before a gate outside a cottage set back from the lane and took Rummy out of the car. She frolicked ahead with delight and we set off into the field for a walk and for her to do her business. We carried on for a while to give her some exercise before coming back to the car. Now, at this point I should mention that Rummage did not like getting into the car! So when I went to put her lead on and pick her up to pop her into the car she skipped off. I took some treats from my pocket and calling her name very nearly got her back to me when she heard a dog bark from inside the cottage. Rummage’s little ears pricked up and she immediately ran through the garden gate and, as the front door was open, went straight into the house. I called and called and did a sort of hissing sound implying being cross, but to no avail. Then to my horror I heard the unmistakable sound of a metal dog bowl being pushed around a stone floor in the house. Scrape, scrape I could hear it on the flagstones as Rummage was obviously finishing off whatever food the poor dog had left. I was just about to go through the gate when to my relief Rummage appeared from the house followed by an elderly woman. I called out to offer my apologies. She was attired in a dressing gown and slippers and was saying”Shoo Shoo, Shoo Shoo” in an attempt to get Rummage out of her house. “Shoo shoo, shoo shoo” she repeated as she shuffled down the path. Her old dog appeared beside her and she said to me “Don’t worry dear Dawgs will be dawgs”. At this point I was full of gratitude and was about to grasp Rummage by the collar when the old dog woofed, whereupon a cockerel in the garden crowed. OMG this was too much for Rummage who shot past me and the woman straight into the garden and started chasing the cockerel. The old dog went after Rummage, the old woman shuffled after the old dog, and I bounced into action and ran behind all of them in my wellies in an attempt to catch my dawg! The cockerel ran round and round the garden as Rummage enjoyed the thrill of the chase. I was shouting for Rummy as well as apologising to the lady who could only say “Dawgs will be dawgs, dawgs will be dawgs.” After several circuits of the garden the cockerel decided to shoot through the fence and squawked its way down the lane. Of course Rummage followed. The old woman was some way behind me when to my complete and utter shock I saw that Rummage had grabbed the cockerel by its neck and was standing over it in the road. I turned to the woman and said in a rather shrill and anxious voice “oh I am so sorry I think she’s killed it”. “Dawgs will be dawgs” she said. As I got closer Rummy released the poor bird which, after a few seconds, jumped up and ran through a hedge. But the worst and most ghastly part was a sight I was completely unprepared for and will never forget ….as it stood up, the cockerel shed its feathers and there in the middle of the road like some glorious feather coat lay the cockerel’s beautiful plumage.
In hindsight I wish I had thought of taking a photo but at that moment all I could think of was catching Rummage who now, clearly enjoying the sport after a morning of total boredom, had set off after the cockerel once more. I found her trying to squeeze through a fence in hot pursuit of the now bald bird. I did a sort of rugby tackle and this time held on to her collar and collected her up under my arm. By now the poor woman was at my side and still kindly assuring me that dawgs will be dawgs and we started walking back towards her cottage and my car. “I am so sorry” I said. “I’ll give you my details so if you need to take him to the vet I will of course pay the bill”. “Take him to the vet” she chortled, “we won’t be taking him to the vet, he’ll be in the pot for Sunday Lunch.”