I expect the Scruff’s literary heroes are The Borrowers as they themselves can’t seem to help acquiring things – wood, bikes, lawn mowers and of course dogs and cats. It doesn’t seem to be a consideration that they live in a tiny house that can’t really accommodate it all and it’s certainly too small for 7 animals.
A fourth dog appeared – a tiny King Charles puppy which Mrs Scruff fussed over as she does with every new young animal, losing interest as they grow. It’s fairly rare for Mrs Scruff to go beyond the boundaries of the property and she seems to spend her days watching TV and endlessly draping washing on the line for it to trail through mud or be left out overnight regardless of the weather. The dogs therefore, are in and out all day long. No sooner does the pack appear outside than they wait to be let back in which they communicate initially by staring through the patio door, then scratching at it before eventually barking. Occasionally, she fails to notice that one hasn’t gone back inside which surprises me as it’s a tiny garden although perhaps understandable given the amount of junk there is.
Mrs Scruff did leave the house and wasn’t aware that the boxer was still outside. Although it could see the rest of the pack through the patio doors, it couldn’t actually get to them. Inevitably the barking began and didn’t stop. One of the neighbours shouted for it to “shut up” but of course it didn’t. Later, that afternoon the doorbell rang and Mrs Scruff was at the door to apologise for her dog barking and to explain that she had left it out accidentally. It transpired that a few days previously she had received a letter purporting to be from Barratt Homes themselves stating that there was a clause in the deeds preventing buyers from owning more than a certain amount of dogs. She recognised it as a hoax and had gone to the police with it who most likely just logged it on to the system and did nothing especially as it was a civil matter. She contacted Barratt Homes who denied sending it and told Mrs Scruff that they were “concerned about misrepresentation” but I imagine also filed it under B1n. She didn’t know who had sent the letter so she was visiting each house to apologise and perhaps see if she could gain any clues. Prime Suspect’s Helen Mirren/Jane Tennison she aint!
That evening, when I happened to mention it to my immediate neighbour who had been unaware of what had happened whilst he was at work, told me that he didn’t have a printer. That must have been true as months later he did ask me to print something for him.
So who sent the letter? I can only guess but whoever did was most likely someone who had originally bought their house from Barratt Homes to have known of the existence of the clause. After ruling out my immediate neighbour that only left two suspects. I can’t imagine that it had been sent by “Lily” (he of the unexplained police search – see earlier blog entry, “Whose been a naughty boy then?” That only leaves Megane Man, so named as he had a Renault Megane. He is at home all day enduring dialysis as he waits for a suitable kidney so I expect he is very aware of any extra noise. He does not make eye contact and I’ve never seen him smile either. The missus isn’t that much better but at least they are quiet and outwardly tidy.
The fuss must have died down over the months as Mrs Scruff has felt confident to add to her menagerie. One cat disappeared so she replaced it with a kitten. She had it in the crook of her neck and I thought it was a new mobile phone until she handed it over the fence for Mrs Fang’s inspection and approval when she was still in residence. The spaniel also disappeared but not happy at owning just three dogs she soon acquired a border collie puppy to bring the pack back to four sticking two fingers up to the hoax letter writer!