I am not quite sure how it happened or when it happened but the puppies have discovered a way to get out of the garden.
On Saturday, the first my youngest knew about it was when he heard distant barks and Tess and Hardy were discovered legging it up the lane by the nursing home. I accepted that maybe a gate was left open as the puppies do not jump fences and none of the ducks were out.
On Monday, I did the duck houses and suddenly the garden was silent. No Tess or Hardy. I called and called. The ducks were all still there. I went inside and there on the answering machine was a message from the Farmer's Wife. She had two puppies by the name of Tess & Hardy, and would I care to collect them?
As I was about to leave, leads in hand, Hardy came running up, looking as if butter would not melt in his mouth. I put him in the house and set off down the track that leads to the farm and the high school all the while calling for Tess. By the dairy, I discovered a miserable Tess, chained up.
The farmer's wife was lovely. Someone from school had spotted them, and she had corralled them and then as they were bothering the geese, she attempted to chain them. At which point, Hardy escaped. Last seen running as if his life depended on it.
I put Tess on her lead and led the frightened puppy up the track. She tried to dive into next door's garden at one point and so I wondered about the water gate. However, the ducks who were notorious for using this method have not used it recently. Then I spotted the gap in our fence, on a steep part of the bank where the children used to have a mudslide...
Tess was put in the kitchen with her miscrient brother and head straight for her bed.
I took a wooden stake and repaired the hole by lying on the ground, filling the gap, making it puppy and duck proof.
Tess & Hardy have been much chastened. Or as cheastened as two Border collies can be.
I have also taken to using a halti with Hardy when we go out for walks as he has been pulling. A halti is like a horse's bridle and so I am controlling the head and where the head goes, the body follows. Hardy thinks that this is a great game of tug, and keeps practising his leaps and mid air spins.