Dear Editor – They say that sheep are only good at doing three things:- Limping, escaping and dying.
My smallholding includes a bridle-path that is separated from my fields by a fence. People are very welcome to use their legal rights to roam up and down the path as they wish.
However, a few days ago, a black dog in its smart red overcoat entered the fields and chased the sheep, separated one from the others and chased it around the ponds until it slipped into the ice covered water.
The owner called the dog back and then disappeared, just walked away without care.
Fortunately, another walker saw what had happened and alerted my neighbours and me. We and other walkers set about trying to retrieve the animal.
Eight of us in total put ourselves at considerable risk on the very steep, slippery bank that drops straight into icy water which is eight feet deep.
The hero and heroine of the day were Tom Nadin and Annabel Dobin. Both are farmers. Both knew what to do, and finally we pulled the sheep out of the water, up the steep bank and let her lie for a while whilst the water drained from her fleece.
By this time my tenant farmer arrived and we lifted the ewe into the back of his pickup and he gave her a booster injection to help.
This was no silly mistake. Nor was it the dog’s fault. The fault and responsibility lies squarely at the other end of the lead with the owner.
Tragically, the ewe succumbed to shock. By the time they got back to the home farm with its warm barn and bed of straw it was dead. So were its two unborn baby lambs.
Note to you all: You are very welcome to enjoy the footpaths in the countryside around Alvechurch parish and beyond. But please, PLEASE, at all times keep your pets under control.
John Impey. Alvechurch