• Whisper

An inspector calls

We get lots of visitors to the estate all year round – and I don’t just mean the holidaymakers who stay in the cottages.

The postman calls most days, as well as numerous delivery drivers; then we get the chaps from the water company; the man who comes to test the alarms; someone who services the ovens; the chimney sweep; the members of the shoot who look after the pheasants; BT, who come to see what damage the woodpeckers have caused to the telegraph poles; plus all the horse riders, cyclists and walkers, of course.

But I knew there was something special going on last week regarding one particular visitor. For a start, there was lots of paper being printed, exchanges about ‘last year’s report’, and various discussions about ‘timings’. My ears pricked up when I heard the word ‘dogs’, as in: ‘She might bring the dogs’ so I was on full alert when a smart black SUV pulled up one day last week and an equally smart woman stepped out.

I hung around for a bit but lost interest when no dogs emerged from the vehicle, so took myself off for a bit of a wander round the site. I was quite surprised to find the woman was still here a couple of hours later but there was lots of laughter and smiles and things seemed pretty jolly and I assumed things had gone well.

When the woman sat down on a wall, I decided to do my bit and jumped up to give her a sniff and a nuzzle. She smelt pleasingly of dog – Labradors, I think - and responded very gratifyingly by stroking my ears and rubbing my tummy. In fact, she seemed rather unwilling to leave me, if I say so myself, so I turned up the cuteness dial to high heat.

Now, I’m not saying I had anything directly to do with the assessment award the humans achieved this year but ever little helps!

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