Remember he’s a doggy

Bruce is such a character – and such a part of our family – that it can take a rather drastic situation to remind me that, actually, the little guy is first and foremost a dog with canine instincts.


The other week we camped at a farm and followed the farm’s code to the letter, always keeping Bruce on a lead when outside. There were plenty of chickens roaming around and, as our best friends have free-range chickens and ducks with which Bruce and his two best friends happily share the garden, we weren’t too worried. But we obeyed the rules to the letter in a typically British fashion.

Like butter wouldn't melt! (Photograph is a simple snap on an iPhone)

Like butter wouldn’t melt!

There was one particular cockerel who visited our camp every day. He was supremely unattractive but really rather friendly, and seemed to enjoy the company of people, following us about as we fiddled with tent pegs or cooked outdoors. It was all very amiable and we called him Colonel Sanders.

But all was not as it seemed as far as Bruce was concerned. He could tolerate this imposter only so far. And, on the fourth day, Bruce declared in spectacular fashion that Colonel Sanders had outstayed his welcome.

We were inside the tent, with the door zipped up, the tiniest gap at the bottom for airflow. Bruce could see Colonel Sanders through the window strutting about outside. All of a sudden, as quick as a flash, Bruce shot through the seemingly impossible gap and hurtled after poor Colonel Sanders, who could be seen dashing away at full pelt and squawking alarmingly, lifting his feathers like a lady in a huge skirt as he ran.

Heart in my mouth, I leapt to my feet, threw open the zip and charged out, yelling for Bruce, who came back promptly I was relieved to see. Until I noticed the three feathers in his mouth, arranged like a little white beard as if he’d aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. I was aghast. I HAD aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. And as for Colonel Sanders, I was terrified that the last 10 seconds had been his last 10 seconds on earth. There was absolutely no sign of him. I went to reception, recounted the terrible tale and asked if we could look in the hen houses to see if the Colonel was alright. I prayed that Bruce hadn’t harmed the old chap.

We found Sanders in one of the houses, with ruffled feathers but seemingly OK. I was so relieved that Bruce hadn’t bitten him – it would have been the first time he’d harmed anything and it would have been very upsetting for everyone – not least Sanders himself. Bruce surely could have killed the chicken if he’d wanted to. But, mercifully, Sanders had lived to tell the tale with just a few feathers out of place and a little less dignity than he’d displayed earlier that day.

It wasn’t until the next day that we saw Colonel Sanders brave the great outdoors and join his chums for the morning dirt scratch. And he never visited our tent again. We couldn’t blame him.

So Bruce may be the canine equivalent of Einstein (yes, OK, I’m biased) but he’s still a dog. And he makes sure I don’t forget it!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

2 responses to this post.

  1. hee hee, only 3 feathers – you need to be quicker next time!

    ps I haven’t tried camping yet, but am being threatened with that this summer (if we have a summer, of course)



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