My Mum has a history of losing dogs.
The first time it happened my Mum took Tessa to Tesco's in the evening when it was dark. She got her stuff and went home.
A few hours later somebody noticed that somebody had seen Tessa for a while. When you have got dogs they usually follow you about the house and when they aren't there you subconsciously notice an absence. When Tessa has been in kennels my Mum always feels funny like there is something missing.
This is the sort of feeling which she felt on that evening.
Everybody searched around for Tessa and then the awful realisation dawned that my Mum had left her outside Tesco's. This is not as hard to do as it sounds as Tessa is a black dog and it was night.
My Dad went back to Tesco's and Tessa was not there. What had happened is that a dinner lady (the same one who leaves veg for horses on the Common) had taken pity on Tess because she thought she was an abandoned dog and had taken her to the RSPCA dog pound where my Dad had to collect her later that evening. My Mum felt dreadful and the dinner lady still gives her dirty looks to this day.
In the second instance it was worse as it was somebody else's dog.
Sally and Rob had just got a rescue dog called Angel, which was a very timid dog. My Mum volunteered to take Angel for a walk on a Monday afternoon when Sally went to work.
The only problem was that Angel was scared of Scamp and he could smell him on my Mum and when she tried to put the lead on retreated under the table.
My Mum decided to get Jack to put the lead on as Angel was used to Jack. She got Jack to go in to the cowering Angel while she stood by the front door. Suddenly Angel shot past her through the door and disappeared into the street. What had happened is that Jack had put the lead on under the table, stood up, banged his head on the table and dropped the lead. Angel must have thought her best bet in this house full of idiots was to leg it.
My Mum ran after Angel, who is a very fast dog. She went down all the places where she was taken for a walk and my Mum ended up running all the way to school past many of the people she knows running like crazy after a dog with a trailing lead.
Angel changed tack and ran down the road in the rush hour traffic with my Mum in hot pursuit. Somebody asked what was happening, took pity on her and gave her a lift in a car. When my Mum recounted the story later to her workmates they said she shouldn't have got into a car with a stranger to which my Mum said 'Well, she was a woman with a child with her' to which someone said 'Yes, but have you heard of Chuckie?'
Later my Mum located Angel in the middle of the park, obviously gone to a familiar place. My Mum was scared that if she tried to approach her she would run off so asked a kindly passerby to approach her instead. The passer by approached very gently and cautiously and at the last minute Angel ran off again out of the park.
Then my Mum went back to Angel's house and opened the door and stood in our house and watched.
A little while later Angel ran down the street and into the house.
Dogs aren't stupid.