Here’s a bit of a heartwarming story to cheer folk up on a wet Saturday afternoon.
I was walking over the Hampshire Downs yesterday when I approached a style. My dog was off on his travels, terrorising rabbits and pheasants but as always, I knew he would turn up at some point.
Anyway, as I stepped over the style, I didn’t realise the other side was broken, so, comically, as my foot landed on the plank, it was too late to realise it was held up by thin air and nothing else.
As I landed in long gross and rutted land, my ankle turned over and I fell to the floor in a state of extreme pain, nausea, and of course, standard male hypochondria that made me instantly think “If that’s not broken, I don’t know what is?!”
So, in a bit of shock, I vomited a bit and wondered how I would get back to my car, which was about half a mile away. Obviously, this was not the stuff of Captain Scott in the Antarctic but alarming enough for a big blouse like me on a warm October afternoon.
Then, from nowhere, the dog turned up and led by my side licking me. For a good ten minutes, as I debated calling out an ambulance or a friend, he stayed stationery by my side, which for a working cocker spaniel, must feel like an eternity.
The pain in my ankle eased a little, so, somewhat gingerly, I got up and tried to walk. The dog watched me get up and followed me all the way back to the car without straying more than a metre away from me for the whole painful and limping journey.
When I got back to the car I was glad that I hadn’t wasted much needed NHS money as it now appeared that I was just suffering from swelling and bad bruising. I was even more glad to learn that in a crisis, a dog will forget all else around him and go into a kind of default loyalty setting.
I guess that’s why they are known as a man’s best friend.