Given that the magnificent seven were on patrol seconds before we were surprised to hear the very worrying sound coming from the copse at the side of our lane.
Now for those new to this site the magnificent seven are a pack of dogs who enjoy the life of luxury here at Rock HQ. Here they have everything to meet their needs, from stagnant ditches to sit in to a choice selection of pooh to eat or roll in. Poppy the not so golden retriever pictured above having rolled in the very freshest fox pooh had been in the cauldron at the end of the lane, the two Bernese Mountain Dogs sat and watched as Tracey and I, illuminated by lights with enough power to pick out enemy bomber formations in the night sky, cleaned out the horses latest offerings before providing them with their dinners, Faith the Gordon setter ran at 100mph from one end of the farm to check if all was in order to the other to check to see if anything had changed since she had last been there some 30 seconds before while the two ancient Beagles grubbed around trying to find anything to eat that the other animals had overlooked. Pip the mental collie cross chased her tail, cats, shadows, the wheel barrow and Faith. All in all it was a normal night time routine taking place at Rock HQ.
With all this mayhem and activity taking place you might have thought that the most reviled animal of the smallholding would have kept well away. But no, within two seconds of the lights being turned off and the dogs running through the front door a female fox called her mate from the copse not fifty metres from where I was standing.
Five shots from the gun and all went quiet. We knew we hadn't hit it, they were blanks, but Mrs Fox doesn't know that, at least I don't think she does.