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Dog Fox, Lady Boxer

Posted by Deborah Courtnell

Dog Fox, Lady Boxer

    I took the two girl boxers up to Stockbridge Down this morning. If they were asked their opinion about being called ‘girls’, I fancy Myrtle, aged two, would shrug and say 'whatever.'

     Myrtle has all the qualities of an archetypal Catherine Tate teenager .

     Whereas, I rather think that Cally, the hefty matriarch,  thinks of herself as a 'lady' dog; possibly even a ‘dowager’ dog.
     Just that she looks like a prize fighter. She looks like a cross between John Prescott and Popeye on steroids. As boxers go, Cally is  a slow moving shed but without the attitude.

     We walked up to the top of the Down and admired the nearly-360 degree view and then took the Western-most path through to what I think of as the back of the Down. The back of the Down can also be reached via a small copse which is filled with yellow flowering gorse right now, or via a lower path, some three quarters of a mile long,  which winds Eastwards from the bottom car park.

     The ridge, which runs alongside the back edge of the down, is steepest here and gives on to a high pasture, currently filled with sheep.

     We emerged into this open area between the copse and the ridge and surprised a huge male fox which had evidently been hanging out in the scrub.

     He startled us as well.

     Thankfully Myrtle was on the lead – she's in boot-camp right now - otherwise she would have been introducing herself, close up and personal.

     Cally was off the lead but has none of her daughter's quicksilver speed and agility. Plus, Cally has all the reactions of the aforementioned shed.

   Cally did a sort of Scooby-Doo slow motion double take and ambled, half-heartedly towards the fence by which time the fox was half way to Winchester.

     I keep a fairly constant vigil for foxes at home.

     They occasionally lurk in the churchyard at dawn, or scamper across it late afternoon, heading into the woods. I'm never thrilled to see them on account of our chickens.

     This boy was bigger than Myrtle. He had a thick healthy looking pelt and a big swishy black and red tail. He'd have had our bantams for elevenses, in one mouthful, and I would not have forgiven him.

     But seeing him here, in the wild, this big native animal, doing its thing, that was pure pleasure.


Myrtle looking out from the man-shed
The dog fox was bigger than Myrtle. I swear.

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