Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday it is very dull, threatening rain, so Isis spends a very interesting ninety minutes in Highbury Park. Plenty of sniffing, marking, patting springy plants, even some half rolls. She never does full rolls. I guess she never learned to since she was tied up for most of her life. And now her lead inhibits rolling of course..
Monday is also helpfully dull. Isis has got out of the routine of walking twice a day in Kings Heath Park and has relapsed into her earlier behaviour. She refuses to move from the car park and even when I carry her out onto the path is reluctant to walk until we have passed a certain spot which, I assume, marks the point of no return, when she begins to relax and sniff normally. We pass two Jack Russells with their owners and I am alerted to possible problems when the owners call the smaller of the dogs away rather too urgently.
We meet them again after a while and the smaller one appoaches. She is called back but doesn’t obey. She is staring at Isis and I am concerned but the other dog’s owner assures me that she won’t do anything, only wants to play. I relax. But the dog dashes at poor Isis, jumps at her and snaps. Poor Isis gives a little scream of fear. The attacker is then put on her lead.
I hope that the incident won’t be a further disincentive for Isis to come to the park. But it probably will. She will be wondering why Human didn’t protect her.
Tuesday is a day of enlightenment. Several times recently, I have noticed the odd item of clothing lying on the soil under the whirlygig drier, and have assumed that I’ve hung it over the line without pegging it. Curse it, there’s another one. A cream sweater …….. hang on, I haven’t hung that one up yet. It was still in the linen basket.
Something white and hairy is lurking near the basket. It raises its head quizzically. Sigh.
On Wednesday, after the harrowing bite, she makes sure I don’t sit around for too long. It is early evening. I am pottering in the back room when I am startled by sharp yips for help coming from the garden. Isis is running round with a thirty centimetre wire mesh cube on her head. She is frightened and quite cross too. I can’t believe it. I had put the seven cubes – which had been part of a wall sculpture – on a table in the garden. With Isis in mind I had placed them very carefully well away from the edge and well out of her reach.
I rescue her and off she hops happily. Her reach, I decide, glancing anxiously around, is amazingly extensive for such a small animal. No, there’s nothing else dangerous that she can get.
But the next time I check, she is killing a three metre stretch of wire netting. Where the hell did she get that from? There was no netting lying around.
No, there wasn’t. It was firmly attached to three poles and was protecting a part of the border which still actually has flowers in it. She has detached it and run off with it. I rescue the netting.
On Thursday I glance through the window to check on what Wicked Whiskers is up to. She’s at the bottom of the garden shaking something big and grey. What the hell is it? I don’t have anything big and grey. Oh yes I do. The front door mat which I just washed and laid out on top of the drier. How she got it down is anybody’s guess. But there it is, covered in splodges of mud. And there, scattered across the soil are the twelve pegs which held it.
“Well”, declares Polymath, greatly amused, “She obviously likes big prey.” Yes, the tunnel, sheets of polythene, mats, thighs.
I’ve never met such a mischievous little animal. Heaven knows what she’d be like if she could see. Demonic, I imagine. I know I was looking for an active dog but I hadn’t imagined one quite this active.
At least she no longer eats my clothes. Nor does she steal the food from my plate. Let’s be grateful for small mercies.
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