………… and Bunty is about to explode.


Vets do say the silliest things at times. One once told me after my old horse Cassie had been on box rest for six weeks to turn her out but don’t let her go mad! Well the vet was mad to think a thoroughbred in for six weeks wasn’t going to bronco across the field at 90mph. She did and all I hoped was that the stitches had done their job… they had.

When the vet told me three weeks ago having stitched Bunty’s paw, no walks, on lead at all times and just generally keep her calm, that really was a daft thing to say. I wouldn’t have minded but the vet owns a Springer herself!

There has been a lot of “no Bunty, down Bunty, DON’T DO THAT Bunty, will you just CALM DOWN Bunty” repeated over and over again.

Finally at the end of week two I couldn’t cope any longer and decided to take her for a gentle stroll. There is a lovely flat walk along the river below the farm. It’s in a steep sided valley so the other dogs could go bananas up and down the sides, Bunty on lead and Merlin – aged 15 1/2 – could stroll gently alongside. Best Mate suggested to tie two slip leads together to give her more freedom. Like the vet’s idea that proved very STUPID too.

I parked up, three Springers burst from the car. Peppa being a pretty Labrador did a nice controlled jump. Merlin was lifted out giving his Auntie a hernia in the process. Before I could stop Bunty she had flung herself out landing heavily on hurty paw. I had only gone 50 yards, my arm was out of its socket, there was no feeling in my hand where the lead acted like a tourniquet and I hit the decks.  

My predigree pooch had morphed into a cross between a meerkat and Zebbedee on speed. It bounced on two legs, it leaped, it turned itself inside out, it did a wonderful back flip that would make any gymnast proud. After a few more yards it seemed to calm down and moped alongside me, walking nicely to heel which it can do. Peace was regularly shattered as one of my other girls burst out of the woods in front of us sending Bunty into a Zebbedee overdrive bouncing like a dog possessed.


I gave up half away along and decided to turn back.  

Just before the bridge where the car was parked, the path climbs higher than the river by about 10ft, in normal circumstances not a problem for a Springer scarpering around or anything to worry the owner. However, for me that lovely Spring day it caused a huge problem. Bunty had been calm but she spotted a pheasant on the far bank. It was one of those moments in life when time goes into slow motion. I saw her leap, I felt the almighty tug on lead as my arm left its socket again and Springer leaped off the cliff hurtling me towards the edge. I do remember – like in a cartoon – seeing Bunty flying through the air suddenly suspended for a split second as she reached the end of the lead before hurtling back towards me. I do remember hitting the decks – again – and I do remember the thud of a Springer Spaniel landing at speed on top of me. Before pain could hit, before I could get up it was off. I had let go of the lead……it was over the bridge and after that bloody pheasant, it was fine, not a scratch, not a leg or paw out of socket, boy did it move.  In her manic mist she ignored the whistle, so owner did her very best fish wife impression and yelled. It stopped she knew she had gone toooooooo far, owner was annoyed and she had to return. While she might have been fine and there was no damage to hurty paw, I have taken out both knees of my jeans, knees skinned and a chunk taken out of my elbow. Other than that we are both fine……………….