New regular posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, extra ‘news flashes’!
This morning we reach what we dog walkers call ‘down the bottom’ in Kings Heath Park. It’s the old bowling green now used for dog gatherings, football, impromptu end of term celebrations and T’ai Chi classes. Today Conchobhar, the doodles and Cookie have been joined by a pup and by Gilbert and George the svelte rescued greyhounds.
Rufus and Nancy race up to greet Isis with exuberant face nuzzles. Her expression says she’d rather they didn’t but she knows who they are and is not intimidated. In time, all of the other dogs greet her, Gilbert and George with the gentlest of dignified greyhound sniffs, Cookie with a hearty ‘fuff’ and pup with a quick tickle.
I suddenly become aware of the huge shift in Hairy One’s demeanour. And I’m not the only one. Isis is calm. This has taken a long, long time. For months she was nervous when she met dogs she knew well, very anxious when she met one unfamiliar dog and terrified if we came across a a group. Tail between her legs, ears flat, she would tug and scrabble to get away. Today she is a little nervous but stands her ground, accepting sniffs from dogs and treats and caresses from the humans. She allows gentle R to stroke her head and ears for several minutes and lets six year old T. stroke her and give her a treat. She is part of the group for at least ten minutes before she wants to climb the bank and explore elsewhere.
When she first came she hated being touched. Even putting on her collar and lead was a major undertaking ending in her spinning with rage and attacking herself. Her fear of people has been gradually diminishing since first G. then B. and J. persisted with offering hands for sniffs and very, very slowly, approaching her for the most tentative of little pats.
It’s lovely to see her emerging confidence.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk