As Tippy got older she was allowed out of the garden more and one of the first walks we used to do was go and close the yard gate on an evening. We would then walk across the top of the yard and then down the field behind the farmyard and up through what we called the bottom gate and so back to the house. However from the very beginning when I would walk her round on a lead she had a thing about the bottom gate, she would not walk though it so I always had to carry her through the gateway back to the house.
Anyway one night I gave her a trial walk without the lead once in the field and everything went fine until we got to the dreaded gate when on seeing it she turned tail and ran for home, the only trouble being was that she ran the long way round, the way we had just come. I being worried as to where she was going set off after her in hot pursuit. Had I known what I was later to learn I would have been much better off going through the bottom gate where I would have met her coming the other way but as it was I didn’t know if she would find her way back home.
I lost track of her before I got to the top of the field because even at that early age she was way faster than me. So with darkness fast approaching there now followed another prolonged game of hide and seek with the dog, only this time she wasn’t confined to the garden, she had the whole run of the farmyard and all the wonderful hiding places it had to offer a Border Collie that could squeeze in to the smallest of hiding places. It used to take me at least ten minutes of coaxing, prodding and cursing to get her out of a bush that I knew she was in so I was pretty stressed about the prospect of finding her out in the open yard, especially as I had no clue as to where to start looking. Anyway after goodness knows how long she gave her self away in the old garage by the back garden gate. I think she had probably run down there intending to go back in to the garden through the gate by which we left the garden but couldn’t get through because it was closed so did the next best thing and hid in the garage which was full of all sorts of farm rubbish.
In the picture above I’ve marked the intended walking route in green and Tippy’s return route in red.
This is the garden where Tippy spent her first few months, note the clipped conifer bushes which she used to like to hide under. This picture was taken when she was a bit older and not so shy.