Sunday: a day for saving dogs and carpet

Last night was the reopening of Ludlow's Charlton Arms – following a lick of paint, removal of carpets and general tidy around. Fearing its heart and soul would be carried outside and left to soak in a skip I made some enquiries, the day prior, as to whether or not such a thing would be taking place – and if so; could I give any castaways a new home... thankfully I was kindly invited by the new landlord Cedric to come and peruse a corner of his car park and rummage through black bags, broken glass and old damp menus.

First and foremost I was most pleased to discover most of the rubbish was just that, with little in the way of pub furniture and trinkets. That said I managed to bag a massive roll of pub carpet, a cracking little chair, a till box, plastic tray, heated soup caldron, a chalk board, empty picture frame, a clock, and a couple of glasses; all for Doghouse's pop-pub pub. So thank you Cedric; they'll all be put to great use.

Sadly I hadn't the back or strength to tackle the upright piano, which was up for grabs, and even more sad to later hear that I'd been pipped to post with the stuffed and mounted goat's head – which I hope has found a lovely new home.

Handshakes all around I then proceed home to unload the van of its pub bounty and head back up into town for a pint... only to find a small dog loitering outside. Free of a lead or collar, and too friendly for words, I scooped him up and contained him within the garden until a worried owner came scurrying down the road. No owner showed up. So I hunted out a spare lead and collar and paced the fox-like fellow up and down the road in hope that someone would spy him. They didn't.

I then took him on a pub crawl; first taking in The Unicorn, where landlady Sharon, many locals and four or five dogs fell for the charming chap. He had biscuits galore, rolled around the floor, enjoyed the roaring open fire, and generally had lots of fussed made of him. But nobody recognised him; even the vet hadn't a clue.

We then ventured into town; which abbreviated meant showing our faces in the Rose & Crown (no joy) and The Church Inn (still no joy). By this time I was tired of walking, so decided to rest a while longer here... where he was cuddled by one lady for the entirety of my Wye Valley Bitter, was fed more biscuits by more locals – even photographed by the local auctioneer. On the way out he got into a fight with another dog.

All in all we'd been out and about walking and drinking for close on three hours, and he was clearly loving it; a no finer adventure for a dark cold Sunday evening. Thankfully he was very well-behaved; sitting and staying when told; and in extremely good condition, so he was grand company: But this was no stray, this was obviously being missed... but by whom?

Walking back home my girlfriend and I quickly spotted someone walking across the road towards the cricket ground, clearly looking for something. The long and short of it – he was indeed the owner of (which transpired to be a 1-year old Milo). The most ridiculous part is that he lives two doors down. Milo had walked the grand distance of, give or take, 25 yards, before being scooped up me, lassooed with a lead, and carted into every decent pub for a pint and a parade.

I honestly think the owner thought I was joking about the adventure we'd had (though I did leave out the bit about brawling outside the pub).