Naturally, the dog is now the toast of the South Western rail network.
He sat at the feet of the Shrewsday men on four separate trains, attracting ear tickles and admiring glances and long in depth conversations about his ancestry all the way down.
He is a little puzzled because Phil and Felix walked to the station. Thus, his walk began 24 hours ago and has still not brought him back to the house from which he began.
His final walk was from Exeter Station to the Cathedral green.
And as I sat in front of Exeter Cathedral I confess I did a double take when a small terrier tugged on his lead, urging Phil to go faster to reach our bench, on which was laid out a resplendent picnic.
A dog? In front of a cathedral? But how?
We have somehow made churches places where animals are allowed very little. But just minutes before Macaulay Shrewsday’s arrival, a nice guide had been telling me that there was a time when they were welcomed in.
Exeter Cathedral is a jewel: because it is a perfectly preserved mediaeval Cathedral.
It has the longest transept in Europe, brilliantly constructed and painted in the brightest colours. And there are faces and stories everywhere you look; one cannot quite define where pictures finish and grotesques begin; Satan, Thomas Becket, jugglers, kings, minstrels and a heavenly virgin. The cathedral still has its feet planted firmly a thousand years ago.
It was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1066 and took about 70 years to complete. And after that, a very large part of it was thrown open to the people of Exeter; and their livestock.
Love me, love my pig. When men came to town it was often with animals in tow. Pig locks did not exist and tying your livelihood up outside was foolhardy.
It was the custom for two thirds of the cathedral to be a meeting-and-greeting place. Folks would wander in and talk and bring their animals with them. It was a very social place, this towering declaration of the church’s power amongst the little mediaeval houses.
But occasionally, the animals would get out of hand.
The church had thought of that.
The ‘dog whipper -the equivalent of Security- was given a consul with which to view the affable mayhem. Built onto the long wall of the cathedral way up high, is a room with two small viewing windows perfect for keeping an eye on the rabble below.
When things got a bit too boisterous, the dog whipper would come down from his point and calm or eject the offending creatures.
And within a short time, all would be calm.
These days the animals are gone, and everyone talks in hushed whispers. The weight of time can awe one.
But everywhere, the signs of our four legged friends remain in the stonework. The hedgehogs which stonemasons used to adorn the tomb of a knight called Sir Speke- or spike to his friends. The stone knights with their feet resting on a long-gone family dog. A chapel full of owls.
It is like a 3D stonework bestiary.
The dog sat outside, ready for the final leg of his journey, hunched at the ankles of his master, accepting the odd sausage from the picnic.
Plus ca change.