Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday October 25th 2020.
Over the weekend the car is still at the garage because the M.O.T. man leaves on Friday after forgetting to sign the certificate. Since it’s bright and sunny outside, Isis refuses to take a pavement walk, taking her exercise instead in the lane. She’s not played here for months and thoroughly enjoys herself.
We have the car today, so off we go to Highbury.
Still no rain. The sun is gleaming, albeit faintly. She’ll not enjoy today then. She is a little uncertain for a while. Shame.
Ah, but there’s a strong, gusty breeze. And it’s autumn. So what do strong gusty breezes do in autumn. Yes! They detach clouds of swirly leaves from their twigs …….. and blow them onto dogs’ heads and their faces and their backs and their legs.
I feel exhilarated during and after this walk because Isis is so energetic, happy & entertaining.
Today she’s being very boring! She finds a ball and all she wants to do now is lie down and mouth it. If I pat her to urge her into another run around, she obediently moves, but then walks back.
Now Pat, Isis didn’t come into this world to please you. She belongs to herself. I guess dogs are like people, inconsistent. I have energetic days and bombed out days. Ellie was always powered up, always highly energetic. Only external events like explosions, thunder slowed her down. . .
It’s dull and drizzly, so Isis is keen to walk to Kings Heath Park. She plays happily, running up and down the bank with sticks. After a while, B. arrives with Eb. While B. and I catch up on local dog news, Isis continues her hedge and bank explorations and her sudden little forays onto the old bowling green to smell out sticks. Two hours later, it’s quite a struggle, as it often is, to persuade Isis that the car is not in the car park, and therefore we have to walk home.
We’re back in Highbury. It’s wet and dull again. Another good day for hunting.
I am always fascinated by her ability to pick up the scent of a stick, track it down and home in on it.
Sniff! Sniff! Found it!
Sc-r-a-p-e, s-c-r-a-p-e. Nearly got it.
Or scrabble, scrabble, scrabble, this one’s all rolled up in grass stems and moss
Or snuffle, tug! Snuffle tug. This one’s stuck in the hedge, wrapped round with brambles.
Soon dispatch those. Brace all your paws, hold your position, stutter backwards, a jerk at a time.
T-u-u-u-u-u-u-g! It’s looser. Now, swing your body to the left, to the right, left, right, left, right.
OOOF! Skitter backwards. Triumph! Now arrange it in your mouth so it’s well balanced.
Head up high, tail waving aloft, she circles the arena in a victory trot, then takes her prey for a quick tour of the hedgerow as though to announce, ‘It’s mine. I caught it!
Yes! All by myself!
Later, we move on. She plays on the grass opposite the pond. She searches under a tree and finds a slim branch covered in clusters of rattly leaves. She bears it off into the clump of tall plants. Usually, when she plays here, after a while she tries to cut across to her favourite playground, the boggy, coal black area where she’s established a dog mud bath.
But today, strangely, she is content to hide among the tall marsh plants. This should make me suspicious. But it doesn’t. The patch is at the edge of the steep slope down to the path, so it’s well drained. She’s always clean when we leave. Nothing to concern me.
I relax and chat to several passers-by who have caught sight of the eccentric Isis twirling about, snapping the air, occasionally emerging from her patch to leap and shake her branch.
A couple of guys are particularly fascinated. When I explain my companion’s behaviour, one of them says, “I’d normally feel sad to know that a little dog can’t see, but not her! She is so happy.”
They find Hairy very interesting and ask a lot of questions about her. I have just explained that it’s great that the area she’s playing in today is well drained so I don’t have to wash her when she comes out, when one of the guys looks over at her.
‘Fraid you do today,’ he says.
Sure enough she is absolutely filthy. The photo below was taken in similar circumstances this May, and I assure you, she is much, much blacker than this.
Never mind. She’s having a wonderful time and entertaining a lot of people.
It’s a disappointing day for Isis. It’s lovely weather: dull, damp and grey. Even more appealing, are little drippy gusts of rainy wind. We set off merrily for a pavement walk. Isis wants to continue to Kings Heath Park and hopefully tries to guide me down all the right turns along Howard Road.
But Human has not organised her time well, so we only have an hour and a quarter before the St. Mary’s Hospice men are due to collect furniture from the house. Not long enough to walk there, have a good, long play and walk back.
We follow a different route though, and find a multitude of scents. Sniff, sniff. Gosh, haven’t smelt her around here for ages. Snuff-snuff. Ah yes, he always widdles up this telegraph post. Forward jolt. Side skitter. Wahay! Kitty’s recently passed this way. She’s crossed the pavement, cleared the wall and squeezed through this privet hedge.
The sun is out when we set off. No chance of a road walk this morning. Our tail is tucked out of sight as we dip and flinch our way along the path, through the gate and across the pavement. Hmmm, she’ll be very choosy about which bits of Highbury she’ll walk in today.
But the clouds are still, the sun is steady, the shadows are light and Isis trots out onto the grass perfectly calmly. Sometimes I follow her; sometimes she follows me. It’s a day for wandering, allowing ourselves to cross and recross the meadows, taking time to follow up the scents lingering from last night.
Today is perfect Isis weather again. We’ve been very lucky this week. While Isis says hello to her hedgerow, and checks out all its different trees and bushes, I surreptitiously feed the crows with kitten kibbles. Then off we go to the orchard to take the high path through the woods.
Believe it or not, Human, who has no sense of direction, even manages to go off piste in the park.
I suddenly come to a dead end. I look round for Isis but she’s nowhere to be seen. There have been several dog thefts in South Birmingham lately. Panic! Panic! Where is she?
I dash back and find the right path. Where’s my Isis? Where is she?
Stop, foolish person. Stop. Where is Isis likely to be?
Yes, on the path we should BOTH be following.
I hurry along the path.
Yes! A glimpse of white.
At least one of us knows where she’s going.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk