an embarrassing animal

 

 

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

 

Sunday January 14th 2018

 

Isis is a very lucky little dog. The Pet Angels take her for walks in Kings Heath Park during the week and neighbours M and J take her on Sunday.

As we know, bright sunbeams are a no-no. Hairy One is genuinely afraid. Her people understand that and the exercise has to be aborted, as it was last Wednesday.

But what’s your excuse for Friday, Isis?

It’s a beautifully dull and cloudy day. There’s not even a hint of sun. But as Bertie,  George and Isis walk along Grove Road, the little saboteur bucks and dives and refuses to move. Apparently, there’s a certain spot which spooks her every time.

Oh dear.

R has the idea of crossing the road and walking on the opposite pavement. It works. What patience.

They reach the park and Isis has a wonderful time dashing around her favourite shrubbery.

Today I draw back the blind and breathe a sigh of relief. The clouds are heavy. It’s an extremely dull day. There’s not even a hint of sun.

M and J arrive and the eager Isis dashes out: although she is taken outside as soon as I go down in the morning, she seems determined to deposit a pre-walk poop on the front ‘lawn’.

Oh Isis! Must you?

While M. removes the heap, J takes the bull by the horns and, crossing the road, sets off at a brisk pace along the opposite pavement. They have been talking to S and R who advised that distraction and/or taking a different path can work with Hairy One.

Isis sits down, her head turned back over her shoulder. Ah, she’s just waiting for M to catch up.

M. catches up.

Isis still sits.

The kind volunteers persist. Several times over the next fifteen minutes, I cringe to see M’s purple beanie hat passing the house.

They hate giving up on Isis, but what can one do? She refuses to leave our section of the road.

She makes her ignominious return, scrabbling her way over the threshold.

She’s cross, not frightened, explains M, and, sure enough, she’s right. As M unclips the  harness, the shameful animal stands calmly in the porch, wagging her tail and looking perfectly happy. She is obviously pleased to be home.

Oh Isis! What a wasted opportunity.

I mull over possible reasons for her behaviour, wondering whether it could simply be a reaction to Wednesday’s sun experience. This seems unlikely: she had a very good time in the park on Friday: when she returned, she meandered down the hall with a look of utter satisfaction on her face, stretched out on her futon and slept soundly for two hours.

Think again.

From the end of September up to January, I’ve rarely left the house, and except for her walks, Isis was seldom parted from me.

Since then I have been visiting a friend several times a week. I am away for up to three hours.

I have noticed some changes in Hairy One’s behaviour. She follows me as I  move around the house, or, if she is unsure of my whereabouts, searches me out anxiously.

We follow a regular bedtime routine: Isis is let out into the garden while I hide treats around the room. When she returns, she stands while I take off her collar and we exchange pats for wags. She disappears into the back room. I go upstairs.

Very recently, if, before going to bed, I open the front door or even touch it to check that it’s locked, Isis emerges from her room and comes to find me. Once she is satisfied that I’m still in the house, she trots back to bed.

I wonder whether she is suffering from separation anxiety.

Dear me.

 

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

Human made a mistake. Her steroid dose has been reduced from 30mg to 10mg a day. Today is her third day on the lower dose and although some of the symptoms are beginning to return, they’re nowhere near as bad – yet, at least – as they were at their worst. Still mobile today and just over a week to the rheumatology appointment, Teresa may permitting.

 

 

Posted in Kings Heath Park, scary shadows, strange behaviour, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

pesky sun again

 

 

*Because so many of you kindly ask how the sick one is, I’ll continue to include a brief bulletin right at the end of the blog, after the information about the Aeza Rescue.

 

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

 

Wednesday January 10th 2018

 

Yes, the sun, a sneaky, slanting one, bursts through the cloud this morning. Its menacing beam freaks out poor Isis, and when the Pet Angels come, she digs in her toes. Literally. Although R. manages to cajole and tug her out to the gate and onto the pavement, they all return minutes later.

“Abhort! Abhort!”, calls S., and Gilbert and George stand, patient as ever,  while the spoiler hurries back into the house.

Even then she is anxious and unsettled when she joins me in the front room. It’s south facing and bright. She lies down close to me, but leaps up and growls when a stripe of sunlight creeps up on her.

For the first two years or so, she is unable to tolerate being in this room at all. Even on dull days the light proves too much for her. She retires to the back room. She prefers to be on her own in there anyway.

Then, gradually, over years rather than months, her desire to be with me draws her in.

This is good, but not exactly relaxing; in fact, it’s quite nerve wracking  as every ten minutes or so, Isis shoots up from the rug, barking, snarling, spinning, biting at herself. I have to warn visitors, or they jump in the air too.

Sometimes her Doggles (dog sunglasses) help, but more often they don’t. She creeps off to lie in the hall, but soon, very cautiously, she comes back and tries again. And again.

Now we have bonded and she has other special human friends, she likes to be around me most of the time, and will come into the front room whenever I am there. She is much more tolerant of the brightness than she used to be and will usually try to put up with it. When, as it is this morning, it’s too much for her, we draw the blinds. Until recently this is  still not enough to make her want to stay. Now, inclusion seems to be everything.

I have written about her blindness before, but as time goes on, I realise that her light/shade issues are not so cut and dried.

My current thinking is that because tissue overgrowth on the surface of her eyes covers all but a minuscule area of her pupils, she is unable to close off light, and brightness blinds her.

This is a strange thing to say about a blind dog. Yet it seems that the tiny little gap in the overgrown tissue on the surfaces of her eyes allows her to navigate. I think she is able to make out vague shapes if her head is lifted at a certain angle.

When at home, in the garden or off lead in the parks or other spaces she knows, she rarely, if ever walks into anything – unless, of course, an unfamiliar object has been placed in her path.

She can certainly perceive shadows and they frighten her. R and S have also observed this. They report that even on ‘Isis favourable’ weather days, there is a certain stretch along the way to Kings Heath Park where she sits or lies down and refuses to budge. R. now kindly carries her through this threat and off they go again.

The first time I take her to the beach when the sun is bright, I expect a refusal; but she can’t wait to scramble onto the sand to run and dance ecstatically on the end her long lead. “She must feel OK because there are no shadows,” I conclude.

Sometimes, in the park, she will lie down, cowering, on dappled grass or squash herself against a bush or hedge, but when she is enticed into the open she is fine again.

Fortunately, when the sun drives her in, or there’s no-one to take her out, she plays energetically in her back room, leaping and flipping one of her snakes around, twirling, attacking her cardboard or punishing other innocent toys

 

 

 

until she is exhausted.

 

 

And now we have our own garden gate into The Lane, so when I have the energy, we have that option too.

If other people have experience or knowledge of eye conditions like Hairy One’s, I would be delighted to hear from them.

 

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

 

*Sick one is doing well on her high dose of steroids. She can walk short distances with very little pain, and the swelling in the joints is greatly reduced. On Friday the dose will be cut  from 18 mg to 2 mg daily, so we’ll see what happens.

She thinks a lot about being able to drive and to manage Hairy One on her lead again.

 

Posted in deaf/blind dog plays, Isis at home, Kings Heath Park, relationship building, running, scary shadows, twirling, walking my deaf/blind dog, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

blasted cats!

 

Special request: I am preserving anonymity here, so being deliberately vague: I received a lovely pot of 15+ Manuka honey this week from a well wisher, but have lost my e-mail addresses since changing my server. Please could he/she resend e-mail address so I can thank s/he properly? In fact, could all those readers who have given me their e-mail addresses before, re-send them? Thanks, and apologies.

 

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

 

Sunday January 7th 2018

 

I have just swapped the litter I use for kitty’s tray – clumping, Fowler’s earth type stuff. Not only is it heavy to carry downstairs for disposal, it does, as Isis noted, stink to high heaven. Equally unpleasant, it attaches itself in great quantities to Daisy’s paws. Being a cat, she removes it meticulously while reclining in the gap between my duvet and pillows. My bed  looks and smells like a large litter tray. We’ve changed to wood pellets. Much more fragrant and the bits fall off before she reaches the bed!

Yes, Isis, I know, I know. You don’t do such unsavoury things. You don’t yowl for service or use human beds as trampolines and tunnels in the night. You don’t visit kitty in the early hours and make her bark.

But you have your vices – OK so you don’t hide when you know I want you. Well, except for dashing into your bed-in-a-big-box when I take an implement really stealthily out of the grooming box. What about the very bad table manners you’ve been driving me crazy with over the last four months? Daisy certainly doesn’t behave like that at mealtimes. Ever.

That’s true, sweetheart, you have been much better lately. In fact, we’re almost back to where we were before you had to stay at Ray’s kennels for three weeks. No, it wasn’t Ray’s fault. No, not Tracey’s or Adam’s either. And no, it absolutely wasn’t Wendy’s idea.

Anyway, now I simply take your meal away when you carry on, and you don’t get it back for at least an hour; also, when you eat silently, you are rewarded immediately with a bit of cheese.

O.K. Fine with me. We won’t discuss it any more. Yes, if you insist, we’ll say what naughty Daisy did the night before last. Yes, she did frighten us, and yes, it was a very bad thing to do.

Imagine the scene. It’s Friday night and Hairy One and I are following the usual routine. It’s twelve forty, well past dog’s bed time, and I open the back door to let her out. Then, leaving the door ajar so that she can come back in, I go upstairs. I glance round the bedroom door. Daisy is tightly curled and fast asleep on top of the bed. And I mean fast asleep. She doesn’t stir. I go into the bathroom.

Here it might be helpful to point out that in order to cross the landing from the bedroom, Daisy has to walk in front of the bathroom door. It is also apposite to mention that the bathroom door fell off a few months ago, and, owing to my procrastinating tendencies, is, of course, still missing.

I only have my back to the doorway for a few seconds as I wash my hands at the basin.

I hear nothing stir, not a pawstep, not a squeak.

Isis is back inside. Quickly, I lock the door, hide her treats, switch off the light and return upstairs. I replenish kitty’s dish. She is no longer on top of the bed, but it’s a very cold night: she must have popped under the duvet.

My suspicions are aroused when I slide under the duvet and there is still no response from Daisy. I get up again and call her.

Not a sound.

With difficulty, I peel back the fleece, then the duvet. She’s not there. Nor is she in the spare room, the lock of which she can open by jiggling the door.

Cats! What do you see in them, people?

She’s not in the art room.

Well, she must be hiding somewhere. I’ll read in bed for half an hour, then search the house again.

It’s frosty outside. Very, very cold for a cat in her nineteenth year. Daisy is a very small, slim cat. If, by any remote chance, she has managed to get outside, she could freeze to death. After ten minutes, I do another painful check of every room in the house, calling calling, calling.

Silence.

Isis knows something is wrong. Judging by her expression, she senses that we’re searching for Daisy. She stands by me as I open the back door, but she doesn’t try to push past me. I call very loudly. Fortunately, my next door neighbours don’t wear their hearing aids at night.

No response. No sign. Oh Dog!

We hurry to the front door. I step into the cold, dark porch. Is anybody outside?

Behind the porch door, through the thick condensation, hardly discernible, is  a very small, fuzzy, black and white shape.

It can’t be frozen to the doorstep, as it moves slightly. When, breathless with relief, I open the door, Daisy strolls in. The front doorway is blocked by dog, but, after only a very brief pause, Daisy jumps over its muzzle into the hall and, quite calmly, goes about her kitty business.

Yes, Isis, we were shattered, weren’t we? Yes, yes, dear, I’ve already acknowledged that it was a very, very, naughty thing to do. Yes, and dangerous too.

We both retire to bed for the second time. I wag my finger sternly in front of Daisy’s deliciously black gleamy nose. She ignores me, of course and waits for her Dreamies.

Yes, Isis, of course you wouldn’t ignore me. Even though you can’t see or hear, you’d have sensed my displeasure and felt a little abashed.

How could she behave like that?

She’s a cat, 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 kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

 

Bulletin for the sick one: although the rheumatology appointment has been put back to January 23rd, the consultant contacted my practice last week to advise how the joint problems should be treated in the meantime. So, yippee (under the unyippee circumstances) I am on a very high dosage of steroids for a week, then should stay on a reduced dose until the appointment. I am very impressed and very grateful as I was beginning to feel really ill.

In my opinion, nothing is wrong with our NHS except for capitalist governmental policies. Human lives are too short to be wasted, and too valuable to be trusted to private, profit-based funding.

P.

 

 

Posted in clever girl, dear little Isis, food rage, Isis and Daisy, Isis at home, training | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

smells

 

 

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

 

Wednesday January 3rd 2018.

 

Adopted Niece has been around quite a lot lately. I smell her scent coming in and going out of the front door, then I bump into stuff in the hall. It smells of her.

I wag.

I like it when she comes. She’s a carnivore like me. Mouth watering smells come from the kitchen. Slurp. I know I’ll get some. Not yet though. Sigh. A dog has to wait.

But there’s another scent. This one I don’t wag at. It’s cat. I can smell her up at the top of the stairs. She’ll be sniffing and yowling, no doubt, wanting whatever’s delicious in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Saturday. Human seems to be going in and out to the dustbin rather a lot and puffing and ouching in the kitchen. Seems like she’s clearing things away. Somebody must be coming to the house.

She directs me into the porch. We’re on our way out to the front garden for a pee. Well, I am – she’ll just stand on the lawn with my long lead round her waist.

Fwoff!

There’s a horrible stench in the porch. It nearly knocks me out. It’s coming from two paper bags on the floor. It’s her upstairs, she who thinks she’s well groomed and very, very clean, far superior to a smelly dog.

I don’t inhale. I sniff very delicately, wrinkling my nose which bounces away from the bags in disgust.

Waff!  Yerk!

Then the low hum of Human’s voice begins. The silly b. often launches into long, boring sermons.

“Yes, dear, it is rather unpleasant, but kitty can’t go outside or for walks like you. She has to have a tray. She’s really a very clean little animal. She doesn’t come in from the garden on a wet night with muddy feet, unspeakable bits hanging off her tail and a slug dangling from her undercarriage.”

I’ve no idea what she’s on about, of course, but I stand still and humour her.

When I come back inside, there’s still a strong whiff in the porch but then, the deliciousness from the kitchen almost makes me swoon.

I was right. Someone is coming. Soon I can smell Adopted Niece. Soon she eats. I lie on the rug whiffling my nose. I am a very polite dog now that I get enough to eat, and I never beg.

But when Human goes into the kitchen, I hurry after her. There’s a sharp, loud ‘ting’. It’s my dish.

Slurp.

 

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 Isis and Daisy, Isis at home | Tagged | 4 Comments

bulletin from the ailing one

 

 

Reminder of happy Highbury days this summer – and hoping for more!

 

 

 

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

 

Friday December 29th 2017

 

I have just found a new comment from A. There has been a long gap between today and my last post and A is worried about me. I’m very, very sorry that I’ve not let her or anyone else know what’s going on.

First of all, little Isis, who, after all, is the protagonist of this blog, is fine. She is very patient with very late get-ups, Human snoozing for hours on her futon, and some days without walks.

I didn’t relish writing about miserable me instead on the entertaining one, but here’s a resumé and update.

In early summer this year, I reaped the rewards of heaving around various very heavy items on several occasions: tendons in both shoulders require operations. Unfortunately, the gap between referral and treatment is long here. There is a serious shortage of radiologists, apparently. There is a six week gap between every stage of referral: GP referral – scan; scan – appointment with consultant; appointment with consultant and next scan, and so on.

Early in August, my right shoulder, first one diagnosed was extremely painful. I did everything I could with my left hand which promptly swelled up. I walked puling a case on wheels and found, next day that the hand was going down but my left foot was hugely distorted and swollen. The diagnosis was severe sprain.

Over several months, the pain and swelling in the foot diminished. What a relief. Oh-ho, back to normal, then except for shoulders and arms which meant that I couldn’t drive or take poor Isis for a walk.

Fortunately the Pet Angels stepped in. R now feels confident about letting Isis off to play around her favourite shrubbery in King Heath Park’s Colour Garden. She returns a very happy, tired dog.

Then, out of the blue, about four or five weeks weeks ago, other joints all over my body began to sprout painful swellings: ankles, knees, fingers, wrists, even, last week, one of the joints which attach skull to neck.

GP has tried me on two courses of steroids and you could almost watch the swelling go down, but, unfortunately, they returned just as quickly when the steroids stopped. I have strong pain killers, which enable me to move around, albeit with a shriek here and there.

Over the last months, I have become increasingly exhausted. I put this down to being b. miserable, but, apparently, I have anaemia. I don’t have an iron deficiency, but something is preventing the body from utilising the iron.

And, grumble, moan, sniff, I was offered an operation slot for the first shoulder this weekend. They did all the pre-op tests etc. but I was warned that the anaesthetist might well cancel the op. because of the other problems. And, indeed the operation was cancelled.

I have been referred to a rheumatologist as an urgent case. A fourth set of blood tests (I hate blood tests. If I accidentally see the equipment or drawn blood, or if the nurse comments, for example, “Oh, that’s a nice vein,” I become unconscious within seconds!)

Embarrassing.

What scares me most is that I might become incapable of supporting Polymath who has just moved into a nursing home nearby, and not able to care for Isis and Daisy.

But let’s not be pessimistic.

Today I was able to creep after Isis through the garden gate and sit on the plastic garden chair I’ve placed the other side, while Isis played her strange games in The Lane. And Thirty minutes later, my kind neighbours, M. and J. took her for a road walk.

When she returned she immediately made a nest on the futon instead of having a mad half hour. She’s still sleeping. Should be a quiet night.

Parkmates and neighbours, thank you so much for the help you’ve given and offered.

And thank you, dear A for your comment. I’ve hated not blogging, and am glad that your comment has kicked me out of hibernation.

 

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 Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments

sorry again

 

 

Wednesday December 21st 2017

 

Human hopes to be back in action by the weekend.

Isis: Thank Dog for that.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sorry

 

 

Sunday December 18th 2017

 

Sorry, no post today. Human  is unwell.

You’ll be pleased to know Isis if fine.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

rain, rage, cats and dogs

 

 

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

 

Wednesday December 13th 2017

 

Today it’s the antithesis of Christmas card snow scenes. It’s grey from ground to sky. The roads run with thawed snow, the pavements are covered in packed ice and everything is dripping.

I have to see the practice nurse for blood tests. Not my favourite past time.

The 18 bus stop is only a few houses up from mine, and a bus is scheduled to arrive every ten minutes.

Mirthless titter.

After thirty minutes there’s still no sign of a bus.

Sigh.

Despite all my layers, I feel damp and cold. And, thanks to Daisy, very tired.

Last night she seemed to spend the whole night crawling in and out of my bed, squeezing herself against me before turning onto her side in order to plant all four little cold paws against my warm skin. When her paws warm up, she stretches out, bursting with happy purrs. Then, of course, after about half an hour, it becomes uncomfortably warm for a cat and she scrambles out again, leaving a draughty gap behind her.

Another thirty to forty minutes later, she feels chilly again and the performance is repeated. This goes on and on. Then at about four o’clock, she drops off the bed – astonishingly noisily for such a small animal.

I relax. But not for long. She re-enters the bedroom running and yowling. Meya! Meya! ME-AH-OW!

I recognise the call. She’s used her tray. There’s something nasty in it now. What if she needs a pee? She’s certainly not using the tray with THAT in it.

I’m usually very responsive to her orders, but not now. It’s cold and I’m tired.

Scrabble, scrabble. She’s trying to dig me out. I turn over and pull the duvet up to my ears. Eventually, she gives up and wriggles down under the duvet again. Now her paws are very cold. Plonk. They’re on my back this time.

Yes, it’s definitely Daisy’s fault. Standing at the bus stop, I decide to call the nurse as I’m going to be very late. I discover I’ve left my phone at home. By this time we have been joined by a young guy on his way to college. His app tells us that the bus will be arriving in eight minutes.

Just time to fetch my phone. “I’ll walk with you”, says the young man, offering his arm, “To make sure you don’t slip.” I pick up the phone, apologising to poor Isis who is lying sadly behind the front door, sure that I have left for a lovely walk without her.

I do slip but, thanks to the kind young man, remain on my feet. I phone the nurse and she kindly says she’ll wait for me.

A posse of 18 buses curves round the corner of the road. We gratefully get on the first.

The next bus I need is the 50, and it arrives after a few minutes. The driver clocks off and we all wait for his relief driver.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Eventually, when another bus arrives, we all decant and clamber onto the next.

I’m thirty minutes late for my appointment, but the nurse is still there.

It’s the first day in weeks that I’ve poked my head out of the door without a hat. On the way back, it pours with rain.

I’m too tired, cold and achy to take a Isis down her lane but I know she’ll need a pee, so let her out on a long lead onto the front grass. She dances joyfully, gulping mouthfuls of the steady downpour. Every now and then, I place a hand on her back. This means ‘stand still,  time to go’. Usually she obeys this sign immediately. But it’s raining isn’t it? As soon as I lift the hand, off she twirls again.

I give up and we go in. I’ll have to take her out again in an hour.

Sigh.

This was going to be the post which announced that, at last, Isis had eaten politely twice a day for four days; however, I am irritable and feeling bad that Isis hasn’t had a walk. She obviously feels the same and a quarter way through her meal barks and snarls loudly. Her tea is immediately removed.

For the next hour she barks single, evenly spaced sharp, cross barks. Now and then she interrupts the rhythm by raging and snapping at her tail.

When her meal is returned to her, ninety minutes later, she eats so quietly, you’d not know she was there.

Human is so ragged by now that she can’t be bothered to eat.

Then friend C. rings. He has his own small catering business and asks if I’ve eaten. He has vegetable curry, naan bread, sticky toffee pudding and toffee sauce left over from a dinner. Would I like some?

Would I?

It’s snowing again but C insists on driving over with the food.

Now, Isis and I are both well fed. She is sleeping peacefully and I plan to do the same very soon.

Anyone want a cat?

 

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, food rage, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, training, twirling | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Sno-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w!

 

 

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

 

Sunday December 10th 2017

 

Isis has had a delightful weekend. J, who has just returned to Birmingham after several months away, hears of my predicament and offers to take Isis and I out.

Could we go to Highbury?

No problem.

Off we go on Saturday, J handling the muscly Isis while I hold onto little Lola. This is an excellent arrangement as the dainty little dog feels like a fairy on the end of the lead. Naughty, paranoid Isis won’t allow J. help with the harness but is perfectly happy to be led from the car and taken into the park.

We’ve not visited Highbury since early August, and it’s wonderful to be back.

Isis, of course, is delighted to be reunited with her pines, and in seventh heaven when she discovers that there is a film of snow on their lower branches. For half an hour she dances, spiraling, leaping and snapping at snowflakes as they drift from the trees.

After half an hour, J leads the Hairy One onto the grass slope by the beech wood and I follow with little Lola.

As soon as she is released, Isis trots off through the brambles and throws herself around exuberantly just inside the wood.

Finally, she rushes out onto the open grass of the slope and runs up and down, back and forth, round and round. She is ecstatic.

J takes some good action shots which Human, unfortunately, is unable to download. Grrrrrrrrr.

We walk back up the slope. It’s time to go home, but when we attempt to turn onto the path, Isis jerks back and refuses to budge. “I don’t think she wants to go”, observes J, but I insist that the light must have changed and made her nervous.

While Lola and I continue along the path, J. kindly walks back onto the grass and continues straight ahead. Isis eagerly follows.

All is well until J. attempts to lead the hairy little toad back to the homeward path. Once again, Isis refuses. She plants her  bottom firmly on the ground, sticks her front legs out straight in front of her and jerks her head back. J gives the lead a few tugs. Isis resists with all her strength.

“What shall I do?”, asks Jo.

I look hard at Isis. I was wrong. J. was right. This isn’t a frightened dog. This is a refusing  dog. A dog who doesn’t want to go home.

I advise J. to keep the lead taut and stand absolutely still. After a minute, naughty Isis gets the message and walks on.

Next morning snow lies thick on the ground and continues to fall most of the day. Even the muddy patch is buried so I move the wire fence and let Isis out into the garden.

Oh boy! This feels amazing. A dog is sinking into the whiteness. This lovely stuff is halfway up its legs.

Off she goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this one!

 

She plays non-stop for almost ninety minutes before I fetch her in.

Although she came from sunny Portugal, she never seems to get cold, whatever the weather here.

Strange.

 

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, Highbury Park, I'm off my lead!, running running, walking in the park | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Isis versus human

 

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

 

Wednesday December 6th 2017

 

Isis: I love my lane! I have a very good time there. Tuesday is great fun.

Human: Tuesday is a right pain. It’s a perfect walking day for Isis, utterly grey, no sign of sun. First, I oversleep and S. and R. thoughtfully don’t disturb me so Isis misses her walk.

I: When we get to my lane, Human, as usual, takes ages to open the gate, dog knows why.

H: Isis sits nicely while I struggle with the heavy latch, heave up the even heavier gate stop and fiddle with the key which is  particularly stiff in the padlock today.

I: We’ve wasted so much time already that I don’t bother to stop and sniff, I run straight up to the corner and dance and dance and dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H: Once I’ve closed the gate behind us, I let Isis off the lead and follow her. She’s moving so fast that I don’t think she’ll stop to investigate the entrance to her latest escape route.

She doesn’t.

She seems determined to stay in her corner spot, and I’m tired so, with great difficulty, I manage to slide down the side of a nearby garage and sit on a concrete post which is lying flat on the grass.

I: That was wonderful, so invigorating. But one can’t stay in the same place all day. Off I trot. Wow! I can smell kitty.

H: Sigh. Struggling up from the post is even harder than sitting down on it, but something tells me that she’s heading towards the gap between the garages. Again, a speedy limp is called for. She’s already galloped into the recess. At least the gap is now stuffed with brambles.

I: I knew it was kitty. It’s gone through the gap. Quick! Quick! I’m ahead of Human.

H: I reach the recess just in time to see naughty Hairy One leaping up onto the brambles. They are dying now so maybe they don’t feel so prickly. I can’t believe it. I stumble over and just manage to stop her scrambling up and over them. When I reach her, I yell, “No!” very loudly. I have to haul her off several times before she stops. Brilliant for the damaged shoulders.

Oh Isis! How could you?

I: Dog, she’s a miserable git. She’s serious. I can feel very hostile vibrations. I’ll trot further on, play a bit at the end of the track and then, when she’s caught up with me, I’ll trot back to the gap.

H: I know she’ll not give up until she’s battered her way through, so I go to the store of old planks which R. raided a few weeks ago to reinforce another gap, and carry three, one by one, back to the bramble gap. Needless to say, I watch Hairy One’s every move like a hawk watches a vole.

It’s hard work shoving the planks up into the tangled clematis stems and jamming them back down.

Sigh. I wander back up to Isis.

I: O.K. Now’s my chance. I’ll just trot. No way she’ll catch up with me.

H: Little toad. I can read her like the proverbial book.

I: Whoopee! I’ve made it! She’s way behind.

H: I reach the recess. There is Isis standing at the mouth of the gap. This time, she doesn’t attempt to launch herself onto the brambles. She lifts her nose high in the air and sniffs hard – in disbelief, I think. She knows the planks are there, of course; nevertheless, she returns to the gap several times just to make sure.

I: Right, I’ll go back up to the top then.

H: Oh no you won’t. I tickle her whiskers with a spray cut from the private hedge, and eventually we make our way to the gate. Amazingly, she seems quite content for me to lead her to the gate without protest.

I’ve just closed the gate behind us (of course) when I realise that I’ve only one glove. Yes, there it is lying on the grass about twenty feet along the track.

****!

I fight the gate but whatever I do, it refuses to open. After about ten minutes I give up and we go next door to E’s house to ask for help. No, it’s not me. Ed struggles too. Eventually he discovers that the latch has jammed so that a sliver of it, unnoticeable at first, is still not free of the lock. E. manages to shift it and we retrieve the glove.

I: This is brilliant, we’re going for another walk.

H: Isis is being very stubborn and defiant. She digs in her little heels and refuses to move. The extended lead is round my waist and I tug and tug and tug. She responds by pulling her harness over her head. Cursing under my breath, I reel her in, her harness now hanging round her collar. I am cross, tired and cold when I step into a pile of dog poo which some dirty so and so has left hidden among the leaves and grass. Great.

I: Dog, she’s in a rotten mood. What’s the matter with her. And why did we go back into The Lane if I was going to get dragged out again?

Later, as I set off for the post box just  a few houses up, J., the kind crossing warden, waves and comes over the road. He’s been talking to N. the butcher opposite, who thinks that I dropped something on the pavement on my way back from our walk.

Kind J. takes my letters to the post while I trudge wearily in the opposite direction. I’m glad I do, because there, on the slabs, is my best hat, a present from Adopted Niece.

To round off the day I spend some time scraping the mess out of the deeply ridged soles of my walking boots.

Isis stretches out on the futon and dozes.

It’s all right for some.

 

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, walking my deaf/blind dog | Tagged , , | 3 Comments