Tara, a young bloodhound owned by Sydney and Maro Scales, believed in living dangerously.

If bloodhounds, like cats, had nine lives, she would have been well on her way to heaven after three mishaps in three months.

Her hair-raising adventures in 1970 in and around Mr Scales’s pub, the Chequers Inn at Churchill, near Chipping Norton, started when she swallowed a plumber’s bolt. This resulted in a major operation and the removal of her spleen.

She celebrated her recovery by falling out of a bedroom window on to a concrete car park.

This time, she suffered concussion and a cracked tooth.

She continued her death-defying career by swallowing the contents of a bottle of sleeping tablets.

She was found unconscious on a bed.

Mrs Scales said at the time: “When we rang the vet, his first words were: ‘Not that dog again!’ Tara was given emergency treatment again and spent two days sleeping it off. She is a very inquisitive dog.

“The vet says he has never known anything like it.”

In between emergency visits to the vet, Tara led a fairly normal life, winning awards at Cruft’s dog show and appearing on the TV children’s show, Jackanory.

Mr and Mrs Scales and their son Mike, who followed them into the pub trade, and their bloodhounds featured regularly in the Oxford Mail.

The dogs also appeared in That’s Life on BBC television, in a BBC series of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and a feature film, Joseph Andrews.

Cotswold Journal:

Mr Scales ran the Langston Arms Hotel at Kingham, which is now an old people’s home, before taking over at the Chequers in 1969.

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His first day at the Chequers was quite an occasion - it stayed open all day. As we recalled (Memory Lane, April 11), most of the village turned out to celebrate - even the magistrate who had agreed to the change of licensee joined in.

Mrs Scales, however, quickly lost interest in helping to run the pub when, amid huge laughter, she served a farmer with a pint of sherry - he had asked for a pint of cider!

Instead, she turned her attention to her worthy bloodhounds, enjoying considerable success in the following years.

Meanwhile, son Mike started his own career in the pub trade after serving in the Royal Navy and working in the haulage industry.

He started as a roving landlord, looking after 35 pubs temporarily, before taking over the White Horse at Forest Hill, the Chequers at Headington Quarry and the White Hart in Faringdon.

Later, he took on management posts with various breweries, including Whitbread and Oxford-based Morrells.

Now living in Kentisbeare, Devon, he led a campaign in 2008 to save his village pub and turn it into a community hub.