I think I mentioned that I chased some red deer up a Torridon hillside last Saturday.
My version of events (and I am sticking to it) is that, after a few minutes' excitement, I heroically overcame my lupine genetic inheritance and, obedient chappie that I am, rejoined Gail on the footpath and allowed the deer to escape my clutches. I am confident you will recognise any alternative version, for example to the effect that I got tired and panicked 'cos I thought I'd lost Gail, as a ridiculous fabrication.
Now let us consider for a moment the broader issues here.
Point number one: it is almost universally agreed that Scotland's red deer population is out of control, resulting in over-grazing of both crops and trees, to the detriment of the country's economy and ecology.
Point number two: one reason for the explosion in numbers is that wolves have been extinct in Scotland for around two hundred years, thus deer have no natural predators.
Point number three: schemes to reintroduce wolves to Scotland have been shelved, due to concerns from farmers and lack of space.
So I have been conducting a wee thought experiment.
What if us dogs were allowed to run free in the hills and take on the wolves' historic role?
Surely this would work just brilliantly.
After all, there are a lot of us pups in Scotland, so we could take turns in order that we also could fulfil our domestic pet duties. With regular exercise chasing longer limbed prey, the current canine obesity crisis would be solved at a stroke, and problems caused by dogs suffering from boredom and under-stimulation would likewise be a thing of the past. With a regular supply of free venison, plus antlers to chew of course, our owners would have to stop whinging about the cost of kibble and treats.
Yes I really am convinced that I am onto something here. I would be more than happy to organise a pilot project in the Torridon area. How about I invite Fenton up to Scotland to inaugurate the scheme? A little ceremony involving the cutting of a lead might serve as useful PR. Perhaps a prize could be arranged for the first chihuahua to bring down a Monarch of the Glen?
The more I think about the idea, the more I like it.
What could possibly go wrong?
PS from Gail: A big thank you to all those who suggested remedies for Bertie's sore paw. I am pleased to say that time and rest worked their healing magic and forty-eight hours after the epic hike he was back to his customary bouncing self. But I have ordered a tub of 'Bag Balm' to keep in reserve for the next time I under-estimate the distance and roughness of a walk in the hills!
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