My best typing finger is hurting.
As Tess is basically going balmy, she can now only be exercised on a Flexi. So that means the joy of letting both dogs out of the kitchen first thing to run around like mad things and do their business is now not an option. Chances are Tess will leap the boundary fence and the one after that, too and who knows what she'll do if she meets a plane spotter, or a plasterer or indeed anyone.
So this morning our routine was I got fully dressed with shoes on before I let them out. I put Tess on the Flexi and Oscar still gets to run around like a nutter.
To make the morning gallop a little more interesting I decided to take both dogs into our paddock. It is fenced, but not to Tess levels of security. And up until today I'd assumed it was Oscar proof, too.
On the first circuit of our wild and overgrown paddock everyone was enjoying the sniffs and having fun. At the end of the second circuit Oscar vanished.
I caught a glimpse of the end of his tail disappearing into a hedge and my heart pretty much stopped.
Tess escaping is something I've come to dread but expect and I am now fairly confident that even though it will take some time, she will eventually find her way back. But Oscar is as good at direction as me and sadly he doesn't have Sat Nav.
I was relieved when after much rushing up and down I could at last see Oscar bounding about in next door's garden, and Tess and I rushed to a bit that was separated only by trellis. He could see us and we could see him, but there was no way through. The only way out was either to wake up the already grumpy neighbours - this was crack of dawn stuff - or try to get Oscar back through the hedge.
Oscar seemed to want to come back, but seemed to have totally forgotten how he got through in the first place.
I decided to gamble.
I asked Tess to bring Oscar back and took the brake off the Flexi. The hedge was very deep - probably 15 feet at least. Tess needed to go in a straight line and not deviate or she'd run out of line or get all tangled up inside the hedge herself!
She seemed to understand perfectly what was needed and off she went and Oscar followed her back through the hole.
When he emerged he was considerably larger than when he started. He was wearing much of the hedge.
Which is why my best typing finger is hurting. It was a very prickly bush and I had to help him out of these very uncomfortable new clothes!
Tess is off to get her DNA test in a moment. Oscar is off to the groomers - I'm going to be popular! There's still enough woodwork in his coat to build a raft.
And today I start a radical new diet. Already had my first 20 minutes of vigorous exercise running up and down the fence trying to get Oscar back!