Recently my in laws decided to take a day trip to Sunk Island and came back saying what a lovely place it was and how it was worth a trip. It was then that I came across this new website Sunk Island where I was able to find out about what life and farming life is like for the villagers of Sunk Island. The story you are about to read was sent in by Sally from Sunk Island. Sit back and enjoy meeting ‘Bronte’ the dog and be thankful that you cannot smell him!
It was a bank holiday Saturday in the summer. The sun was bright and warm, so the doors into the garden were wide open. We were expecting visitors & as I made last minute preparations, I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked again, and saw a dog, that had darted in from the garden, and was standing silently in the corner of the room beside an armchair.
He was a middle sized dog – and very ordinary. He was an ordinary shape and an ordinary colour – so ordinary that he was quite appealing. He was a browny, cross-bred type, with a hint of corgi, but the size of a bulldog. He had a long tail, at half mast, which vaguely waved, periodically. His collar had a metal tag with the name ‘Bronte’, and a phone number. We shut the doors, so that Bronte would not escape, and telephoned the number on the collar. Bronte’s owners answered and promised to collect him, “a bit later”. They lived on the other side of the island, so Bronte had travelled 4 or 5 miles across the fields as the crow flies.
We soon noticed a smell, which grew stronger and stronger as the sun streamed through the windows and heated up the room. It was definitely the smell of pig slurry and as we looked more closely at Bronte we realised that he was covered in it.
In those days we had a large slurry lagoon where all the waste from the pig unit was pumped. It was very deep, and full of a bubbling, slimy slurry. It was securely fenced with barbed wire & netting to keep people away, as the lagoon was a danger & people could drown if they fell in.
Bronte must have crept under the fence and jumped in. What a strange thing to do. We took the smelly dog into the wash house and put him in the large sink filled with warm water and gave him a good shampoo. He stood stoically as we washed him thoroughly and then made sure that all the dog shampoo was rinsed off him. He seemed quite happy for us to rub him dry, and then he went to sleep on a heap of towels.
We were beginning to worry that no-one was going to collect Bronte, when there was a knock on the door. It was Bronte’s owners who had had visitors for the day. To prepare Bronte for their guests they had given him a bath, first thing in the morning. They said that Bronte did not like being bathed and that was probably why he had run off. But they were horrified to hear that he had escaped to the slurry lagoon, probably hoping to get rid of that special bath time fragrance!
The strange thing was that Bronte came for three or four years running, always on a May bank holiday, and his first stop was always the slurry lagoon! Even so, we were pleased to see him and greeted him by name. It was not until he had visited us on several occasions that we realised that Bronte was not Bronte after all, but that his owners were Mr & Mrs Bronte!
‘Bronte’ The Dog – by Sally from Sunk Island.
If you have a farming story that you would like to share then please send me your story and I will happily include it on a guest appearance post.