A few weeks ago I had a terrifying experience: I was driving my Nissan Navara with six dogs on their dog beds in the cab. The cab is isolated from the front of this truck and the door at the back is a standard “flap-down” door. Usually we worry that the dogs are warm, hence we give them nice dog beds and that, when we open the door to let them out, they don’t get their paws or legs stuck in the gap between door and floor of the cab. But what happened was far worse: Having travelled about 20 miles on a small road, I pulled in to a lay-by and a Land Rover pulled in behind me. The driver told me that the door of my car was open.
In utter panic I realised that my big, lovely GWP was missing. The door must have opened up while we were driving and he would have been chucked out on the tarmac. I was with my friend, Anne, and we back traced our drive, scanning the sides of the road and the fields. I flashed and stopped every car coming the other way to ask if they had seen a dog. I also gave them my mobile number.
All I could think of was that I would find a mangled dog and would have to take him to the vet to have him put down. I would be going home with no dog to put on his dog bed. It was awful.
We had driven for what seemed like an eternity, but it was about five miles, when the phone rang. It was the local gillie, who informed me that the dog had been found. He was not injured!!! A game-keeper from another estate had come past him standing at the side of the road and actually recognised him as Gollum from the dog bed company. Thanks to a lucky fall, he must have spread the impact over his whole body and therefore not broken anything. He had a graze on his shoulder and on his bum, that was all.
That night I did come home with a dog, in fact all my dogs, and they all went to sleep on their dog beds none the wiser.