Tuesday 3rd March 2020. This was the day that I would encounter something that I had not previously encountered in such close proximity before. I was on my second dog walk of the day, thinking about the rest of the day, answering customer queries, with one eye on my furry companion happily trotting on her lead beside me, keeping to the forest tracks. All of a sudden, I hear a low grunting, and notice a suddenly very still dog. Out of the bracken, like a mythical beast, stumbled out the most ginormous pig I had ever seen! Ah! The wonderous Forest Boar! I had seen one from afar when out running last winter, but to have one not 10 foot immediately in front of me was a sight to behold. I have been told they were big, but THIS BLOODY BIG?! It was the size of an elephant! (OK, maybe not that big, but bear big?!) I stopped in my tracks, and I like to think that my brain lept into the best course of action, but truthfully?
I just. went. blank.
And I was frozen to the spot.
But like a wonderful page on Facebook, The Boaring Truth, have said, the majority of boar encounters end peacefully with the boar walking away. Which is excatly what she did. She stopped in the middle of the path, looked at me, looking at her, and just went back into the undergrowth to carry on her day.
But to have that short couple of seconds to really see one up close was something I will treasure for a long time. Her size and stature, her colouring and stiff bristles lining her spine, her tiny feet and huge head, her rough tail.
To be a part of this life, to come into contact with our fantastic wildlife, is exactly why I became a dog walker. The Forest is so unbelievably magical, that I pinch myself everyday that this is my job.
It wasn't until about 5 minutes after we walked away from the boar that I started to shake a little. I then laughed out loud. Laughed that the encounter happened. Laughed that we had come out unscathed. Laughed about the beauty of the world, and laughed because it was delayed reaction to completely and utterly sh*****g my pants.
I also then realised that my doggy companion was an absolute champ. Calm, quiet and dignified. I am so proud that I get to walk such amazing and intelligent creatures. We really are so incredibly lucky.