a joyful dog


Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.


When Isis was in pain from the stick stuck in her mouth for many hours, she bit her long suffering right back foot again and made it bleed. Throughout the early hours of this morning, the election results are interspersed with barks and snarls from downstairs where she is apparently feeling discomfort from the bite.

She must have woken early this morning as she is already stretched out along the bottom of my bed when I surface at about eight.

I can see the bite and go downstairs to fetch the Sudocrem. Now she is on the landing. I am not looking forward to the battle. I lift her foot and gently move it pad side upwards. She utters not the smallest growl. Then she remains standing still and lets me smear on the healing cream.

I am astonished. She has never let me even touch her foot before, let alone treat it.

Unhelpfully, the sun has come out. She won’t walk when there are shadows. We drive off to the park anyway, in case the sun pops back in. It might well. Although it’s May, the weather at present is very English April, changing from sun to shower withinin minutes throughout the day.

When we get to the park, the sun is still shining. She’ll not want to leave the car.

But she does. She scrambles out, trots eagerly from the car park and then gives a sharp tug and we run out onto the sunlit field. We run and run and run. We return to the car to collect the body belt for me and the very long, elasticated lead and off we go again. Then we meet up with Rufus and Nancy and I slow Isis down for a few minutes. But she is desperate to get back on the field and off we go again.

Isis runs very fast, in wide loops as the body belt rotates around my waist.  She seems exhilarated, running for the pure joy of running, celebrating the freedom of space. Passers-by get caught up in her pleasure and stop to watch.

After about twenty non-stop minutes, I slow her down and we walk with the others around the pond, admiring the heron.

On the way to the car, she leaps from the path back onto the field and we run for another twenty minutes or so. Dog walking friends express their pleasure at her enjoyment. I’d love you to see her and have asked  B. to video her next week

Eventually she is happy to return to the car for a drink.



I have just treated her foot again and she has been as compliant as she was the first time. I wonder whether this has anything to do with my removing the stick from her mouth yesterday, whether she has learned that humans can help her. I’d like to think so. It would make life much easier for both of us.


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.com

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