Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Dull and drizzly all day: for Isis perfect park walking weather as there are no scary shadows to menace her.
She hangs back when Rufus and Nancy the labradoodles bounce up to greet us but she is no longer alarmed. And Conchobhar the Pyrenean, who, to quote his owner G., ‘is almost always relaxed enough to be horizontal’, she appears to find very reassuring. They often walk into each other but neither seems to mind.
We meet other dogs too and they all have treats. At one point there are eight dogs milling around and, although Isis stays on the edge of the group, she doesn’t attempt to run away as she used to but waits patiently for her turn.
Watching her accepting a nice long rub from B., Hannah* comments how much more confident Isis is now and how nicely she walks on the lead. Which she does when she is calm and happy.
Last week I was chatting to people in the park and suddenly realised that Isis had left my side and walked away as far as her extended leads would stretch. I assumed that there were too many people and dogs around for her comfort but then realised that she had scented a regular treat giver surrounded by three expectant dogs and had joined the semi-circle!
Still dull and drizzly when we set off for the park again tonight. As Isis is feeling confident, I coax her down a path which she has refused to consider for months. With frequent ‘come with me touches’ – two gentle but rapid pats under her chin – she trots along beautifully, enjoying some good sniffs as she goes.
As we are walking towards the fruit garden we meet Je. and Wilda. Je. picks two strawberries for the dogs. Wilda declines hers but Isis happily gobbles both. We give her three more and then begin to move off. But Isis is having none of it. She has sniffed out the source of these unexpected delights and is daintily picking her own strawberries.
* http://www.pawfectdogsense.com dog training.
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