Not sure if this merits a blog post or it’s just a rant to appease myself.
I like to sleep with the bedroom window open: There’s something pleasing about being warm under the winter duvet with a crisp breeze dancing across the face as you sleep. Normally I wake up to the dawn chorus however today was dawn chaos.
I was woken by wild boar crashing about in the land below, with their young squealing, this in turn startled many birds who cried out in anger at also having their sleep disturbed. This then became a cacophony of shrieks and whistles with one particular bird screeching like a demented loon.
By now I’m properly awake as the boar have now reached the farm down the lane and their four dogs are barking adding their noise to the morning din. So all that’s left is for me to get up, let our two dogs out and let them add to the orchestra of animal voices.
For several nights the dogs have been odd, Alf has been sniffing the air and grumbling, while Olive has been nervous. At first we put it down to the thunderstorm we had a few nights previous. I’ve heard dogs can sense the electricity in the air and it can make some feel uncomfortable: If your dog suffers during storms, a trick is to rub them down with a tumble dryer sheet, it stops the static making them feel bad and they smell nicer too. Believe me it really works.
Last night, Alf ran up and down outside and it was difficult to get him to come in. He was obviously onto something. The night was filled with barking dogs, the four at the farm were having it large, Antonio’s dogs at the bottom of the lane joined in and our two also had burst of shouting out. As ours stay indoors at night, when bedtime came they soon calmed down and the Italian dogs continued until after a couple of glasses of wine I fell asleep and heard them no more.
At six o’clock this morning Alf wanted to go out for his early morning run, I opened the front door and he dashed up to the lane, he started barking and I thought he was doing his usual barking at ghosts, nothing there to merit his actions. He went out of sight and I heard him crashing about in the undergrowth on our land. Olive was desperate to join him, and as we usually send her to fetch him back home, so she ran off to join him. The early hour was dominated by the barking of dogs, the farm dogs, our neighbour’s dogs and our two. I tolerated it for about twenty minutes and decided to investigate what was causing the noise. Alf and Olive were really going at it, the noise was indescribable, I went into the back garden and saw they had cornered a chinghiale, (pronounced chin-gee-yare-lay).
Chinghiale are wild boar and the one they had trapped was still striped, so was young, it stood as tall as Alf and snorted in annoyance as the dogs took turns to approach it and bark loudly. Concerned in case an adult was near by; as they have been known to disembowel dogs in an instant, I stepped forward and called the dogs away. Olive must have sensed it was folly to get involved with a boar and came away, this gave the animal room to manoeuvre, and it ran straight towards me, I side-stepped as it passed and grabbed Alf who was up for a game of chase. Tonight I think we’ll be keeping a close eye out for chinghiale, and maybe restrict the dogs’ playtime to just outside the house.