the pet angels



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 18th 2017


R and S, The Pet Angels, offer Isis a delightfully long walk to the park every weekday. And generally off she goes, happy tail floating just in sight until the pack turns the corner. It’s compulsory, of course, to have a long, intense sniff of our recycling bin, then the neighbours’ bin as we pass. There’s bound to be a fresh pee or two to check out.

As long as the sun behaves appropriately, Isis relishes her walks. Each morning, my first conscious action is to check the weather. If it’s cloudy, damp, threatening rain – wonderful! If the sun is streaming relentlessly onto the front of the house, or blinking like a lighthouse as the clouds puther by, there’s no chance.

On Monday I’m uncertain. It’s very strange outside, quite dark and heavy with a strong breeze. The sun is there but it’s a small blood red and orange disc. I text the Pet Angels. They say the light is very soft and it’s worth a try.

Sure enough they’re right, and off goes Isis, tail afloat. Being dogwise people they have sussed out her weird little ways, and decide that while Gilbert and George have wild, looping runs on the old bowling green, supervised by S, she can lead R off towards shrubberies and round the pond.

She has a brilliant walk. She sniffs under dozens of bushes, trots happily round the pond three times, popping over the low palings to follow little mammal trails, and then back again onto the path. When they reach the big field, without any warning, she takes off for a good gallop, compelling R to race behind her. Rude animal.

Back home, she has a brief nap – about twenty minutes – before she is up again, high as a kite, snatching at her toys, leaping and twirling. This goes on for about two and a half hours. I don’t know if it’s the strange weather or the dash across the field which inspired her most, but she’s certainly had a great day.

Today it’s dull and cloudy again. No hint of sun.

Obviously, another lovely walk, and, as we know ……………………………..




‘A tired dog is a good dog.’





Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal f

Posted in Kings Heath Park, relationship building, running running, walking in the park, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Isis has a tumble



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 15th 2017


It’s stupid Human’s fault of course. It usually is.







At dog’s tea time Isis enjoys a tasty bowl of Burns, enhanced by a sardine.


But Human omits to give Hairy One her fresh bowl of water. That’s the first mistake.

Then she pops upstairs and forgets to pull the improvised gate across the stairs.

Before she knows it Isis is on the landing, carefully sniffing the floor. She must have smelled the cat food which has just been put out for Daisy.

But no, she’s not showed any interest in the cat food before. Of course. The poor deprived animal is searching for the water bowl which was always kept on the landing.

Panic. There is no way I can carry Isis downstairs because my arms aren’t working. Before she realises what I’m about to do, I hook a finger into her collar and twitch her onto the stairs. She is terrified and begins to stumbles downwards. To avoid being pulled down after her, I hastily unhook my finger.

The poor little dog scrambles, twists and bounces, then rolls over and over until stopped by the half drawn stair gate.

I watch in horror.

I’m even more horrified when poor Isis, obviously terrified and confused begins to scramble back upstairs again.

I meet her half way up and block her with my legs. But she has lost her head – who can blame her – and is determined to get past me.

I sit down on the stairs and encircle her with my legs. Then, wrapping my limp arms around her in the hope that this will be reassuring, I backside shuffle, millimetre by millimetre, closer and closer to the bottom of the stairs. Little Isis, bless her, doesn’t growl or snap. She leans against me and waits.

When we reach the last step, I free her and give her a little nudge with my knee. She moves forward, but to add insult to injury, the gate slides and lands on top of her. Fortunately, it’s a lightweight structure and she squirms from beneath it unharmed.

Fortunately again, neither of us is hurt. She bears no grudges and happily accepts cuddles and treats.

And she’s clearly delighted with her lovely fresh water, poor innocent dog.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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three goodbyes and two visits



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 11th 2017


Very sad news last week. D., who moved out of Birmingham a couple of years ago tells me that her lovely labradoodle Billy has just died.

Billy, renowned for his obsession with rolling in deep, muddy puddles, and known to his closest friends as  Billybogs, was the sweetest, most cheerful dog you could meet. My previous dog, Ellie enjoyed many happy hours and several sleep-overs at Billy’s house.

She liked to take over his very large bed, but growled over the edge of it at poor Billy when he tried to settle in hers!

Much to D.’s amusement, when they were let out into the garden, Billy was boss. He strode ahead around his large domain, demonstrating where it was legitimate to pee, while Ellie trotted respectfully behind him, peeing on exactly the same stem or leaf.

Gr. summed up Billy beautifully. “He was such a happy dog.”

More sad news comes this week. Lovely Ralph, a sleek, black, working cocker, and sweet Gemma have also died suddenly.

When I first met Ralph in Kings Heath Park, he was little bigger than my hand. He was an incredibly energetic dog who was still shooting like an arrow after his beloved kong even when I last saw him a few weeks ago.

Gemma was rescued from a huge roundabout in the north of Birmingham. Only a few months old and terrified, she was racing round and round in and out of the traffic. A motorist managed to stop. Engine running, she opened her passenger door, called out and, amazingly, the pup jumped into the car.

She was taken to Ray Deddicott’s Holly Trees Animal Rescue Trust.

Now Gemma was about the size of a small labrador. And J. was looking for a westie sized dog. She heard Gemma’s story and took her home.

Three lovely dogs with devoted owners.

How sad.



This week Isis and I have visitors. First J. arrives. Already suffering from significant health problems, she injured her back about six weeks ago and has been unable to take energetic springer spaniel Lily to the park for six weeks.

Last week she bought a disability scooter, and today they’d been to the park.

J. hopes that Lily might sit on the foot board of the scooter in a ladylike fashion, but so far, Lily has declined, preferring to trot along at J.’s side.






It was lovely to see them.

Next, Je., Miki and Wilda arrive.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that Wilda was the ring bearer at Je. and L.’s wedding.

Well, now she’s a little baby sitter. Well, not quite, but she and baby Miki are well bonded. Apparently she used to run away when Miki cried. Now she looks at him with concern, gives him a sniff and waits impatiently for help to arrive.






It’s over six weeks since I walked in the park, and I’ve missed my park mates enormously. It was lovely to see them again and catch up on park goings on.

Hairy One, of course, has suffered no such deprivation. Since she returned from kennels nearly three weeks ago, she has been taken to the park most days by R. and S.

Although she’s very cautious and approaches human visitors gingerly, she always comes to join us in the front room.

Dog visitors are a different matter altogether. Both Lily and Wilda are keen to say hello, but Isis slinks off into her back room where she stays until they’ve left.

When Billy visited, she used to shoot upstairs and glue herself to the bed.

So I guess there’s some progress.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

Posted in Isis at home, Kings Heath Park, park dogs, strange behaviour | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

up to date



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 8th 2017


Isis has been playing happily and very muddily in the garden this afternoon. Around four o’clock, R. texts to ask if said hairy might fancy a walk to Kings Heath Park.

Lucky Isis. She’s a bit surprised, but after popping back and forth from the drive to the pavement for a while, just to tease R., off she goes. I can see her fluffy white whitish tail bobbing along the top of the garden walls.


Final Episode of the sorry tale: the rescue


You left me stuck in Wales with a very badly sprained left foot and two extremely compromised upper limbs.

Enough of this misery. I’ll précis the rest.

Generous K., Polymath’s niece and my very good friend, says she’ll drive up, stay a few days, visit her hospitalised auntie and then drive me back to Birmingham.

I am profoundly grateful.

By now the foot is so badly swollen that I can hardly bear to rest it on the ground. When we visit the hospital, the ever resourceful K. hijacks a wheelchair and whizzes me down to the ward.

“And I’m only a visitor”, I snigger foolishly each time we pass a nurse.

Back home, the foot is X-rayed. As I thought, no broken bones. But since I can neither walk or use my arms, I am referred to the NHS Rapid Response Team who come into the house twice a day for almost two weeks to supervise showers and bring upstairs food and drink.

I am grateful beyond words that this service is offered to the elderly decrepit who are foolish enough to move very heavy objects around when the whim takes them.

Isis has been back for two weeks now and has adapted well to the new regime, that is Human no longer takes her for walks but lies on her bed or the futon twenty-four seven, groaning loudly when she is forced to move.

I visit the shoulder surgeon who needs more information before he operates, so I have to wait until early November for another scan – MRI this time.

Our dog walking friends have been amazing. R. and S. have been taking Hairy One out to the park every morning – except when the sun is bright and she refuses to go. Embarrassing animal. Bev. does emergency shopping and sets up an online shopping account for me. Je., and R. have told me to let them know if I need anything – and they mean it. M. rings me when she is about to go to Aldi to see if I need anything, Ju., who has damaged her back and been immobilised herself for several weeks has now acquired a scooter and assures me that she will visit as soon as she’s put in enough practice. And Gr. keeps me informed of all the park business.

Isis and I are very, very lucky.

So henceforth I shall refrain from bewailing my fate and concentrate again on Isis.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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a sorry tale almost completed



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 4th 2017


Isis has another lovely walk with S. and R. and their patient hounds Gilbert and George. Yesterday the sun unobligingly popped out as they arrived to collect her, and nothing could persuade her to move from the pavement just outside her gate. Today, long suffering R. assures her that it’s perfectly safe if they set off in the opposite direction, and off they go, slowly at first, but gradually gaining momentum.

Hairy One returns full of the joys and repairs to her futon for a post happy walk snooze.



Episode 3: the suitcase


So there I am with both upper limbs out of action. And it’s only a few days before I’m off to make a second visit Polymath who has had a serious stroke and is in hospital in Wales.

On Saturday I reluctantly leave little Isis in her kennels – a week seems a long time. I intended to leave Daisy there too, but Ray, who runs the kennels, cattery and rescue centre (all creatures accepted) is worried. He thinks that Daisy, who has never stayed in a cattery, is eighteen and on medication, will be too stressed by the experience, so I arrange for Emma, a lovely cat sitter to tend Daisy twice a day at home.

Since I am no longer able to drive, I set off the next day for the train station, the wheels of my suitcase clacking gently behind me.

The suitcase is not heavy. I have packed the absolute minimum. Because of my damaged shoulder, there is no way, of course, that I can pull it along with my right hand. I have to use the swollen left hand.

The walk from the station to my friend’s house is usually a very pleasant one along the promenade. It only takes about ten minutes.

Today it’s not at all pleasant. The case keeps twisting away from me and I struggle to control it with my left hand which is now very painful. As I near the house, I notice that my left foot is a little sore.

The next morning, I attempt to climb the stairs and fall over.

I am aware of a pain zigging through my foot. When I look down, I can’t believe what I see. Over night the foot has swollen enormously. It is grotesquely distorted and looks like a flipper.

I can only surmise that struggling with the case the night before, I must have skewed my entire weight over onto the left foot.

So there I am in Wales, three limbs down and one to go.

At this point, I begin to feel a bit desperate!


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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a sorry tale continued



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 1st 2017


Despite her assault on poor George, S. and R. have generously continued to take Isis on a lovely long walk to Kings Heath Park and back each weekday. R. said that she and Isis are getting to know each other’s ways now and that they had a very nice dance on Friday. Hairy One obviously loved it and came back bursting with pleasure.

She’s not had walks over the weekend nor has she been able to play in the horribly muddy garden, but she has been a very co-operative little dog. Yesterday afternoon while I was spread out resting my wayward limbs on the futon, she played by herself for hours, leaping up and down on the mat, swinging snakes and bears around. Every fifteen minutes or so there was a tremendous crash as a creature was smashed against the futon, but at least she was enjoying herself, dear little thing.

Now back to the sorry tale, the cause of poor Hairy One’s walkless weekend  ….


Episode 2: The Fence


A few days after carrying the architect’s plan chest upstairs, I set off to Wales to visit Polymath.

Along one side of her garden, on top of a two foot wall, is a four foot fence made of heavy vertical planks. Soon after I arrive, her neighbour explains that the fence, which is Polymath’s  responsibility, has come away from the wall and is dangerous. Because the houses are only a few hundred yards from the sea, the winds can be extremely fierce, blowing dustbins and heavy pots around the yards.

Polymath is disabled and impecunious, so I merrily offer to demolish the fence.

I saw it into four sections about six foot long, carrying each section across the garden and leaning it up against the old shed.

It is a struggle. I should have sawn the sections in half again.

The hardest part is heaving each section from the top of the wall without knocking myself unconscious. I have to lift the wood high above my head in order to free it from its base so both arms are stretched upwards as far as they can go.

As the weight causes me to sink into the soil well above my ankles, I congratulate myself. I am delighted that I can still achieve such feats.


The work is done in less than two hours and everything cleared away. True, my right shoulder aches a bit next day but not enough to stop me driving home.

Over the following six or eight weeks, the shoulder becomes more and more painful until, eventually, I am virtually driving with my left hand only. After a week or so of this, the pain becomes excruciating and I can no longer drive.

A scan reveals that I have torn one tendon attached to my right shoulder across its width and displaced a second one.

My GP also thinks that the shoulder might be dislocated.

Because of the extent of the damage, I am advise to wear a sling full time.

I do but after about twenty four hours my left hand has swollen to the size of a small boxing glove and is very painful.

Oh dear. Two upper limbs out of action, two feet to go.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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a sorry tale



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday September 27th 2017


Well, talk about biting the hand which feeds you.

Isis disgraced herself today. It was my fault really. I was too slow too pick up on the situation.

Isis is prancing up and down in the porch waiting for S. and R. to collect her for an afternoon walk. They all arrive on the drive. But when she finds sweet, friendly George has come up to greet us she realises she is surrounded. I see her trying to sniff a way out behind R’s leg but grasp too late that she is beginning to panic.

Suddenly, poor George lifts up a slender, elegant tawny fore leg and lets out a blood curdling scream. R. and I have no idea what has happened to him. But S. has. He saw Isis bite him.

Poor George screams in shock and pain for about forty seconds. Isis has drawn blood.

Everyone tries to comfort him, and, eventually, he accepts a treat from R.

Isis and Gilbert appear unmoved.

I am mortified. And shocked. Isis has never attacked another dog before. Usually she is cowed if dogs come close to her and just backs away. Perhaps she felt brave because she was only just outside her own house.

She seems to be quite territorial and will bark when people she doesn’t know walk up to the house or along the pavement just outside her gate. She has never behaved aggressively to a passing dog though.

As soon as I am mobile, I must do some serious training with her at the front of the house.

Very kindly, S. and Ruth still take Isis with them.




So to another sorry tale. The tale of how stupid human ended up with only one limb working properly.


Episode 1: the plan chest

It’s April this year. I acquire an old, heavy, architects’ plan chest in which I intend to store A1 and larger art paper and card.

The chest can be split into two but even so the sections are extremely heavy.

There’s no-one around to help. I phone C. to ask if he might be free later on, but am unable to contact him.

I huff and puff, curse mightily, and eventually manage to manouevre the first section onto the bottom of the staircase. Three times I succeed in pushing it half way up the stairs, and three times it slips back down. It’s too heavy for me to halt its descent but I manage to flatten myself against the banisters as it clatters past me and hits the chair at the bottom of the stairs.

It could have killed me, I realise. But now I am well worked up. I will get this thing upstairs.

Goodness knows how I manage it, but I do, even succeeding in hauling it over the top banister and onto the landing. It takes me about thirty minutes.

I am exhausted, soaked with sweat and triumphant.

Of course I now know that I can get the other section upstairs. After a break and a drink I do.

Clever me!

Or not.


To be continued …..


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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my Isis comes home



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday September 24th 2017


Yesterday S., one of  Gilbert and George greyhounds’ humans, took me to fetch Isis back from the kennels. She had been there for three weeks.







Continue reading

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from bad to worse



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday September 10th 2017


Yes, it’s from bad to worse here, so this is really a no post.

My left hand has gone down but is still painful to use and my left foot has swollen up so that it looks like a little white seal attached to my leg.

I think it’s the result of dragging my case on the left side to avoid damaging the right shoulder.

Have to go for X-Ray tomorrow.

Poor little Isis is still in kennels.

Daisy cat is living the life: she likes spending hours with me in bed.

Hope by Wednesday to returning to normality.

Let’s find a picture of little Isis to cheer ourselves up.






Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the ce

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a nocturnal dilemma



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday September 6th 2017


Last week was not a merry one.

On Tuesday Doc explains the scan result: Human has torn a shoulder tendon across its width and displaced another tendon connecting to her biceps.

While she is awaiting surgery, she must wear a sling throughout the day.

It’s her right shoulder.

Yes, of course she’s right handed.

She begins to use her left hand for everything cat, dog and human. Even by Wednesday, her left hand is beginning to ache. Then her wrist swells and throbs.

At 1. 30 a.m she is lying in bed feeling decidedly sorry for herself when she imagines – it has to be imagination, please let it be imagination – she hears what sounds very similar to a little dog beginning to climb the stairs.

She couldn’t have forgotten to put the stair gate on.

Could she?

Yes, she could.

Someone pale and cautious creeps into the room.

And heads for the bottom of the bed, its usual access point.

I feel a rush of light kitty paws zooming towards the end of the bed.

HSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrowuh!


Chunter, chunter.

Poor Isis scrambles out of the room as fast as her hairy legs can carry her.


I roll out of my bed and put a dog bed on the landing.

For an hour I try to think of a way of getting Isis downstairs. Then sad, half-stifled, little woofs are heard from the landing.

I roll out of bed again. (If anyone’s wondering why I roll, just try getting out of bed without using either hand or arm).

Hairy One is not in her dog bed. She is hunched uncomfortably on the boards looking very sad.

I bring the dog bed into the bedroom and place it on the floor by my side of the bed. After much cuddling and cajoling, I eventually persuade Isis to get onto it.

She remains there all night looking miserable and uneasy.

I stay awake until seven, worrying about getting Isis downstairs.

Daisy curls up into a smug kitty ball, happy in the knowledge that that pesky dog will not be bothering her again. She looks utterly relaxed. She doesn’t worry about anything at all.

In the morning, I sit at the top of the stairs and try to entice Isis to climb onto my lap. I plan to bottom shuffle down, clasping her. But she is terrified of falling downstairs and won’t approach me.

I try to pull her towards me, but my left hand screams with pain.

What a spectacle of misery we are.

What the hell can I do? All of my neighbours are even older and more decrepit than I am. Ironically, my friend A whom Isis trusts and whom she would allow to carry her down, has strained her left shoulder and is unable to drive.

There’s nothing else for it. I keep my upper right arm jammed against my body so I’ll not stretch the shoulder, and let my left hand hang limp. Then I shuffle both forearms under Isis like a fork lift truck and pin her against my chest.

We lurch slowly down the stairs.

She is a very good little dog. She stays statue still. She doesn’t move until her paws are just above the ground. She couldn’t have been more helpful, but there’s kickback as she leaves my arms.


Poor Isis. I am off to visit Polymath who is still in hospital in Wales. Isis will have to spend a few days at Hollytrees.

But not Daisy. Ray fears that at eighteen plus, on thyroid medication and not having stayed away from home since she was a kitten, Daisy could become dangerously stressed in the cattery.

So the naughty little creature gets to stay at home being looked after by lovely cat-sitter Emma.





Life’s not fair, is it Isis?


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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