This is the continuation of our camping holiday in Italy (see the previous post).
Cast your mind back to our arrival at the camp site (The Stake Out), we had been shown around the site by ‘mine host’ and had agreed on the pitches we were being allocated. The next process was to hand over passports and pick up the rules and regulations for the site before setting up camp, and to do this, we had to go to the office. Behind the office counter was ‘mine host’ along with her two assistants, but hiding behind the three of them was a frightening sight, the camp site dog!
Why was this dog such a frightening sight? Was it a huge, ferocious beast with fangs dripping with blood from the last camper who failed to be entirely satisfied with the camp site? Was it growling at every new arrival?
For those of you who may be first timers to this blog, you will not know of my love for dogs – especially dogs like the one behind the counter. Small fur balls not much bigger than a rat! (See this post)
Of course, there was no immediate cause for concern, after all, the dog had done nothing but look at me with its big
beautiful brown eyes cataract filled eyes! That’s right, this dog had such large cataracts, I doubt it really saw anybody. It will have heard us, but not seen us. At least not clearly!
As the days went by, we would watch this dog wander round the site. It had a free reign, and was allowed to wander wherever it wanted. And wander it did, but not without bumping in to everything it saw or rather didn’t see! This poor mutt was so blinded by the cataracts it negotiated its way round the site like the ball in a pin ball machine. And quite often, it would stop and growl at whatever it bumped into!
Morning after morning this dog was let out of the owner’s on-site house to wander off round the camp. Being an early riser myself, I was always up and about keeping an eye on it. And one morning in the second week, I was given a reason to keep my eye on it.
As I sat in the early morning sun, drinking my first cuppa of the day and reading my book, I was horrified to see the mangy thing cock one of its rear legs as high as it could, about four inches off the ground, and do its business up my tent! Why is it always me? What have I ever done to these creatures that makes them want to do this to either me personally or my property?
I must admit, at this point, I wanted to pick the dog up and drop kick it, like a rugby ball, into the middle of the lake. I wanted to, but restrained myself and just ushered it away from my tent. However from that morning on, I was ready for it, and made sure it was unable to settle near my tent again. Every morning it approached, I would move it on with a gentle word in its ear!
The poor dog, even to me, was a sad sight, but it was simply not welcome if all it was going to do was relieve itself. However, the sad sight was to become an even sadder one a few days before we left the camp site.
Up early as usual, I had made my way to the reception to check on the leaving process. Reception, however, wasn’t opening for another hour, so I sat outside it in the early morning sunshine watching the day start. I was approached by the camp cat – that is the cat belonging to the camp! What did you think I meant? And I being such a cat lover naturally gave it some attention. A little while later, the dog was released from the house for its early morning jaunt round the site. And as if I was wearing some sort of dog magnet, it was attracted to me. Of course, I was never going to give it the time of day, and perhaps with hindsight, this was to prove to be a fatal mistake.
There were plenty of other people already on the go at this early hour, and some were packing up ready to leave. Sitting by reception I was able to watch some of these early risers leave, as they had packed all their belongings into their caravans the night before, so all they had to do was hitch up and drive off. Some of these caravans were huge and with the camp site roads being of the loose gravel variety littered with small pot holes, they were bouncing around as they were towed off site.
I returned to my tent which was only about one hundred metres from the house and the reception, and as I got there, there was an awful wailing sound ringing round the site.
As if a cold chill shivered down my spine, I instantly knew the reason for the blood curdling cry. I did an about turn and returned to the reception, and there was a sight not even my hardened heart towards dogs had wanted to see. The poor camp site dog had obviously wandered into the path of a departing caravan. And, if you are trying to picture the scene, don’t think of a little body lying beside the road having been clipped by a passing vehicle; no think more of a cartoon style accident! This poor dog was completely and utterly squashed flat – it even had a tyre track imprinted on it!
The caravan driver hadn’t stopped, although I doubt they would even have known they had run over anything. They would have just thought they had hit another pot hole – that’s assuming they even felt a bump at all.
Despite my obvious lack of fondness for four legged creatures of this sort, I wouldn’t have wished anything like that to have happened to the dog, and who knows, perhaps if I had let it come to me on that fatal morning, it would still be roaming round the camp site to this very day.
Probably peeing up another tent! 😉