out and about, here and there




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!

Scratch, scratch.

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




Posted in a joyful dog, clever Isis, deaf/blind dog plays, Highbury Park, oh dear, rain and more rain, running running, scenting, twirling, walking my deaf/blind dog, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Isis is back!





Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday October 18th 2020


A couple of weeks ago, a newly recovered Isis has a whale of a time on her walks. Every day it either rains steadily or at least drizzles, and Isis, of course, is as happy as the proverbial sandboy.

Now , too, while we walk I am able to leave the Elizabethan collar in the car, and she rarely pays any malign attention to her rump or her legs.

My little canine meteorologist always knows it’s raining before we prepare to leave the house. On Monday she can’t wait to get through the door. Down the path she goes in leaps and bounds, tasting the rain. Once on the pavement, she jogs impatiently on the spot while I fumble with the latch.

I take a step towards the car. Isis doesn’t. She obviously has no intention of getting into a car. She tugs to the left and off we skitter at a spanking pace along the pavement.

It’s weeks since we’ve walked this route, and she is assailed by the exciting scents which lurk between the inner edge of the pavement and the bases of walls and fences. So on we go, walking briskly, then stopping dead for urgent smell investigations.

What a joyful, joyful dog

We cross Vicarage Road. Soon after we enter Kings Heath Park, I release her and she rushes onto the first field, leaping and twirling.

I only need to stand beneath a series of dripping trees watching her in case she dances too far over to the left towards the railings which divide the park from Avenue Road, or she ventures back towards the gate. I am sure she’ll not do either, and she doesn’t. She’s much to busy enjoying the huge uninhabited space all around her.

She leaps and twirls and dashes back and forth for well over an hour. This, I decide, is enough for any small, soggy hairy who has yet to walk the twenty five minutes’ homeward path. She doesn’t pace herself, and I think that two hours of unremitting action should be enough for any dog.

Besides, I am soaked too, and beginning to shiver. She is perfectly contented to be re-dressed in her harness and to have her lead replaced.

Off we set at a steady pace. At home, I relieve Isis of her waterlogged lead and harness, drop my anorak, shoes and waterproof trousers on the porch floor, shoot down the hall to stay ahead of her so that I can cover the day bed with a large dog towel before she soaks the mattress.

I don’t know why, but she always tries to fling herself onto the bed before I get the towel on it. Then, naturally, she growls indignantly when I struggle to shove it under her.

I wipe the rain from her face and ears, place another towel on top of her and then go upstairs where I strip off the rest of my clothes – yes, all of them – quickly dry myself, throw something else on and return downstairs to dry her.

After this wonderful outing, she insists on walking to Kings Heath Park each time it rains. Which it does relentlessly for the next two or three days.

Then on Friday we meet up with Bev. in Highbury. Isis seems unusually pleased to see Rufus and Nancy. Although she is always happy to walk with them, she generally shies away from their exuberant greetings. Not today though. Today she stands while they greet her. To my surprise, later on she even exchanges a nose to nose encounter with a gentle male beagle. Hmm. That’s progress.

We set off towards the Community Orchard, all three dogs off their leads, Isis trotting  along, a little way apart but definitely a member of the group. We walk through the wooded paths, then back to the stream. Here, the others make their way towards the car park, and we turn left back onto the second field.

By now, the rain has set in for the day.

This is Isis heaven.





Thirty minutes go by. Then an hour. Every now and then, dancing dog approaches me. Ah, good. I take her harness from my pocket and unwind her lead. But having established that I’m definitely where she thought I was, she wags briefly and skips back to her playground.

By the time we finally make our way back to the car, we’ve been in Highbury almost three hours.

Out with the dog towels and off with the clothes yet again. Yes, I do have a super-waterproof jacket, but it’s impossible to take it off without runnels of rain descending onto the next layer. This goes for the waterproof trousers too: inevitably they dribble copiously onto my socks and drip into my boots.

Oh but what happy, happy walks. And how lovely to see Isis back to Isis again.


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 a joyful dog, dear little Isis, Highbury Park, I'm off my lead!, Isis at home, Isis meets other dogs, Isis says "No"., Kings Heath Park, park dogs, park people, rain, rain and more rain, running running, scenting, walking in the park, walking with Rufus and Nancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

shrieks, barks and lots of food



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday October 11th 2020


When Autumn creeps in, it’s too cold for Y, Blitzi and I to spend the evening in the garden,  so we have to socialise indoors. As we know, this does not please Isis, who makes her hostility quite clear.

The day after the visitors’ first sojourn in our front room, Isis, of course, is well aware that her house smells of Blitzi. It was bad enough when he took over her garden, but his intrusion into the house is the last straw. After I wake her, she sniffs meaningfully at the bits of floor he has walked on. She doesn’t look pleased.

Wham! At breakfast she reverts to her mealtime madness of long ago: she growls, barks and screeches at the top of her noisy podengo voice. She dives at her bowl and snatches the food with fierce, pecking motions. She attacks it so wildly that her teeth clack against the metal, and the rim of the stand bashes against the wall, adding to the cacophony.

I am horrified. I can’t even remember when she last behaved as badly as this.

I hope it’s a one-off.

It isn’t, of course.


Back to the old routine. She begins to growl and bark. I remove her food. She goes ape. When she stops performing, the food is returned.

But now she is even more angry than she used to be. One day, although I wear my gardening gloves, she loses it, spins round and catches my arm. The wound is deep and painful. I leave her for forty minutes before returning the meal. She eats silently.

This behaviour won’t do.

Perhaps a more positive approach is called for.

I begin hand feeding her a little of each meal. She likes being hand fed and doesn’t make a sound. I praise her hugely as I offer her some more of her food – in the bowl this time. I have the last portion ready in a spare bowl to reward her again.

This works like a charm. Step by step, I eliminate the hand feeding and serve the rest of the food in two portions. The experiment is going very well.

Then she becomes ill.

She approves wholeheartedly of the vet’s instructions to feed her as much as she wants. She’s eating twice her  usual amount and still waits for more. No problem. When she completes her course of steroids, we can gradually reduce her rations until she returns to normal.

The steroids make her ravenous of course. She’s desperate to eat. Not a good time to persist with the training.

For the first few days of the ‘let her eat as much as she wants’ regime it’s difficult to gauge how much to give her, so I am feeding her in increments again – only now the increments are much bigger.

After the first large helping, she goes to the door and waits for the next one. And the next. And the next. We peak at 150 grams, twice her normal daily amount.

Then, with the gradual reduction of the steroids, we reduce the amount to ninety grams which seems to satisfy her. That’s where we are now.

We’re also transitioning from Burns to Royal Canin high fibre food because the new vet wants to see if Hairy One’s anal gland function can be improved.

With all these food related issues, I am ignoring the mealtime vocalisations. The screeching has ceased thankfully; now there are merely spasmodic growls and bursts of loud barking.

Although I find the racket very irritating, I do not attempt to correct her.


As you can see, she is back to her healthy, lively self again







but I will delay the corrective training until her antibiotics finish and she is back to normal rations.

Obviously, we can’t go back to the three servings routine as she is only just accepting that we now have just one bowl per meal – albeit a very large one.

I think next week we’ll have to return to the ‘dog raises hell, food disappears’ regime.

One day I come across a pair of thick leather welding gauntlets in the art room. I’d forgotten I had them.

Good. I’ll wear those when removing her dish.

Perhaps I’ll also post a ‘wanted’ on Birmingham Freegle for a suit of armour.


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 food rage, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, oh dear, poor Isis, strange behaviour, training | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

back in the saddle again ……



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday October 4th? Really?

Quite obviously, I’m losing it. I am preparing myself to write this week’s post and discover that I forgot to click on the ‘publish’ button last week.


Sunday September 27th 2020

The new vet is confident that the steroids and antibiotics will sort out the dermatitis and the infected glands. She tells me that the steroids will make Isis very hungry and thirsty and that I should let give her as much food and water as she wants. She also says that I shouldn’t prompt her to do anything, just let her do what she wants to do.

“Follow her lead,” is the parting advice.

As we make our way home, I feel greatly relieved; I also feel very upset and angry that I have bathed her three times with the prescription shampoo. She is hot to the touch, her skin is bright pink, and a large area around her anus, on top of and underneath her tail are red and inflamed. I cringe to think how painful the water and shampoo must have felt while it was being applied and afterwards as it soaked into her skin.

No wonder she snarls and growls when I attempt to stroke her.

She has her breakfast and I give her the medication. This is very easy. She’s the most co-operative animal I’ve ever had as far as swallowing tablets goes. They only need to be wrapped in a thin layer of cheese, and GLUP! They’re gone.

Unlike Isis, but just like my border collies, my previous dog Ellie was extremely suspicious of the Trojan horse approach and refused, point blank to eat whatever delicacy hid the dreaded tablet. She was also very athletic so that getting her to swallow it was a battle royal.

She was, however, very well trained and very, very bright.

One day, after three abortive efforts, we sat on the floor facing  one another. “Ellie”, I told her sternly, “You have to eat it.”

She looked at me. I looked at her. I held out the tablet on the palm of my hand. “Ellie, eat it, I told her.”

She picked it up from my hand and ate it.

She had been taught ‘food manners’ for her Kennel Club Gold, and had excelled at the exercise where a dog is required to stop by a bowl containing a treat and not touch it until commanded. “Eat it” was the command I always used.

Obedience, of course, is an anathema to Isis, but she does know what it’s like to be very hungry. She doesn’t hesitate.

After breakfast, she retreats to bed. She’s very, very miserable and, clearly, extremely uncomfortable. Her irritated skin is maddening her, and she wants to tear out her hair. Throughout the day, she becomes more and more distressed. I entice her into the kitchen for her evening meal. She doesn’t want to go out, so I don’t insist.

Soon after I leave her for the night, I hear her snarling and growling. I know there’s nothing I can do for her. She barks throughout the night.

In the morning, I take her out into the front garden. She doesn’t want to go, but needs must.

She is very sorry for herself. It’s upsetting to see her so lethargic. She eats and she sleeps. She sleeps all that day and she sleeps through the night. She’s quite limp, and her nose is pale.

The following day I stay with her on the day bed. And she does something she’s not done before. She creeps up to me and lies very close. Then she readjusts herself several times until she is pressed up against me as close as she can get. Then she sleeps.

After her evening meal, she does the same.







When I wake her on Thursday morning, she leans against me and slowly wags her tail. After eating, for the first time since Monday, she walks down the kitchen, waits for me to open the back door, and goes out into the garden on her own.

She soon returns, follows me into the front room and lies close by on the rug while I have my breakfast. As soon as I get up,  we return to the day bed. She rests her head on my ribs and snuggles into me.

Again we sleep all day. I give up all thoughts of doing anything else. After all, the vet told me to follow Hairy One’s lead. She needs me. Who am I to argue?

I switch on the radio, pull a fleece over me, and acknowledge that it’s very pleasant, actually, recuperating with my Isis.

Isis doesn’t even object when a bit of fleece strays onto her. She sleeps deeply. She wakes only once or twice from a bad dream, accepts gentle strokes, wriggles closer to me and goes back to sleep.

By Friday, I can see a big difference in her. She is alert. She’s lifting her head and wagging her tail.

Would she like a little walk, I wonder. Yes, she would. A transformation. She’s excited when I fetch her harness. She’s eager to get out of the door. I don’t want her to go to the park yet and hope she might be up for a road walk. I doubt it though, as the sun is out.

I’m surprised when she hurries round the gate, turns sharp left and sets off at a very brisk pace along the pavement.

Gosh, a lot has happened out here since she last walked this way. She sniffs and sniffs. I only intend to take her for a short walk, but she shows no sign of flagging.

Then, on the way home, her pace slackens. She’s walking very slowly now. She must be tired. I’ve overdone it. Oh dear, we’re not halfway home yet. I urge her on. She’s reluctant to walk.

Then, suddenly, she lifts her head high. She sniffs the air. It’s about to rain. Brilliant. She leaps forward, executes a couple of twirls, and we’re off on our erratic pavement dance. A light drizzle continues until we reach home. We’ve been walking for almost an hour. She sleeps peacefully for the rest of the day.

Her skin is much less inflamed. On Friday I dare to let her ride in the car without her Elizabethan collar and she doesn’t attack herself. I carry it with us when we get to the park though, just in case. She has two or three little snaps at her tail, but she doesn’t close her teeth on it. She dances on the grass in the shade.

At home she has a brief play with a new, springy piece of cardboard I’ve given her, but she’s still too sore to play for long.

She’s definitely getting better, though. She doesn’t cringe and creep now when she goes into the garden. She’s interested in her surroundings again.

When Blitzi visits on Saturday, she menaces him as she usually does, tracking him down and facing him off. He finds her even more scary when she closes in on him with that offensive blue plastic weapon on her head!

Today she elects to stay in Highbury for over two hours. I leave her collar in the car, and she’s fine without it.

Now, she no longer snuggles into me. She returns to normal, settling in her own space at her end of the bed.

Oh well, you can’t have everything.

It’s such a relief that she’s well again.


Sunday October 4th 2020

Isis is doing very well. The vet was very pleased with her. She has to continue with her medication for a few more days but appears to be bouncing with health.


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











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 a vet visit, dear little Isis, dreaming, Highbury Park, Isis at home, Isis is sad, Isis says "No"., nightmares, oh dear, poor Isis, rain, scenting, self-damaging, self-harming, sleeping, sleeping arrangements, strange behaviour, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Isis bulletin 2

Friday 25th 2020

Hello there. Isis is making a good recovery.

Yesterday she was keen to go for a road walk – her first walk since Sunday – and today she had a good time in Highbury.


Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Tuesday 22nd September

Hello everyone. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Isis barked until 2.30 this morning, then just as I’d gathered my sleeping downstairs stuff together, she stopped.

She’s much calmer today & no longer snarling and growling but she still refuses to go outside. She just wants to squash herself as close to me as she can get – not like herself at all. But she is eating & drinking.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Isis is ill



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday September 20th 2020


I am sorry this post was delayed. Yesterday, I was too stressed to write, to be honest. Isis had been behaving increasingly oddly, and I was very worried about her. I didn’t want to write ‘Isis is unwell’ and leave people to be concerned about her, so thought the briefer yesterday’s message, the better.

Towards the end of August, the RSPCA is still dealing only with emergencies. I note that Hairy One’s booster will soon be due, and her anal glands will need to be emptied again. I need to make an appointment with the temporary vet.

During the first week of September, said Hairy begins to worry her her right ‘stress leg’, making it raw. I put her into her Elizabethan collar and treat the leg with Sudocrem. When the collar is removed, she nibbles at the leg again.

When I groom her, I find several little scabs around the back of her neck, one or two on her back and two or three on her flank. I know that she’s not had fleas, and wonder if she could have been attacked by mites.

Unfortunately, we have to wait four days for an appointment, and, even though she has the collar on, she’s continuously diving at her coat, trying to pull out hair.

Our appointment’s on September 10th, and Isis behaves like the most saintly dog you could imagine. She stands sedately on the scales to be weighed, receives her booster and her anal gland treatment with equanimity and remains still and polite while the vet looks at the little scabs. In fact, the vet is so impressed that she tells her several times what an obedient, excellent, well-behaved dog she is!

The vet concludes that little Hairy has been bitten by some microbe or other, but not by mites, as there are too few bites. She prescribes Malaseb shampoo which I collect the next day.

The shampoo must be applied twice a week, on various areas of her skin, particularly around her lips, between her toes and under her tail.

She has her third shampoo on Friday. I had hoped that by now the treatment would be taking effect, and her skin would be calmer; instead, she becomes more and more irritated and irritable. She dives at her flanks and her tail, pulling out strands of hair. She growls and snarls. At home she refuses to do anything except eat, and lie on her bed.  She barks frequently, for no apparent reason, snarls when I sit on the day bed with her, and growls when I touch her.







She becomes more and more distressed as the weekend progresses.

I keep hearing strange, raspy noises. Unable to lick her ‘stress leg’, poor little Isis is vigorously licking the inside of the plastic collar.

She has to be pushed into the garden to pee. She has no interest in her toys.

Twice a day I remove her Elizabethan collar so that she can eat. For days now, she has regressed to her old dining habits, ranting and raving while she attacks her food. Then she goes back to bed.

I take her to Highbury early on Sunday morning. She gets out of the car and walks with me. She plays a little, but she would really prefer to return home.

Back at home, she’s beside herself. I realise that even though she has the protective collar on, she has managed to attack the top side of her tail. She’s torn out hairs, and the skin around the root of her tail is very inflamed. I cover the patch with Sudocrem.

She’s very, very miserable. She will still come into the kitchen to eat, but other than that, she just wants to lie down.

She is ambivalent about contact with me. However careful I am, she snaps and growls when I sit beside her on the day bed. After a while, she’ll move until part of her is touching me, but after a few minutes finds this uncomfortable, growls and moves away.

When I move to another room, she drags herself up to lie by me. But when I touch her body, she snarls and squirms away. She will only let me stroke her forehead very, very lightly and kiss her muzzle!

After drinking from the stream in the park, she doesn’t drink again all day. She refuses to go into the garden.

At night, I carry her out and place her on the grass. She refuses to pee. She sits, then lies down. I carry her back to the kitchen door. She scurries in, tail between her legs. For the first time, she doesn’t stand waiting for me to get out her treats. Instead, she lies listlessly on the day bed.

She doesn’t follow our usual routine and search for the treats I’ve placed in her dog bed, or rush to ‘discover’ a Markie under my desk. She only participates in the final act when I sit beside her and she has to dislodge bits of gravy bones from under my hands, inside my fists or between my fingers. I make it easy for her.

This morning, when I wake her, she is utterly miserable. She doesn’t want to move, but she’s not peed or pooped since yesterday morning. I carry her into the porch, and chivvy her into the car.

When we reach the park, I lift her out of the car, place her on the grass, and wait for her to oblige.

She can’t be left to suffer until the shampoo takes effect.

I ring the vet.

I’m informed that I’m number 11 in the queue.

Isis pees. Thank goodness for that.

Then she lies down. I speak to Tara, a very compassionate and knowledgeable park mate and an excellent dog walker. She recommends two vets.

After Tara leaves, the phone continues to ring. I’m still only seventh in the queue when Te., another dog walker asks me if I’d like her to carry Isis to the car for me. I hold the lead of one of her two dogs, while she puts Isis in the car.

By the time we reach home, I’m fifth in the queue.

I phone another surgery. The receptionist takes our details and says Isis can be fitted in at 10.30 if we can make it, or ‘squeezed in’ later if we can’t.

We wait in the car until a veterinary nurse comes out and helps me to encourage Hairy in. Strangely, the non-ambulatory Isis now walks. She’s never been here before. It’s as if, scenting the surgery’s smell, she knows that’s where she should be!

Most odd.

The nurse asks me to muzzle Isis, which is reasonable, under the circumstances.

Before examining her, the vet asks lots of questions. She does a very thorough examination, after which she concludes that the severe dermatology could have been caused by an allergy, but not by insect bites.

She thinks that a course of steroids and of antibiotics will sort out the dermatitis.

I mention that Isis has problems with her anal glands which cause her to bite her legs and tail, but that the the glands had been emptied ten days previously. She expresses the glands. They are infected, she tells me, and have been for some time. The antibiotics will clear up the glands too.

Both of us walk back to the car.

She’s had her tablets and slept for three hours, woken for a few minutes and grunted a bit. Now she’s asleep again.

I’d like to sleep too.

Oh, Isis, 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 kerry@aeza.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk








































Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For

Posted in a very good dog, a vet visit, food rage, Highbury Park, Isis at home, Isis is sad, Isis says "No"., oh dear | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

oh dear



Sunday September 20th 2020

Oh dear! I’m afraid today’s post will be delayed until tomorrow.



Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

seven days: days 4 and 5



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday September 13th 2020


Perhaps Isis is right. Seven consecutive posts about seven consecutive dog walks could well become monotonous. And seem contrived. They weren’t contrived. They just happened. One after the other.

The problem for Human is that seven weeks is a long time. Other things keep happening. Things she wants to write about.

Be patient, human. Follow your nose …………………………………


It’s now three days after I dropped the house keys near Jasmine Fields, two days after I fell in the stream in Highbury Park, and one day after Isis eliminated my glasses’ case.

I decide that Hairy One needs an evening walk. She wasn’t her usual happy self in Highbury this morning so we only stayed an hour. It’s a dull evening. She needs more exercise. I think I’ll be able to persuade her to do a road walk.

I should explain that this summer, for the first time, she’s not wanted to play in the garden. She goes out, does what’s required and returns to the house. Maybe it’s because Blitzi  marks her garden territory each week when he visits.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that by the evening she has boundless energy and throws her toys around for an hour or so in the house.

Maybe that’s how she likes her day to be. Perhaps interfering humans don’t always know best. I just feel sorry that she’s not outside in the fresh air, sniffing around.

Anyway, I get ready to go.

Isis is playing with her snake. She’s never excited when I wander around getting ready. She knows it takes for ever. She knows it’s only worth getting up when I open the door into the porch.

I’m ready. Isis is still playing with snake. I tap ‘come on’ under her chin. She walks into the hall. She looks quite pleased to be going out.

But not without snake.

I tell her I know what will happen. She’ll drop snake on route and I’ll have to carry him home.

She ignores me. No way does she intend to relinquish her toy.

I manoeuvre her harness around snake. She stands in the porch, wagging happily.


We set off.

Isis doesn’t walk briskly. She doesn’t sniff the interesting messages left by other dogs. She doesn’t follow kitty scents. She dawdles along like a recalcitrant four year old, halting frequently to reposition snake.

We’re not having an invigorating walk, but I nudge her on. I know she’s not upset or frightened. She’s just being stubborn.

Well, to be fair, so am I. Why didn’t I just let her play at home?

Then, after we’ve been plodding along for about twenty minutes, she casts snake aside, jumps up in the air and walks on. She begins to sniff the hedges and fire hydrants.

It’s getting on for eight thirty now. We walk to Kings Heath Park where we’ve not been for weeks – it’s too busy in this time of plague.

It’s almost nine when we cross Vicarage Road. It’ll be dark in an hour. A thin drizzle begins. The park is virtually empty.


Isis is beyond delighted to be in the park. I walk her across the field towards the car park, then set her free.




Wha – hay!





It’s the first time I’ve released her in this part of the park. I’ve always been afraid that she might make her way towards the road. But we’ve grown very close over the last few months; we know each other much better.

The drizzle is heavy now. I stand under a tree and watch her pounding up and down, snapping at the wetness, slowing down to weave in and out of the trees, gathering speed for another pelt, completely lost in the joy of the moment.

After an hour, the light is fading. I walk over to fetch Isis. She stands still as I replace her harness and lead. Then, lead in one hand and snake in the other, I lead her out of the park.




Soaked but contented, we walk decorously home in the dark.

After all that hassle, Isis.

The following afternoon we go to Kings Heath Park again. No snake this time. No pussy-footing along the pavement. No resistance.

She walks on the spot as I collect her lead and harness from her box in the porch. She can’t wait to squeeze through the front door.

When I open the front gate, she dives through it onto the pavement and sets off at a gallop.

How strange. How unexpected.

Not at all. The rain is pouring down relentlessly.

What a difference a day makes, 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 kerry@aeza.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

Posted in dear little Isis, Isis says "No"., Kings Heath Park, learning to trust, rain, rain and more rain, relationship building, running running, Uncategorized, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

seven days: day 3



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Monday September 7th 2020


If only she could speak ……………………………………………….

Oh no. Not again. Are you really going to trog through five more days? That is so boring.

I thought it was a very good idea. It was so funny that every day something interesting happened.

One day could be interesting, even two. Three, even, at a push. But seven, one after the other. No way.

There’s really important things you should be writing about. Really interesting, like telling them how poorly I am. How I’m suffering. How I need help. I need my human and all she does is put smelly stuff on me and give me a horrible, very long, wet, bath and put a big lampshade round my neck.

The RSPCA wouldn’t stand for it.

Isis, you sound just like Daisy.

Yes, well, she tells me a lot of things.

She’s can’t tell you anything. She’s not here any more.

Humans know nothing about cats. They can do anything.

Don’t be silly.

I’m not being silly. Before she went away, Daisy said if I ever chase a cat ever, ever, she’ll see me and I’ll be punished.

Yes, well, it isn’t kind to chase cats.

It’s very dangerous, because Daisy will ……

Yes, yes, OK. I hear you.

It would be tempting fete. Daisy said so. What’s a fete?

It’s a place with lots of cats in.

Now, let me get on with this. Day 3 ……………………….

Nothing happened on Day 3.

Yes, it did. I sat on the log near the gate, while you played under the tree. And while I was  ……

Looking at the news on your phone, instead of looking after me.

Yes, I was.

Anything could have happened to me.

Don’t be ridiculous. You were only three feet away.

Well, someone could have stolen me. Or a big fierce dog could have eaten me. Or I could have gone off and got lost.

Isis, I can hear your bell.

You can’t hear it if I’ve gone away.



In fact, your bell stopped ringing. That’s why I looked up.

And saw me chewing.


But you didn’t bother to find out what I was chewing.

I thought it was a stick.

But you didn’t check. Tee-hee. It could have been a poisonous snake. It could have bitten me.

There aren’t any poisonous snakes in Highbury Park.

Well, you don’t know everything. Daisy told me. It could have been a python. It could have wrapped itself round me and ….

Don’t be ridiculous. I could see you were enjoying yourself. And I looked up very frequently to check you were OK.

No you didn’t look up threequently. You looked up four times.


And then you still didn’t know what I was chewing. You said that’s funny. There’s a blue bit on the grass.

Yes, yes. Do be quiet Isis. It wasn’t at all funny.

Snigger. And then you came over to see what I had in my mouth. Snigger.


Then you made very funny vibrations. You didn’t warn me. You said nasty things, I know you did. You GRABBED it. You frightened me. You stole it off me.

I didn’t steal it.

No, because it was … tee-hee, snuffle tee-hee …. it was …. snigger …

Yes. Very funny.

It was ………………………. your







glasses case. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… ha…ha!

Or you could tell them about my second helpings. Second helpings for dogs is very interesting. They’d all be pleased I have second helpings.

Oh bog off, 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 kerry@aeza.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk


Posted in a very naughty dog, Highbury Park, Isis and Daisy, oh dear, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments