We had our first "hunt" of the season last Sunday. It was a warm morning even at 5.00am and when we arrived, there were lots of new faces. With the smell of mackerel drifting in the air, Jamie and Jemma remembered exactly what they had to do.
They both ran well in the first couple of trials with Jamie gaining a second and third place. But they faded in the last few due to the rising temperature and lack of fitness. To celebrate the start of the season we had a fantastic breakfast courtesy of our in house chefs (Pompadom and Roti's owners).
It took me a while to realise that Jamie and Jemma were not among the dogs milling around the sizzling food. I checked every group of dogs and owners particularly where tit bits were being handed out, but no sign of them. Nor were they near the parked cars. After making several circuits, I headed up the hill to a higher vantage point. Surely the smell of fried bacon, eggs and sausage would ensure they would not go missing for long? But nothing.
I was getting desperate and pulled out the red whistle which I blasted long and hard (this did not endear me to the rest of the owners trying to relax and chat). But no reaction. It has been a while since I used the emergency whistle so no doubt Jamie and Jemma have forgotten what it means. After climbing higher and higher and looking 360 degrees, I thought I spotted a flash of the tip of a white tail in the distance. It was them. I don't know what they were doing. Going AWOL, I suppose. I also realised that the wind was blowing in the wrong direction so they had not sniffed breakfast on the breeze.
That day I met Jamie's grand father who is an 8 times winner of the Hunt and his owner told me he had often gone walkabout after the hunt. She would have to wait up to an hour for him to return. So maybe going walkabout is in Jamie's genes. His toe certainly did not seem to bother him (thank goodness).
There was not a peep from Jamie and Jemma for the rest of the day which they spent fast asleep and obviously wiped out. Now that is an end result worth achieving!