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Shall I stay with the children or find out why those dogs are barking?

PUBLISHED: 12:29 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:47 07 August 2018

We could hear small dogs barking, and barking, somewhere. Someone had to do something. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto

We could hear small dogs barking, and barking, somewhere. Someone had to do something. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Someone’s dogs are clearly not happy - and they’re keeping us awake. But do I leave the children alone while I investigate?

My nephew Phil and fiancee Lauren helped me set the tent up, and I thought we were in for a peaceful stay. Picture contibutedMy nephew Phil and fiancee Lauren helped me set the tent up, and I thought we were in for a peaceful stay. Picture contibuted

We’re in our tent on a pretty busy campsite near Great Yarmouth and our rather lovely day is turning into a rather annoying evening.

We’d been to Old Buckenham Airshow where I’d tried – and mostly failed – to take decent pictures of some amazing aircraft and Thalia had done everything but notice the planes, what with teddy tombola, ice cream, tanks, very shiny classic cars, stalls, stands and fairground rides to look at and a Jaguar cockpit to sit in.

(The man asked if she liked heights and roller coasters and when she’d said a definite no he said it might be a while before she was a pilot. She said she didn’t want to be a pilot, she just wanted to sit in the plane and she was going to be a zoo keeper, or a swan. He looked rather bemused at the swan plan.)

Keola had been safely delivered home from two happy and busy days at regional gym camp and back at our campsite was desperate for sleep.

Taking pictures of aircraft at an airshow isn't as easy as I thought. Picture Jo MaloneTaking pictures of aircraft at an airshow isn't as easy as I thought. Picture Jo Malone

But someone’s small yappy dogs were barking. They’d stop for a few seconds, and start again.

It was nearly dark and, besides an occasional burst of laughter from nearby, it was the only noise we could hear.

I gave Keola her earplugs, then another pillow to put over her head, but an hour later when she asked when they were going to stop I had to do something.

By now it was dark. Can I leave the girls in the tent while I go and investigate? What if that barbecue from next-door-but-five-tents-away hasn’t been put out properly, there’s a fire and they’re trapped while I’m scouting dog owners? Shall I give Keola some scissors to cut her and Thalia out? But would that worry her so she wouldn’t sleep ever again in a tent for fear of fire anyway?

We had a lovely day at Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture contributedWe had a lovely day at Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture contributed

What if Thalia wakes up and discovers I’m not there, ignores Keola telling her I’m dog sorting, wanders off and gets lost in the woods/falls in the pond/ends up in the disco?

I’d be leaving my children alone in their holiday accommodation. What if they are stolen?

But the dogs are clearly not happy and are very yappy. Next door-but-three are a bit surprised when I ask them to please watch out for fire as my girls are in the tent and I’m going to find out what’s up with those dogs. I guess I hadn’t spoken to them before, I’ve got mad holiday hair and I do look a bit stroppy.

I discover there are two little dogs; one inside the awning, one tied up outside. Every time someone walks past, or coughs nearby, the outside one barks and the inside one joins in. None of the people milling about nearby knows where the owners are and no-one has done anything about it, although they’re all muttering.

Thalia enjoyed sitting in the cockpit, but she'd rather be a swan than a pilot. Picture contribtuedThalia enjoyed sitting in the cockpit, but she'd rather be a swan than a pilot. Picture contribtued

I find a camping security guard who is super helpful and promises to track the owners down. I run back to the tent - all is intact.

Soon afterwards - peace. Keola sleeps. We all sleep.

The next day I see the dogs with their, unapologetic, owners.

“He chews everything when we go out,” they say of the outside dog.

Old Buckenham Airshow had much to delight Thalia, who is not particularly interested in aircraft. Picture contributedOld Buckenham Airshow had much to delight Thalia, who is not particularly interested in aircraft. Picture contributed

“He doesn’t like being on his own,” they say of the inside dog, adding,

“They don’t like the dark, or us leaving them.”

Can anyone recommend a dog free campsite?

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