Trespassers will be pursued

One day, when old Tudor was still young Tudor, I heard voices from the back of the house and went to investigate. The back yard was a large wide-open milk-yard. A place where noisy milkmen came to restock their smelly vans in order to dump sour milk at people's doorsteps during the night. To Tudor it was paradise - he would roam it all day long, and it was a courageous milkman who would dare to challenge him.

However, this day was different. Up the yard strolled eight to ten young hooligans, tartan scarves wrapped around their hips, making purposefully towards our house. Tudor was by my Tudor in his yardside, barking furiously. I decided to find out what the trouble was and approached the invading army. Halfway there I developed doubts as to the viability of this strategy. Six foot five against ten times five foot six are not good odds, and the boys looked mean and drunk. I sport a foreign accent, and some people object to this handicap, so I got worried.

Tudor was obviously dying to have a go, so I said:"Whoosss whoosss" which in tudorspeak meant :"Off you go. Do whatever you think is right.". 

There followed a demonstration of professionalism the likes of which I have never witnessed before or again. The young boys were spread out in a long line across the yard, heading towards me. Tudor raced straight to the guy on the left, snarled furiously and jumped up in the air. He didn't wait however and went straight down the line, growling at every single one of the backstreet heroes. He honoured the last one by snarling, jumping high and bouncing off his chest. Again he didn't hesitate but made his way straight back down the decelerating line. It was such an obviously competent performance that the fellow on the far left hadn't the courage to await another attack, but turned and moved away. The closer the dog came the faster he ran. By the time Tudor had reached him, he was in full flight.

Running to the yard
Instead of going after him, the noble dog turned like a trooper and charged down the line again. This time he put the whole platoon to flight. They raced like mad towards the exit and I never saw them and their tartan scarves again. The minute they were in full flight Tudor stopped his pursuit and came back to me, proud as a king. He marched up and down the yard with a fearful growl in his throat and his tail was pointing so high, passing aircraft were in danger of collision.

I know that police dogs can do such things - they are trained for it, but how a pet border collie could know how to turn  ten people - every one of whom was a giant compared to the dog - is something I still can't fathom. I reckon the dog saved my health, if not my life.


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