My Shaggy Dog Story
A couple of weeks back I came out to find a shaggy dog in the garden. I shut the gate and try to get his attention. No such luck - as usual I'm am considered pas intéressant. Whilst I am inside contemplating my next move, he wanders off after opening the gate himself. Clever dog. I expect that's not the first gate he's done that to recently.
He was returned to us a couple of hours later by our neighbours with a nice new collar and lead of blue bailing twine and and bag of dog food. Could we sort it out please? Sure why not. Scruffy, as he's is now called, is an old friend. Well sort off. He likes me enough to eat my baguette end instead of the dog food. Clever dog. The bread is much more wholesome looking.
We call the local gendarmerie, who takes down Scuffys details and then politely informs us what we already know - that the mairie is responsible for lost dogs. We'd called the mairie already and the nice guy there said that he'll call around the other mairie's and see if a lost dog was reported and then call us back.
After a few hours we had not heard back so called the mairie again. No-one had reported a dog missing. Nevermind we said, can we drop him off with you? He asked us what sort it was. We describe him as scruffy, kind and not hungry. Satisfied that it wasn't a dog he wanted, he says "Er, no, the best thing to do is just to leave the gate open and let him find his own way home". So much for the mairie. As useful as ever IMHO. Scruffy takes another hopeful look in his new dog bowl. His disappointment matches mine.
So we called the local gendarmerie again, speaking to a new chap who took down the dogs particulars once more and agreed that the suggestion of the mairie was not good. He then told us what we'd already decided to do - take him to the vets to see if he was chipped. If not they can keep him there, he added. That's was news of a sort.
So we bundle Scruffy into the car and drive the twenty minutes to the vet with him lounging like a king on the back seat. We explain all to the receptionist who scans Scruffy and finds a chip. It's not one of their patients so another system must be used. She first calls the vet to work out how, clicks furiously a bit, then calls the number of the house Scruffy lives in (about 5 km from ours) and finds someone in, who is indeed missing one scruffy looking dog or "Februce" they prefer to call him.
We arrange to meet at our house in a bon 30 minutes and drive home. Scruffy lounges all the way back. They arrive as expected in a good hour. Scruffy is happy. They are happy. They take Scruffy and leave wine. We are happy.
The assortment of tweeny girls staying with our neighbours are not so happy. Scruffy, although he didn't know it, was to be smuggled back to England with them to be their new pet. A better plan than the guy at the mairie had had, but not by much.