I get an inkling that all may not be well when I carry Isis downstairs, place her in the hall and she turns round and scampers straight back up again. Sigh.
Yes, it’s a very bright sunny morning. But we have to pee even so. I carry the Hairy One downstairs again and put up the stair guard. She does not wish to go into the back garden, thank you, but exits smartly from the front door to receive her reward – a delicious piece of jerky.
She declines the front garden patch and asks to be let into the car. Her harness is attached and she receives a second jerky treat. Our morning pre-park routine is becoming much calmer. And it’s much more dignified to walk out of the door instead of spin out to the accompaniment of ferocious growls and snarls.
This morning there is one variant: Isis is loose in the car while I pop back into the house for all of thirty seconds to fetch her harness. When I return it is clear that she has nicked a plastic bag from the front passenger seat. It contained the last mouthful of Victoria sponge which I retrieved from her yesterday afternoon and a generous handful of dried mealworms intended for the robins in the park. She eats the sponge first and has dessert as we drive.
When we reach the park poor Isis is very fearful of the sun. Foolishly (yes, again) I put her Doggles on her to see if they provide any relief. I carry her away from the very bright sun. But she will not walk more than a few steps. I try her in different locations. No. It’s not safe with this silly thing on her face.
After about half an hour, I remove the Doggles. She creeps, very low to the ground, into the shrubbery, through the gap in the fence and back into the car park where she jumps, relieved, it appears, back into the car.
Only an idiot, intimates Polymath to whom I recount the sorry tale, would try out the Doggles in the park when the poor dog is already afraid. A sensible person would try them out at home etc. etc. Yakkity yak.
Regrettably, she’s quite right, of course.
One postitive came out of the débâcle. Isis only tried very half-heartedly to remove her eye protection. That could bode well for future trials. On the other hand, it could be that she was too traumatised to persist.
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