After the phone call to say that Malcolm had been sited, I dashed out to the place where he had been seen, walked around whistling and calling. All the time hoping that the scent of the dogs from Grande Daze was powerful around me and that Fraggle and his bell would attract attention.
Fraggle seemed to be excited and we covered the area quickly. My hopes were high; only to be dampened, no luck, and I was too tired and hungry to go any further. Feeling worried and upset I returned to Grande Daze. One week and one day missing, how could this adventurous boy be surviving and was he, in fact, lying in a ditch injured or even dead? Despair was setting in as our hopes faded.
Then, before lunch time the same day as my prolonged search we got a phone call from the vets in Montaudin. These people thought that they had Malcolm who had been handed in by someone from Carelles. Running on adrenaline I rushed over and there in the vet’s rest room lay Malcolm who managed to push himself into my lap and wag his tail in greeting. Clearly worn out and with sore pads, a sore nose and a cut eye Malcolm was alive. I was exhausted and crying with joy and really believe that Malcolm was too. No food and apparently lots of exercise he had lost a great deal of weight but he was happy to see me. When we got him into my van his relief was evident in the big smile on his face – yes, dogs do smile!
Returning to the Grande Daze fold was an emotional experience. All of his friends were happy to see him, nuzzling him, wagging their tails and jumping around. A nice comfy bed and a light meal made the return to his friends complete and Malcolm could no longer keep his eyes open. He slept solid for 12 hours, after which he was his usual self and let me know that breakfast was due. After I tended his wounds he again went to sleep. Happily, a few days later he was almost back to health, a strong and happy dog.
It is unusual for this kind of thing to happen after an adoption to a home all parties thought was suitable. For Grande Daze and the family it has been an extremely upsetting experience. Once able to go walkabout it is highly likely that it will happen again and a dog like Malcolm is clever enough, inquisitive enough and determined enough to keep trying. This bold and adventurous chap needs the company of other dogs and is a happy companion in the Centre. We will give consideration to his potential and now his suitability to meet our adoption policy.