Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

What’s a squashed dog between neighbours?

Just because trespassers are local doesn’t mean their dogs won’t be trampled by our horses

[Photo: Mlenny]

Not long after he took on a smallholding for his cobs, the builder boyfriend found a couple walking through his fields with their dog.

They had appeared out of nowhere, apparently by squeezing through a small hole in the hedge with a neighbouring property.

As there is no footpath through his land, the BB was perplexed. ‘Can I help you?’ he called. But the smartly dressed couple waved him away. ‘No, thank you!’ the man called back politely enough, as he and his wife walked on with their spaniel, which darted this way and that, soon entangling itself with Jimmy and Duey, the builder b’s black and white cobs.

The horses ran around the dog and the dog ran around the horses and the whole thing threatened to end in a terrible mess of squashed dog, so the BB ran over and insisted they put the dog on the lead and get out of his fields quickly. And yes, he may have embellished that. But it was an emergency, for at that moment the smaller and more capricious of his two horses, Duey, was commencing a flat-out charge towards them, nose down, like a bull.

Not long after that, I happened to be there mucking out while the BB was at work, when the same man walked by the gate, stopped, and stood staring at the stable block.

I walked over and introduced myself and the man asked what a statue of Mary was doing by the water trough.

‘Oh, she used to be in my garden in London,’ I explained. ‘My other half rescued her out of a skip. When we moved here he decided he would like her to guard his horses.’ The man looked at me askance.

Sometimes, it is a shock to see yourself as others see you.

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