considered getting rid of #3 rather than Dog. Just kidding.
Needless to say I was pretty angry, and with a little help from #1, a far better French speaker than I, I ran the owner back and explained that the pup was in the middle of the road, and that if he did not come immediately and pick him up I would be taking him home.
When the owner eventually turned up - he was about 15 minutes in a car from where I was - pup was adamant he did not want to get in the owner's car and tried to get back in mine. There was a palpable silence in the Rolfemobile on the way back home. I felt so bad, I texted the owner, and suggested that his pup was so gloriously friendly and sweet, that I would be happy to take him off his hands.
Thirty seconds later, I received a call from the owner agreeing, and asking when I should pick the pup up. I should make clear that he did say that the pup was energetic and would not tolerate living in an apartment, but when I mentioned that I was pretty active and would include the pup in my activities, a deal was struck.
I drove with #1, Dog and a bottle of claret to the owner's village, and he picked us up in his car, before heading off down a treacherous dirt track to the bottom of a gorge. A donkey was standing guard, tethered with bailer twine to a tree, and 100m further on, shaded by towering trees, we arrived at his small holding. He explained that he had 15 hectares, and it was impossible to fence to keep out the foxes and boars. Therefore he kept dogs to protect his animals. Given the pup's propensity for licking everyone and everything - I had never met a better natured and friendly dog - and his lack of natural sat nav, he had been declared unsuitable for the owner. One shudders to think of the fate that would have befallen him if we had not happened upon him that day. The owner had pens and cages everywhere filled with enormous rabbits, hundreds of ducklings, geese and goslings, hens and chicks, and of course the obligatory dogs running round free - and threateningly. We were instructed to leave Dog in the car, and were invited to come and fetch the pup.
A brief apero, and an exchange of wine for the (expired) vaccination certificate, and we departed with a very very pleased and excited pup. He was apparently a cross between Jack Russell and Bichon, and hence is quite fluffy but very soft, and even resembles Dog with his markings. Once home, he was scrubbed with anti tick and flea shampoo; fed, watered, de-wormed and loved.
We have renamed the pup as Jack (the original name had slightly negative and racist connotations), and he has become part of the family. He is also an absolute pocket dynamo out running. He did 5.6km with me on Day 1, and only had to stop twice for a little rest, and on Day 2 he managed 2.6km with me non stop, and absolutely flying around the place. I had already done 10km with Dog (running with 2 dogs on leads is beyond me at the moment), and to be honest when we got home and he looked at me pleading with me to carry on, I was absolutely spent!
Jack seems to like coming to the office with me, and has his own cushion. My colleagues don't seem to mind, and actually rather like him coming in, although there have been comments about his personal style, as he had a bit of a hair cut on Day 0 in order to get rid of the matted dreadlocks - we had to do this to prevent infection, and as a result he looks a bit of a scally wag, but he is the friendliest dog in the world, and he is now my dog.