a sight for sore eyes



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


Wednesday March 14th 2018


Oh, the weather, the weather. Cold, frosty days are easy. No mud. On damp days, we’ve become accustomed to cleaning hairy heels and feet, accompanied, of course, by low, rumbly growls and a kitchen floorful of murky brown puddles.

But Monday is something else. It’s been raining intermittently for days , and the ground is sodden. And I mean sodden. Because Isis likes to dance on the same stretch on every  visit, the once clean, fresh grass is now scarred and churned. And Isis is raring to go.

Oh dear.

No problem if I could just lift her into the sink to wash her, but I can’t.

Ah, but I could direct her to the other end of the track where it’s still clean and green. Good thinking. A little prod, and off she goes. What an obliging animal. While she gets on with her ecstatic capers, I shield my phone with a waterproof mitten and read the news.

When I next glance up, I behold a craggily black back end, four exceedingly black legs and a black underside.

How the hell has she managed to get so filthy in fifteen minutes? Yes, I know: dogs don’t find that so difficult.

I peer down the lane where she is standing up to her knees in mud waggling a sludge covered snake. Yes, of course, her mouth, whiskers and beard are claggy with mud too.

Silly me. I’d forgotten that neighbour M. had moved heavy machinery on a trailer some weeks ago. Two of the vehicle’s wheels had sunk into the turf and left deep ruts across one of Hairy One’s reserve stamping grounds at that end of the lane.

Oh well, she might as well enjoy herself. She can’t get any filthier – unless she rolls in the pool, and Isis never rolls.

After a wet hour, I leave Isis to play while I squelch back to the house and fill all the plastic receptacles I can find with warm water. Having placed them in the entry by the back door, I add a jug of watered down shampoo. Then off I go to collect the disgusting animal.




The last time I attempted to wash her down  outside  she kicked over the water before I could even get started. Bearing this in mind, and eying her warily, I grasp her collar with one hand and with the other swog her with bottle after bottle, bowl after bowl of water. Even the end of her tail and swatches of the hair on her sides are gritty and spiky with mud.





To my surprise, she stands still and lets me wash her.

We return to the kitchen and she is wrapped in a large towel. That’s better. Now she knows the ordeal is over. She leans against me and and begins to wag her tail.

What an admirable animal !

She gets lots of pats and a nice piece of cheddar.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

Posted in deaf/blind dog plays, dear little Isis, I'm off my lead!, Isis at home, relationship building, running running | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daisy frightens me



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


Sunday March 11th 2018


When she first arrived, poor Isis was ravenous. Not surprising, I discovered later, as she only weighed around nine kilos instead of her ideal weight of between fourteen and fifteen. Once she reached her ideal weight, and realised that food comes every day, she calmed down and ate well, but not voraciously. Now she no longer picks up rubbish or attempts to snatch food from my plate. If she can choose between eating and running outside, she always chooses the running. She turns her nose up at treats she doesn’t fancy. Now, in fact, she is not a food orientated dog, just a good eater.

Daisy, to be fair, is very good considering her staple diet is Royal Canine Renal food. We’re lucky really, as cats are not known for adhering to strict diets. Very occasionally, when I have a carnivore visiting, she gets a tiny amount of chicken, but otherwise, there’s no variety. When I took her on from Polymath last July, Daisy ate only the tuna version of the food, but I borrowed a chicken pouch from C. a few months ago and kitty went nuts over it. So, being a cat, she went right off the tuna and demanded chicken. A couple of weeks ago, I tried her on the beef variety. At the moment, that’s what she prefers. She eats well for a tiny cat who will be nineteen at the beginning of April.





Now, Isis only ever refuses her food if something has frightened her. Then, she won’t even accept her favourite treats. But once the fear has passed, she’s soon back to normal.

But, out of the blue, Daisy puts the wind up me. She stops eating. My immediate response, of course, is ” Oh, god, she’s on the way out.”

She walks up to her dish eagerly, sniffs at the food and walks away. I give her beef. She doesn’t want it. I offer tuna. I offer chicken. She refuses both.

I fantasise about her demise. What will I tell Polymath as her cat gradually fades away? I can’t dig a grave for her until my shoulders have been operated on and had three months each to heal. Who can I ask to do it? It will be impossible anyway. The ground is frozen.

For two days, I am worried sick. Then Daisy creeps onto my chest when I go to bed and her face twitches and twitches. This happened from time to time when she lived in Wales. Polymath thinks it’s because, periodically, kitty has toothache. Because of her age, taking out the teeth is not recommended unless her life quality becomes seriously compromised.

Dim Human at last begins to wonder whether the refusal to eat might have anything to do with the teeth. Ah, but she’s not refusing to eat her Dreamies, is she? Ah, but the Dreamies aren’t cold, are they. Human gets up and touches the cat food in Daisy’s dish. It’s very cold, even though the heating is on.


Human goes downstairs and stands the dish in hot water before stirring a little boiling water into the food.

Isis, wondering what the hell is going on at this time of night, appears, blinking, in the kitchen doorway. She is given a morsel of cheese and sent back to bed.

Returning to the bedroom, Human picks up a sleepy Daisy and sets her down beside her dish. The poor little cat falls on the food. She clears the dish.

Although it’s much warmer this week and Daisy has stopped twitching, I continue to warm her food. Cats like their prey warm and her appetite seems better than before the twitching began.

On Friday, Emma (petservices) takes me, Isis and Daisy to White Cross Vets down the road. There’s good news: Hairy One’s anal glands are only ‘normally’ full, although she’s not had them emptied for six weeks. The vet explains that the anal gland situation can improve when a dog has a good diet. Daisy is judged to be doing well on her change from thyroid cream to thyroid tablet, her heart is in excellent shape for an elderly cat,  and her coat is healthy.

When they are weighed, Hairy One’s weight is still stable and Furry One has put on two grams!



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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

*At last, a date for the first shoulder op. It’s next Friday. (March 16th) Shudder. Must keep thinking about being able to drive and being able to hold Hairy One’s lead again.


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a momentous day



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


Wednesday March 7th 2018


It’s Monday. There’s still plenty of snow lying around but a thaw is underway. It’s nice and dull, just as Isis likes it when R. texts to ask if it is O.K. to collect Isis around ten. Brilliant.

Unfortunately, by the time Pet Angels and hounds Gilbert and George arrive, the sun has emerged in a threateningly wide slant.

Oh dear, I fear the Pet Angels will have had a wasted journey. Isis, thrilled when her harness and lead are put on, begins leaping up and down with excitement in the porch. She is even more excited when R. opens the porch door.

After a pre-walk pee on the front ex-lawn, she  – Isis, not R. –  pops merrily out of the gate and onto the pavement. Oh, but it’s sunny. She attempts to turn left and stops in her tracks as R. begins to turn right.


R. gives her lead an encouraging tug but Isis balks at the idea, arches her hairy back, stiffens her front legs and leans backwards.

Oh dear.

Undaunted, R. walks round the defiant creature and takes another pace forward. Each time R. makes a determined effort to proceed in a westerly direction, Isis makes an equally determined lunge towards the east.






Embarrassing animal.

S., Gilbert and George wait patiently. They are used to Hairy One’s hissy fits. I imagine  the hounds sighing to themselves, “Not again.”

That’s it. They will have to abandon the troublemaker.

R. steps back to the gate and opens it. I wait for Isis to rush to the house to be comforted by Human.

But she ignores the gate and tug, tug, tugs to the left. R. indulges her and off they set. None of we humans, I learn later, expect the pest to walk further than the road gate which opens onto the lane. Apologies are already forming on my tongue as I await their imminent return.

Five minutes pass. Then ten. I fantasise that the little group is stranded on a sunny corner while Isis has a fit of hysteria.

More than ninety minutes later, R. and Isis return looking quite jaunty and very pleased with themselves. Isis is not overwhelmed with relief to be reunited with me. No, not at all. She’d happily go out again with R.

She has, R. tells me, been a very brave girl. She had a podengo moment when they reached Howard Road but was cajoled into moving on towards the park. I am amazed. R. thinks that although she is afraid, the canny creature remembers what a good time she has when she gets there, and this prompts her to  keep going.

Once off lead in the park she does, indeed, have a delightful time. After a while, R. wonders whether  her charge might like a change from racing round the shrubbery and pruning the hazels. She tosses an experimental snowball so that it showers onto Hairy One’s back.

Oh yes, this is much appreciated. After more well received snowballs, R. tries kicking snow at her. She loves this too. Even so, R. finds herself glancing around furtively to make sure that no animal loving informant is witnessing her kicking snow at a poor, helpless, disabled dog!

When R. thinks that Isis has had enough, she walks away and stands still. But Isis soon sniffs her out, grabs a mouthful of snow and drops it beside her. She, quite obviously, has not had enough.

Braving the sun and co-operative play: two breakthroughs in one day.

How impressive is that!


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk



Posted in clever girl, deaf/blind dog plays, Kings Heath Park, relationship building, teaching my deaf/blind dog, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

manners maketh dog



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


Sunday March 5th 2018


It’s a while since we caught up with Hairy One’s table (as it were) manners. As you may recall, these had deteriorated alarmingly by the time she returned in September from  three weeks in kennels.

Here she was, once again ferociously defending her dinner from hordes of imaginary creatures, just as she did when she first came to live here.

Three weeks, it appears, is long enough to re-establish the habit with a vengeance, for it has been surprisingly difficult to get her back onto the straight and narrow.

After battling with the, ‘You bark and I take your dinner away’, routine for months, she did become much less frenzied. Some days she even ate quietly. But there were still frequent nyaffing outbursts, and at this stage I am beginning to despair of retraining her.






A new strategy is called for, and I decide to employ the ‘well behaved dog gets treat, noisy dog doesn’t’ routine which works so well with grooming.

Isis sits nicely, as always. I touch her face or neck gently to signal it’s time to eat. If she defends her food raucously, she gets no treat. If she eats quietly, there’s a reward.

She’s a bright little dog and cottons on quickly.

Sometimes, especially if there are bits of sun slanting through a window, she emits a low grumble as she munches. This is acceptable as long as there’s no escalation.

And when it’s dark, I switch off the light before she eats, and all is calm.

So feeding time is no longer a battle.

What a relief.

There’s one downside though. Once she’s finished eating like a civilised animal, and is sitting, nose uplifted, ready for her reward, she finds Human unacceptably slow to produce it, and gives a loud, shrilly meaningful bark.

Oh well, you can’t win them all.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

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there’s no free lunch



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


Wednesday February 28th 2018


Heck it’s cold. Even though Hairy One has two thick coats, I still feel I need to leave the heating on low for her at night as the back room is never as warm as the rest of the house. The problem is I have to get up early in the morning to turn it up again.

She seems fine with the arrangement and is still perfectly happy to prance around outside whatever the temperature. It’s -2 during the day today, -7 tonight, but we only have brief flurries, not serious snow like they’re getting along the East side of the country. Snow expected again tomorrow and Friday, more serious snow, may be. Isis will be delighted.

But on Friday, it is predicted, the temperature will begin to rise and continue to rise over the weekend before peeing it down on Monday and continuing to do so for at least the rest of the week. Isis will like that too. Anything interesting falling out of the sky pleases her: snow, rain, sleet, autumn leaves.

It’s the coming in bit and its aftermath which she’s not so keen on.

Especially the aftermath.

Her paws and the backs of her legs are caked with thick, black mud. Yes, Isis, all four of them need to be cleaned. And your whiskers.

Hopefully, I’ve remembered to close the kitchen door – with the door handle on the inside.

Yes, I have. Isis sits, leaning miserably against it, well aware of her fate.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think that a cruel person in her early life must have done something very  nasty to her legs, because she hates them being touched.

I soak cloths in warm water and gently wipe the top of each front paw, then the back of each leg, then each paw. This thoughtfulness is rewarded by low, but threatening growls. The growls become much louder and considerably more threatening as I move to her back legs.


Oh don’t be so silly.


For goodness sake.


Just be grateful you’re not a centipede.


There’s no snapping nowadays. We know we don’t snap at Human. Ever.

The wiping of her muddy, snake gripping jaws, whiskers and her beard doesn’t elicit growls. It’s very hard to growl when one’s jaws, whiskers and beard are being wiped. Instead the ingrate shakes her head vigorously from side to side.

When I begin to dry her whiskers with a soft towel, the scene changes immediately. Now we are all sweetness and light, a very different dog. Her tail is wagging and she lifts her head up towards me in a gesture which I can only think of as benevolent. If dogs could smile, it would be a smile.

Being dried is nice. It also designates an end to canine suffering. Human must be almost finished.

And , of course, we are bound to get a treat.

“It’s for compensation, dear, not good behaviour”, I tell her.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

Posted in I'm off my lead!, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, relationship building, running, teaching my deaf/blind dog, training | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

out the gate and into the lane



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


Sunday February 25th 2018



Amazingly, on this bitterly cold day, am I sitting out in the lane at the bottom of the garden while Hairy One cavorts on the grass.

We’ve been here well over an hour now and I’m still not cold. It’s surprising how warm the winter sun can be.

Mind you, I do have a lot of clothes on. We’ll skip the first layer. Too much information for a late Sunday afternoon, I think.

So, beginning with the next layer, I am clad in: thermal vest, long sleeved, polo-necked cotton jumper, long sleeved acrylic jumper, fleece, neck warmer, padded coat, scarf and woolly hat. My nether regions sport full length jersey leggings beneath cord trousers. I have on two pairs of gloves, one pair fingerless, made of wool, and knitted for me by my mother, when, as a student, I did a postal round in the Christmas vacations; the other, incredibly warm, insulated ski mittens which I bought in TK Max out of season.

This animal I’m watching is something else. As usual, she hasn’t stopped running, leaping, twisting and turning since she arrived ninety minutes ago.

I lie. Once or twice, after a successful snake hunt, and having given Snake a good shake, she has lain on the grass for a few seconds, tail wagging, and finished him off with a hearty chomp.

Such energy. I could never have imagined it when I first set eyes on her. Are all podengos like this?

Oh, I forgot to mention that she had been bouncing around on the rug in the front room for the best part of an hour before we came out.

I’m delighted that I invested in a garden gate. It’s made life so much better for Isis and me on days it’s not been possible for her to go to the park.

Must admit, it’s getting somewhat chilly now. My typing hand, temporarily divested of its outer glove, is actually cold.

Right, little one, you’ve had an hour and forty-five minutes out here.

Time to go in.










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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

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she gets mad and I get brushed



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


Wednesday February 21st 2018


You wouldn’t believe the rude things Human is shouting at the computer. She’s historical histrionic hysterical.

I’m afraid I’ve had to take over. At this time of night as well. Everyone knows it’s past dogs’ bedtime.

It’s the pictures of me again. They’re beautiful of course. She’s cross because the pictures  won’t come of her phone onto here.

The words she says smell  dreadful and she’s jumping up and down in her chair. Disgusting. She needs putting out in the garden.

She’s just gone into the kitchen. I expect she’s re-heating her coffee in the microwave again.

Quick! Quick! What can I say? I know. I’ll tell you about what she did to me the other day. It was horrible.

Now I’m as quick to know what she’s going to do as any other dog. I may not be able to see or hear  but I can smell brushes and combs as soon as she brings them in. Even if they’re in my room already, I can smell them being taken out from under the trolley.

Well, my winter undercoat grew as usual this year. I didn’t let her know I had it on in case she started thinking about grooming. Horrible word, grooming, it makes me shudder.

But the other week little bits of it kept popping through my top coat. She noticed of course. I wish humans would mind their own bloody – no, I won’t sink to human levels – business. Then, and you’re not going to believe this, she starts pulling the little bits out. Yes, I know they’re not attached and it doesn’t hurt. That’s not the point. They belong to me, not her.

Dog knows what she’s do if I pulled her hair out. She behaves badly enough when it’s just the phone and the pictures upsetting her.

Anyway, I’m just standing there, waiting to see where we’re going next, when next thing I know I can smell the brush in her hand. As usual, I rush for my big box. I’m safe in there. But she’s taken the box away.

My bed’s still here. I get in quick. But she can still reach me. I jump up onto my futon.

But it’s no good. Nowhere is safe. I used to snarl and snap at her hand but that just doesn’t feel all right now. Don’t know why. She needs a – no, Isis, you’re a dog, not a human. Dogs have standards. She needs a good, hard bite.

Anyway, I put up with it all, even being brushed under my chin which I hate, even being combed behind my ears. It’s really awful. She hasn’t been able to groom me like this for months because it hurt her. Snigger. Now she’s got stereos  androids steroids she can do nasty things to me again.

She goes on and on and on. Still I didn’t say any of the bad things she’s being saying all night.

I feel the brush getting fatter and fatter and my lovely undercoat getting thinner and thinner.

I know she feels guilty because my nose keeps getting kissed.

I’d rather skip the kisses and be left alone.

At least I get a piece of cheese when she’s finished.






I should bloo think so too.

I think she’s going to bed now. Thank dog for that.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk


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things are getting better



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


Sunday February 18th 2018


It’s still the same week. Despite Isis venturing on the day bed and lying beside me on Monday evening, she refuses to repeat the performance. On Tuesday she returns to her futon and there she stays.


On Wednesday morning, Ja. struggles with the washing machine filter but can’t get it out. In the afternoon I notice that the pools of water from the filter have dried up, leaving behind a myriad of tiny fragments of tissues.

Now, anyone can leave the odd tissue in a pocket, but a boxful? Rather extreme. Even for me. No wonder the machine won’t drain.

I wonder if I put it on a programme which includes draining automatically, rather than one which requires you to switch to drain manually, the machine might work.

After two days I try this. The machine completes the programme and drains.

What a relief.

I’ll wait a while before I try the ‘manual drain’ programme again. I’ve had enough for this week.


The defunct microwave is part of a combination oven and will be expensive to replace. After indulging in a good sink, I decide to keep the cooker and grill part and just buy a new microwave, so that doesn’t seem so bad.

Now, over a week later, things are looking up.

The washing machine is still working. Adopted Niece collected a new microwave for me from Argos when she was in Birmingham last weekend. The replacement radio lead has arrived from Amazon.

And ……………………………………………………….






…………. little Isis has taken to the day bed as her default sleeping place.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk


Posted in dear little Isis, Isis at home, sleeping arrangements | Tagged | 4 Comments

but we’re not finished yet ……



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


Wednesday February 14th 2018


Three days after the hexed Monday, the microwave stops working. Honestly.

No cooking for me then!

Then, the day after that, I knock my radio onto the floor and a wire is torn out of the connection.

This Monday, Isis can’t go to the park with the Pet Angels because the sun is too bright, so, exactly a week after all our troubles began, there we are in The Lane, Isis playing with snake in the shade, I sitting on my plastic chair in the sun.

Soon I become aware of a very cold sensation in my nether regions. I know it’s an extremely cold day, but not this cold, surely?

When I get up to examine the chair seat I find that a sheet of ice has formed on it overnight. I hadn’t noticed it when I placed my plastic bag on the seat.

The sheet is now deliquescent and the bottom of my coat is very wet. Ew!

With difficulty and a short stick, I prise off the ice.

Settling back on the chair, I feel it lean a little to the right. Sensible as ever, I lean a little to the right too to test it out. I can’t of course, break a fall with my arms so I have to stay put as the inevitable happens in slow motion and I descend into the brambles.





Chuckling away to myself, I take the above image. I find it very funny. Until I face the challenge of getting up. Unable to risk further damaging my dislocated shoulders, I can’t pull myself up with my hands.  And although the backs of my knees are nowhere near as painful and swollen as they were, I still can’t kneel.

Oh dear.

At least no-one can watch the pantomime, sheltered as I am by garages on each side.

I glance over at Hairy One. She’s snake hunting.

It’s quite easy to shove the chair back upright with one foot, but it takes me a long time to shuffle my head and shoulders onto the seat, rock myself forward inch by inch and gradually stagger to my feet.

I’m grateful that the brambles broke my fall. They weren’t a comfortable resting place ….





but it could have been nasty if I’d landed smack on the frozen earth. And I have five layers of clothing on.

Isis is now dancing up and down the lane with her snake, quite oblivious to my plight. I make my way towards her. It’s home time.

She looks as happy as ever, so I’m unprepared for what happens next. As I reach out to place my hand on her back, she leaps, snarling into the air and jerks her head round, growling and biting at her tail.

I know that she’ll not bite me, but, as always, it’s a startling display.

This time I know immediately what must have happened.

Yes, it’s another stick mouth!

This time she is panting so heavily that she can’t clamp her jaws shut. I am able to grab the offending stick and remove it.

“Well, it’s Monday again, isn’t it?”, says Adopted Niece.


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

Posted in deaf/blind dog plays, I'm off my lead!, relationship building, running running, strange behaviour | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

what a day! part 2



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


Sunday February 11th 2018


Isis, who has recovered from her nasty ‘stick mouth’ experience is awarded a tasty treat for being a brave girl and I decided to venture into Kings Heath for the first time since the joint swellings began.

Off I set, a little nervous but in good spirits, and the 18 bus even arrives on time.

I get off just past the bottom of my road. There’s a short list of tasks to accomplish: collect my glasses from the optician; change two twenties for eight fives at the bank, buy small brush heads for my friend’s battery toothbrush and a replacement cable for her landline phone.

I head to the opticians. They’re on lunch break. Silly me.

Crossing over the road, I make my way to the 50 bus stop just as a bus arrives. Now for Kings Heath High Street and the Nat West Bank.

It’s the lunch hour and there’s an enormous queue. Ah, the powers that be haven’t yet caught on to the fact that the lunch hour is when all the local workers tend to come to the bank, probably especially on Monday. There are only two bank workers and one of them is only dealing with certain designated transactions.

I breathe deeply and stand on each foot in turn. Eventually, the designated transactions lady opens for general business. We get moving at last. My cohort has been standing in this queue for nearly thirty minutes and I’m not feeling at my best.

It’s my turn. I ask for my two twenty pound notes to be changed.

“I’m sorry, I can’t do that”, says the cashier.

I can’t believe it. She explains that she can only give me change if I am a Nat. West customer.

I gape in disbelief.

She advises me to go to my own bank. That’s really helpful. My bank doesn’t have a branch in Kings Heath. The nearest branch is in town.

Incandescent, I limp out of the bank.

Thanks a million, Nat. West. At least you could have a large, unmissable notice in the window stating that you don’t give change.

I walk down to the other end of the high street to Superdrug. All their small brush heads are size 4. Not the size I’ve been asked to buy.


I walk back and try Boots. They, too, have only size 4.

The final purchase is the telephone wire connection. The shop actually does have one.


When I arrive at my friend’s and triumphantly plug in the connection, the phone doesn’t work.  A British Telecom engineer is summoned. He will come out on Wednesday.

None of the tasks have been successfully accomplished.

Before leaving my friend, I go into her bathroom. I forget that she’s just had a shower and fail to notice a puddle of icy cold water on the floor. I have taken off my shoes and my right sock is soaked. My friend lends me a pair of socks and I leave.

At home in the evening, I am dismayed to discover that the washing machine refuses to drain. After many ill-tempered attempts to persuade it to do so, I snatch out the filter cover. The machine then, of course, drains all over the kitchen floor.

As Popeye once declared, “That’s all I can stand, and I can’t stands (sic) no more!” I grab all the dog towels I can find, throw them on top of the spreading pool and retire to the day bed.

But then, after a few minutes, the loveliest thing happens. Isis gets down from her futon, stretches, yawns mightily, interrogates the edge of the day bed very diligently for several minutes and then, finally, joins me, leaning against my legs.

I pull my double fleece throw over my head and close my eyes.


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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk


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