Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
“So much more confident. So much less tense. A much happier dog”, is Polymath’s appraisal of Isis comparing her with the nervous, self-attacking creature last seen at the beginning of the year.
Most gratifying. Isis and I bathe in our glory.
It is wonderful to witness Hairy One’s energy, her sheer joy at being by the sea, her reckless leaping and bounding on the end of her thirty foot lead.
Every morning we race down to the beach. She can’t wait to get there and to dash into the sea. She runs virtually non-stop for an hour and a half.
In the early evening it’s off to the nature reserve to track rabbits, investigate mole hills and generally follow, with great enthusiasm, any of the other scents left behind by mammals, birds and reptiles.
But H. O. is insatiable. When she returns to the house, she has no desire to play quietly, let alone rest. She dances around the kitchen while her breakfast/tea is being prepared, then, once she has thrown her food in the air, barking as usual to ward off thieves, and retrieved it bit by bit, she turns her attention to the multitude of interesting objects around her. Plastic bags, the old vinyl flooring in the kitchen, folders, dried grasses, the cord of an electric wallpaper stripper ……… need I go on?
Thursday is one such day. Up and down like a fart in a bottle, I rescue and return to their homes a small trolley of detergents, a rusty shovel, a clothes drier and numerous other, smaller, household objects. I gather up torn up bits of vinyl and cardboard and mop up the floor around the kicked over water bowl.
By twelve-thirty I have won the race to claim the bed and Isis is lying peacefully beside me. Bliss.
It’s 2.00 a.m. She wants to go out. Struggling into my dressing gown, I attach her to a collar and lead and stumble down the garden path. Yes, the raw sweet potato she consumed yesterday is having its affect.
But she refuses to pee. I stand in the garden speaking to her politely but feeling increasingly irate. Eventually I give up and we go back indoors. It is only then that I notice a virtual lake on the kitchen floor. Sigh. Obviously my dash to the door wasn’t quite quick enough. I fetch kitchen towels and anti-stench liquid. Not my favourite pastime at 2.30 a.m.
Then back to bed. Hopefully, she’ll sleep until nine.
At 6.30 another round of urgent barking. We plod down the garden. Yes, the sweet potato is still wreaking its revenge.
Back in bed, I switch on the radio. Thwump! The sound comes from behind the table.
Isis has dragged Friend’s electric steamer from the table and is about to swing it by its plug. Remove steamer. Reposition it higher up. Return to bed.
Rhythmic swishing. Up again. All’s well. She’s playing with an empty cat litter bag.
The following hour is very peaceful. I note that a faint smell of cat pee seems to becoming increasingly pervasive and make a mental note to pass on this gem of observation to Friend. Daisy cat can be unreliable. The bed is warm and comfortable. An interview on the radio is interesting.
Suddenly a horrible suspicion seeps into my mind. Daisy’s cat tray holds a fat liner full of cat litter. Doesn’t it? No. The liner and its contents have vanished from the tray.
I shoot out of bed at a speed of knots. Surely she couldn’t have?
But she has. At the other side of the table the carpet is coated with a trampled down layer of smelly damp cat litter. Scattered over the surface are small items removed from the table and from the boxes which surround it: plastic containers, shredded plastic bags, torn fragments of the tray liner, an empty packet, scraps of paper. On top of this dances the triumphant Isis, happy as a sandboy.
I gaze at the two and a half metres of stinking submerged carpet. My heart sinks.