Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dog walkers in France beware

French Village diaries dog walking traps France
Dog walkers in France beware
Living in rural France is not always as idyllic as it may seem. Over the years we have had tears over rats killing our ducklings, fouine (martins) killing our chickens, hunt dogs killing our ducks and bees invading our bedroom. Yesterday we unfortunately experienced another reminder that life here has it’s downs as well as ups.

The hunting season in France runs from September to March, but the local hunt have the authorisation to set traps for fox, fouine and ragondan throughout the year. Adrian was walking our dog Mini while I was out at Ed's school running an English conversation club yesterday when she got her foot trapped in a snare. As I wasn’t there he had to leave her screaming and alone in the field while he ran the 3 km back home to get the car. You can imagine the distress felt by them both I am sure. I met him at the vet where they had to sedate Mini in order to free her leg, which thankfully is undamaged. The same can’t be said for Adrian as while he was trying to release her she bit him quite badly on the hand, however the vets were brilliant and cleaned and bandaged him while waiting for Mini’s sedation to take effect. They did advise us to see the doctor, which we said we would, but had wanted to free the dog first. This produced quite a bit of laughter as we all realised the dog had been prioritised over Adrian – oops!

I have spoken to our Maire and these traps, although evil seem to be legal. I will be asking for warning signs to be placed in areas where they have been set, but the only other thing I can think of doing is spreading the word to other dog walkers. If you walk your dog in rural France, please be on the look out for traps, often baited with meat which greedy dogs like ours can sniff out from a long way off. Please share this post with your dog walking friends so we can save other sore paws.


French Village Diaries car cleaning Mini Cooper
My penance 
I think I have made up for my husband neglect by hoovering out the inside of his car which is being prepared for our next big adventure, an eight day road trip via the Canal du Midi, the Cevennes, Provence, The Mediterranean, Mont Ventoux, the Massif Central, Dordogne and home. We love Mini Cooper road trips in France and this seemed a great way to celebrate the 20th birthday of our Mini Cooper Gizmo. 


French Village Diaries dog walking france
A calm dog walk

I’m pleased to report that today both my patients are feeling much better and we all enjoyed a sunny, relaxing dog walk this afternoon with no unnecessary excitement.