The most horrendous walk ever

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Crying The most horrendous walk ever

Post by LizP on Mon Sep 03 2018, 07:38

On Saturday, we took Chaos and Millie for a walk we've done several times before, a lovely varied walk on farm tracks, between fields then up through the forest to home. It started out fine, they were having a great time picking blackberries and just snuffling about. Then we turn up off the track between a field and a hedge. The field usually has crops in but this time there were some cows, kept in by a single strand of electrified wire. It was well above dog height so I didn't worry.

After a short distance, there was a fence post that has fallen over, so the wire was on the floor and in towards the path. Chaos and I were almost past when Millie, following behind with my husband, clipped it and got stung. She yelped and Chaos spun round, getting his legs caught up. He was probably stung 3 or 4 times before he stepped out of it. Of course, by spinning round he managed to bring more posts down and also pulled it closer to the hedge, leaving us only a narrow gap with the wire on one side and a bank of nettles on the other. Both going forwards and back were the same.

He was terriefied and it was hard to get him to listen to anything. I tried to get him to walk towards the hedge but the nettles were in the way - he might have thought they were what had stung him and he wasn't having any of it so kept pulling away from them which was, of course, towards the wire. My husband picked Millie up and lifted her into the field out of the way but while I was trying to get Chaos to at least stand still for a moment he pulled stepped towards the field and got his legs caught again. He was again repeatedly stung and was howling to break my heart. While my brain was still racing to thing how best to deal with it, he freed himself and stepped into the field.

He could barely walk to start off with, he was so traumatised. We walked slowly, partly to give him time to calm down and partly because he soon just started trying to bolt. I kept him on his line for the rest of the field (we got back under ok further up), then up a lane and on into the forest, where I let him off to see if that would help him relax. For the whole of the rest of the walk, he shook, kept sitting down, and twice screamed as something brushed his legs. It took us an hour to get home, a very long hour indeed.

For the next 3 hours, he just lay on my bed shaking. I lay with him for a while but that didn't help. Eventually I closed the blinds, got under the duvet with him and finally he went to sleep. When he woke up, it took treats and persuasion to get him to come downstairs again - he needed to see that the world was back to normal.

That was in France, we're now back in the UK and can do our normal walks here, no nasty wire, and hopefully he'll have put that behind him when we're back in France in a month. We have so many fantastic walks there we can avoid that one for ever more if needed - knowing Chaos he'd struggle to overcome such an ordeal.

And that was all on top of Nola deciding she's terrified of the beep the cooker makes when you change the temperature, to the point that she was refusing to come into the house between 6 and 8 in the evening. I've not desensitised her to the beep yet (sadly I can't stop it beeping) but I did manage, with not inconsiderable time, effort and copious treats, to get her settled in the house in the evening, even with me going in and out of the kitchen.

What a week!


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by gillybrent on Mon Sep 03 2018, 10:44

Wow, what an awful experience! I hate those electric wires - I know why the farmers use them, but I wish they'd use something else. I hope Chaos can get over his pain & fear, poor boy, and after all the effort you've put into him as well.

My cooker beeps as well - very annoying, but probably doubly so for a dog!

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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Sep 03 2018, 19:39

Poor Millie and poor poor Chaos.
I hope he remembers all of the fun stuff in France over this freak and unfortunate incident. Doesn’t sound like the fencing was very well installed if a medium-sized dog managed to bring further posts down.

Gilly> just wondering what you would suggest farmers use as an alternative fencing ? I personally think electrified wire is miles better than barbed wire. Post and rail just isn’t possible for most farmers (cost and maintenance) and even bushes don’t withstand a cow determined to get to the other side of the boundary.


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by Jenc on Mon Sep 03 2018, 19:51

Oh poor Chaos & little Millie, hope they are both ok now Smile I must say I was worried something even worse had happened when you mentioned cows!! Our local farmer has put hers out with very young calves on the fields that have a footpath through them! I won't go near them as mum's are very protective, Katy is petrified of them Surprised


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by LizP on Mon Sep 03 2018, 20:12

Thanks for your kind thoughts, all. Chaos feels much better for hearing them (I read them all out to him, of course).

I think the problem with the fencing was that it was temporary. It's not normally got livestock in it, the farmer had just stuck a handful of cows on for a while for some reason. I don't like it either but I do understand why he used it.

I know what you mean about the potential problem of protective cows, or even others that decide they're going to get too close. We were chased on a footpath once - I've been used to cows up close for a long as I can remember through the farming side of the family and they worried even me. It's the only time I've deliberately not left an open gate as I found it, shutting it was the only way of stopping them. That was another horrendous walk (20 years ago, though).



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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by gillybrent on Tue Sep 04 2018, 17:04

Nifty staffy wrote:
Gilly> just wondering what you would suggest farmers use as an alternative fencing ? I personally think electrified wire is miles better than barbed wire. Post and rail just isn’t possible for most farmers (cost and maintenance) and even bushes don’t withstand a cow determined to get to the other side of the boundary.

Barbed wire is nasty stuff - but you can set up a post & wire fence fairly quickly & cheaply; miles better than electric wire on a public footpath! What if a child had got caught by it?

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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by Jenc on Tue Sep 04 2018, 20:20

Good news Liz, the cows have been moved back near the farm but the bull is now out on the footpaths Surprised Surprised


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by Nifty staffy on Tue Sep 04 2018, 21:13

gillybrent wrote:
Nifty staffy wrote:
Gilly> just wondering what you would suggest farmers use as an alternative fencing ? I personally think electrified wire is miles better than barbed wire. Post and rail just isn’t possible for most farmers (cost and maintenance) and even bushes don’t withstand a cow determined to get to the other side of the boundary.

Barbed wire is nasty stuff - but you can set up a post & wire fence fairly quickly & cheaply; miles better than electric wire on a public footpath! What if a child had got caught by it?

I completely understand and agree with your concerns regarding a child getting caught up in the electric fencing but post and wire fencing will not hold up against an itchy adult cow ...
there should have been warning signs on the fencing and it probably wasn’t supposed to be on the ground.

I think Liz was really in the wrong place at the wrong time Sad
How are Millie and Chaos getting on btw ? And has Nola changed her mind about the cooker ? Smile


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by LizP on Wed Sep 05 2018, 08:22

Ok, so on the wire... this was a temporary bit of fencing on a rural track. I can't see that a farmer would use barbed wire to run along one strip of land for a few days. It would have been useful if there had been a couple of little signs hanging from the wire - it wasn't obvious until you saw it if that makes sense - but otherwise I genuinely don't have a problem with the fencing itself. My guess is that a cow leaned over to get at the grass the other side and pulled it down then.

I don't know about other parts of France but very, very few people walk round here, the risk of there being a child was close to zero. I do also think that when you walk on farmland, you do have to consider that it is someone's business, someone's livelihood, and there has to be understanding on both sides. Should there be cattle that are known to be a risk to walkers in a field? No, probably not. Can a farmer be expected to check every metre of fencing every day? No, definitely not. The fencing was reasonable for where it was and what it was for, it was, as Nifty says, just one of those things and we were there at the wrong time.

Millie's fine, she bounced straight back - surprisingly giving how she can shake at other random things still - Chaos is still slightly one edge. I tripped over something yesterday and he went into a panic, which I don't think he would have otherwise. Hopefully he'll be fine in France when we're back there next month too.



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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed Sep 05 2018, 09:53

Oh no that's a terrible thing to happen. Glad to hear they were not hurt and hopefully are back to normal x


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Crying Re: The most horrendous walk ever

Post by dizzy on Wed Sep 05 2018, 12:04

What an awful thing to happen, you never know what's round the next corner do you. Glad they're both alright.
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