THE temptation to give chase to a stag, ten times his size, that suddenly appeared on the path in front of him, proved impossible to resist for a friend’s border terrier.

This is a little dog who is occasionally overwhelmed by a wander lust and who, most of the time when out, is fitted with a tracer on his collar.

But the combination of a riverside walk, apparent good behaviour over the last few weeks and some sharp yelps that it was time to go walkies, meant that on this amble with his two elderly terrier companions, his collar was left off.

Now this is not usually a problem, but on this occasion we are staying with a group of friends on, yet another, fishing holiday in Scotland.

Our lodge is built on the river bank. It is huge. Able to sleep 28 guests, 10 of us are rattling around this comfortable, if emitting an air of faded glory, pile. Every morning a house keeper appears. And each morning a cleaning lady arrives too.

There is only us, and we are not a mucky lot, so they are vacuuming and polishing and wiping down a virtually unsullied house.

If only I could magically transport them back to our farm house so that the evidence of our usual rapid and shambolic departure was wiped out before our return.

White faced our friends Larry and Julia returned home. Roxbie, the escapee terrier, had taken off so fast after the stag that they had only had time to grab hold of one of the other dogs to prevent him also giving chase too.

Although both had given chase, stag and terrier were nowhere to be seen. Had the stag attempted to cross the river, low at this point, or had it broken free of the woods and crossed a nearby road?

Where was the game little terrier with delusions of grandeur that he could take on a beast far superior in size, strength and knowledge of the terrain?

To add to the confusion Julia had also lost/dropped/misplaced her phone. It was not a good scenario. But luckily at times like this when all seems momentarily lost, including the terrier, everyone pull together.

While Julia and Larry were out searching the woods and riverside for Roxbie, a phone call from our housekeeper passed on the good news that a rather wet, disorientated and exhausted little border terrier had been found in the middle of a nearby road.

The minister, as we are in Scotland, had recognised the little dog was in danger of being run over and stopped passing traffic to rescue him.

In a reworking of the parable of the lost lamb, the minister carried Roxbie to safety and had the wit to phone our lodge’s housekeeper to see if anyone had lost a dog.

It transpired Roxbie had lost her collar and name tag in the chase, and so it was an inspired move by the minister ring the lodge. Roxbie was safely returned to his relieved owners and spent the rest of the night flat out in front of the fire.

The whole escapade has been almost as nail biting as the election.