Well we've just had an almighty scare! I'd been at work all day and Ian had gone down to Salisbury to pick up the kids who are staying for the weekend. The boys had been left out the back in their fenced off area on the patio. I got home at 5 o'clock and went straight out to see them, but there was no sign of either of them. The wire fence panels had been forced apart and there was a hole under the wire fencing in front of the hedge where they had obviously squeezed through into one of the adjoining gardens.
After knocking on the doors of all the houses that run along the side of our garden with no luck I traipsed the length of the road down to where the path to the river bends off and tracked round along the riverbank and into the big field behind us, where we have found Pepsi on a number of previous escape attempts, but this time there was no sign.
After checking out the opposite bank, again with no luck, I traipsed home in the rain. I had rung Ian by this stage on the mobile and let him know what had happened, but he was still a good 20 minutes away. As soon as I got home I tried finding the number for the local dog warden, but couldn't find anything in the telephone book and ended up calling Birmingham Council emergency hotline, where they very kindly gave me the number after I explained the situation. But on ringing all I got was a recorded message that the office was closed until Tuesday (as this was Friday and Monday was a bank holiday, this wasn't much help!). So then I rang the police in the hope someone may have reported them and again was given another number to ring for the local station. The officer made a note of the details but couldn't help any further. By this time Ian had arrived home with the kids, who he had told the grim news in the car.
What happened next must have been inspired. After searching through the telephone directory in desperation I came across a number for something called Petsearch and thinking I could at least report them missing rang the number given which was in Solihull, a town in the next county. Almost immediately an elderly ladies voice answered and on my giving the dogs details she told me to ring a Mrs Moore and gave me a number which I assumed was the contact for my area. She then said 'she's got them' it took a few seconds for what she had just said to sink in, but once it did all I could say was 'thank you, thank you' before bursting into tears of relief as I put down the phone. I had to hand the phone to Ian so he could ring the lady as I was in no fit state to talk to anyone. Anyway we found out that they were safe and well and about a mile away, having gone down the length of Middlemore Road and onto a busy crossing, turned left and carried on up the very busy West Heath Rd, where apparently Max seems to have been clipped by a car as they crossed the road. Fortunately he has shown no signs of any harm or damage since then and has certainly not lost his appetite! so we are assuming his bulk saved him and he probably just glanced off it.
It was with great relief that we went and fetched the two errant boys and of course a great fuss was made of them once we got them safely home with lots of treats and hugs. Needless to say we are having to rethink the garden security as I found Max climbing the fence on Sunday and only just managed to grab him as he reached the top and was about to launch himself off to the other side. At least we now know how he has been getting out!