Love at First Sight

When I first met old Tudor I had never seen a Border Collie before in my life. I went to say hello, totally unaware of his reputation. He had:
  • Bitten the vet (legitimate target)
  • Bitten the postman (twice)
  • Bitten Isobel Adams, who until then had loved all dogs.
  • Seen off any other stranger that happened by.
Old Tudor the border collie at another gateI looked over the wall that controlled him and saw a totally wild dog running up and down with a metal saucepan in his mouth - the handle of which stuck right down his throat. He had obviously been totally ignored by the old lady who looked after him. I stepped closer to the wall and shouted: "Tudor".

He dropped the saucepan, put his paws on the wall, gave me that look, which I later learned meant: "Come on pardner, let's do something wicked!", licked my hand and we remained close friends for the duration of his life. Why he didn't bite me like he did everyone else I will never know. I decided to take him for a walk there and then and he faithfully followed me into the Country Park, where he soon revealed the comical side of his nature. Old Tudor always walked ahead, checking every path and every tree; but as yet he didn't know me very well, so he felt obliged to look back over his shoulder every so often to make sure that this foreign idiot walking behind him hadn't got lost or come to some kind of harm.

I can still see him heading towards that old oak tree, looking back at me over his shoulders whilst heading straight for the trunk. I could see what was about to happen, but didn't believe that a dog would be so silly. Tudor looked back to give me another encouraging look, his head swung forward and: 


The noble tree shook slightly. Tudor picked himself up, gave me an insulted and accusing look and trotted on, trying to pretend that nothing special had happened.

We continued the walk and came to the "Dog Leap". There is an old weir across the river here, but today the water was low and we could walk across the old stone works. In the middle of the structure the remaining water gushed into a small round pool and from hence into the river. The dog leap weir

I walked across, closely followed by the dog. I didn't know that the animal had never been in the woods before, and he had certainly never seen more than a dish full of water. Tudor quickly decided that the liquid would quite easily hold him and  he proceeded to walk happily across the pool.

He sank like a black and white stone! The water gushing from above made it impossible for him to get out again and the whirlpool was so small, he couldn't keep himself afloat by swimming. Luckily his head bobbed to the surface from time to time, and I eventually managed to reach in and fish the puzzled creature out by the scruff of the neck.

A totally wet, and marginally wiser dog would never go near water again for the rest of his long life.


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Tudor with sign
Acting the prat

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