Our delightful walk in Highbury Park last Sunday feels like a new beginning. And all the getting in and out of the car seems to have helped as Isis now leaves the car eagerly whenever I open the door.
But only the next day – Monday – back in Kings Heath Park we revert to stopping literally every few feet and refusing to move forward. I coax and cajole but to no avail. Several times I eventually pick her up and carry her to a different staging post. We miserably complete our ‘walk’ of a few hundred yards. It has taken an hour.
Now, the Avenue Road car park is not fenced so the transition into the park itself can be made at many different points and without going through a gate. The last time – October 30th – we left the car here in the hope that Isis would be more comfortable about emerging, it made no difference and after a couple of attempts I gave up.
“Give it more time. Be consistent,” admonishes The Polymath.
From Tuesday onwards we park in the Avenue Road space consistently. Isis leaves the vicinity of the car in her own time. For the first two days I allow her to set the itinerary. On the third day I gently encourage her to extend her patch. By the end of the week we are happily walking all the way round the park.
Yay! I am delighted.
I am also learning to discriminate among Isis’s different motivations. I have so far identified three. She pulls back and refuses to go forward when:
- she is frightened – usually by bright light casting menacing shadows
- she has picked up an interesting small mammal or food scent
- she is asserting her obstinate Podengo nature.