Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday December 27th 2015
Well. A confession. Human goes off to Wales for four days and leaves her little dog at the dogs’ hotel. Over Christmas too.
As we know, Isis is not the most sought after house guest. After the havoc this hairy podengo wrought during her last visit to Barmouth, Polymath, unsurprisingly, is not keen to repeat the experience.
After some months of pondering I move from the ‘No, I couldn’t possibly’ stance to deciding that it’s important that I have a safe place to leave Isis and I shouldn’t wait for an emergency to happen before I find one. So I might as well take the plunge now.
I’ve known Ray Deddicoat, who runs Holly Trees, for about forty years, and I’ve never come across anyone more dedicated to the welfare of animals. I have talked to Ray about Isis. I have looked at the excellent accommodation: veritable doggy bedsitters comprising heated bedroom with twenty-four access to a private run. Every sleeping quarters has its own light so that Hairy One can have hers off, while solid walls and door prevent light flooding in from outside and keep noise down.
No need to worry at all.
But, of course, I worry constantly and by the time D-day arrives I am beside myself. Isis will be confused and anxious. She’ll feel abandoned. She’ll be traumatised. How can I leave the poor little creature on her own in a strange environment? She’ll think it’s for ever.
With friend M. for moral support, I arrive at Hollytrees. It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’ll not see Isis again until Sunday. We are led to Hairy One’s home from home. To my surprise, Isis allows Tracey the manger to stroke her. Then, when I guide her into her kennel, she walks ahead sniffing the new environment with great interest. Her blanket, a T-shirt which I have been wearing all day, toys and a supply of cardboard boxes are hurriedly decanted from her bag and I back out, leaving her behind.
The next day I set off for Wales. Neurotically, of course, I phone Holly Trees. Tracey tells me that Isis has adapted surprisingly well and is doing fine.
Which is a very good thing as my incipient sore throat develops into a nasty little virus and over Christmas I sleep for hours on end.
This afternoon I fetch little podengo home. She wags her tail faintly when I offer my hand for her to smell. Wendy Deadicott assures me that Isis has behaved well. That’s a first. Her appetite, I am assured, has been excellent. Plus ce change there, then!
We are both welcome to return. Phew! That’s good. Thank you Holly Trees.
Isis accompanies me to the car and gets in. She wags when we draw up outside the house. But when we go in she is very subdued.
She sits in her bed and waits. I brush her. She lies on the futon but looks gloomy. Perhaps she’s just confused.
I phone Polymath to announce our safe return. Isis needs rest, peace and quiet and time to readjust, opines Welsh friend when I describe Hairy One’s limp demeanour.
But I’m not so sure.
When I approach the front door, Isis springs to life. She dances delightedly on the doormat, squirms with impatience as I fumble with her harness, and leaps into the car with alacrity.
She runs joyfully in the park, snuffling and twirling. She is so muddy by the time we return home that even I can’t just hope that the dirt will drop off. She is not impressed when I bathe her. On the contrary, she is extremely grumpy.
When she has been dried and fed, she retires upstairs, barks for her landing water bowl to be refilled and then jumps up on the bed and goes to sleep.
A couple of hours later she wakes when I go upstairs. Now her tail wagging is very enthusiastic and she wants to be fussed.
She barks to come downstairs. After a quick pee she has her Dentistix chunks and returns upstairs.
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.co.uk