9 March 2024


This photo has nothing whatsoever to do with what happened.

It's been a funny old week chez nous.  We have dealt with numerous things that range from annoying to downright silly but something happened today that was quite unsettling.  Upsetting in fact (for me anyway).

We are on the lookout for some new lights for the kitchen and I went along to the huge barn that sells antiques/vintage stuff in Mairé.  My friend Alison came with me.

On the way there we encountered a bit of a kerfuffle on the road on the straight part of the route between Le Grand-Pressigny and Barrou.  A car had stopped and a young couple were trying to catch a dog that was running about loose in the road.

I have to say that we see loose dogs here in France much more often than we ever do in the UK.  All kinds of dogs from tiny fluffy lap dogs to huge guard dogs.  They seem to escape from their homes with amazing regularity.  It's unusual for a week to go by without encountering an escaped dog somewhere.

This dog was clearly a hunting dog with the usual brown, black and white colouring.  It was circling around in the road and whilst being friendly enough and happy to approach people was not going to be easy to catch.

Numerous cars stopped.  It's a long, flat and straight stretch of road between two forested areas and two villages and the one place where drivers can pick up speed and even overtake.  Not the best place for a loose dog.

I  found this picture of the dog posted on the Grand-Pressigny facebook page.

I had a spare lead in the car of the type that just slips over the dog's head but this dog, although friendly enough, was careering around and not willing to be put on a lead.  I doubt that hunting dogs ever get to be on a lead, or walked, or socialised.  In many ways it was surprising that it was so keen to be near so many humans.  At one point five cars had stopped to see if they could help and mainly to slow down the other drivers passing by.  Several of the drivers had dog treats that they tried to use to capture the dog but it sniffed then rejected all of them.

Eventually a lady said she would call her husband and he would come and get the dog and take it to the Mairie or the vet, which is apparently the usual thing to do.  However, it was now Saturday afternoon so I had no idea if that was actually a possibility.  With so many other people around and us being the only non-French speaking people we decided to leave them to it and the dog hopefully in safe hands.

An hour later, on our way back home and with no other vehicles around, the dog was still there.  We guessed that the attempts to capture it had failed and people had given up and gone on their way.

What to do, what to do?  Being short on ideas we thought why not contact the police.  Apart from the fact that the dog itself was in huge danger, there was the potential for a serious accident, especially come nightfall.  Even if we managed to catch it we didn't know what we would do with it.

We stopped outside the Gendarmerie at Le Grand-Pressigny.  To my amazement it is manned every day and by pressing the button and speaking via an intercom we were allowed into the police station to speak to an actual person.  I emphasised, in my best French, that it was a dangerous situation and hopefully it made a difference.  The young woman heard our story and said she would tell her colleague to go and investigate.  

That made me feel a lot better.  Dogs are not always treated very well in France (not always in the UK either) and especially hunting dogs.  This poor dog was so cute, so friendly, clearly lost and stressed and deserved to be looked after properly.  I sincerely hope that a friendly Gendarme managed to catch it, to take it to safety and that it has food, water and somewhere warm for the night, until its owner can be found.


  1. The Mairie and the Gendarmerie both have an obligation to deal with stray dogs ie they must accept a dog if you bring it to them or go deal with it themselves if you are unable to do it. The other thing to do is photograph it and post the photo on the FB group for lost pets in your area. This is quite effective. The mairie will also post photos on their FB page.

    1. I do hope the dog was safely returned to its owner, although several people have told me that hunting dogs are not always looked after that well.

  2. Well done you! Dogs loose on the road can cause real problems

    1. It was a very dangerous situation for the dog and for vehicles.

  3. Hopefully all was sorted out and the dog is now safe. I can understand how it would upset you. Cheers Diane

    1. It's hard for us to imagine how a dog would just be left behind like that but it's not at all unusual, sadly.