Very bright and frosty again today.
But we are in Kings Heath Park – our park – and we have strategies.
Isis is as keen as ever to jump out of the car but picks her way slowly and carefully around the edge of the tarmac close to the railings. She emerges with the help of Rufus and Nancy who have come to greet us and startle her into gear.
I carry her past the shadowy corner and place her on the wide expanse of grass next to the path. Although there are trees around the edges of the space the rest is wide open and she is soon sniffing and running.
As always on this kind of day she is very wary of the trees and tall shrubs, looking up at them apprehensively, skirting them warily. Sometimes she feels brave enough to creep up to them and seems surprised when they smell the same as yesterday.
In the copse near the railway line she is in her element, making skittish forays into clumps of dogwood, jerking back from low, overhanging brambles, thrusting her spotty pink nose into stiff clumps of green and white grass.
With obvious enjoyment she treads firmly on drifts of large crunchy brown leaves, then onto the thick springy moss which marks the edge of the copse, and into the sunlight.
The shade in the wood is fine. The bright sun on the open field is fine.
But there are scary areas in between where the stark shadows of menacing trees dominate the landscape. Once these were no-go areas for Isis. Now most of them can be navigated with gentle persuasion and encouraging pats.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.com