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'The Joys Having a Pharaoh Hound'

by Graham  -- 3rd February 2009  4pm

I've only been back about 20 minutes and have just got out of a hot shower.

I've had a GREAT DAY!!!!! ..................UNFORGETABLE!!!!!! ..............................This is about living with Pharaohs!!!!!

Kurti really altered all my day plans. I had planned to walk the dogs, as usual, then take a few photos of snow scenes and also go around and put out some business flyers; then return home and feed the dogs. That was the plan... Kurti laid those plans to rest.

I had walked almost all of my route around the country park (Jeskyns near Gravesend) with the Pharaohs and was only about 5 minutes away from the car park when somehow Kurti managed to detach herself from her lead and shot off at the speed of light across the snow covered field. My heart sank as I know how difficult it is to get her back. She went over by the fence close to the road and then disappeared through a gap in the hedgerow, out into the road and out of my sight.

Kurti is now parading up and down because she wants her dinner. She can wait, I've got to load the washing machine and put my mobile phone on the radiator to dry out - hope it still works!!!

FORTUNATELY I HAD A SPARE MOBILE PHONE

I crossed over the field as quickly as I could with the other two and struggled to get through the gap in the hedge. Kurti was nowhere to be seen and did not respond to my calling her at all. I went back through the hedge incase she had doubled back.

About a 1/4 mile away, round the bend of the road, are some farm buildings belonging to the forestry commission. I headed in that direction as Florrie once ran towards them. As I got closer I could hear Kurti's high pitched screech she makes when in hunting mode. It sounded as if she was in one of the buildings. She still didn't respond to my calling her. As I got closer I checked out the buildings but couldn't see her but could hear her noise which now sounded as if it was behind the buildings. As I turned the corner I could see a very large country house and a lady standing there. I called and asked if she could see her. The answer came back that she was in the middle of the lady's pond.

I went round to the lady in her garden and there was Kurti standing on a little island in the middle of the pond. She had apparently seen a moorhen on the island and had run across the ice. The ice, about an inch thick, obviously took Kurti’s weight while moving fast. The ice around the island had began to break and she obviously knew not to stand on it. I tried to tempt her with biscuits and gave the others some but she wouldn't budge. I got on my knees and tried to slide biscuits across the ice to stop just in front of her hoping she would take the bait and make a move but no way was she going to budge. I asked the lady if she had a ladder but that was only a step ladder and wouldn't open out to be long enough. She then she had some waders I could use and went and got them. I tethered the other two Pharaohs to a post. I put the waders on as best as I could and started out across the pond, my feet getting stuck in the mud. I went to steady myself, putting my hand on the inch thick ice. It cracked and gave way, I lost my balance and fell forward getting soaked. I struggled back to the edge.

The lady went off to see if she had a bigger ladder in her garage. As I was soaking wet I decided to go for it and wade across and grab Kurti. I just kept breaking the ice with my hands and kept moving across the pond. I got within a yard of the island but could not get up as it sloped underwater and was slippery. I tempted Kurti with a biscuit to stretch forward and grabbed her collar. I tried to carry her but with her struggling had to let go. She just scrambled forward on to the ice which kept giving way and carried on until we got to the edge of the pond. She scrambled up and had a shake. I was desperately trying to get out fearing she would run off again. She made her way over to the house but came to me as I approached. I took her coat off her so she could shake herself dry. I then hooked her back up with the others and attached an extra lead. I put my boots back on and thanked the lady for her help. She disappeared into her house and I set off back to the car. That lady now has a great story to relate over dinner with her family or when entertaining.

Funnily enough I didn't feel cold even though I was soaking wet. The beagles were screaming for their walk so I quickly took them around a short route, came back home and went straight up for a hot shower.