Louise Minchin on her village fete disaster
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 October 2019
Take two boisterous dogs to the local village fete? Of course it was going to turn out well...wasn't it?
I always love going to the village fete; since moving to Cheshire seven years ago it has become one of our favourite traditions. I enjoy everything about it, from the home-made Victoria sponges, washed down with strong cups of tea to the home-grown vegetable stand and the slightly chaotic tombola - with its eclectic assortment of bottles with everything from shampoo to brown ale and Prosecco. This year, as always, I was really looking forward to it, and just as I was setting off, my husband David insisted, very much against my better judgement, that we should take the dogs, Ruby and Waffle. 'Please leave them behind, they will cause chaos!' I begged. 'It will be fine, everyone will love seeing them,' he tried to reassure me.
He could not have been more wrong. It was an unmitigated disaster. I hadn't even managed to buy a cup of tea when Ruby came flying past me. She had taken one look at the scrumptious food, and all the people eating, and promptly slipped her collar! As fast as greased lightening she hurtled towards the cake stall and dived for a chocolate sponge; I only just managed to stop her before she gulped it down. I desperately tried to grab her, but without her collar I couldn't catch her, nor could anyone else, and she was deaf to the cacophony of shouts: 'Ruby! Ruby! Come here Ruby!'
She was like a bull in a china shop, ears flapping and bouncing with excitement, she flew right through the produce stall - sending carrots and carnations soaring into the air - and then made a beeline to join the children on the bouncy castle. Nothing would stop her, and I was utterly mortified.
Thank goodness, the day was saved by a friend, who like a guardian angel came to the rescue, brandishing a sausage straight from the barbecue. As if by magic, Ruby came straight to her and, good as gold, sat down in front of her, put out her paw and gently took it as if nothing had happened.
Once she was back on her lead, and we had helped clear up the chaos, we marched her home in disgrace, vowing never to take her to the village fete again.