can’t you smell her?


Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.




It’s the early hours of Thursday morning and I’m listening to the World Service. Sudden loud barking. No snarls or growls so not the alarm call of a frightened dog awakening from sleep. Hmmm. A burglar? One is reluctant to get up. But twenty minutes later, more barking and in exactly the same tone. Could be a dog asking to be let out but I don’t think so. Isis is very well organised in these matters. Sigh.

I switch on an upstairs light which floods the back garden then go downstairs where Isis is waiting. I open the back door. She is reluctant to exit on her own so we step out together.

She trots down the garden sniffing and then returns. She walks up to the front door and looks at it head on one side, then the other, questioning.

Simultaneously I hear the mewing of a fox. Sliding into the front room I peer out carefully. On my small front lawn is a beautiful little vixen. Alert, ready to flee. She has found the crumbs from the dried dog food I sprinkled out there last night.

For the last two years I fed a pair of foxes every night with handfuls of inexpensive complete dog food and often saw them in the early hours. Then, late last summer there was no evidence of them and I realised that for the previous few weeks I had been feeding the slugs (to whom I was not particularly well disposed at the time since they’d eaten a very pretty little plant).

Now I will feed Felix and Fiona again and if the slugs get there first the foxes can dine on slug à la dogfood. It’ll be more nutritious anyway.

I congratulate Isis on a job well done and she follows me upstairs where we both sleep soundly until podengo rising time.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about the centre’s work and/or adopting an animal from the centre, contact or visit

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